Is it just me?

Discussion in 'Photographic Aesthetics and Composition' started by Mainecoonmaniac, Oct 16, 2010.

  1. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    When I shoot, regardless of format, I look at the whole frame and compose to fill the frame. When I print, I rarely crop but print full frame. Are there other APUGers that do the same? Is full frame composing and printing laziness or just another way of seeing?
     
  2. chriscrawfordphoto

    chriscrawfordphoto Member

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    You should compose for the image you want to make, not be enslaved by the format of the camera you own. I use a Hasselblad a lot because I love square format, and it gives a large square neg, but some images work better as a rectangle and I have no problem with cropping as needed. The image is what matters, not the gear. No one cares if you cropped, they care if the photo says something to them, and composition is important for that.
     
  3. Laurent

    Laurent Subscriber

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    I try to compose using the whole frame, and like to print the same. I'm usually quite satisfied when this happens, but I also crop as needed when my framing was not accurate as needed.
     
  4. podstawek

    podstawek Member

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    I almost always crop, regardless of whether I'm shooting square or rectangle, and regardless of camera and film size. I don't object cropping heavily, providing some minimum quality is preserved.
     
  5. SuzanneR

    SuzanneR Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I'm with you. I shoot with the intention that I won't have to crop. Occasionally, I'll crop, but only very slightly, and in a way that retains the 6x7cm shape that I like so much. Cropping, I find, can be more difficult to do effectively... when I crop too much, it just looks like... well, a cropped picture. Too cut up somehow.

    YMMV, of course!
     
  6. hpulley

    hpulley Member

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    I used to shoot chromes almost exclusively so I got used to always framing exactly how I wanted it to look since masking slides is a PITA and so is doing duplicating work to do crops though I would get out the bellows and slide dupe rig if I really needed to do a crop. I find, no matter the medium, that a picture obviously looks better if you don't have to crop and enlarge the image any more than necessary. Hence the 300mm and 100-400mm lenses in my arsenal which are NOT just for wildlife and sports, I often do tight landscape framing as well.
     
  7. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    I compose full frame and almost never crop when I print. I choose the format that suits my purpose for my vision, whether it be 35mm or square or 4x5, or whatever.
     
  8. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Ditto, but with 135, 120 in 6x6 and 4"x5".

    Steve
     
  9. flatulent1

    flatulent1 Subscriber

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    I compose full frame to use as much of the negative as I can. When I print it can be weeks or months later, and often see something different on the enlarger and will enlarge & frame differently from the original. I'm not a slave to the format, but rather I shoot the format I do because I like it.
     
  10. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    I also tend not to crop. When I do, I usually keep the same aspect ratio.
     
  11. cdowell

    cdowell Member

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    As a photographer, I can't help feeling that on some level full frame is somehow superior to cropping, but it is so easy to become enslaved to the idea -- a real problem when the corner of a sponge creeps into a picture of an otherwise graceful sink. So I crop away, loyal to the dimensions of the negative, but still feel compromised a little.

    Not what we're talking about here, but...

    As an editor, once a picture is committed to a larger project it must submit to the greater good. I think of both text and graphics as materials to be used to communicate with an audience. The editor is the arbiter is what communicates most effectively. So the writer is saying don't cut my beautiful sentence and the photographer is saying don't crop my beautiful image. The editor is there to serve as first audience and make decisions not everyone will like.

    This is just one of many, many ways that the process of art is far superior to commerce (except for that making money one): The artist is creator, arbiter and audience all in one. No one to interfere.
     
  12. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Not just you.
     
  13. mudman

    mudman Member

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    I do it too!
     
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  15. Dave Martiny

    Dave Martiny Member

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    It's always my goal to compose and print full frame, but I will not hesitate to crop in printing when it lends an advantage to the composition. I know that primes are always the best in any format and I use them whenever I can, but for 35mm especially, zooms are a very useful tool for composing full frame when the subject and shooting situation are anything but sedentary. I find that in most cases, the advantage in image quality that I get in being able to print full frame by using a high quality zoom outweighs the benefit of using a prime but having to crop later.

    Best regards,

    Dave
     
  16. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    A camera is just a means to an end.
    The framing it provides can function as a guide, something to compose to. And very often it is possible to compose an image in that given frame perfectly well.
    When not, you recompose later, change the frame's aspect so that it conforms to the composition instead of the other way round. I.e. you crop.
    The image - not the camera and its format - rules.
     
  17. jovo

    jovo Membership Council Council

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    As has been written before (this topic has been covered extensively on other threads), I ascribe no special value to a full frame negative. It it works that way, it gets printed that way; if it doesn't, it gets cropped.

    I also like to always keep my P67 in landscape format rather than ever tilt it on the 'pod, and I'm very partial at the moment to square compositions, so I often actually intend to crop when using the camera that way in the first place. The 4x5 is sooo easy to change from landscape to portrait format that I'm less likely to mess with those negatives. :smile:
     
  18. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    I also tend to compose using the whole of the viewfinder. Often I don't even notice if it's a square or a rectangle.


    Steve.
     
  19. ROL

    ROL Member

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    It was, "Is it just me"...

    I think it ultimately depends on your tools (format), your particular shooting geometries, and ultimately your personal vision of the finished print. See Cropping A Negative for an article I wrote on this very subject.
     
  20. jamesgignac

    jamesgignac Member

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    Like you I also print without cropping (unless you count cutting your photo paper into squares for 6x6 format printing.) To me the constraints of of the image in terms of composition and aspect ratio ends at the camera. There are times when I'm doing more experimental image work where I crop things but then it's usually done in a very dramatic and exaggerated way blowing up a small part of the negative as large as I can to produce a grainy, blurry blob of a thing. For my regular shooting, however, I don't crop. Perhaps a part of it is that I don't want to have to remember exactly how things were positioned if I want to go back and make additional, identical prints at a later date.
     
  21. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    In a world of infinite images, it is usually no problem finding one to completely fill the frame.

    I also fill my beer glass to the top. :munch:

    Vaughn
     
  22. R gould

    R gould Member

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    I try to compose for full frame printing, with both 35mm and 120 6/60r 645, and 9 times out of ten iit works, but there are always times when you can't make it work, especialy if like me you use a lot of fixed lens cameras, such as Rollei tlrs etc,Richard
     
  23. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    The three formats give me choices of height-width and grain size.

    Steve
     
  24. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    i am not afraid to crop and i am not afraid to compose and
    print a full frame .. it depends on the image and the format.
     
  25. DWThomas

    DWThomas Subscriber

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    In general I compose to the full frame, and print the same. But that said, if I'm messing around in the darkroom and notice that my original square looks better cropped to a rectangle, it happens. I shoot several different aspect ratios as I swap cameras and don't seem to have much difficulty "maximizing my use of real estate."
     
  26. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I have no problem with cropping in the darkroom, although I will admit to an irrational sense of satisfaction when the best choice for a negative is a full frame print.

    When I expose the film, I will generally try to fill the frame with my subject, but if faced with a subject that appears strong in a number of different ways, I'll try shooting them in all those ways, and/or shoot with enough room to permit making a cropping choice later.

    I think it important to remember that when we look through a viewfinder or at a ground glass, the image we perceive is affected by the frame around it that the camera provides. That frame may or may not affect us in the same way as the frame provided by the choice we make in respect of the final presentation of the print or slide. As an example, a subject that appears one way when viewed through the viewfinder's "tunnel" may appear different in a matted print.

    I expect as well that at least part of my desire to compose so as to avoid having to crop comes from early experience trying to print 35mm negatives with obvious grain and mediocre sharpness. If I had started with an RB67 and properly exposed, perfectly developed low speed negatives, I would probably be sloppier than I am now :smile:.