I remember taking photos when I was a teenager with my old Intamatic camera. I would carefully arrange my subject only to discover when I got my prints back that there were all sorts of unwanted objects in the background. After that I tried to be aware of what was in the background when I was taking a photo but sometimes I could not avoid including them.
Years later I started scrapbooking and learned to physically crop my photos to look better in an album but once I started using a digital camera I became a serial cropper. Mostly I like to use Picasa which is very straightforward and I find I can often save pictures that I would have once discarded by cropping them. I do take multiple pictures from different angles so I have lots of options and if there is a photo that I really like but would like to experiment with I will make a copy to play with.
Here is one that I used for an earlier edition of this challenge. I had been taking photos of buildings but really liked this red moped in the foyer of a building. I didn’t think that the result quite worked though. There were too many reflections and just too much going on. I was much happier with it after I had cropped it.
I decided to take some original photos for this challenge so this afternoon I took a few in the doll room and a few in the back garden.
As a doll photographer I crop pictures a lot. If I am taking pictures of fashion dolls in the Barbie sized dollshouse I want to convey the idea that these are characters that live in the house so I don’t like to show other objects in the room. If I am photographing dolls or paper dolls for a post about fashions or doll types I don’t want a distracting background. Sometimes I might take a picture of several dolls on a shelf but crop it to show just one or two to illustrate a story I’m telling or just to tidy it up a bit so that the reader won’t see parts of other dolls in the photo. In the first pair of photos I’ve done the latter. I just feel that the picture looks better without the heads of the dolls on the lower shelf. In the second pair I wanted to focus on two particular dolls.
As Cindy follows me around when I go outside she often ends up in photos as she did in this one of our driveway and garage. That gave me the opportunity to crop the photo to get a nice picture of her. If I had been trying to photograph her she’d have probably come towards me and ruined it.
The apples on my tree are getting ripe now and I’ve been meaning to photograph them. I think the second photograph where the fruit is in the centre of the picture surrounded by leaves looks better than the first one as it is more obvious what the picture is about.
Cropping pictures is a great way to improve photos whether you are getting rid of street lights, rubbish bins or people who walked into the frame of your photo at the last minute or just trying to improve the composition of your picture. It certainly does help to use the highest resolution you can. I was using a little Canon compact camera today and one of the photos I took in the back garden showed Polly sitting at the back door. I tried to crop it but I could see that it would be too grainy if I cropped it that much. I have found the same thing with action photos at cricket matches. My camera does not have the same capability as a DSLR so if I zoom in on a player and then try to crop the photo it won’t look good.