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  1. #1
    cliveh's Avatar
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    Image cropping, Yes or No?

    Do you try to compose in the viewfinder and not crop in the darkroom? I try to, but don’t hold it as a sacrosanct if I feel the image can be improved by cropping at the printing stage.

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  2. #2
    hoffy's Avatar
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    Does it really matter?

    I'm sure most of us try to get it right in the camera. I'm sure most of us crop when we print.

  3. #3

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    I usually try to stick to the whole negative when I print, but that doesn't mean that I wouldn't crop from time to time. Only the other night I was "playing" with some lith and trying various heavy crops - especially "panoramic" from 6x6 negs. Don't feel guilty about it at all.
    | website | ipernity thing |

  4. #4
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    Virtually always. Maximize the composition.

  5. #5

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    As an obligate contact printer, I don't have much choice. I can crop at print time, but only to a size that makes sense to print---that is, I might print only a 5x7 crop of an 8x10 negative, or whatever. I try to avoid doing that, though.

    For the folks with enlargers, or for finishing in d*g*t*l, it seems like one would want to plan for a little bit of a buffer zone at the borders, right? You can always say "oops, I didn't realize that sign was sticking in at the edge" and crop a little bit, but you can't do the opposite and recover a little bit from beyond the edge of the negative!

    -NT
    Nathan Tenny
    San Diego, CA, USA

    The lady of the house has to be a pretty swell sort of person to put up with the annoyance of a photographer.
    -The Little Technical Library, _Developing, Printing, And Enlarging_

  6. #6
    eclarke's Avatar
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    I make that decision when I make the sheet and think about printing..

  7. #7

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    I try, but fail most of the time. I'm not Bresson.

    I will not let ego ruin a shot if it needs cropping.

  8. #8

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    I don't like to crop, but I will if I have to.

  9. #9
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    Sure. Why not?

    If I am contact printing then where and how I crop will effect the final size, but if I feel it makes for a stronger picture I would do it without giving it a thought.

    It is interesting though, whenever I am running around shooting with one of my Barnacks I sense myself trying harder to frame things exactly the way I want, more so than with any other camera. I can probably chalk that up to a subconscious thought about HCB.

    But even then I often find ways to strengthen that picture later by cropping. Visualizing the dynamic scene is often a different experience for me than when I am looking at the contact print and visualizing a finished picture on the wall.

    Obviously I have not yet reached the visual sophistication of St. Ansel or HCB.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hatchetman View Post
    Virtually always. Maximize the composition.
    +1. I confess to being (almost) fanatical about cropping in camera/full-frame printing (dogmatic and doctrinaire, and a few less flattering things,I've been called by a few insecure types). If some distracting detail - that I somehow missed - finds its way into a photograph, the image will never be printed, instead finding itself consigned to the pile of rejects/misses.
    An assortment of F-series Nikons (F to F6, excluding the F4) with quite a few Nikkors, a pair of M6s with some Leitz glass, a pair of 500c/ms with a wide range of Zeiss optics and, just to help keep Duracell solvent, a D800.

    Favourite films: (1). KE ("Kodachrome Era"): 35mm: PKM25 and PKR64, HP5/Tri-X; 120: PKR64, PanF, FP4. (2). PKE ("Post-Kodachrome Era"): (a) 35mm: E100G, HP5 Plus/Tri-X and Delta 3200; (b) 120: E100G, PanF Plus, FP4 Plus, TMax 100.

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