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Matthew Lacy's picture

A Question of Cropping

Below are two crops of an ICM photo I took a few months ago. The image is a single-shot ICM with a vertical pan. I have an idea of which crop I prefer, but I'd like to reach out to the community about their opinions. Just to keep any bias out of it, I'm not going to say which I prefer until after I've gotten other opinions.

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8 Comments

Chaz Foote's picture

I might be inclined to move number 1 slightly more to the right, maybe about the width of the tree on the left' leaving out the yellower grass on that side.

Matthew Lacy's picture

Okay. That wasn't one I had considered. I'll think about that.

Alan Brown's picture

If I'm reading you right I think you & I are giving a similar message Chaz.

Chaz Foote's picture

Not quite. This is more what I had in mind.

I cropped the left side of #1 then an equal amount from the right-side of #2, expanded the canvas of #1 and pasted the crop to its right side.

Matthew Lacy's picture

# 1 was the one I was leaning towards in the first place, but I like your crop a lot. The thing I liked about # 1 was how the upward and outward curve of the rightmost tree worked with the negative space. I do notice the lack of space on the left, which would have an effect on the image.

Chaz Foote's picture

Thanks to both you an Alan for your comments. There used to be cropping guides included with programs like Photoshop: Rule of Thirds, along the diagonal from opposite corners and some other things but a lot of it really is balance, which is not always the same for individuals. One thing with Photoshop is you can crop and if you aren't sure you like it, you can use History to undo it and try another.

The other thing you need to take into consideration is whether you are planning to print and frame a picture. If you don't use standard crop ratios then you may be faced with custom cutting a matte or even a frame.

Alan Brown's picture

I agree that #1 benefits from additional space on the left. Your crop has much better balance. Nice job!

Alan Brown's picture

I tend to crop by 'feel'. Both feel a little imbalance to me, the first too heavy on the left, the 2nd suffering the same on the right.

I have cropped #1 for my personal preference just to provide a comparison. I feel the right side of the frame counterbalances the left better.

This is all down to personal taste of course, but as you are asking I suspect you have not fully landed on either.