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March 09, 2009

I ♥ faces - creative cropping

One photo landscape (hippo cropped)-000001

I'm a big fan of cropping.   How many times have you looked at a photo and thought that it looked so much better than you remembered that scene in real life?  I'm sure it's because photography captures a small, less visually distracting, part of the world around us.  Most peripheral distractions are eliminated because the camera's eye can only see so much.  Cropping further refines this visual point of view to just a few, personally selected, inches.   

For example, in the photo above, I've chosen to feature Gwenny's world-class smile and her playful sparkling eyes.    She obviously has something in her hand but I've cropped away so much of it that I've rendered it unimportant.  Now the subject of the photo is simple (and beautiful): Gwen and her joy. 

Compare that cropped photo to the original and you'll see how the image immediately stops being about a beautiful little happy girl and almost completely becomes a photo of a kid with her head in a hippo's mouth.  Yes, that's a pretty darn interesting theme in and of itself but who would really notice the cute kid in this photo when there's such a HUGE distraction going on here?    

Did you notice there's a man standing behind Gwen?  He blends in because he's wearing colors that don't compete with this photo.  But what if he was wearing a red shirt?   See?  That's why cropping is such an amazing tool!

One photo landscape (hippo before) resized 
My final bit of cropping advice is to not forget the "rule of thirds"


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