June 2, 2011

The sin of Cropping

Confess. You cropped your picture. And then were guilty about it.

Is it really wrong? Well....

No. There are plenty of circumstances in which cropping is entirely acceptable.

Just printing out family 4x6's? Cropping isn't gonna hurt.
Newspaper picture? Not gonna need full res anyway.
Advertisement? Depends on the final size.

That is what it all really boils down to. The final printed or published size.
As humans we have limitations. Such as distance to our subjects. Longer lenses help.
But limitations still remain. Thus we ought not punish ourselves for our natural limitations.

If your picture has detracting elements that only cropping fixes than strive for a tighter shot if possible(next time). But it remains your picture. Does it reflect poor composition etc. or does it merely reflect the natural limitations that were in place at the time?

These jets were doing a flyover for a local parade and they were heading towards the event. 20 miles distant. And they were rather high up. So... show a blue sky with some specks in it? No! This image underwent major cropping. It reflects my limitations and thus it is limited in what it can be used for. I blew out the highlights and darkened the shadows for a black and white, contrasty image. It could be used at some large printing sizes. It is limited. But its a neat shot.


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