What is your preference for cropping bird shots ?

What is your preference for cropping bird shots ?

  • 1. Full frame (if possible)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 2. Cropped to landscape

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters

Don Kondra

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Dec 11, 2007
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Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
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It's been awhile since we tossed this around :)

1. Full frame (if possible)


2. Cropped to landscape


3. Cropped to portrait


4. Other...

Cheers, Don
Which do I prefer for your bird? #3. Although #1 isn't bad.

Every bird pose and shot composition would be different, don't you think? So it's not like you would really think about it when cropping. You just do it. A bird in flight might yield a landscape crop, while a tall bird like a Heron may yield a portrait crop. So my vote is "other" to just do it how it works.
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This is a bit of hard question to answer because I feel it is not really possible to generalize or pick one specific orientation for cropping. I do tend to crop to an 8"x10" size, but that is mostly because a lot of the basic frames are that size or some multiple of it. I do crop 1"x1" on occasion as well. A lot of how I crop an image will really depend on what kind of bird is in the image and what it is doing. A flying bird may often get a landscape crop, whereas a standing large bird like a heron or an egret may get a portrait crop. I tend to leave a certain amount of negative space in my bird crops, so I don't really crop to closely, although I have been know to crop to a headshot. I don't want to come off as being indecisive, but that is just the way it works for me.

Don't like bird shot because I don't like shooting birds. Seriously, the guy has a very delicious mean look in his eyes in #3 but I like #1 also. Handsome devil. Great image.
I don't shoot birds... Yet. But out of the three ,I really like #1. Great shot!
I'm pretty sure that you already know Don. If it helps, my vote is definitely on the portrait crop. I mean, attitude in this bird is everything.

Well done. Thanks for sharing.
It depends on the setting and the bird, and what it is doing. For example, a great blue heron, neck stretched out, head down, and in the process of capturing a fish might very well best be seen as a horizontal. The bird in this post is literally seen much larger, and in more clear detail in the portrait crop; the difference in the sheer size of the bird in the portrait crop makes it the most powerful framing--for this bird in this instance. The portrait crop in this specific case is clearly the winner.

At times, the horizontal frame feels a bit more tranquil, more languid, and more "environmental", and in those cases, then horizontal would be the way to go, as long as everything aligned with that choice.

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