Project: Cropping and Extending – Exercise – Cropping

Project: Cropping and extending

Exercise 9 : Cropping

Select three photographs, each of a different subject; crop them and describe the logic behind your choice.

Image 1

This is the Ponte Vecchio Bridge in Florence.  I took this photograph some time ago using a compact camera.

I quite liked the photograph but decided that the bridge could be shown to more advantage if it was brought more to the fore, with less sky and river.  I liked the silvery effect on the river though so wanted to retain some of it.  Here is my plan of the crop:

This the cropped version:-

It doesn’t look too different but I do think that the bridge now has more focus and prominence.  I have also still retained the reflections of the buildings in the river.

Image 2

I took this photograph in Split, Croatia last year.

What happened was that I wanted to take a photograph of the dog and its owner.  However, just as I was composing the tablecloth seller suddenly appeared in front of me.  I half turned and this was the result.  In some respects it is quite a whimsical image I think.  It could be cropped in a variety of ways.  This is the cropping outline:-

I cropped it into two images.  I was going to do another crop just of the dog but decided that might degrade the photograph too much.

Crop 1a

I think it has cropped quite well given the circumstances.  The lady is a bit too far over the left for my liking but I couldn’t do anything about that.  I lightened the area around the dog slightly to draw the eye.  He’s quite perky looking isn’t he?

Crop 1b

The crop has made the tablecloth seller more prominent.  I’m thinking she is now too dominant in the image somehow,  although she is balanced to some extent by the dog and the cushions.

Image 3

I was in a local churchyard just after Armistice Day last year.  I thought the red rose was a very poignant touch and wondered who had put it there. The way the memorial is placed gave it a busy road background so I bent down to take the photograph.  I actually felt it was disrespectful somehow to cut off all the names on the memorial and made an inner apology to any relatives there might be.  I even wondered if I’d cut off the name of the person for whom the rose was left.

I was discussing the photograph afterwards with my husband, whilst I was editing it, and he said he thought I should crop off even more to highlight the poignancy of the rose.  I resisted at the time because I didn’t want to cut even more names away.  However, I decided I would try it now for the purposes of the exercise.  Here is the cropping outline:-

and here is the final version:-

I’m not sure about this one.  I think it works less well than the other two crops.  I was just thinking that the fact that there are so few names could make it seem as if it was a grave rather than a memorial (although, of course, there are still several different names).  Yes – thinking about it again I think my original version was better because it makes it more obvious that this is a memorial.

Conclusion

It’s obviously much better if one composes a photograph properly in the first place having thought carefully about intention.  However, this isn’t always possible, e.g. the lady with the tablecloth. In that case I’ve enjoyed making the two images from one.

24th March 2011

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