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Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by ashfordphoto, May 23, 2007.

  1. ashfordphoto

    ashfordphoto TPF Noob!

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    the tight crop - and I don't get it. I've fallen into the same trap where I'll critique something and tell the person to tighten the crop to help with the composition. But in doing so, the atmosphere of the photo is completely lost. I feel like a lot of pictures have a lot to explore other than just the intended subject, and atmosphere adds to the subject - for example: A portrait with the intended subject being somebody's eye. If there happens to be a nose, ear, or eyebrow in the picture undoubtedly somebody will respond with ...

    critiquer: "what's the subject?"
    photographer: ...."the color of the persons eye"
    critiquer: "tighten the crop so we can only see the eye because the rest is distracting"

    I dunno, maybe I'm just exploring thoughts - but I feel like the "tighten the crop" critique is overdone. What do you fine ladies & gents think?
     
  2. DSLR noob

    DSLR noob TPF Noob!

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    If you look in the critique section and see the Mazda Rx-77 picture I posted up. everyone said to keep lowering in on the car. you'll see my final edit left half of the frame as background. Even though the car is the subject, I felt the background helped. I mean, I did choose that location for the shoot, just as much as I chose that car when I was car shopping.
    I like to think I did that because I have a inexperience "childlike" inexperience. People say to crop tighter, I've been taking photos for 6 months, I still have a lot to play around with. and even if it goes against all odds, I chose to leave the subject at the edge of my frame.
    I think the photo looks better for it, but people still say I should recompose to get the car large and centered, but that just seems cliche and boring to me.
     
  3. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I honestly feel that the subject should be crystal clear, wether it is the one point or the whole. Some times the location/suroundings is just as important as the subject in and of itself.


    This comes from a habit in automotive photography. Many of those of us who photograph vehicles tend to look to the vehicle over all else and disreguard the rest as it takes away from the car. I don't have the luxory of glorious senic backgrounds so I tend to shot them this way. I honestly don't see any reason why a car can't be a part of a larger image with out being the sole point.
     
  4. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I think some images benefit from tighter crops and some benefit from having a lot of space around them.

    What often happens is, that the original image is somewhere in between, where it would look better to have even more space around (at least on one or two sides to help the composition), ... or less, but not the way it is.

    Now since you cannot ADD image areal, but only crop away, that leave only the option to go tighter.


    So in my eyes the problem sometimes lies in the fact that with a crop you can only correct in one way ...


    Of course I agree that some things are pushed too much sometimes weather it helps the image or not. Especially the simple concepts (which are therefore often called "rules", which I personally do not like)


    Examples here are the "rule" of thirds (probably the most abused and misused compositional concepts ever), the "get the subject off centre" thing.

    And maybe also tight cropping, though I personally did not realise this one yet.

    don't get me wrong, all those rules often work nicely for an image, just they are not dogma, and they can spoil some images.
     
  5. Flash Harry

    Flash Harry TPF Noob!

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    I totally agree with the above, especially the off centre touch in portraits, who in hell wants a load of blank space or fuzzy backdrop taking up much of the image, my clients like to be centred with vignetting of the backdrop to bring attention to their pose, break rules if you think its beneficial to the image. H
     
  6. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    Get closer/crop tighter/compose so the subject breaks 3 sides of the image frame is common advice in all forms of 2D art, not just this forum. There are always exceptions, but I would go as far as to say that not getting close enough/not cropping tight enough is the #1 compositional problem for new photographers.

    Robert Capa said "If your pictures aren't good enough, you're not close enough." Of course he was killed by a land mine trying to get closer to his subject.

    In any event, the best part of asking peoples' opinions is that you don't have to take their advice. :)
     
  7. canto_xii

    canto_xii TPF Noob!

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    I agree with Alex. Personally, I'm a bit claustrophobic and photos that don't have space for me to "move around" in them, for the most part, sort of bother me. I leave a lot of blank space in some of my photos but through focusing and the fact that the backgrounds are not busy, you can tell immediately what the subject is. I think it really depends on the photo and what you as the photographer like.
     
  8. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Even more than tight crops, the current fashion seems to like over saturated, over sharpened images with far too much contrast.
     
  9. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    well, you are right here, whenever I am in doubt over one of my image being oversaturated or too contrasty (posted lots of examples recently) .... then people on here love it ;) :)

    but that is more a question of taste... do you like subtlety or strong punch ...

    both is a valid taste I think
     
  10. ashfordphoto

    ashfordphoto TPF Noob!

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    ....very interesting thoughts - I agree with what you're saying alex. As a relatively new photographer it just seems that it's much easier to take a wide shot and crop it down rather than just get the composition right to begin with. I think I lose a lot by doing that.

    And perhaps, I'm not the only one that composes on the computer instead of the camera - and that's why we see the "crop it tighter" posts.... :scratch:
     
  11. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    Current? Velvia, or Disney-chrome, was introduced around 1990, and has been hugely popular ever since.
     
  12. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Nah! Velvia transparencies are kid's stuff compared to some (most?) of the images I see these days on the internet. Velvia is a little more saturated than, say, Ektachrome but it is nothing like the digital images that win photo contests on this very site.
     

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