March 3, 2009

Bad cropping examples

When you move away from taking just snapshops to actually trying to produce quality photographs that you'd be proud to frame, you're moving into the realms of artists. And just any art, tastes are all subjective. What may work for you in a photo might not for others. Or vice versa.

These are a few old photographs I took awhile ago. I decided to be heavy-handed in cropping them, to give a few example of what's too much.

Original. The composition isn't bad. It's not quite divided up in thirds, but that couldn't be helped, considering the enormity of the subject in the photo. In this photo, the ground accounts for one third, and ideally the monument would the other third and the "empty space" - sky, in this case, would be the last third. But architects did not take photography into consideration when designing this monument.

Cropped. Now, it's more evenly divided into thirds. But cropping it didn't improve the picture, although it did help emphasize just how talllll this monument is. I prefer the original over this.

Original. Same subject, but a bit further away.
This is another example of too-severe cropping, which resulted in loss of interest in the photo. If I cropped it so there were still a bit of the trees along the sides, that would be more interesting - the trees also serve to help guide your eyes toward the center, where I want the focus to be.

Another monument...It's a not bad-shot, but because this photo is nearly monochromatic - sometimes a good thing, sometimes not - I found that my eyes kept skipping all over the place, even despite knowing it's empty space.
Cropped it severely. The monument now dominates the space, which is fitting because, well, it's a damn big monument. But sometimes having a bit empty space to serve as a sort of neutral buffer for the eyes is good. I think a cropping job that's a smidge less severe than this (below) would be better.

What do ya'all think? Agree? Disagree? Speak up!

1 Comments (Click here to comment):

Anonymous,  March 5, 2009 at 5:44 PM  

Jefferson Monument - I like the original better than the cropped, the cropped is too severe, you need to see the some water and a little more sky - try that...Snow day, I like what you did with that one, it looks like I am walking outside with you, the colors are good, feels real to me.

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