Cropping Body Parts- What do you do?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by eric-holmes, May 18, 2010.

  1. eric-holmes

    eric-holmes No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    There is always a lot of discussion about cropping off limbs in portraits. I have heard that you shouldn't crop at the joint. I have also seen peoples pictures get ripped apart for cropping a limb mid-shaft, no where near a joint.

    My wife was watching ANTM the other day and I started noticing the girls final pictures. A lot of times they have their images cropped right at a joint or in the middle of the limb. I, for sure, am not one to C&C a photographer from a pretty popular TV show and one who is professional and shoots internationally. So if they are doing it, Where is the line? What is the "golden rule".

    I have been asking myself this a lot lately. Since I have been doing mostly portraiture, I am trying to be more and more aware of cropped body parts and awkward positions.

    I have included a link to a few photos from ANTM that describe what I am talking about.

    http://img1.tvloop.com/img/showpics/eb/a4/l3491849a0000_1_31954.jpg

    http://www.poptower.com/images/db/1430/450/500/jaslene-gonzalez.jpg

    http://images.buddytv.com/usrimages/usr165/165_antm11_sheena4.jpg

    http://topmodelwinners.files.wordpr...ycle-6-america-next-top-model-six-falling.jpg
     
  2. kelli_anne

    kelli_anne TPF Noob!

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    I do not think that there is no "golden rule" on where to crop out limbs. I think it is personal preference. Also these photos are more fashion, they are trying to sell something, in most of the links you listed, it looks like they are using sex to sell something, so cropping out the arm or leg is not going to matter, aslong as you got the boobs or ass and the eyes!
     
  3. white

    white TPF Noob!

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    The golden rule is that you crop in order to get the desired artistic effect. Ask yourself if some of those images would be improved if the hands or feet weren't cropped. Also ask yourself if a different part of the body was cropped, would it look good?

    #3, for example. What if her right kneecap was cropped, but the left foot was in the frame? I think it would be much worse that way. But why? Because I think the legs do a superb job acting as lines that guide a person's eye through her body and up to her face. It would have been nice to see her whole foot, but if it is foot vs. kneecap, I can live with the cropped foot.

    #2. The repetition and shape of the arms is the focal point here. This one is interesting because the male model's hands could have been left in; so it seems obvious to me that the arms are simply lines, and he wanted those lines to repeat and exit the top of the frame. Does it work? I think so. Imagine that guy's hands resting on his head. I also like the girl's elbow crop. Look at what it does to the background. It cuts it up into little shapes. That's very interesting to look at.
     
  4. white

    white TPF Noob!

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    Also, I'm sure you've heard the compositional 'rule' that you shouldn't crop an object's support. That means not cropping feet, or wheels, etc. In #4 it was done deliberately to give the model a weightless, floating feel. I don't think it would have worked without the great lines the legs form, especially the left. Just imagine her body is a line drawn from the lower right corner to the opposite corner where her face and the red apple are. Is it just coincidence she's holding a red apple at face level?

    Reduce everything to basics and see where you get.
     
  5. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It's another rule to be broken. Look up Platon who has shot Putin, Clinton, and a ton of portraiture of famous political people, actors, models, etc... and he does a lot of tight framing where they'll have parts missing, even portions of their face.

    And I have to say he does amazing work.

    platon
     

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