How often and how much do you crop?

Started Oct 5, 2022 | Discussions thread
OP timo Veteran Member • Posts: 5,998
Re: How often and how much do you crop?

Smaug01 wrote:

timo wrote:

A quote from one of Mike Johnston's recent posts on his excellent The Online Photographer website, talking about viewfinders:

'Winogrand often barely looks through his viewfinder at all. Cartier-Bresson hid his camera behind a handkerchief in his hands, and it was said that he could get it to his eye, take a picture, and hide it again before most people even noticed what he was doing.'

I have read about Bresson that he took pride in the fact that his photos didn't need cropping; he often had them printed showing the edges of the frame. You could say that he cropped in-camera and was very good/quick about it.

I don't know if Winogrand cropped afterwards, but I've read about him that he didn't even have all his film developed; hundreds of exposed rolls were found after his death. That takes it to a whole other level. If he didn't even care enough (or couldn't afford) to develop his film, he would JOLLY well not bother to crop!

I have seen somewhere on line some examples of C-B contact sheets where quite radical crops were indicated. The resulting prints were far more dramatic in composition than the original. I don't know how often he did that. Of course we all try to get things as right as reasonably possible in the camera, but there's no doubt that cropping can give you creative options that didn't even occur to you when the shot was being taken.


How much time and concentration do you give to cropping before you post images online or have them printed?

Posting online - If I glance at it for a couple seconds and feel like it needs cropping, I crop it. I try to only show my best stuff, so those that do get shown may as well be at their best.

Printing - I think hard about it. I have them cropped perfectly, because I'm spending money here.

One thing I discovered for myself and have read that others have done it in the past, is to turn the image upside down on the computer, and then review the composition and cropping options. You then see compositional faults that weren't obvious before - you can review the image as an abstract, rather than being 'blinded' by the actual subject. Flipping left to right can also reveal issues, as can reviewing it in b/w.

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