How often and how much do you crop?

Started Oct 5, 2022 | Discussions thread
jrtrent Veteran Member • Posts: 6,705
Re: How often and how much do you crop?

Ed B 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.'

In other words, precise framing in the camera wasn't their greatest priority. Which runs somewhat counter to all those people who obsess about 'getting it right in the camera'. For many great photographers, cropping, either radically or as fine adjustment, has always been part of the creative process. Personally I enjoy it - many photos are improved that way. Plus ... there's nothing sacrosanct about particular aspect ratios. They are just accidents of history.

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

I guess everyone is different, but I post process every image I intend to keep and usually slightly crop almost every image.

No matter how perfect I try to get everything when I'm taking a picture, I always feel that minor post-processing improves an image and light cropping can be an important part of the process.

On the other hand, my favorite camera has a fixed 35mm lens and, depending on how close I am to the main subject, I might want to crop more than usual to get what I want.

Thank you for your post.  I would add that despite my preference for composing in the viewfinder and using my pictures straight from the camera, I can operate very differently depending on the camera I'm using.  I love the small size, light weight, and fairly unobtrusive look of the Sigma DP2s, and I also like the images produced by its Foveon sensor, but this is a camera I need to use entirely differently.

With its fixed, 41mm equiv. lens, my strong preference for something closer to a 50mm has me using gaffer's tape on the LCD to show a 50mm equiv. field of view.  I then crop in post to get the framing I wanted when pressing the shutter release.  Because the DP2s has no viewfinder, and its screen washes out completely in almost any normal daylight condition, framing in the field is not particularly accurate, making the fact the I have to crop later a plus rather than a minus, especially since with no level indicator and having to hold the camera out away from me instead of steadied against my head, tilted horizons are not at all uncommon for me, either.

The Sigma's JPEG results are noticeably sub-par, so this is one camera that I shoot raw images with.  Its accompanying software has had many detractors, but I find it a very quick and easy program to use. I've set up the image parameters so that output is to my liking, and can typically just keep the same settings for every image I've taken on the outing; in that sense, it's similar to just accepting out-of-camera JPEG results.

Most (all?) of my pictures are only snapshots, so I need all the help post-processing can provide just to get decent results.

Mine are all snapshots, too; I take pictures simply to serve as a reminder of an enjoyable time at some outing or event.  I don't like post-processing, and I prefer having a viewfinder so that I can actually compose an image before taking it, so the Sigma isn't taken out very often.  It is, though, an occasional fun change of pace, and I'm never disappointed in the final results.

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