Saturday, January 7

Another form of cropping - photography

Cropping isn't just something confined to the allotment but also features a lot in my photography. In both cases, it's a matter of picking the bits that I want be it the most choice berries on the blackberry canes or the best bits of a photograph.

I use cropping for a variety of reasons:

When I have taken shots of birds or animals a long way in the distance, even when my lens is on full zoom, my target subject often isn’t as prominent as I would like and so I use cropping to promote the subject.
This is only effective if the photo has good definition to start with or the resulting crop will be too blurred.

I use cropping to improve the composition either by cutting away unwanted parts if the image or again to make parts of the image more dominant.
I removed the half bush from the right of the photo above.
Unwanted people often creep into photos taken in busy locations. Above I have removed the person on the right.
Above the post has been removed from the left and some of the scenery removed from the right. The train has been promoted to become a more dominant feature.
Above the part flamingoes from the left and right of the photo have been removed.

I also use cropping in macro photographs to 'in effect' magnify the subject and enhance the detail as in the shield bug below.
In some cases where I just can't get close enough to the subject to obtain a good macro image I crop to create a macro as in the ladybird below.
Here I wanted to show the markings that enabled identification of a harlequin ladybird. Obviously this will only be successful if the original photo has enough detail and clarity.

On a Windows PC there is a cropping facility in Photoviewer but I use a photo editing application called Adobe Lightroom as this allows you to do much more with your photos. 
More of this in later posts.


I'm sure lots of you use cropping with your photos and it would be interesting to hear when you use it.



21 comments:

  1. I chuckled to myself when you wrote the part about cropping unwanted people in photos. Ha. Sometimes REAL LIFE could use that.

    Very informative, as always. I sure enjoy these posts.

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    1. I'm with you when it comes to cropping some people, Sue ;-)

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  2. Martin, happy birthday to you! Wish you to create many interesting videos, as you made of locomotives.

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  3. I use cropping and also airbrushing, but have yet to master some of the techniques you've mentioned. I use Photoshop, but am beginning to learn there are a lot more applications out there that I must explore. Thanks for this information, and the before and after images!
    I have been slated for 'post editing' but it's no different than when a painter leaves things out that are there in the composition because it enhances what he or she wants to achieve. No difference at all!
    One of the most satisifying airbrushing projects I ever achieved was the removal of my ex from various photographs! "wicked, evil grin" icon here!

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    1. My editing tends to replace the making camera settings in advance so I tweak exposure, contrast, sharpen, reduce noise etc as well as cropping. At times using cropping I can get several photos from just one image. I see this as no different to setting shutter speed, ISO, aperture priority etc and I find it more intuitive when I can see what is happening. You still need a good image as a starting point as no amount of editing can turn a poor photo into a good one. Although some wouldn't admit it most professional photographers tweak images. Some old school ones maybe object as technology has undermined skills that they have perfected over the years. I can understand that. I have met and worked with people who jealously guard their knowledge rather than sharing. I once delivered a course where I taught a simple skill and the response from one delegate was, " I thought my husband was so clever to be able to do this but it is simple isn't it?"

      I have used cloning/healing etc to remove odd objects (not a husband) such as a twig, wire or post.

      Lightroom is more of a digital photo cataloguing and enhancing package and Photoshop more creative although there is some overlap.

      I use Photoshop to create collages and to add text to images and for arty projects.

      As for slating you for post editing it isn't as if you are misrepresenting something as say in a holiday brochure. I do object when people try to pass creations as real without letting on when it is an inappropriate thing to do. Although I was once guilty is a bit if airbrushing in a photo of myself that was asked for to accompany an article that I wrote for a website.

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  4. Photography is an art form its just easier now to produce some stunning images with the available digital imaging software thats available to the enthusiastic amateur, previously with film most of the hard work was done either at the time you composed the subject or later in the darkroom Did you know that a 35mm print negative of old equals approximately 50Mp in the modern digital age. Returning to your cropping theme its worth mentioning that rather than buying say a 300 mm telephoto lens, save some money and buy the 200mm version and crop the image to the equivalent of a 300 with low enough ISO of say 100 to 200 and a sharp lenses its possible to crop even to a 400mm. I do not however trust the results of digital photography in the modern age, Photoshop is too clever by half.

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    1. No longer - is it a case of the camera never lying, David. Although even pre-digital I that was true consider the Cottingley fairies. Also I remeber us playing about rewinding film for double exposures to do things such as parking the car in the greenhouse.

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    2. Just to add to your comment in not needing a powerful zoom lens. The cormorant example shows how much can be cropped back. besides the expense there is also the fact that the lens weighs less and can be held steady without a tripod. I'll post an image to show how far away the bird was in facebook here

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    3. well you have a nice picture of a cormorant I agree but I would like more detail if it was me, and in lowlight I doubt the quality would be as good, I would sooner wait for a closer shot. I often return home with no shots at all.

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    4. It isn't the best photo, David it was taken to show a point. Usually I use this method to identify birds that I can't see clearly with the naked eye. In a way using the camera as an alternative to a pair of binoculars. We often take photos like this so we can identify birde when we get home. I do have better shots of cormorants taken at other times but this one was unlikely to come any closer.

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    5. Yes I agree with you on that, each to his own as they say

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  5. It's very rare that I crop a photo but you've made me think about all the possibilities this gives. By just taking a small slice off the side can give a much better photo, you've shown some great examples.

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    1. Ihope thst you have a bit of fun trying it out, Jo

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  6. Hello a Sue, I use the edit that is available on my Mac. Do you think Adobe lighting offers any more editing tools? Great clear photos.

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    1. I don't really know what the Mac has to offer, Brian. I think Adobe Lightroom offers a trial thoigh there are quite a few YouTube videos that show what it does. As well a editing it is used to tag and create a searchable library of photos. Although you edit the photos it retains the original imageso you never lose the pre-edited version.

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  7. I am the queen of crop. It is my favorite function. Love the tutorial.

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    1. It is just SO useful isn't it Bonnie?

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  8. This is very good tutorial on photo crop! Thanks for sharing! ;)

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  9. Fascinating Sue, you have a very creative eye! Looking forward to your next post.xxx

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