One thing I had to learn by experience (newbies, listen up!)

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Jon_Are, Mar 17, 2009.

  1. Jon_Are

    Jon_Are TPF Noob!

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    The first few times I ventured out with my new DSLR, I was very aware of the composition of each shot. I took great care to compose them in the manner in which I wanted my final prints to appear.

    Some of you know where I'm going with this already. :mrgreen:

    Upon loading my shots into the computer, it hit me that different sizes of prints have different aspect ratios, and all are slightly different that what appeared in my carefully-composed viewfinder at the shoot. In other words, cropping was necessary; and this cropping interfered significantly with my original vision of the shot. In fact, I basically ruined some beautiful images, images that I'll not likely be able to re-capture.

    So, the moral of the story: widen your view when shooting. Include too much in the frame. Create your ultimate composition on the computer screen, don't try to do it in the field. Because if you compose carelessly through the viewfinder, you're likely going to have to amputate stuff you want in there.

    Note: I'm not suggesting you ignore composition when shooting, nor am I saying to shoot everything super-wide angle. First compose, then widen it up a bit. Later, crop your image to perfection.

    During all my early reading/learning/research, this is a tip I never came across.

    To the experienced among you: do you agree?

    Jon
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2009
  2. dmatsui

    dmatsui TPF Noob!

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    I suppose you should both take a photograph composed for viewing on the computer and then take one composed for printing?
    This works well with landscapes but for other types of photography, namely sports this would be incredibly troublesome.
    I am very curious to see what everyone else thinks of this though
     
  3. JonathanBlu

    JonathanBlu TPF Noob!

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    Now this is just my opinion... but I agree with the op, many times, you will find pictures within your pictures just by cropping down and focusing on a particular piece of the image.
    I also advise however, that instead of taking for wide shots, in which you may not be sure what your focus is, find your subject and get in close... What do you like about your subject? Are there distracting objects in your shot? Get in close or crop them out in pp.
    AND ALWAYS REMEMBER RULE OF THIRDS!
     
  4. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    Or just print 8x12, 10x15, 12x18, 3:2 ratio print sizes.
     
  5. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Of course, this is a great tip. With a little practice, you can visualize the different crops while you are shooting. A good example is when shooting a wedding, I will think about the likely outcomes from a particular shot. If it's a candid shot at the reception...it will likely not be ordered as an 8x10 print. But a bridal portrait or a shot of the b&g...is much more likely to be requested in 8x10 or something other than the native 2:3 ratio...so I leave a little more room.

    Sometimes, I'll even leave enough room to change the orientation, cropping to a landscape even though it's shot in portrait etc.
     
  6. Jon_Are

    Jon_Are TPF Noob!

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    These prints would appeal to me more than the more boxy 5:4 ratio, but frames and mats are not as readily available.

    As for 'getting in close' with your subject, absolutely. I just feel safer getting in close in PP.

    Big Mike: I would think this would be a huge concern in shooting weddings, since you can only guess what the couple will desire, size-wise, for each shot.

    Jon
     
  7. Katier

    Katier TPF Noob!

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    Or just shoot 6x6 Medium Format ;) - plenty of room then to crop and play :D

    Mmmm *hopes the rumours of a Square format Pentax are true*
     
  8. Chairman7w

    Chairman7w TPF Noob!

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    Good tip, Jon Are!!!
     
  9. dcclark

    dcclark TPF Noob!

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    I've been caught by this before too, but pretty quickly you learn what sorts of shots may give you trouble when cropping, and what sorts will be easy to crop. For example, I very carefully composed this doorways shot, and later discovered that cropping it to anything other than 3:2 was absolutely impossible -- because I couldn't remove anything at the top or bottom. On the other hand, many photos can be cropped easily, because the subject just doesn't extend all the way across the photo.

    When you're composing, just keep that in mind -- maybe you should back off a little, to have extra room, or maybe you shouldn't. It all depends on the subject and the intended composition. There's no hard and fast rule, just experience. (And we really don't need to see any more photos with a tiny subject in the middle, and vast swaths of empty space around them -- a danger if you worry too much about future cropping!)
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2009
  10. LarryD

    LarryD TPF Noob!

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    Cropping a photo for a particular format isn't anything new....... With negatives, you used to clamp the negative in a frame that only showed the "crop" you wanted for the print you were making..

    It's still the same, nothing has changed except the tools......... Now you just shoot your "negative" in a non-loss format such as Raw, or Tif. You then "crop" for whatever you want to print, but you shouldn't alter your file "negative" each time you print in a different size..

    There is nothing wrong with composing with the intent to crop.......as long as you understand that you are going to lose data and resolution with that crop, and so, it should still be kept to a minimum..
     
  11. Overstanding

    Overstanding TPF Noob!

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    This has happened to me before. Some photos that I cropped on the computer got cut off even more after printing and some that I didn't crop got cut off after printing. I had no idea what happened and haven't printed since, so I should widen the view when taking the picture and crop on computer? Even if I crop it on the computer how do I know what print size to get? Is there anywhere I can read up more on this?
     
  12. Mgw189

    Mgw189 TPF Noob!

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    Bingo. Yes the frames and mattes are a little harder to find but at the same time I think that is a good thing. It is more customized for sure./
     

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