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Thread: Is it just me?

  1. #41

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    photograpy *is* cropping

    Photography differs from painting in some fundamental ways. The biggest IMHO is the way the image is created. In painting the artist starts with a blank canvas and adds things to it. In photography the artists starts with a full and chaotic "canvas" and subtracts those things which distract from the image he/she wants to show. This is, fundamentally, cropping.

    There's no reason I can think of to stop cropping at a particular point, such as the camera's framing. We pick lenses to show what we want. We pick points of view to show what we want. So why not pick aspect ratios to show what we want?

    I used to compose to the frame. But the longer I worked in photography, the more I began to see compositions that had aspect ratios different from the camera's built in ratio. So... I went with the image.

    Turns out I tend to see a log of images in the golden ratio. I don't know why. But there are very few cameras made that work with the golden ratio full frame. In large format there's the fairly rare 8x5 which is very close.

    I also tend to see panoramas, but in 1:sqrt(5), not the "normal" pano ratios of 1:2.5 and longer. Again, I don't know why. All I know is that I shot and framed a lot, and when I measured the final prints and ran the numbers, that's what I was coming up with.

    I'm just sayin' there's nothing wrong with following your artistic instincts. There's no reason at all to force your art into some camera manufacturer's arbitrary aspect ratio. You can if you want to. But you don't *have* to.
    Bruce Watson
    AchromaticArts.com

  2. #42
    clayne's Avatar
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    I can very much think of a great reason: the moment behind the enlarger is NOT the same as the moment behind the camera. It's not a simple "since I crop in my viewfinder, I should be able to crop after the fact too." Now perhaps if you're a rocks and trees guy, it doesn't really matter. But anything involving other lifeforms or changing situations as subjects I feel the composition at the time shows both the subject's AND the photographer's involvement/intent.

    Intent.
    Involvement.
    Shared space.
    A reasonably fair and accurate representation of the scene and how the subjects fit into it.
    Stop worrying about grain, resolution, sharpness, and everything else that doesn't have a damn thing to do with substance.

    http://www.flickr.com/kediwah

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by clayne View Post
    I can very much think of a great reason: the moment behind the enlarger is NOT the same as the moment behind the camera. It's not a simple "since I crop in my viewfinder, I should be able to crop after the fact too." Now perhaps if you're a rocks and trees guy, it doesn't really matter. But anything involving other lifeforms or changing situations as subjects I feel the composition at the time shows both the subject's AND the photographer's involvement/intent.

    Intent.
    Involvement.
    Shared space.
    A reasonably fair and accurate representation of the scene and how the subjects fit into it.
    Maybe I'm just dense, but I can't really say that I get your point. How do you determine "the scene and how the subjects fit into it"? The "scene" is the whole world, all 360 degrees of it, plus where you happen to be standing in relation to the rest of the world. Unless you are shooting with a 7mm fisheye, you are cropping something out of the world around you. What is the difference between cropping by using a rectilinear lens and cropping on an enlarger easel?
    Eddy McDonald
    www.fotoartes.com
    Eschew defenestration!

  4. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mainecoonmaniac View Post
    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?
    Yup.

    Everyone who uses an enlarger crops, but I agree.

    To me, the thought of mixing formats in a series, for example, would never occur because the rhythm of the forms playing against the framelines is such an important element of the established rhythm of the experience (whether in a book or in a room).
    Last edited by Samuel West Hiser; 10-18-2010 at 11:05 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  5. #45

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    If using commercial print finishers I leave a lot of surplus space around the image when composing. Not only do C41 labs take up a lot of negative real estate, no two are alike.

  6. #46

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    I'm another of the slackers who don't get religious about cropping or not cropping.

    But part of that is just the reality of the materials I use. I shoot 35mm and print in standard sizes. So I have a negative that is 2:3 (24x36mm). If I print in 8x10, that is 8:10 vs 8:12, so it gets cropped. If I print 5x7, that's 5:7 vs 5:7.5, so it is getting cropped.

    Asymmetric margins would take care of that, but not with the print easels I have on hand. Maybe later.

    But really, I like overshooting a bit and having the luxury of making minor adjustments to the edges without losing much resolution.

    Maybe the software engineer in me just demands a safety margin.

  7. #47
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    I contact print. Cropping isn't really part of the game. What I saw is what you get. When I shoot roll film there is then some cropping, because there usually has to be. When that is the case I take best advantage of it, although sometimes it feels like a nuisance because I have to give up something. Sometimes I'll print the whole neg inside the paper aspect ratio with a border. I don't worry about it to much. I shoot so I can use everything. Crop or not is something to communicate what you see, just a tool. Use when appropriate.
    That's just, like, my opinion, man...

  8. #48

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    I much prefer to both compose for the format and print full frame, but stuff happens.

    I do what I need to post-exposure to get the image I desire.

  9. #49

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    I do the same, except in circumstances when I know I will crop a certain way when I print the picture. In these cases, I compose precisely in one dimension, but not the other.

    I tend to leave a little bit of a gutter with sheet film, if possible. Perhaps 1/8 inch. You don't lose much quality by cropping these formats, and the damage-and-light-leak-prone edges are less likely to end up in the print this way. Also, the condenser of my 4x5 enlarger barely covers an entire sheet of 4x5, and my 4x5 negative carrier doesn't allow me to print quite all of the full frame anyhow.

    I don't have any qualms about cropping a picture that was not as well composed as I would have liked. This is usually with unrepeatable grab shots, of course, when other considerations were more important than exact composition when the picture was taken.
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

    - Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)

  10. #50
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    Yeah that is one place where I "utility" crop - with 4x5 and grafmatic holders as I haven't dedicated time to the apparently arduous process of removing those god-forsaken frame# wheels. I don't shoot a lot of 4x5 though.
    Stop worrying about grain, resolution, sharpness, and everything else that doesn't have a damn thing to do with substance.

    http://www.flickr.com/kediwah

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