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Author Topic: when is wide too wide?  (Read 51217 times)
Ray
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« Reply #20 on: August 23, 2012, 10:43:36 AM »
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Exactly, Ray. That's the point at which you should crop. Not later, unless there's no other option.

Absolutely. I've also noticed that Photoshop developers are world-famous software engineers, not world-famous photographers.

Russ, I tend to remember quotes because they are meaningful, but often forget the names of those who made the statements. I guess I'm getting old.

A couple of quotes that spring to mind here, paraphrased as I remember them, are:

(1) I've never seen a photo that could not be improved with some cropping.

(2) I always like to distance myself from my shots by processing them some years later, which involves viewing them in a more objective manner which reduces the extraneous emotional impacts that may be present in my mind for some time after taking the shot, but not present in the photo from the perspective of the viewer who wasn't there.

Ideally, a photo is an amazingly detailed record of what one saw at a particular moment in time. What you do with that record is entirely up to you, unless you're working for a client who pays for and demands a particular effect.
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RSL
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« Reply #21 on: August 23, 2012, 11:31:02 AM »
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Hi Ray, I don't have any idea who might have made that first statement, but I'm sure it wasn't Cartier-Bresson. In any case, to put it as politely as I can, it's a statement that leaves something to be desired. How about after the crop that "improves" the photo? Can the revised photo still be "improved" by cropping? If so, where do you stop? With a single pixel? If you've never seen a photo that couldn't be improved with some cropping, it seems to me that even that last pixel would have to go and you'd end up with a blank screen.

The second statement sounds as if it might have been made by somebody who does landscape. Yes, in landscape it's important to get rid of any emotional impacts, extraneous or otherwise, so sitting on a landscape for years probably makes sense.
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fike
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« Reply #22 on: August 23, 2012, 12:00:27 PM »
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Stamper, As far as I'm concerned the art of photography is in what you frame on your camera. That means you see what you're after, frame it, and shoot it. You don't bang away hoping you might find a picture later when you're playing around in Photoshop. There are times when you can't get exactly what you want: the scene is vanishing and you're not yet close enough, so you have to include things in the frame that you know you'll have to crop out later. But if you're having to crop more often than once in a blue moon, you haven't mastered your art.

I think that "master the art without cropping" thing is baloney.  Don't tell people how to make their art.  Judge their results and not their methods. 

My work that I consider art, is almost always panoramic. It is the way I see the world.  I like to show a context and an environment...whether that ranges across thousands of yards across or two feet across, I will generally shoot in a wide format, something like a ratio of 2.5, 3 or 4 to 1.  Sometimes I think landscape photographers are too reductive in their obsession to narrow into one aspect of a scene instead of looking to find an entire environment that works to create a harmonious interaction between elements. 

Vertical pano is doable, but hard (as others have mentioned) to do without showing lots of distortion.  It is one of the challenges of photographing from within a forest in a way that captures the entire scene from your feet to the canopy.  For example, this one starts to get wonky at the top, but it still manages to be a very wide angle, vertically. http://www.trailpixie.net/general/ice_tree_mornin.htm
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RSL
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« Reply #23 on: August 23, 2012, 12:57:40 PM »
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Don't tell people how to make their art.

Hi Fike, I'm not telling them a damned thing. I'm well aware that people do all sorts of crazy things

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My work that I consider art, is almost always panoramic.

That's nice, and I'm glad to hear you consider your own work art. Panoramic landscapes always look good in banks.
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Ray
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« Reply #24 on: August 23, 2012, 01:22:06 PM »
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Hi Ray, I don't have any idea who might have made that first statement, but I'm sure it wasn't Cartier-Bresson. In any case, to put it as politely as I can, it's a statement that leaves something to be desired. How about after the crop that "improves" the photo? Can the revised photo still be "improved" by cropping? If so, where do you stop? With a single pixel? If you've never seen a photo that couldn't be improved with some cropping, it seems to me that even that last pixel would have to go and you'd end up with a blank screen.

Hey! Russ, are you trying to be logical?  Grin

I assume such a statement refers to an individual preference for cropping. All artists will differ as to the degree of cropping that is best for any particular image.
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Rob C
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« Reply #25 on: August 23, 2012, 02:26:28 PM »
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Cropping or not cropping is about many things, primary amongst which is the knowing of what you want from the scene before you. Common sense would then dictate that you choose the lens that will give you the coverage that you want from the position that gives you the perspective that you require.

Your choice of format will obviously dictate the general parameters of the situation and influence the choices described above.

Once you've got that all together, I should imagine that you have all the information you need to get the shot your heart desires.

Then, you press the shutter button and make the exposure.

Whatever you choose to do after the event is always up to you and the purpose of the shot. The penalty of cropping will unavoidably be a lowering of the overall quality if the used format would have given you the shot you wanted had you moved in or used another optic. If your final image shape precluded any standard format, then you can safely relax and crop, knowing it isn't your fault.

There is no limit to the number of pleasing or more pleasing or less pleasing shapes you can cut out from the original work. That's just mechanics again, and will obviously work if you are prepared to sacrifice quality to some extent.

As a rule, cropping doesn't make a lot of sense if your world can be framed nicely in the shape your camera allows. It always makes sense to make the most of what's to hand.

Rob C
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Wim van Velzen
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« Reply #26 on: August 24, 2012, 05:05:43 AM »
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Here the OP again  Cheesy

In a way a photograph is always a crop, that is to say, a crop from what a photographer can see at a given moment and place.
For me, the point is not whether I crop at the moment of the shot, or afterwards. The point is: do I give enough thought to what I see and want to show?

That said - as far as the original question goes: as we look around as, we are more used to 'panning' horizontally and less vertically. Therefor my instinct seems rightthat the example photograph was looking odd.
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John Gellings
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« Reply #27 on: January 08, 2013, 10:55:49 AM »
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Wide is too wide when one is not confined by space and uses it to get "more" into their photos.  The wide then expands perspective and makes everything look way too far away. 
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Wim van Velzen
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« Reply #28 on: January 08, 2013, 12:45:51 PM »
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Do you think that is the case in the photographs I posted?
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Peter McLennan
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« Reply #29 on: January 08, 2013, 02:42:15 PM »
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Wide is too wide when one ... uses it to get "more" into their photos.

... and the whole point of the image is lost.  Part of the photographer's job is to show people where to look.  If everything's in the shot, then where should the viewer look?

Speaking of wide, I once used a camera that could photograph its own viewfinder.  Now that's wide!  : )

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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #30 on: January 08, 2013, 03:06:27 PM »
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Hi,

I have never ever seen an image that was too wide or too narrow, I have seen photographs I like and photographs I do not like.






Best regards
Erik


Do you think that is the case in the photographs I posted?
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John Gellings
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« Reply #31 on: January 09, 2013, 07:41:51 AM »
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Do you think that is the case in the photographs I posted?

No, not at all. 
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markmullen
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« Reply #32 on: February 17, 2013, 01:15:32 PM »
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My personal preference is to very rarely crop after I take the shot, I prefer to move my location or choose a different focal length. The only time I shoot loose is if I'm doing something architectural where I know I'm going to have to correct perspective which will mean I lose some area.

Regarding using ultra wides, my personal view is that they need a very strong foreground, without that they can look empty.
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cjogo
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« Reply #33 on: March 25, 2013, 03:12:03 AM »
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A very large portion of my portfolio has been shot with a 38 Biogon SWC .. with 120 ...  21mm on Leica .....75 Biogon on a 4X5 .....so Yes, wide is how I see  Cheesy
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Alan Klein
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« Reply #34 on: March 26, 2013, 09:44:26 PM »
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I crop but still try to frame the shot I want in the viewfinder.  That's probably a result of shooting a lot of 35mm slides when I was younger.  But it's also imporant to maintain perspective and balance between objects as well as eliminating things like poles going through people's heads.  No amount of cropping can correct for shooting from the wrong location.  That requires some relocation from where you shoot.
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jjj
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« Reply #35 on: March 26, 2013, 11:35:53 PM »
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There are lots of good reasons for cropping images in post.
1. Best shape for image is not necessarily the shape of sensor. I don't like the 4:3 aspect ratios for example which is common in smaller cameras, so why should I not crop to a more pleasing shape.
2. When shooting for magazines or graphic design layouts, shooting a bit wider allows for more flexibility.
    6x6 was also good for that as you could shoot both horizontal and vertical shots in one go.
3. Not all types of photography allow for a considered and careful approach, so you may not have the luxury of accurate framing, unlike say with landscape work.
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iluvmycam
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« Reply #36 on: March 27, 2013, 11:59:21 AM »
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I love WA. When is it too wide? When it does not work for the pix.
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wolfnowl
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« Reply #37 on: March 27, 2013, 02:20:06 PM »
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I think we're talking about apples and grapefruit here.  There's stitching, there's cropping and there's wide-angle or telephoto lenses.  While one can use a telephoto lens to make a series of images and get a similar field of view (and much higher resolution) than a single image with a wide angle lens, it won't be the same shot as it won't have the same distortions, the way wide angle tends to push everything away and the way telephoto lenses tend to magnify and flatten the foreground/background.

To get back to Wim's image, they're both different, they're both good, and I agree with John's comment:
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Wide is too wide when one is not confined by space and uses it to get "more" into their photos.  The wide then expands perspective and makes everything look way too far away. 

Mike.
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RSL
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« Reply #38 on: March 27, 2013, 02:44:00 PM »
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For example, this.
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fike
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« Reply #39 on: March 27, 2013, 03:03:09 PM »
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...  While one can use a telephoto lens to make a series of images and get a similar field of view (and much higher resolution) than a single image with a wide angle lens, it won't be the same shot as it won't have the same distortions, the way wide angle tends to push everything away and the way telephoto lenses tend to magnify and flatten the foreground/background.

...

Don't forget that a pano of two or more images compared to a single frame shot with a wider angle lens over the same field of view will have the same (or very similiar) compression, distortion, and projection attributes. 

http://www.trailpixie.net/photography/comparing_focal.htm
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