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Author Topic: Cutting off legs in people shots  (Read 8227 times)
Stuarte
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« on: May 08, 2010, 08:27:33 AM »
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I've been surprised to see lots of acclaimed people pictures in which the frame cuts off the legs at some point below mid-thigh.  

I had (perhaps naively) thought that in people shots, the subject should be head or head+shoulders, or upper body or whole body including feet.  Apparently not.

Is there a no-go area cut-off area of the legs?  Is it okay to cut off at the ankles, or mid-calf, or at knee level?  

Obviously personal taste comes into such questions, but on the other hand there's generally accepted practice and what "looks right".
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Rob C
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« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2010, 10:19:15 AM »
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Quote from: Stuarte
I've been surprised to see lots of acclaimed people pictures in which the frame cuts off the legs at some point below mid-thigh.  

I had (perhaps naively) thought that in people shots, the subject should be head or head+shoulders, or upper body or whole body including feet.  Apparently not.

Is there a no-go area cut-off area of the legs?  Is it okay to cut off at the ankles, or mid-calf, or at knee level?  

Obviously personal taste comes into such questions, but on the other hand there's generally accepted practice and what "looks right".




An odd question - maybe because the 'where to' comes naturally just by looking. If there are any rules, then it's news to me too, but were I to make one, I'd say avoid cutting anywhere below the knees - stumps ain't cool. But cut thighs can generally carry the visual weight of what's on top of the frame.

Rob C
« Last Edit: May 08, 2010, 10:19:53 AM by Rob C » Logged

Stuarte
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« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2010, 12:21:47 PM »
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Quote from: Rob C
An odd question - maybe because the 'where to' comes naturally just by looking.

Rob C

That's why I ask.  Legs cut off mid-thigh don't look right to me - makes me wonder whether the photgrapher actually looked at the edges of the frame before pressing the shutter.

But maybe I'm odd - I don't like seeing packets opened from the bottom.
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bill t.
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« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2010, 01:09:26 PM »
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FWIW Fred Astaire insisted in his studio contracts that he never be shown dancing where any part of his body was cropped off the screen.  No cutting back and forth between closeups and full figure.  Went against the grain of cinematographers and film editors, but it worked oh so well on the screen.

When we see a full length figure we automatically read the body language.  Partially cropped figures and like unfinished sentences.
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mahleu
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« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2010, 01:34:34 PM »
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Mid thigh often allows the hands to just be in the bottom of the frame.

I was always taught not to cut of limbs at joints as it makes people look like amputees.
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Rob C
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« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2010, 04:14:41 PM »
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Quote from: Stuarte
That's why I ask.  Legs cut off mid-thigh don't look right to me - makes me wonder whether the photgrapher actually looked at the edges of the frame before pressing the shutter.

But maybe I'm odd - I don't like seeing packets opened from the bottom.




You aren't looking up skirts, are you?

;-)

Rob C
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stamper
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« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2010, 03:16:36 AM »
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Quote from: Rob C





You aren't looking up skirts, are you?

;-)

Rob C

A man is entitled to his hobbies?
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Rob C
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« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2010, 04:05:39 AM »
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Quote from: stamper
A man is entitled to his hobbies?


C'mon, stamper, I never suggested he was wearing the skirts!

Rob C
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stamper
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« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2010, 05:02:34 AM »
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Quote from: Rob C
C'mon, stamper, I never suggested he was wearing the skirts!

Rob C

I didn't think you suggested it either.
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Peter McLennan
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« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2010, 08:38:02 AM »
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Cutting near the knees is generally frowned upon, as is cutting at the ankles.  Cutting mid-thigh, however, is common.  A mid-thigh crop is commonly called a "cowboy"  ie, just holding the guns in the shot.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2010, 07:49:29 PM by Peter McLennan » Logged
Rob C
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« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2010, 10:00:12 AM »
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Quote from: Peter McLennan
Cutting near the knees is generally frown upon, as is cutting at the ankles.  Cutting mid-thigh, however, is common.  A mid-thigh crop is commonly called a "cowboy"  ie, just holding the guns in the shot.


And I always imagined it was due to the influence of Sam Haskins.

Rob C
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