advice on crop

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Kathleen, Aug 12, 2007.

  1. Kathleen

    Kathleen TPF Noob!

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    I took the following photo and was wondering what the best way to crop was. I thought a real close crop, but am a little unsure. Appreciate any thoughts.
     
  2. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    Personally I like the closer crop, but these are things to consider when shooting. If you crop it that close afterwards, you've completely blown your resolution. If you are going to shoot full length, you need to allow more room on the top and bottom of the subject. If that were printed and framed, the feet would be hidden behind the edge of the frame.
     
  3. Kathleen

    Kathleen TPF Noob!

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    After shooting this photo, I thought if I had taken it as a waist up photo it might have looked better. Blowing out the resolution though by cropping it as I had done I wasn't aware of. I thought if I shot it as a raw image and cropped it while selecting "preserve cropped pixels" I would be fairly safe. I guess this is not the case. So in the future while shooting, I'll plan a little better. If shooting full length as you say that I need more room at the top & bottom, how much should I allow and would I crop out any of this before printing?
     
  4. Kathleen

    Kathleen TPF Noob!

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    Now I'm totally confused. You spoke about cropping causing loss of resolution. I just read a post with a link to this site and his photos are cropped. Is there a way around losing the resolution? Does the answer lie in shooting raw as I am doing? http://www.luminous-landscape.com/essays/und-crop.shtml
     
  5. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    There is no way to get around losing resolution by cropping. If you crop to a small portion of the center, then you must enlarge that tiny section to fill the print size. You've cut a 6mp image to a 3mp, or even smaller.

    When shooting portraits with the intent on printing and selling them in standard frame sizes, you must allow room to crop. Keep in mind that 35mm film, or the typical DSLR sensor shoots a 2:3 ratio, or 4x6. Typical frame sizes are 5x7 and 8x10, neither of which is the same aspect ratio as your sensor. Allow yourself room to crop and still have a pleasing composition. Take a step back when shooting.
     
  6. deanimator

    deanimator TPF Noob!

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    As the article in the link suggests, thereĀ“s nothing really wrong with cropping afterwards, however you need to be aware of what may happen to the quality of the final print. If you select a small part of your original and blow it up, at some point the quality will start to degrade. This will simply depend on how good the original is, and how big the final print is.

    In your example, a 10 x 8 of the first picture may look fine, whereas the cropped example may start to look pixilated at the same size.

    On another note, I prefer the first image...the space around the couple is nice, and draws the eye gently to them. The second is a bit too full-on, in-your-face...less romantic perhaps which more or less defeats the purpose.
    Back to the first image: may I suggest you crop away a little from the right side, centering the couple more, and print the image with a white border which allows you to keep both top and bottom (no problem then with feet) when framing the image.
     
  7. Kathleen

    Kathleen TPF Noob!

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    A little confused Matt. You say that I should allow more room for cropping purposes, therefore taking a step back. I start with a full image, then crop out, but never try to make the image bigger because I know that is where the problems come in. I'm still a little fuzzy on how to size my images according to ppi. say to create an 8x10.

    deanimator, I can see your point. I get a little confused with portraits, trying not to center my subjects. Placing a shoulder this way or that to prevent this from happening. Taking two people & centering them I wasn't sure if it was a "to do" or "not to do". Although I did rework the photo as you suggested, (I gave it a black stroke for posting so my border could be seen on a white background).
     
  8. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    Kathleen, there's a difference between cropping to fit a standard size, and extreme cropping like you had done in your original post.

    The trick to PPI and printing is simple. Pixel resolution divided by PPI = print size in inches. If you intend to print at 300 ppi, your equation would look like this.

    3000 x 300 = 10"
    2400 x 300 = 8"

    That equation shows that you need a pixel resolution of 2400 x 3000 to make an 8x10". If you crop that image to a small portion of the center, you might end up with something like 1200x1500, which would print 4 x 5" at 300 ppi. If you wanted to print an 8x10 at 300ppi you'd need to enlarge the image to double it's size, which is where the quality loss comes from. It would be the same as printing a 16x20 of the original image. As Dean said, the amount of enlargement you can do will depend on many factors of the original like sharpness, noise, and original resolution.
     
  9. Kathleen

    Kathleen TPF Noob!

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    I think I'm slowly starting to see the light. But in one respect I'm still confused. When opening a raw image it says size 3456x 2304, what I believe to mean the overall number of pixels. But if this is the case I'm confused because an 8.0 camera is capable of producing 12x 16 prints. According to the size 3456x 2304 as I mentioned, this wouldn't be possible would it?
     
  10. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    The number of pixels your camera records is not the limit of it's capabilities. Digital files can be interpolated (enlarged) to bigger sizes. An 8mp camera is capable of producing 30x40 inch prints or larger. In addition to the factors I mentioned earlier, the larger the print is, the greater the viewing distance should be. If you print a 30x40, you won't be viewing it at 6 inches. Every person has to have their own idea on how large of an enlargement is acceptable also. What you find acceptable, you might not.
     
  11. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Hi Kathleen, as to the cropping go here and most of what you are struggling with will be explained- at least as far as the posing (ideally you shouldn't need to crop) ((there is a way to pose that couple which would take 20 pounds off the girl))
    http://groups.msn.com/Asktheoleproaboutphotography/joezeltsman.msnw?pgmarket=en-us


    The number of pixels doesn't change from Raw to Jpg. What does change is all the information about each pixel. a 3000 pixel wide image if printed at 300 dots per inch would be 10 inches wide but the larger the print the further back you have to stand to take it all in the less resolution you really need and on and on... In other words for big prints you can easily blow them up so long as you have acceptable images to begin with. (what you can do with 8 megapixels you can only do half as well with 4)
     
  12. LeftyRodriguez

    LeftyRodriguez TPF Noob!

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    Personally, I like the close crop, but only because feet "ook" me out.
     

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