Ad
Ad
Ad
Pages: « 1 2 3 [4] 5 »   Bottom of Page
Print
Author Topic: The "Art" of Cropping  (Read 18258 times)
Mark D Segal
Contributor
Sr. Member
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 6945


WWW
« Reply #60 on: February 05, 2007, 07:15:47 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote
There is a dirty little secret that a lot of photographers have; they go to a location and don't have a fully preconceived and planned image in their heads when they go out shooting. [a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=99240\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Like so many aspects of the creative process it isn't "either" "or" but a mixture of all influences. There is planning, there is visualization, there is the the stimulus of the time and place (otherwise what is photography?). Simply reinforces the point once again that there is no point being doctrinaire about any of this, because there is no one way.
Logged

Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
jani
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1604



WWW
« Reply #61 on: February 05, 2007, 07:55:54 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote
Like so many aspects of the creative process it isn't "either" "or" but a mixture of all influences. There is planning, there is visualization, there is the the stimulus of the time and place (otherwise what is photography?). Simply reinforces the point once again that there is no point being doctrinaire about any of this, because there is no one way.
The only doctrine is: there is no doctrine.
 
Logged

Jan
howiesmith
Guest
« Reply #62 on: February 05, 2007, 08:28:56 AM »
ReplyReply

The benefit of returning to a place to photograph is the decond tme you can bring soem real plans with you.  Ideas and equipment to do something as planned.  Like, arrive before sunup for a sunrise shot, where to put your tripod, which direction to point your camera, etc.  A real plan.

I disagree with the no dotrine statement.  I say that haphazard shooting gets haphazard results.

Even street shooters have plans.  They take a certain camera with certain lens(es).  He decides where to go, some times with a particular image in mind, which side of a street to walk down to get a chance to see what he wants to photograph.

Running around trying to "capture the moment" usually means you are running around when the moment happens.  Think about it.  Why am I moving from here to there?  I'm in the wrong place - I think over there may be better.  When you get there, someplace else looks better.

Some people believe they can point, zoom, shoot, then fix everything with photoshop, and crop PRIN.  Haphazard.

Sure, sometimes something comes up to be photographed that was not fully anticipated.  But the prepared photographer, the one with plans about why he is where he is, can and will adapt.  A big part of prepared is a plan.

I agree with: "There is a dirty little secret that a lot of photographers have; they go to a location and don't have a fully preconceived and planned image in their heads when they go out shooting."  Sometimes the plan and actual condition don't match, but at least the photographer started with a plan.  That certainly does not mean he has to stick with that plan to the popint of packing up and going home.
Logged
Jack Flesher
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2595



WWW
« Reply #63 on: February 05, 2007, 09:26:41 AM »
ReplyReply

I've had some more time to consider this thread and I'm going to backtrack on myself a bit and lend more support to Stephen's original assertion...

In looking back over my dozen or so most successful images, the ones that have sold the most copies or been most appreciated by viewers, none of them are significant crops off the original frame they were captured in.  This includes captures from 35mm, 645, 6x7 and 4x5 as well as 3:2 digital.  I am not sure how relevant this is to the discussion at hand, but it was an interesting revelation for me...  

Cheers,
Logged

howiesmith
Guest
« Reply #64 on: February 05, 2007, 09:55:28 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote
In looking back over my dozen or so most successful images, the ones that have sold the most copies or been most appreciated by viewers, none of them are significant crops off the original frame they were captured in.  This includes captures from 35mm, 645, 6x7 and 4x5 as well as 3:2 digital.  I am not sure how relevant this is to the discussion at hand, but it was an interesting revelation for me... 

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=99277\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I am not sure what this means either.  It could be don't crop.  It could mean plan more (crop in camera) so cropping not as required when printing.
Logged
Mark D Segal
Contributor
Sr. Member
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 6945


WWW
« Reply #65 on: February 05, 2007, 09:56:16 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote
I've had some more time to consider this thread and I'm going to backtrack on myself a bit and lend more support to Stephen's original assertion...

In looking back over my dozen or so most successful images, the ones that have sold the most copies or been most appreciated by viewers, none of them are significant crops off the original frame they were captured in.  This includes captures from 35mm, 645, 6x7 and 4x5 as well as 3:2 digital.  I am not sure how relevant this is to the discussion at hand, but it was an interesting revelation for me... 

Cheers,
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=99277\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

It probably means you are accustomed enough to those aspect ratios to know how to compose effectively within them. That' great, but one cannot generalize therefrom that less cropping makes a better photographer. That's where doctrine sets in and regardless of what howiesmith says I'll take pragmatic common sense over doctrine any day.
Logged

Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
Rob C
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 12213


« Reply #66 on: February 05, 2007, 10:01:35 AM »
ReplyReply

Okay - I join Mr Penguin and I give up too.

Ciao - Rob C
Logged

jani
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1604



WWW
« Reply #67 on: February 05, 2007, 10:04:01 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote
Even street shooters have plans.  They take a certain camera with certain lens(es).  He decides where to go, some times with a particular image in mind, which side of a street to walk down to get a chance to see what he wants to photograph.
And there, in a side street, he hears a noise, turns around, and sees something else worth shooting ...

I'm not arguing that "no planning is good planning"; but it's not a black-or-white situation, either.

Experienced photographers are probably better at catching special moments than n00bs, but even experienced photographers can be spontaneous.

Apart from that, I'd just like to quote the colonel: "Stop it! This is silly!"
Logged

Jan
BJL
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 5141


« Reply #68 on: February 05, 2007, 10:29:17 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote
I agree that when capturing, we should try and use the maximum area of the sensor available to us. 

I also agree there is no point saving/printing distracting or otherwise undesirable elements in the image.

Corollary; leave at least one side full length when possible. And yet I agree that even that is not always possible -- like when the subject is too far away for your longest lens -- but feel one should at least strive for it when it is possible.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=99025\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Thank you. That should be all that needs to be said on the subject, so I will abstain from any further debate with the "one shape fits all" dogmatists and their Procrustean approach.


P. S. a Definition:

Procrustean |pr??kr?st??n; pr?-| adjective (esp. of a framework or system) enforcing uniformity or conformity without regard to natural variation or individuality : a fixed Procrustean rule.

Read the legend of Prucrustes for some fun!
Logged
Pete JF
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 200


« Reply #69 on: February 05, 2007, 10:31:59 AM »
ReplyReply

Well, I usually just sit down and make sure the toilet paper roll has at least thirty yards left on it and that I can reach it. Then I re-read War and Peace. The rest is history.


That's the art of crapping in a toilet, or, if you will, in a nutshell. The art of cropping is something different altogether but, there are, for sure, no doctrines required on any of this . Many of the greats crop, many of the greats don't. Many hobbyists do or do not and will continue to, too.

I have to say that if you let the rules lock you into a groove of following the rules then you are missing lots of fun. Sometimes they help you and sometimes they keep you.

« Last Edit: February 05, 2007, 10:34:49 AM by Pete JF » Logged
BJL
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 5141


« Reply #70 on: February 05, 2007, 10:59:56 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote
....This includes captures from 35mm, 645, 6x7 and 4x5 as well as 3:2 digital.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=99277\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
But what about us poor sods trying to do everything with just one DSLR? Do we have to decide when we buy our camera which aspect ratio we want for all our photography? Or are we revealed as just not serious enough by not owning multiple cameras (and lens systems) matched to desired aspect ratios? And in digital there are not a lot of sensor options other than 4:3 and 3:2: are panoramas now only allowed by stitching, and 8x10 or 16x20 portrait prints no longer allowed?
Logged
howiesmith
Guest
« Reply #71 on: February 05, 2007, 12:06:10 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote
But what about us poor sods trying to do everything with just one DSLR? Do we have to decide when we buy our camera which aspect ratio we want for all our photography? Or are we revealed as just not serious enough by not owning multiple cameras (and lens systems) matched to desired aspect ratios? And in digital there are not a lot of sensor options other than 4:3 and 3:2: are panoramas now only allowed by stitching, and 8x10 or 16x20 portrait prints no longer allowed?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=99298\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

"Thank you. That should be all that needs to be said on the subject, so I will abstain from any further debate with the "one shape fits all" dogmatists and their Procrustean approach."  That didn't last long.

A plan is still the better way to go, even if you never get to that plan or change it frequeeently.  This notion likely comes ffrom experience taking photos for clients.  I have yet to have a client that wants a photo of whatever whim I have.  They usually have very firm ideas about content and size.  That doesn't mean as the shoot progresses, things don't sometimes change.  But at least the day started with a plan.

Even the fashion photographer starts with a plan.  He knows the shoot will be in a certain room, with models at some distance, he has ideas about lights, etc.  And size and shape of the final image are sometimes dictated by the client.

I watched the Super Bowl yesterday.  The quarterback didn't just tell the center to hike the ball and I'll figure out what to do next.  The huddle is a planning session.  Plans may change according to the defence, but at least there was a plan to start with.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2007, 12:07:16 PM by howiesmith » Logged
Ray
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 8887


« Reply #72 on: February 05, 2007, 12:44:53 PM »
ReplyReply

Let's look at one of HCB's most famous photos, the guy jumping over a puddle, below.

[attachment=1760:attachment]

This shot represents recurring symmetries all over the place. It was a stroke of luck. Aparently, the shot was taken through a gap in a fence. HCB didn't even have time to look through the viewfinder. Just pointed the camera and pressed the shutter at the right moment. It was one of the few photos he cropped, apparently because of some vignetting caused by the fence posts.

I'm reminded here of one of Ansel Adams' most celebrated shot, 'Moonrise over Hernandez', which wasn't planned at all, Howard, as you well know.

In photography, sometimes we have the opportunity to plan and sometimes we don't. I think it would be a reasonable case to make that, those occasions when we didn't have the opportunity to plan, post cropping is more common. When we have the opportunity to plan, post cropping might be seen as an indication of incompetence.

It might be the case that users of miniature cameras such as 35mm, are more obsessed with resolution and therefore try harder to maximise their real estate; to search for compositions that fit the aspect ratio, to avoid cropping. I'm certainly aware of such internal pressures. I have been for a long time.

When I bought a 5400 dpi scanner for 35mm, some time ago, and began scanning a bunch of Kodachrome slides I'd taken 40 years ago, for the third time, which were still only slightly faded, I had a sort of epiphany. Why should I be so concerned about extracting the maximum detail from these slides when the Kodak cardbord frame was obscuring up to 1.5mm on each side. There were a few shots where I appeared to have sliced off someone's fingers or toes. Trying to reflect on my level of awareness 40 years ago, and I don't believe I would have done this. I ripped off all the cardboard Kodak frames and discovered I was right. I had in fact carefully framed each shot to maximise the real estate; and that was with just 2 lenses, a standard 50mm and a telephoto 135mm.

I tried to buy some slide frames that are 24mmx36mm, but did not succeed. The best I could do was get some plastic frames that obscured about 1mm on each side. I used a Stanley knife to pare off that obtrusive 1mm and reframed all the slides I wanted to scan.

Jack Flesher's point about his most successful photos not being cropped, rings a bell here. I know Jack is rather obsessed with resolution, as I am. Anyone who is obsessed with resolution does not want to post crop if it can be avoided.

Clearly, there are unavoidable circumstances where cropping is necessary.

(1) You don't have a sufficiently long lens.

(2) You don't have time to stuff around like a gentleman.

(3) You are in an unplanned situation where it's the moment that is paramount.

(4) The subject simply doesn't lend itself to the aspect ratio of your camera, the most basic example of which would be the passport photo in relation to 35mm.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2007, 12:45:44 PM by Ray » Logged
howiesmith
Guest
« Reply #73 on: February 05, 2007, 01:19:40 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote
Let's look at one of HCB's most famous photos, the guy jumping over a puddle, below.

[attachment=1760:attachment]

I'm reminded here of one of Ansel Adams' most celebrated shot, 'Moonrise over Hernandez', which wasn't planned at all, Howard, as you well know.

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=99319\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Ray, I am pretty sure I never said accidents, even happy ones, don't happen.  They do, just not as often as I would like.  I would guess even Adams had more well executed plans than happy accidents.
Logged
howiesmith
Guest
« Reply #74 on: February 05, 2007, 02:02:01 PM »
ReplyReply

I just had a thought about another visual art - painting.  Painters as far as I know, select a canvas (size, aspect ratio) while planning the painting.  They paint to fit the image onto thecancass.  Also as far as I know, they start with a plan, rather than just pick up a brush and start painting.  I assume the plan may change from time to time, but never outside the lines.  And I would be surprised if the orange crate became a canoe.
Logged
BJL
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 5141


« Reply #75 on: February 05, 2007, 02:15:18 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote
"Thank you. That should be all that needs to be said on the subject, so I will abstain from any further debate with the "one shape fits all" dogmatists and their Procrustean approach." That didn't last long.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=99309\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
I was not debating a "one shape fits all" [corrected later] dogmatist.

Firstly, Jack Flesher is not advocating that "one shape fits all"; he is saying that he is in the position to get the various different shapes he wants by using different cameras.

Secondly, I was not debating: I just asked for advice as to how to deal with my "single camera poverty"!


P. S. What do clients have to do with what I was saying? I am a hobbyist, not a commercial photographer. And by the way, what would you recommend if my imaginary clients ask for prints of different shapes (maybe 8x10's of some portraits, 8x12's of a group photo) when I am working with a single camera? I know many professionals who only only one format of camera. (Again, I am just asking, not debating!)
« Last Edit: February 05, 2007, 03:28:00 PM by BJL » Logged
howiesmith
Guest
« Reply #76 on: February 05, 2007, 02:25:40 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote
P. S. What do clients have to do with what I was saying? I am a hobbyist, not a commercial photographer. And by the way, what would you recommend if my imaginary clients ask for prints of different shapes (maybe 8x10's of some portraits, 8x12's of a group photo) when I am working with a single camera? I know many professionals who only only one format of camera. (Again, I am just asking, not debating!)

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=99324\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I would not attempt to give you advice about how to deal with your clients, imaginary or not, or what you would/should do.  I would give my what they asked for if I could.  I have no problem with cropping either in the camera of elsewhere.  If I couldn't give my client the photo they expected, I would give their money back and help them find another photographer.
Logged
Jack Flesher
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2595



WWW
« Reply #77 on: February 05, 2007, 03:29:17 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote
Firstly, Jack Flesher is not advocating that "one shape fits all"; he is saying that he is in the position to get the various different shapes he wants by using different cameras.

Actually, that is not accurate:  I was referring to images I have taken over time -- and during that time I used a variety of cameras to capture them.  IOW, I used the aspect ratio of the camera I had with me at the time to frame the best image I could for the scene I was trying to capture.  Unfortunately, I have never had an "endless supply" of capture devices at my disposal!    

The point I was attempting to make was that I have historically used the frame "I had with me at the time" to generate most of my more successful images...

Cheers,
« Last Edit: February 05, 2007, 03:30:58 PM by Jack Flesher » Logged

larryg
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 468



WWW
« Reply #78 on: February 05, 2007, 03:43:48 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote
Actually, that is not accurate:  I was referring to images I have taken over time -- and during that time I used a variety of cameras to capture them.  IOW, I used the aspect ratio of the camera I had with me at the time to frame the best image I could for the scene I was trying to capture.  Unfortunately, I have never had an "endless supply" of capture devices at my disposal!   

The point I was attempting to make was that I have historically used the frame "I had with me at the time" to generate most of my more successful images...

Cheers,
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=99340\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

When I used the Hasselblad 205  camera (square format)  I actually started seeing images/compositions that fit that format.  Many of my images worked in the square and would not work to crop.  I most always cropped in-camera.

Now back to rectangular images I have more choices but tend to do most of my cropping with the camera.   Occasionally though, cropping can enhance images and would not dismiss this option.

Whatever helps one to get the most out of their images is ok by me.
Logged
howiesmith
Guest
« Reply #79 on: February 05, 2007, 04:02:48 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote
When I used ... [square format]  I actually started seeing images/compositions that fit that format.  Many of my images worked in the square and would not work to crop.  I most always cropped in-camera.

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=99345\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Me too.  I suspect a painter that buys a 12-pack of suqare canvases will produce about a dozen square paintings.

I have a clear overlay in my view finder that is a bit smaller than 6x6 so that I automatically give myself some wiggle room.
Logged
Pages: « 1 2 3 [4] 5 »   Top of Page
Print
Jump to:  

Ad
Ad
Ad