Use of crop in photos

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desert bluegrass
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Use of crop in photos

Post by desert bluegrass »

When people post photos it is common to list or describe the technique used to display the current view. I have noticed that there is a tendency to apologize for certain techniques such as use of a cropping tool. I'm sort of new to this so I was wondering if there was an etiquette for crop use? I sometimes use the crop tool in order to bring the detail to the forefront of the photograph when I want to direct the viewer to the detail. What are some opinions on this? Thank you.
Charlton Vaughan
The world is what we make it. http://limestoneandpumice.blogspot.com/

rjlittlefield
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Post by rjlittlefield »

Speaking first as Admin...

According to the Posting Guidelines,
Common enhancements such as contrast control, color corrections, cropping/resizing, noise reduction, and routine sharpening can be done without comment. However, any enhancements that alter the "naturalness" of the subject must be declared in the image post. Any type of "stacking" or image compositing should be noted; so should extreme or unusual amounts of cropping, sharpening, etc.
Second, as personal comments...

I have not noticed many posts apologizing for cropping. In my own work, non-testing images are almost always cropped. That's because I can get a better composition when I have more time to think and experiment, instead of limiting myself to the best I could get real time in camera. Crops like that will be posted without comment. If I've done something extreme like cropping away half the original frame, then I'll probably mention that, but in the spirit of "Here's how I handled a difficult situation", or "Here's a closer view so you can see more detail". The only time I'm likely to apologize for a crop is if I'm not happy with the image quality as shown, and in that case I'm more likely to just not show it unless I'm desperate for an ID or some such.

I'm not sure that I've read your question correctly. You mention "bring the detail to the forefront of the photograph". If that means posting a crop first and then something closer to the full frame, then certainly that's fair play and sometimes I do the same thing. Of course it'll be simpler for the reader if you describe what's going on. Or perhaps you're referring to some sort of picture-in-picture technique, maybe along the lines of HERE. That's also fair game, and in that case probably no need to even mention because it's clear what was done.

Does this help?

--Rik

desert bluegrass
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Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2012 12:26 pm
Location: Terlingua, TX
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Post by desert bluegrass »

Thank you Rik. Yes you did answer my question. I guess what I meant when I see to bring it to the forefront was what happens when a photo is cropped. The image then appears as if it has been enlarged and has brought the viewer closer to seeing more detail in the photo. However, you did address the subject of cropping very well.

I guess I was also inquiring about etiquette not just for addressing the issues of postings within the forum but also about the general aspect of photography in general in regards to cropping.

Thanks Rik
Charlton Vaughan
The world is what we make it. http://limestoneandpumice.blogspot.com/

Steve S
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Post by Steve S »

There were a number of more or less prominent art photographers in the 20th century who made quite a thing out of not cropping.

For some it must have been a genuine esthetic convention, for others a matter of convenience masquerading as an esthetic convention (some famous photographers never did their own processing), and for some probably nothing more than an affectation.

It should be remembered that the image cast by almost all lenses is circular. We chop it up into rectangles according to our taste and the limitations of equipment.

Steve

Harold Gough
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Post by Harold Gough »

In the pre-scanner days the only way to get a crop of a transparency was by selective copying of the original. That brought up issues of e.g. exaggeration of characteristics of the emulsion of the original, such that special copying film was used where that mattered.

Harold
My images are a medium for sharing some of my experiences: they are not me.

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