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Crop or Not?
#1
Here's a thought - anyone any ideas about cropping pics...can you make a good one from a poor one...should you crop or get it right first time?

The list could go on, but I'd welcome any opinions (I usually crop 'cause I'm not good enuff to get it right first time)
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#2
(Oct 17, 2013, 12:59)Vik Wrote: Here's a thought - anyone any ideas about cropping pics...can you make a good one from a poor one...should you crop or get it right first time?

The list could go on, but I'd welcome any opinions (I usually crop 'cause I'm not good enuff to get it right first time)

Cropping is not an inherently bad thing.

The 'normal' aspect ratio on current digital cameras is 2x3.
This works fine IF you want a print of that aspect ratio (like a 4x6).
But, what happens when you want/need an 8x10 or 5x7?
What if you want to change from Portrait to Landscape orientation?
All of the above require cropping.

I always shoot with a little 'wiggle' room so I CAN do the above.
I shoot high school commencements. I only get the ONE shot, and have to make both 4x6's AND 8x10's of that image. If I composed real close in-camera, then I'd never get what I need for the sale

Unless you're doing still-life's, then I think that cropping WILL be necessary, and part of the creative process. Ansel Adams cropped, sometimes heavily, to match his vision. I've sometimes tried 3 different crops to find the composition that I find most pleasing.

Just remember, that when you crop, you are throwing away some of the information you collected when you tripped the shutter. And even straightening an image is actually cropping on an angle.
Valley of the Sun, Arizona
D2Xs, D200's, D100's, LightRoom, CS-CC
2HowardsPhoto.biz
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#3
Its a matter of degree. If you don’t overdo it, then its OK.
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#4
Me too. Most of the time when it comes to events I crop most of the time. Too focus on main subject and getting the real right moment of the while I don't see whats inside my frame and see lots of distractions that is unseen while shooting it.
PhotoPlay Photography
What we are is God's gift to us. What we become is our gift to God.
~Eleanor Powell
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#5
There are no real rules. If you have enough megapixels you can use even small details to make a great image. Just beware of noise and distortions.
Nikon D3100 with Tokina 28-70mm f3.5, (I like to use a Vivitar .43x aux on the 28-70mm Tokina), Nikkor 10.5 mm fisheye, Quanteray 70-300mm f4.5, ProOptic 500 mm f6.3 mirror lens. http://donschaefferphoto.blogspot.com/
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#6
Good chance that anyone who is into post processing, may crop.
Non processors will likely take images into Lab for processing and accept what they see.
When I was working, 99% plus, of pics would be cropped. Ed.
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#7
ty all Smile lotta thought-making stuff there
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#8
Smile 
(Oct 17, 2013, 12:59)Vik Wrote: Here's a thought - anyone any ideas about cropping pics...can you make a good one from a poor one...should you crop or get it right first time?

The list could go on, but I'd welcome any opinions (I usually crop 'cause I'm not good enuff to get it right first time)

There is nothing wrong with cropping- never be ashamed to recognize a weakness - no body is perfect every time - I always shoot large - and have made two good images from one shot - plus shooting large allows the rule of third to easy to achieve - why make life difficult ? do your own thing.Big Grin
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#9
Don is right - there are no real rules - although the original quote was probably "There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs." - Ansel Adams. Do whatever you want (or sometimes need) to do to get the final image as you want it to be.

Sometimes cropping might be the only way to actually capture the subject, e.g. when the focal length(s) of your available lens(es) cannot get in close enough, and there is some physical obstruction that prevents you moving any nearer.
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#10
Yes, I agree with Don, there are no rules. do what works for you. The theory is to crop in camera because if you crop in software you are doing what you should have done when you composed the shot in the first place but it's only a theory and as has been mentioned there can be a dozen reasons why it isn't possible to get it right when you shoot. It's nice to have the safety net of post production to fall back on.

I try very hard to get the crop right in camera, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. An awful lot of my 'keepers' wouldn't have been without the trusty crop tool.
Happy Shooting people!

Regards
Keith
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#11
(Oct 17, 2013, 12:59)Vik Wrote: Here's a thought - anyone any ideas about cropping pics...can you make a good one from a poor one...should you crop or get it right first time?

The list could go on, but I'd welcome any opinions (I usually crop 'cause I'm not good enuff to get it right first time)

I have been in the printing business for many years, do not be afraid to shoot your pictures with room to crop. You can always crop, but you cannot add to a picture.

Ted
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#12
Ted, all of the thoughts and information in this thread have been very useful, but of them all, yours is the one that does it for me - ty!
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#13
(Oct 17, 2013, 12:59)Vik Wrote: Here's a thought - anyone any ideas about cropping pics...can you make a good one from a poor one...should you crop or get it right first time?

The list could go on, but I'd welcome any opinions (I usually crop 'cause I'm not good enuff to get it right first time)

All that cropping can do Vik is improve the composition of the image by removing uninteresting areas that contribute little and draw your eye to the main focal point. It should, perhaps, be a process of self-teaching. After a period cropping your shots heavily you should start to "get it right in camera first time". Using a tripod slows you down from just "snapping away" and helps you to compose your image before pressing the shutter. Hope that helps Smile

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#14
I take mainly shots of churches and have to crop half of nearly every shot. To get everything in without pointing the lens upwards and getting huge keystone effects I have to use a very wide lens, so it can be kept horizontal, then get rid of all the grass I don't want.
I also need to shoot with lots of spare space for the inevitable shots with keystoning; so I can correct it in Photoshop. A lot of the churches here in England have very small yards and you're frequently backed up into the trees!
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#15
That's where the popular square format provided by twin-reflex film cameras was useful. Treat yourself to a lovely old bargain priced Hassleblad and scan the negatives perhaps ! Digital cropping is, of course, easier and cheaper as you now do from the Landscape format.
Living on the Isle of Wight at Cowes, I do a lot of yacht photography and with their masts as high as the hull is long I crop many shots into square format, leaving a little space up front for them to sail into. Sometimes dashing about in a RIB and getting very wet. At least churches sit and wait for you Epicurus !

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#16
(Nov 2, 2013, 12:33)Wight snapper Wrote: That's where the popular square format provided by twin-reflex film cameras was useful. Treat yourself to a lovely old bargain priced Hassleblad and scan the negatives perhaps ! Digital cropping is, of course, easier and cheaper as you now do from the Landscape format.
Living on the Isle of Wight at Cowes, I do a lot of yacht photography and with their masts as high as the hull is long I crop many shots into square format, leaving a little space up front for them to sail into. Sometimes dashing about in a RIB and getting very wet. At least churches sit and wait for you Epicurus !

RIB????
Valley of the Sun, Arizona
D2Xs, D200's, D100's, LightRoom, CS-CC
2HowardsPhoto.biz
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#17
Rigid Inflatable Boat. Ed.
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#18
I would like to extend a nice welcome to the new members who have posted in this thread! Nice to have you on board!
Barbara - Life is what you make of it!
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#19
I had a square format TLR in the late 60s, a Yashica 635. I used it with 35mm film in it as the square stuff was far dearer. Only a student then, cost was a huge consideration. That's one of the reasons digital is so great. You can take as many shots and as many exposures as you want - right until your battery packs up. Mine did this morning despite checking it had 3 bars before I left home.
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#20
Boats wait for you too. Mine did! Every week she would be there thinking of a new way to empty my wallet, waiting to let me know what she needed when I visited her at the weekend.
Sold the b**ch - oh happy day!
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#21
(Nov 4, 2013, 11:36)epicurus Wrote: I had a square format TLR in the late 60s, a Yashica 635. I used it with 35mm film in it as the square stuff was far dearer. Only a student then, cost was a huge consideration. That's one of the reasons digital is so great. You can take as many shots and as many exposures as you want - right until your battery packs up. Mine did this morning despite checking it had 3 bars before I left home.

Christmas is coming so a spare one to keep charged in your bag could be on Santa's list perhaps ! In really cold weather it can sit in your pocket and stay warm and functional. I have the extra battery pack screwed under my Nikon 7000 and this not only makes a great fat handgrip but has its own shutter release for portrait mode shots that falls readily to the finger. Bigger boys have bigger toys . . .
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#22
(Nov 4, 2013, 11:41)epicurus Wrote: Boats wait for you too. Mine did! Every week she would be there thinking of a new way to empty my wallet, waiting to let me know what she needed when I visited her at the weekend.
Sold the b**ch - oh happy day!

I sold Kimbelina, a 30 foot Dufour Arpege fin and bulb keeled bermudian sloop when my wife died and . . . yes . . . my bank balance improved substantially too ! That said I loved her deeply. Something that my wife could never completely understand . Sailed and raced her for a while single-handed but it was hard work and berthing on my pontoon when the wind was blowing off was a bit of a nightmare. ( No bow thruster to help).
Still . . . happy memories. Smile

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#23
I've only been to Cowes once, when I did my day skipper training. Merlion had a cushy life on a swing mooring on Windermere. Just for a challenge I used to try moor her single handed under sail.
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#24
(Nov 5, 2013, 04:22)epicurus Wrote: I've only been to Cowes once, when I did my day skipper training. Merlion had a cushy life on a swing mooring on Windermere. Just for a challenge I used to try moor her single handed under sail.
For some years I had an X One-design on a swinging mooring on the River Medina at Folly, where I now live. I had a short strop from the stem head back to the cockpit with a large snap hook on it. Just sailed up and clipped it on to the rope under the buoy. Have sailed single-handed for so much of my life. Now 82 so all that's just memories !
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#25
You can only get the composition right in camera if the sensor proportions are exactly as you want the final picture to be. My final pictures are printed to the A standard - that is 2.8:2 rather than 3:2 - so I always have to crop a part of the image to make it fit the paper. And for me, a picture has to be printed on paper to be finished.

Aesthetically, the digital 3:2 ratio is not very pleasing. I prefer to reduce the length by a bit rather than reduce the paper height by a bit more to keep to the sensor proportions.
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