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Sunday, 22 March 2015

Cropping your photograhs

Print of the whole negative
When it come to cropping your prints there are two schools of thought. Those that believe that once the view has been carefully framed in the camera, you should print the whole negative and in some cases include the rebate as well to prove it. The alternative view is that each image is unique and should be judged as such irrespective of its format.


My stance tends to follow the latter view or what best emphasis the composition whole frame or part of. It does not always follow that what your pre visualized view at the time translates to the baseboard when it comes to printing. 

It is important to consider how you're going to frame the image at the beginning of the
Cropped for impact
printing process. The start of which is the contact print once produced time should be taken to consider what is best for each picture. In some cases it is an automatic decision how the picture is going to look. In others it is not quite so clear as to what is right. In these situations it maybe better to print the whole negative and use a crop tool to ensure what framing brings the best out of the image. 

Setting hard and fast rules when it comes to producing your pictures will prove detrimental in conveying the vision. It is better to keep an open mind and be bold in the way you frame your pictures. Sometimes it is good to seek other peoples opinions they may offer an idea that you have not considered, but remember these are suggestions that should not be followed blindly. You should only do what others indicate if you truly believe that it is the best for the composition and coincides with your vision for the picture.

landscape crop to draw the
eye to what the  crowd is
doing
 I crop photo's for a number of reasons some listed below:

  • To remove unwanted items from the picture that sometimes get missed in the making process from around the edges.
  • To correct a bad holding angel.
  • To remove processing faults, dust hair etc.
  • To change the balance and or emphasis of elements in the picture.
  • To change the format of the picture.
  • To remove dead areas from pictures tightening the composition.
  • To create a better sense of intimacy.
  • To improve composition.
  • To tell a different story. If you are doing this then you should give serious consideration to the facts of the situation before changing the emphasis especially from a photojournalists perspective.
Crop tool.

You can use a crop tool which was mentioned earlier. It can help to improve how you compose images at the making stage. It is a way of training your eye.

Crop tool made from
They are simple to make as described below:

You can make a crop tool out of two bits of cardboard it needs to be 50 to 75mm (2” to 3”) wide and 500 x 400mm (20” x 16”) long or bigger than the largest print you are likely to make. If you do not want to make it completely from scratch then you can use a pre cut mount frame cut to make two L shapes. This allows the framing of the picture to be infinite.



This simple idea allows you to try out those more radical ideas along with the more prosaic to see if they work. It may surprise you in the process.