Thursday, 13 January 2011

Cropping...What's That?

Photo © Tewfic El-Sawy-All Rights Reserved
Photographers who've accompanied me on my photo~expeditions, have photographed alongside me and perhaps those who've seen my galleries, know that I don't crop my images except in-camera. I don't know if that qualifies me as a purist or not, but in general terms, I'm loath to remove what is already in the frames I've captured.

Naturally, if there's an offending finger creeping in the side of a frame, I'd crop a few pixels out of the frame to remove it (or very very rarely use the clone tool instead)...however depending on the subject/scene and its intended purpose, if it's a whole hand, arm or face that intrude, I'd still leave the frame intact. In a moving situation, there's always the possibility that I can't (or if I'm not quick enough) alter my position to exclude what I don't want from my frames. If I have the luxury of a few seconds, then I crop in-camera.

I also photograph what I call "pretty pictures"...the smiling posed faces...the like you see in stock libraries and on covers of travel/geographical magazines. In those, an extraneous object would be certainly be...well, extraneous. However, as I take as many photographs of the same person as I can, I rarely resort to cropping unless the expression/body posture in a particular frame is one of a kind.

Having said all that, I thought the photograph above of the three Balinese rice farmers was perfect for a panoramic crop, which works much better than the original frame. (I've added my copyright symbol in its center since it occurred to me that it'd look very nice as a blog header for some travel blog). Click it to enlarge.

So do I crop outside of the camera? Sure, although 99.9% of the time I don't.