When you crop the photo, you tell a lie.
— Douglas Coupland
I will be the first one to admit that I’ll use cropping when it’s necessary. Of course, it is my preference to leave images full-frame, but sometimes I look at a photo and see opportunity in cutting corners, so to speak. For myself, the decision to crop a photo — and the extent that may or may not be acceptable — is primarily driven by the quality requirement around how that photo is to be used. I’ll use an image from the sequence yesterday’s blog photo came from as an example. The first photo in this post is full-frame. While I was considering it, a picture in the picture caught my eye; I made a virtual copy, clicked on Lightroom’s crop tool and started cutting away.
One of the things I try to take away from finding a picture within a picture is the reminder to be more aware of opportunities to use the camera’s full frame to get in closer, move the camera slightly one direction or another and be more creative with composition. I’ll often ask myself what I would have needed to have done differently to get the cropped version’s framing in-camera and not in-processing. I find this gives me ideas and new things to try on later shoots as I strive to challenge and improve my skills.
What are your thoughts about cropping? Do you agree with Douglas Coupland that cropping a photo is the equivalent of telling a lie?
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