The Genius of Cropping an Image

Getting composition right when under pressure to “take the shot” can be challenging for a lot of photographers, both experienced and not so experienced. Making sure the focus point is where it needs to be, for example, can lead to a bit of “centre” heavy composing – where the subject is smack, bang in the middle of the frame in a fairly uninspired spot.

Just because you haven’t composed the shot perfectly, why not transform an good image into a great one by spending some time cropping it? A good crop can make difference between artsy and also ran with images. You should know your rule of thirds, so why not apply it in the post process?

Great news is, most digital cameras have enough megaunbelievablemonsterpixels to allow you to crop the shot right in and still have more than enough resolution to print, and almost always enough for an on-screen use like your FB profile…

My favourite image format at the moment is panorama – yes, I have a camera that shoots in this format, but why not try the same format out on some of your photos by giving your crop tool a work out and see what happens!

Ross in the Degraves Subway – note the leading lines?

Flinders St entry gate, Degraves Subway

You don’t always have to show people’s whole body to create a compelling image

Lea in the Degraves Subway for “shoot a miner”

Ok – if you have made it this far, you probably deserve one more tip…

This photo below is one of my all time most viewed on flickr. All the kids pick it up for their Tumblr feeds. It is not a super remarkable image, but I think it has two things going for it that the sk8trs like…

1. the moment of anticipation – the bmxer is just about to take off

2. people like images of people where you cannot see the face – and can therefore project themselves into the image

So why not try taking some more images of people where the actual face is not recognisable. At most shows I participate in, the best selling images tend subscribe to the “Rückenfigur” style. Literally meaning “back figure”, the term rückenfigur is usually associated with German romantic painters, such as Caspar David Friedrich, to describe a viewpoint that includes another person seen from behind, viewing a scene spread out before the viewer.

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