C&C cropping and composition to add interest

Discussion in 'Comments and Critique' started by AussiePhil, Jun 18, 2017.

  1. AussiePhil

    AussiePhil Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 1, 2014
    Canberra, ACT, Aust
    Phil
    In my usual slow to actually review and edit photos it's June and i'm only in January editing photo's from the Australian Open Tennis. Currently in day 2 of 5 days and the more i edit the more i'm trying to crop to context and interest rather than a pure tight crop.
    To this end i've found that 16:9 seems to work really well when players are going cross court as it seems to add to the impression of width they are moving.
    Curious what others think about this and if they may have cropped this particular image as an example differently.
    This is the SOOC JPG, resized only for the forum
    P1178059.

    Here's the cropped and published edit from the Raw file
    35374188085_2a6ef83572_h. 003388-P1178059 by Phil Gartner, on Flickr

    Critique and Comment away
     
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  2. TassieFig

    TassieFig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    640
    Oct 28, 2013
    Tasmania, Australia
    Great capture :thumbup: I like the cropped much better. Much cleaner and conveys the motion better. The top part with a decapitated body is distracting :eek-31:
    Although I mostly keep the 4/3 ratio I try to crop to what suits the actual subject. That's what I actually think how it should be done but it messes up the grid view :rolleyes-38: :shakehead:
     
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  3. retiredfromlife

    retiredfromlife Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 15, 2016
    Sydney, Australia
    I liked the ratio you picked, suits the subject matter. Removing the non relevant items always helps, and a headless person nearly always has to be removed.
    I find when trying to capture any sort of action trying to zoom in too close just to get what I want results in missed images, so I crop later.
     
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  4. AussiePhil

    AussiePhil Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 1, 2014
    Canberra, ACT, Aust
    Phil
    Thanks to TassieFig and retiredfromlife.... what has struck me since posting this is how good the sooc jpg actually looks when resized to forum sizing and viewed to the edit at the same time.... This is a straight screen grab with the clip tool
    Capture.
     
  5. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    I think your crop works in more ways than one:
    • Removes distracting elements (dark band, half-person, equipment)
    • A distinct colour scheme (all white and blue, no dark band)
    • More of a rule-of-thirds thing going on with the court lines, the player's face, and the ball.
    • Sideways tension, this is more than just 16:9 - rather than being nice and 'balanced', you've left less room on the left compared to the space beyond the ball on the right, emphasising the feeling of the player really stretching left to reach it. This tension of being just a little too far to the left leads to a rebound directing attention to the right where the ball is, and a dramatic question - will the player connect with the ball?
     
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  6. hazwing

    hazwing Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 25, 2012
    Australia
    not much to add, but to concur the crop version is better...
     
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  7. TNcasual

    TNcasual Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Dec 2, 2014
    Knoxville, TN
    I think @wjiang@wjiang hit the nail on the head.

    I especially like how the crop reduces the color palette. It makes for a dramatic image.

    The only thing that I could wish for in the image is if the shoe wasn't cut off behind the net. But I understand that it would be impossible to look at such a small detail in the midst of the action.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2017
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  8. AussiePhil

    AussiePhil Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 1, 2014
    Canberra, ACT, Aust
    Phil
    I think @wjiang@wjiang nailed it pretty well and has actually articulated most of what i was thinking as i set up the crop.

    Darn you @TNcasual@TNcasual, i hadn't really noticed that shoe till you pointed it out :) ..... I'm going to blame my seating position :)
     
  9. AussiePhil

    AussiePhil Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 1, 2014
    Canberra, ACT, Aust
    Phil
    Just to give people a smile..... i kept this one despite the focal plane being on the net/ball because i love the expression on the player on the other side of the net... she had just sprinted from the back of the court to return a drop shot...... guess what happens next
    34989156470_e8a3d04ce4_h. 003420-P1178259 by Phil Gartner, on Flickr
     
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  10. Cederic

    Cederic Mu-43 Veteran

    322
    Nov 14, 2012
    Nottingham
    A query on the crop ratio: Does 16:9 matter?

    When cropping I try and eliminate distracting visuals/lights/people, create a composition that looks good and find a resultant photograph that has impact in some form.

    You've achieved all of that with your crop, and it's left a well balanced image that also conveys movement. No challenges there at all, it's spot on.

    I'm just curious whether defined ratios matter? Does everything need to be 4:3, 3:2, 16:9, 1:1? Is there room for 27:13 if that's what the photo crop kind of needs?

    I should probably post this query in another discussion, sorry.
     
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  11. AussiePhil

    AussiePhil Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 1, 2014
    Canberra, ACT, Aust
    Phil
    Cederic,
    Firstly I agree with cropping for composition and thanks for the kind words

    Secondly: It's a great question and happy to address it :)

    My view is that defined ratios for online/web based display generally don't matter unless your cropping for a specific display size. The same reason you crop to common print dimensions.
    For stuff going to Flickr where i post all online content generally i will crop to 8:10, 6:4 and 16:9 as these are the ratios most people relate to in some way as "normal". Where all three are an option then these days i usually default to 16:9 purely as that is the common UHD/HD display ratio.
    For photo's that will get printed i'll usually go back and re-crop to print dimensions generally A4 ratio though with a 17" roll printer i'll crop to the desired framed size.
    Now if we move to panorama's for online display they just get cropped to preference but for print they will be cropped to 17:x with x being however long it looks right :)

    So summary is cropping for online is whatever you see fit recognizing that common ratios may well be more pleasing for a lot of people due to long term familiarity to the ratio.
    My tennis album shows a mix of common ratios AusOpen 2017
     
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  12. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    It only really matters for viewport filling, whether it be a monitor, web page, document design, physical frame or photobook layout. It's a compromise between ideal for the image and ideal for the viewport. Otherwise the aspect doesn't really matter.
     
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