How often and how much do you crop?

Started Oct 5, 2022 | Discussions thread
sirhawkeye64 Forum Pro • Posts: 12,550
Re: How often and how much do you crop?

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 would say you want to get it as close as you can in camera when its feasible. Then again, if you're not quite sure if you like it cropped a ll the way in, the sometimes I'll back off a little and leave a little extra room around the and might crop later if I feel it's needed or looks better. (I have been in cases where I cropped too closely in camera and wish I had backed out a little at the time of capture so now if I'm not "sure" I error on the side of a little too wide and crop a little in post, I can always throw away pixels, but I can't get back pixels that weren't recorded.

I think the few times where cropping is a problem is when you're just being lazy, and you COULD get closer but you said "I'll crop it later" and you don't try to move in closer. Obviously there are some exceptions, like wildlife, where it may not be feasible (or a good idea) to get closer, even though you "could". For example when I was photographing bears and elk in CAnada. I only had a 400mm lens and probably should have bought a 600mm but had to settle with what I had and do some post cropping later (luckily I was on my Z7 so I had enough pixels to crop).  And that's a situation where you DO NOT want to get closer even though you technically could...

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