Monday, July 28, 2008

To crop or not to crop

Here is a photo of a boat i took last week for fun. I was in a friends awesome cruiser and his friend pulled up along side. We were going the same speed for a couple minutes and i thought i would take a few frames. The sun was down and as a result i did not really like the color in the image. I opened the image in camera raw and did the same adjustments to it as my last few posts to bring up the contrast and detail. I took the saturation slider to -100 and opened the image. It did not look very good yet so a dramatic curves adjustment was needed. This brought up the contrast quite a bit. I sharpened the image and that was about it.
Then comes the question to crop or not. I like the balance of the above cropped photo. You will notice that most of the action and lines are toward the center of the image and the boat itself is pretty well centered. This of course would be breaking one of the rules of better photography "dont put your subject in the center of the frame but use the rule of thirds". The boat is actually on the thirds line going across, just not up and down. The crop still works however as the top of the image and the bottom, dead space on both, are equal and balance the image. Being cropped also makes the boat occupy more space in the frame.
There is no real set rule about cropping is what it comes down to. I like to try different crops until the image works for me. It usually only takes a minute and can be very well worth the time.

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