Cee’s Compose Yourself Photo Challenge – #15 – Cropping Tips


Composing Myself

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.

cropped photo
cropped photo
Original photo
Original photo

 

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.

Doll Photos

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.

My Netta and Metti dolls
My Netta and Metti dolls
The same picture cropped slightly.
The same picture cropped slightly.
One of my doll shelves.
One of my doll shelves.
The same photo cropped to feature my two "Baby Alive" dolls.
The same photo cropped to feature my two “Baby Alive” dolls.

Garden Photos

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.

Cindy standing in the drive.
Cindy standing in the drive.
The same photo cropped
The same photo cropped
Apples on my tree
Apples on my tree
The same photo cropped
The same photo cropped

Conclusion

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.

The back garden
The back garden
The same picture cropped. I wanted to crop it to show Polly at the back door but did no like the result.
The same picture cropped. I wanted to crop it to show Polly at the back door but did not like the result.

 

Author: Taswegian1957

Born in England in 1957 my family came to Australia in 1966. I grew up in Adelaide, South Australia, where I met and married my husband David. We came together over a mutual love of trains. Both of us worked for the railways for many years, his job was with Australian National Railways, while I spent 12 years working for the STA, later TransAdelaide the Adelaide city transit system. After leaving that job I worked in hospitality until 2008. We moved to Tasmania in 2002 to live in the beautiful Huon Valley. David passed away in 2015 and I'm here on my own now but I have Cindy the dog and Polly the cat to keep me company. I currently co-write two Wordpress blogswith my sister Naomi. Our doll blog "Dolls, Dolls, Dolls", and a "Our Other Blog" which is about everything else but with a focus on photographs and places in Tasmania.

7 thoughts on “Cee’s Compose Yourself Photo Challenge – #15 – Cropping Tips”

  1. These are all great examples. I like the backyard one the best and the moped. I remember adoring that photo when you first posted it. Wonderful entry. 😀

    Like

  2. Great examples of how cropping can improve a photo! I’m so glad you posted this today. It reminds me that I need to take some photos to have something to crop.

    Cindy is a beautiful dog!

    Like

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