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Cropping Photos

Discussion in 'Creative Corner' started by Jamie, Oct 3, 2010.

  1. Jamie

    Jamie Mu-43 Rookie

    17
    Oct 1, 2010
    England
    I hope this is in the right place. I have a quick short question.

    When i'm editing photos and I want to crop the scene, should I ideally be sticking to certain ratio sizes when cropping my work?

    Kind Regards

    Jamie
     
    • Like Like x 2
  2. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman Subscribing Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    like most things there are no real rules - but there are probably 4 ratios that are common

    4:3 - the native ratio of a 4/3 camera - and standard definition TV

    3:2 - the classic 35mm film format ratio

    1:1 - Square format - used by old medium format film cameras

    16:9 - the widescreen TV format.

    probably more important than the ratio is to make sure the elements in your picture fit in the right place. A good rule of thumb is the rule of thirds

    Rule of thirds - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


    Its an excellent starting point in deciding how to crop

    cheers

    K
     
    • Like Like x 3
  3. Fiddler

    Fiddler Mu-43 Veteran

    I'm no expert, so just my opinion, but I thought about that myself, and came to the conclusion that I should crop to whatever gives the most pleasing result. The only downside is that if you print and frame sometimes an unusual frame size is needed.

    All the best,

    Colin
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    +1 on Kevin's post!

     
  5. Jamie

    Jamie Mu-43 Rookie

    17
    Oct 1, 2010
    England
    Thank you, this information is invaluable for me. So far I have been cropping by eye to what I think fits the scene. As I am learning I should keep the possibility of prints in mind so I'll try to keep to some of the standard ratios. Hopefully I shouldn't need to crop too often if I get my framing right in the initial shots but it is something I will keep in mind

    Again many thanks

    Jamie
     
  6. feppe

    feppe Mu-43 Regular

    Some purists say one should always try to get the shot in-camera, and not crop. I feel one should always try to get the shot in-camera, but crop if necessary. It's not always possible to zoom with your feet, I don't always have all my lenses with me, some shots just scream square, but my (digital) cameras don't have that aspect ratio, etc.

    Printing is not an issue with cropping, but finding and making right mat and frame is. It's either tedious, time-consuming and/or expensive for non-standard aspect ratios and sizes. And those standards are different in Europe than in the US - might be even different in UK.

    FWIW I crop when necessary and don't pay attention to standard aspect ratios. I print most of my keepers, but rarely mat or frame them.
     
  7. Brianetta

    Brianetta Mu-43 Veteran

    438
    Sep 5, 2010
    North East England
    Brian Ronald
    If you plan to get a quick print from a self-service machine in a supermarket (where a choice of aspect ratio is generally not given), a 2:3 image will suffer from practically no cropping.
     
  8. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman Subscribing Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    I probably crop the majority of my pictures by some extent - but I almost always crop to the proportion of the original picture... I shoot from the hip a lot of the time so cropping and straightening is part of my workflow

    cheers

    K
     
  9. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    Jason
    If I crop I crop in the same format most times. There have been occasions where I took a picture at 4:3 and I'll crop to 16:9. I've also, but rarely, cropped a 4:3 in landscape photo to 4:3 portrait.
     
  10. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    Jamie,
    Don't adhere to an aspect for cropping. Make the image the way You see it.
    Then, make a mat to a certain aspect and your good.
     
  11. Narnian

    Narnian Nobody in particular ...

    Aug 6, 2010
    Richmond, VA
    Richard Elliott
    Don't forget 6x7! Though I usually shot 6x9 since it is the same ratio as 35mm.

    I have seen photos cropped in every size imaginable, including irregular, trapezoid, round, oval, etc.

    The question should always be asked "does this crop make the photo better?".
     
  12. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    Jason
    +1
     
  13. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    For those who've said cropping fulfills vision -- except when you try to find a print shop with paper the size of your vision! (just went through this myself). I don't print much, so I was nervous that the shop might a) stretch the image (least likely), b) crop the image to THEIR preference, or c) put in letterboxing border. I found Adorama (in NYC) gave me a choice in my on-line form, so I used them (and went with letterboxing).
     
  14. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    If you make say, a 7 1/2 x 9 image and float it on an 8x10 or 11x14 paper for example, it doesn't matter. They print on the paper size and never interfere with the image.
     
  15. bernard

    bernard Mu-43 Regular

    25
    Aug 26, 2010
    Biograd; Croatia
    Every shot I crop two times: first crop is best for picture, and I dont care for ratios, and second (if picture is really good) on 16 : 10 ratio - on monitor, like wallpaper. Why I crop? simply because of vertical and horizontal lines ...
     
  16. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    Jason
    The biggest reason I crop is probably just to get rid of negative or wasted space. While a zoom lens can do the same, sometimes I don't know what will look better until I see it on a monitor. I'd rather have too much than not enough. Once you take too much, you can't get it back(kinda like a haircut, LOL).
     
  17. sinpig

    sinpig Mu-43 Regular

    163
    Sep 2, 2010
    Superior, WI

    Well I didn't know this before and my camera was a set to 4:3 so when I printed them, I lost some of the image which was not a big deal, except for when I framed the subject really thight. Now I know to set the camera to 3:2 and always use a set value (3.5x 5, 4x6, 8x10)for the intended print size when cropping. It saves me a headache.

    Also I use the grid lines when taking the picture so I know what to position where. But don't take it from me, I started with photography 3 months ago :rofl:
     
  18. feppe

    feppe Mu-43 Regular

    You have to be careful with framing by zooming, ,since it changes perspective which changes the message of the picture. Same with cropping, of course.
     
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