Cropping Your Photos for More Impact

by Paul Cook | January 25, 2013

"You don’t take a photograph, you make it." Ansel Adams

Before you press that shutter button, you are likely going to make plenty of decisions to compose the best photograph. As you go through your snaps, you might find that your composition was not up to your expectations. Don’t let your aspirations die down. It happens; even seasoned professional photographers don’t get it quite right in the field. Let go of any temptation you might have to delete pictures that didn’t come out right. Fix them up with a bit of selective cropping to drastically enhance your digital photographs.

Whether your composition is a bit offside with framing mistakes or distracting elements in the background, cropping is an ideal way of drawing focus to the main subject. You can rely on professional photo editing software to achieve vivid results. Below are a few ways of cropping images to achieve better composition.

Crop Using Rule Of Thirds

Divide your image into a 3 x 3 grid and position the main focal points along one or more of the intersecting lines. If you are dealing with portraits, line the body with the vertical line and the eyes with the horizontal line. If there are any moving objects in your image, you should leave some space in front in the direction of movement to add some drama to the image.

Crop Away The Distractions

What if you clicked a photograph and overlooked a distracting element when framing the shot? You can simply crop away the distractions to draw attention to the main subject instantly. When this distraction is at the edges of the image, cropping can easily take it out of the frame.

digital photography, photo crop, cropping a photo, crop a photo, creative cropping Photo by Jeff Revell - www.revellphotography.com

 

digital photography, photo crop, cropping a photo, crop a photo, creative cropping Photo by Jeff Revell - www.revellphotography.com

Crop For New Formats

If your image doesn’t seem right because of the position you held the camera (vertically or horizontally) in, cropping it in different framing formats can add an interesting appeal. You can change a horizontal framing into a vertical one and vice versa. For strong visual impact, crop into a square or for a panoramic image, crop the top and bottom of the horizontal shot.

digital photography, photo crop, cropping a photo, crop a photo, creative cropping

Extreme Cropping

By zooming in closely on the subject and cropping out the rest of the image, you can highlight amazing details of the picture. Extreme cropping works best for facial expressions or going macro and provides depth to the picture. You have added an extra dimension for your viewer and engaged them on a deeper level.

Get Creative With Cropping

Cropping is more than simply trimming edges. When you crop smartly, you can enhance focus on different elements in the image and create an interesting photograph. Go for wide angle crops for some drama, square crops to focus on an object with a blurred background, rotate the image before applying the crop and add movement by changing the position of the horizon.

Deciding How To Crop

When you first look at the picture, you need to be clear about what you want the photograph to communicate. Once this is answered, only then you can go about applying crop tools. Depending on the feeling you want to convey from your snap, choose a crop based on your content. Cropping allows you to remove anything irrelevant to your conceptualization from the picture.

When you are taking a shot, compose your picture to state a point. But if you aren’t able to achieve it in your frame shot, you can surely apply crop for emphasis. Cropping can change the focus, function and meaning of your pictures immensely. It is perhaps the simplest post-processing method, and can be the only one needed for some of your shots.

As you become more experienced as a photographer, the better you will be at composing your photographs and less you would be relying on post-processing images. Yet, sometime a few crops would definitely add a greater visual impact to your click.

Out of the following photo crop options, which is your favorite. The first one is the original:

digital photography, photo crop, cropping a photo, crop a photo, creative cropping

 

digital photography, photo crop, cropping a photo, crop a photo, creative cropping

 

digital photography, photo crop, cropping a photo, crop a photo, creative cropping

 

digital photography, photo crop, cropping a photo, crop a photo, creative cropping

 

Photo Credit:

Jeff Revell Photography - http://www.revellphotography.com

References

http://digital-photography-school.com/cropping-for-impact

 

http://www.serif.com/appresources/HPX5/Tutorials/en-us/tutorials/photo_cropping2.htm

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Tips-n-Tricks #477

Free lensing is when you take the back coupling portion off the back of a lens and just hold the lens up to the camera body. You focus by moving them lens closer or further away from the body. Great for selective focus type and fine art photography. Takes a while to master, but is fun to practice.


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