How to Crop Kids?

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by BradS, Jul 31, 2005.

  1. BradS

    BradS Member

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    Children seem to need all their arms, legs, hands and feet in the photo. I have a photo of a four year old in the gallery that seems like it would be stronger if cropped to a tight head and shoulders (cropping out the distracting "Old Navy" t-shirt) but, it just doesn't feel right to chop off the kid's extremities. What do you think about cropping photos of kids?
     
  2. blansky

    blansky Subscriber

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    That's kind of a cute picture, I doubt I'd crop it.

    In my opinion if your get kids into different positions than just standing or just sitting then you have an easier time getting interesting cropping. On my website I crop kids all the time.

    Michael
     
  3. BradS

    BradS Member

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    Thanks Michael. I tried to visit your web page..but, it seems to be not well...or, is it me? (I'm running Firefox and have Norton Internet Security set for High security...no shockwave, asp, ActiveX, etc...)
     
  4. Paul Sorensen

    Paul Sorensen Member

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    I agree with Michael. I think that his hands and feet are important in this image. Very nice image, thanks for sharing.

    Paul.
     
  5. Paul Sorensen

    Paul Sorensen Member

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    More to the point of your question, I don't necesarily feel that there are special rules for kids, it all has to do with the picture. When I look at your picture, the object in the hands tells a story, as does the fact that he is sitting like he is. If they weren't useful, I would be all in favor of cropping and not worried about losing his limbs. In other words, crop away without fear of repercussions!
     
  6. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    Well......Maybe Birth Control Pills!!!! LOL

    Only kidding, there are many good elements in this photo, you did good, and with various crops, you could produce some great stuff, the only thing I would have like to see more of is less darkness in the eye area, but other than that, I like the composition and see many great possibilites.

    Dave
     
  7. roteague

    roteague Member

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    Dave, you beat me to the punch!! :D
     
  8. MurrayMinchin

    MurrayMinchin Membership Council Council

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    Ask Monsanto :wink:

    Murray
     
  9. modafoto

    modafoto Subscriber

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    I shoot kids and crop when I feel it is best for the picture. No special rules there for me.
     
  10. BradS

    BradS Member

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    Hi all. Thanks for all the positive feedback on the example photo. I just offered this one as an example. This one is a pretty extreme case because, but, I have never really found a picture of a child / kid I liked that didn't include all the little hands and feet. I guess it's just something I need to get my head around...

    now, Hmmmm,birth control pills?!?!?!

    Do you know what those could do to a guy my age? I got enough trouble as it is man! :smile: :wink:
     
  11. blansky

    blansky Subscriber

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    It works for me with Internet Explorer. I ain't all that computer literate but only occasionally do I get feedback of problems from people with different browsers.


    Michael
     
  12. Greg Davis

    Greg Davis Member

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    Michael, your site works fine on my system. Off topic, do you know Tim Walden? Your work looks very similar to his, and I know he teaches at PPA conventions all over the country. I printed for him for a few years.
     
  13. MattCarey

    MattCarey Member

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    A lot depends on what you are doing, and what you like. If you like the hands and feet, then there are probably a lot of other people that feel the same way.

    I recall an image that Suzanne Revy* posted (it isn't in her personal gallery now) that had a little girl's face closeup, with an arm in the background that was out of focus. A few people commented that the arm was distracting. Suzanne really liked the image as posted.

    As long as I have brought up her work, compare her images
    http://www.apug.org/gallery/showgallery.php?cat=500&ppuser=2670

    with some of Nicole's images
    http://www.apug.org/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=6422&cat=500&ppuser=2762

    http://www.apug.org/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=6558&cat=500&ppuser=2762

    Suzanne (and many of Nicole's) images are largely close cropped portraits. But the images of Nicoles (especially the first one) are whole body portraits. All are very well received on APUG. So, why crop hands and feet if that is your vision?

    For the image you are talking about--some have suggested that the "Old Navy" logo and the high contrast shoes are distracting. In that case, it isn't the crop but the other elements of the image that are the "problem". (personally, I like those elements. But, that is because I like to see how B&W film renders those elements. Then again, I am a geek).

    Last example--from my own gallery (if I may be so bold).
    http://www.apug.org/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=8156&cat=2

    The bottle in front is a major distraction. Artistically, this breaks the image. A close crop of mother and child (which I will get around to!) would be much better. However, that bottle is one of my wife's favorite items from the stay at the hospital. To her, that context actually makes the image for her (OK, the baby is what really makes the image).

    One last comment--I played around with my 4x5 to take portraits of my 2-year-old in his little chair. I got a contact sheet with him moving, leaning forward (out of the plane of focus), standing (top of head cropped), and one with a small light leak in the holder. No "keepers" in the set. I was just about to throw it away when my wife grabbed it and framed it take to work. She says it shows a lot of "life". Go figure!

    Matt

    (edit--got my names mixed up. Should read Cheryl Jacobs!)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 1, 2005
  14. anyte

    anyte Member

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    I tend to shoot a lot of tight photos of my son - which means rarely are all his extremities in the photo. Some of my favorites are tight crops of his face - the top of his head is cut off and all of his body.
     
  15. Cheryl Jacobs

    Cheryl Jacobs Member

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    Kids can be cropped really in the same way adults can. A simple rule of thumb (and it almost always holds true) is to never crop at the joint - gives an amputee look. :wink: I crop in camera most of the time, and I'll frequently crop of the top of the head, and in some cases (extreme close-ups) I'll even crop through an ear or an eye. So much depends on your style and personal preference.

    The most important thing is to be sure all the elements of the image work together: the crop, the tones, the mood, the composition, everything.
     
  16. SuzanneR

    SuzanneR Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I recall an image that Suzanne Revy posted (it isn't in her personal gallery now) that had a little girl's face closeup, with an arm in the background that was out of focus. A few people commented that the arm was distracting. Suzanne really liked the image as posted.

    Matt[/QUOTE]

    I think this was one of Cheryl Jacob's photographs. I think I recall quite a tight portrait, with her hand out of focus. Some people felt the hand didn't look like it belonged to the girl, and suggested cropping it.

    Agree with Cheryl about avoiding crops at the joints. Can't tell you how many times I've lopped someone's foot off at the ankle! Arrgh! Anyway, hands and feet are expressive. I think the shoes in BradS's portrait are great, but the letters in the t-shirt are, for me, a bit of a distratction. I also think it's entirely possible to do a good portrait showing just one hand, or even no hands or feet.. just depends on getting all the elements in the photograph to come together.
     
  17. blansky

    blansky Subscriber

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    Greg, no I don't know him. I haven't done the PPA thing since about 1985 so the new people ( I guess not new any more) on the circuit have gone under my radar.

    My "style" is pretty much an extension of what I was doing in color, then realized that I was just shooting black and white, but in color. So I switched to exclusively black and white.

    Michael
     
  18. BradS

    BradS Member

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    Matt makes some interesting points...I have admired the child photography done by Cheryl, Suzanne and Nicole right from the first...and, now that I've gone back and looked at it specifically with cropping in mind, I see that many are cropped - some tightly. Hmmmm... :smile:
     
  19. BradS

    BradS Member

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    Michael, Looks like your site wants Macromedia Flash...which, I don't do.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 1, 2005
  20. MattCarey

    MattCarey Member

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    Absolutely correct,

    http://www.apug.org/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=7273&cat=500&ppuser=629

    Can I argue that there are too many excellent photographers here and so I mixed a few up?

    Thanks,

    Matt