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A crop or not- that is the question

Discussion in 'Nature' started by Iconindustries, Jun 7, 2011.

  1. Iconindustries

    Iconindustries Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I have an image of a dam with a heap of old trees in it as you can see. This is a 3 image HDR and I am undecided about a crop. What do you think? Does it need a crop or should I leave it as I shot it. I'm just not sure about the scary looking reflection of the branches in the water.

    Pick it apart for me and let me know what you reckon.
    Feel free to re-edit or crop the images, as I wanna know what other people think.

    GF1 and 14-45 @45

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/50527022@N02/5809541649/" title="P1100646_HDR by iconindustries, on Flickr"> View attachment 166609 "1024" height="684" alt="P1100646_HDR"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/50527022@N02/5809542551/" title="P1100646_HDR (1) by iconindustries, on Flickr"> View attachment 166610 "1024" height="547" alt="P1100646_HDR (1)"></a>
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    It's good as shot. :)  No crop.
  3. If you're going to crop it, I'd say crop equally from both the top and the bottom to keep the mirrored line in the centre, but I think it's best left as is.
  4. Alanroseman

    Alanroseman Super Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 21, 2010
    New England
    +1 for me icon.

    I second both of the guys above... nice image. Less is more, leave it alone.

  5. Grinch

    Grinch Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 9, 2011
    Cropless please, I really like the reflection full view. Balances out nicely, to my eye.
  6. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    No crop.

  7. SMaturin

    SMaturin Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 30, 2011
    New York's Backyard
    As shot.

  8. bilzmale

    bilzmale Mu-43 All-Pro

    Ditto - lovely serene shot.
  9. Tecpatl4

    Tecpatl4 Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 16, 2010
    I agree, leave it so the treetops and their reflection are symmetrical.
  10. KVG

    KVG Banned User

    May 10, 2011
    yyc(Calgary, AB)
    Kelly Gibbons
    looks perfect as is
  11. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    I wouldn't crop, but I would've liked a bit more on the left in the original.
    As it is I think it makes a superb photo.

    If you posted one with a vetical height of 1024 I'm sure that'd fit nicely on my desktop ...
  12. kai.e.g.

    kai.e.g. Mu-43 Regular

    +1 for No Crop.
  13. Luke

    Luke Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 30, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI
    I agree that it doesn't need a crop. It may be personal preference for me, but I generally don't like reflection images with a horizon smack dab in the middle. I would have composed the shot in camera using the rule of thirds with the horizon on one of the lines either a third from the top or the bottom (depending on whether the sky or water was more compelling).

    Also, I'm a big fan of HDR, but it's has 2 side effects in evidence here. It has introduced a disturbing amount of noise, so the first I thing I did was de-noise.....I tried to not go TOO smooth and left a little noise in.

    The other thing is it's hard (for me at least) to find the right WB in HDR shots.....it seems to increase coolness (blue) and warmth (orange). I used the trees as a guide and figured that they weren't supposed to be glowing blue (some like that....and that's fine....just pointing it out in case it wasn't your intent) so I warmed it up....I could have gone a little further in the warm direction (it IS a sunset after all), but thought I'd play it safe.

    Lastly, I added a bit of "Orton-effect" which darkened it a bit and added a little bit of glow (which helps cover up a bit of the noise I left in). Admittedly, many will find the glow a bit heavy-handed.....and I backed down on the sliders quite a bit.

    I just wanted to work on that lovely image and I DO like it.

    View attachment 166639
    5809541649_dbc6696193_o_filtered by Lukinosity (looking for lines), on Flickr
    • Like Like x 1
  14. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    I'd crop some from the top and bottom (right about where the top of the lighter band of clouds hit the left side ... this would add a bit of tension/drame to the image and crop similarly on the bottom), placing the water line smack dead in the middle, 50:50. Typically, bisecting the image is a no-no. Bisecting tells the brain that both sides are equally important ... and ones focus shifts from one half to the other and never digests the image as a whole. In this case I think both sides are equal and breaking the rule would make an effective presentation.

  15. Pan Korop

    Pan Korop Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 31, 2011
    Phare Ouest
    I'd crop not:
    • the image is good as is, and done it is
    • perfecting what's done is no way to perfection
  16. John M Flores

    John M Flores Super Moderator

    Jan 7, 2011
    I'm going to go against the grain here and suggest the cropped image - with even a bit more of the reflection cropped out. My reasoning is that the bluish water in the foreground draws too much attention to itself, with my eye repeatedly coming back to what is arguably the least interesting part of the photo. With that area removed, focus is brought back to the trees and the interesting things happening closer to the horizon line.
  17. Luke

    Luke Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 30, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI
  18. veereshai

    veereshai Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 12, 2011
    Arlington, VA
    I understand that the photograph is already made but if I had to compose it again, I'd probably give more space on the top and actually go with placing the horizon on the lower one third..somehow, no space on the top makes me feel a little cramped.

    EDIT: I like the frame though, very colorful and has a nice warm feel to it.
  19. SMaturin

    SMaturin Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 30, 2011
    New York's Backyard
    This works, too.

    But I still like the power of the symmetry of reflection in the original.

    As we are bilaterally symmetrical beings, we are drawn to images of symmetry as naturally pleasing to our sense of balance and beauty. Laying the symmetry on its side in a reflected image rings a little bell in our heads that makes us think about how we perceive the beauty of bilaterality. It may defy the rule of thirds, which rings a different bell in our perceptions of balance and harmony. But it still plays with an unconscious rule of perception that underlies our sense of aesthetics.

    Rule of thirds (and fifths) is the power of odd numbers, a fundamental theme in oriental art. The image as it is presented here, cropped to thirds in the horizon and clouds, and with five clumps of twisty trunks offset from center, fits the oriental theme.

    Bilateral symmetry is even numbers - you and me, man and woman, body and soul - the dualism of western thought and art.
  20. Iconindustries

    Iconindustries Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Thanks peoples for your suggestions. I've enjoyed reading through the different thoughts and what each person takes from an image. It shows just how much photography can mean different things to different people.

    Thanks again. No crop wins by the highest vote and is kinda what I was thinking but I just needed a nudge.
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