Cropping is an important step of a photo production that I haven’t played much with. Recently, someone mentioned that the square cropping didn’t work very well for a recommended portrait shot. So that got me thinking exactly how do people decide on what to use, golden ratio, 2×2.5, 3×5, 4×6, 5×7, 8×10, square, or just random. There are many images that certainly could benefit from cropping our of portraits that I’ve taken. Here is just a few that I’m playing around with:
Experiment #1: This picture by P. Galin is the instigator of this blog on cropping. This picture of a blind Indian woman, a bit underexposed is absolutely beautiful. I am shameful to say I’ve failed to get old Chinese women with beautiful wrinkles to let me take their pictures. They would only let me take their pictures if I bought their postcards. Anyways, the blue and coral pink complemented each other beautifully. Light coming from the right. She looks like she’s looking straight at the camera. Keep in mind she’s blind, she’s actually looking towards the left of the image where the shadows are. After trying her in square, center portrait 4×6, and then off centered to the left, this one is my favorite. She’s slightly off centered to the right, directing her “gaze” more towards the audience if you are standing right in front of the picture.The under exposed eyes tell a perfect story of a blind woman.
Experiment #2. This is a picture of my dance teacher fitting Emily in a costume for a photoshoot. This is a 8×10 crop. I windowed in original on the girl from the original, also spot blurred the image, b&W at red with 15% color. I’m trying to focus more attention on the girl given the two are fairly close.
Experiment #3: Here’s a 4×6 portrait crop from an original that was landscape. Thi is obviously cropping out a lot of empty space in the original. The motion of the girl in the background and the continuous line of people in the perspective gives it a very busy dressing room feel. Well, actually it was a very busy dressing room most of the time with occational moments that I could get myself through without getting run over by little kids. (hehe… I caught myself in the corner in the mirror too. )
Experiment #4: Here’s another one that I cropped a landscape into portrait. This one actually loses some interesting things I caught on purpose originally, which is the repeated reflections of the couple in the mirror behind them. I’m not sure if this crop is better, it probably makes it a less interesting picture compositionally.
Experiment #5: Here’s a 2×2.5 crop, not quite a square. :) It worked very well in this case b/c a square would have included too much from the background but a square would cut the arms more, making them look short.
Experiment #6: This one I’ve posted before. The interesting thing about this one is that it’s perfect for a square crop. However I would like to put it in a portrait (vertical) frame, possibly slightly off centered as well.