Cropping of photos?

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by KevinR, May 23, 2005.

  1. KevinR

    KevinR TPF Noob!

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    What's your thought?

    The photography instructor I had was totally against it. And I'm not talking the 35mm to 8X10 crop. I am talking serious rearrangement of photos. I actually am not sure how I feel. Everytime I see a critique photo and there is a suggestion to crop, I kind of cringe a little. It has just been drummed into me to do the cropping in the camera.

    Was wondering if there is opinions on this? And is this crossing over to an ethics question ever so slightly?
     
  2. pursuer

    pursuer TPF Noob!

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    I personally don't see any problem with cropping after the fact. While you should know exactly what you are after before you shoot and compose the shot accordingly in the viewfinder if you see a way to improve the image later by cropping then why not crop? A better image is a better image. On the other hand I can see how cropping could be used as a crutch. When I fist started taking photographs most of the time I decided on the composition after the fact while cropping, now that I compose the shot in the viewfinder most of my crops are minor tweaks but once in a while I see something completely different then what I originally intended. The bottom line for me is if I feel can improve my photo by cropping it I will.
     
  3. Andrea K

    Andrea K TPF Noob!

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    i personally have nothing against this and i do it quite often with my own pictures. i see it as removing an unnecessary paragraph from a book, it's still the same book just refined.
     
  4. Nikon Fan

    Nikon Fan TPF Noob!

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    I have no beefs against it...of course I think I've thrown out my mental ethics of photography handbook since coming here :) I see it as a way to improve and to learn. To me as long as I realize while I'm cropping that "hey I really should have composed this differently" then it doesn't matter to me.
     
  5. errant_star

    errant_star TPF Noob!

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    I agree with Amanda insofar as looking at it as a learning experience. Finding what works better in a situation, even after the fact, can't help but influence your composition the next time around. Hopefully this will eventually, with time, eradicate the need for cropping but I definately look at it as a learning process.

    Just my opinion anyways
     
  6. KevinR

    KevinR TPF Noob!

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    I kind of figured I would be in the minority on this, but was curious to other peoples views.

    Thanks for responding.
     
  7. Andrea K

    Andrea K TPF Noob!

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    if you dont mind me asking, why are you opposed to cropping?
     
  8. Chase

    Chase I am now benign! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I see where you are coming from, although I don't think the suggestions to crop around here are always what you may see them to be. There is no way I would suggest to someone that they take a wide shot with the intention of going back to crop it. Instead we're looking for ways to improve the photos that have already been shot. The natural outcome will most likely be the photographer paying more attention to composition the next time around or picking up some key points to keep in mind.

    Going back to the shots that have already been taken, if you can take a bland shot and make it something good by cropping, I see no problem with it. I agree that the ideal situation is to have composed it more to your liking when you took it, but why toss it aside if a crop can help? :)
     
  9. thebeginning

    thebeginning TPF Noob!

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    i've had trouble with this as well...sometimes i've wondered, if you dont have a large enough lens, you almost have to crop to get the desired image, wouldnt you?
     
  10. Nikon Fan

    Nikon Fan TPF Noob!

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    Not technically...just move in closer if space allows that is.

    My high school teacher always used to say to use your body as the zoom...makes since to me and I've done it ever since :)
     
  11. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    No reason at all. If it improves the end result, sure, crop. Kevin sounds like he had an instructor similar to mine, though - I also had it drilled into me when learning composition - try to get it right in camera. "Stop. Think. Look at all corners of your viewfinder and visualize your final print."

    I had a different instructor for darkroom, and even though he had a more liberal view towards cropping, he too had been trained in this fashion. But he also wanted us to know how to crop, as an added darkroom tool. ;) Yet, he was always more impressed with a full bleed image, he definitely had a preference.

    I also have a 35mm negative carrier that throws a beautiful shadow that really sets off the image when I print full bleed, too. I'm partial to that look, and think it adds another dimension to my print. Personal perference.

    I think whatever you're comfortable with, whatever works for you, is fine. Cropping isn't hard, and sometimes even when you think you have what you want in camera, you might see it differently later.

    It's going to vary image by image. In addition to being taught that getting it right in camera forces your mind to previsualize the outcome, I'm also lazy and don't want to fool with cropping - but there are times when I know I must, to the betterment of the final image. :)
     
  12. KevinR

    KevinR TPF Noob!

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    I don't know if it's that big a problem. I guess part of me feels that to perfect my craft(i know, sounds very high handed, but I'm my own worst critic) I need to get to a point that I am getting it right in the first place. Please remember, this is my ideal. So to go back trying to rearrange the photo is just something I try not to do.

    Maybe I need to be shooting 8X10 LF and just contact printing everything. :D

    Like I said, I was just interested in other people's views.

    This sort of thinking would progress into digital and photoshop if I let it I guess. ;)
     

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