Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tech Talk Tuesday (Just the Basics)

Shoot Out - Crop In!
Many photographers say 'crop' your picture the way you want as you take the photo.   This shows forethought, skill and saves time so you don't have to edit in Photoshop.  Trouble is, sometimes you don't always see 'THE' picture until after you look at it more carefully.  Maybe you didn't see the ugly garbage can on the side of the frame that detracts from the picture.  Or maybe what looked good through the viewfinder looks too far away with not enough visible detail to make an interesting photo.  (Reminder: One of the BEST ways to instantly improve most photos is to zoom in close to your subject like I discussed in an earlier Tech Talk Tuesday.)  Or maybe you like the photo so much you want to blow it up to an 8x10 but you didn't leave enough room around your subject to change the crop ratio.  For all these reasons and more I like to frame my picture with ample room on all sides of the subject so I have the ability to alter the size and shape as I see fit later.  Here are a couple of examples of how cropping in tight improved the photo:

I thought the little red crabs on the neutral sand would be a colorful picture, but after I really looked at it I realized there was too little color, too much boring sand, and you couldn't see enough detail in the crabs to make the photo interesting.

Showing a close crop on one of these guys made a much more interesting photo.  (I just noticed I uploaded the wrong 'before' photo...but a similar one.  Oh well, you get the idea!)

The sky was ever changing that day from sunny to partly cloudy to overcast.  If there had been beautiful puffy white clouds and a deep blue sky, this photo would have been perfect.  But here, a large portion of the picture is just boring white sky.

Under the circumstances, a different shape crop took out the boring sky, and the close up made this scene visually more pleasing.