Cropping and formats

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by prophet, Feb 6, 2015.

  1. prophet

    prophet Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 10, 2014
    When cropping your images, do you stick with conventional ratios (like 16:9, 3:4 etc), or do you crop freely without spending thoughts on ratios?
  2. TassieFig

    TassieFig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 28, 2013
    Tasmania, Australia
    Most of my crops retain the 4/3 ratio but I'm happy to change to whatever suits the image. If a new crop is very close to an established format, say 16/9 or 1/1 there is a reasonably good chance I go for that. For no good reason really other than it makes me fell warm and fuzzy (not really but it was all I could come up with :rolleyes:). The ratios are mostly arbitrary ratios anyway and it's the image that should dictate the format.
  3. Always to a standard screen or print aspect ratio, because it's going to be displayed by one or both of those means,
  4. David A

    David A Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 30, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    A bit of both. I have an ongoing fascination with crops like this:





    And it can even be used for street style photography:



    Usually when I crop this way I keep the full width of the frame or very close to it and crop the top and bottom of the frame severely, especially the bottom. Sometimes, however, I pull a detail from the image with a similar format crop:


    This was actually a relatively small area of colour that stood out in a shot of Brisbane city and the Captain Cook freeway taken from the south side of the river and I ended up "throwing away" most of the frame.

    I think whether I keep a set ratio or crop freely often depends on why I'm cropping. If I'm cropping for display and I want to make the most of the format of that display, then I tend to crop to the format of the display. If I'm cropping because I'm unhappy with what I included in the frame for some reason, then I crop freely. A lot of the time I crop either because I didn't have a long enough lens and simply couldn't avoid getting too much in the frame, or because I'm using a wide angle to get the width of the scene, keeping the camera vertical because I want to avoid perspective distortion/keystoning, and as a result I'm ending up with a lot of dead space at the bottom of the frame which I didn't want.
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  5. Wisertime

    Wisertime Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2013
    I crop freely since most just go online. If I am printing large I might crop to proportion to get the best IQ.
  6. DigitalD

    DigitalD Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 10, 2014
    I too crop freely unless I know I am going to print it. Because I do everything in LR I often make virtual copies so I can go back to the original crop and print that one if need be. Im pretty organized in LR but print much less then I used too

    I too agree with David A. I love the super wide (somewhat 1:3 crop?). Its got a cinematic feel but also like how it gathers things together.
  7. dwig

    dwig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 26, 2010
    Key West FL
    Both, but I never make the decision.

    The shape of the final image is determined either by the subject (e.g. what shape makes the proper artistic statement, ...) or my the end use of the image (e.g. must fit a predetermined shape for a banner image on a website, ...). In general, I never crop to fit some arbitrary print shape or archaic film format shape.
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