View Poll Results: Do you crop your prints?
- 68. You may not vote on this poll
I have never understood the sort of elitist concept of "you must be a hack if you can't compose and print full frame" mentality that sometimes exists. That if you crop you somehow didn't envision the shot.
I feel that sometimes the better shot is a crop from your original concept. Cropping is often a way to remove a lot of information that you initially thought important but realize later or in the darkroom is extranious.
When photographing people I, like Cheryl, photograph a lot of kids, and cropping is often essential. In fact, I purposely leave a lot of room around them so I can determine the frame later. Otherwise they would possibly end partly out of frame or would limit what I could do to the final image in the darkroom.
Another thing I found through the years doing portraits is that when I was determining exposure in the darkroom, on say a 16x20, I would use an 8x10 for the face test and found that the very tight crop was in itself an interesting picture.
That eventually enabled me to essentially, make dramatic cropping more of a standard practice in a print that I may want, but still enabled me to sell something with less crop. Not all customers want a portrait of just their face cropped tight.
i dont think we are talking about the elitism here. we are talking about the practice. i dont say that if u crop sometimes u dont know to compose, yes, sometimes it is very important to make a good crop even if it problematic. but imagine that there is a photographer that just take pictures and then in the darkroom creates them from the biggining. can we say about such photographer that he knows what he is doing in terms of proffessionalism and understanding and implamentation of the understanding. of course there are cases that u say on the street, just push the shutter, no time to go, to move etc. i was working on some "social portraits" not long time ago. u walk in those poor neibourhoods and u see things that can amaze u. mother hits her children, housband screams on her wife etc.. no time for "perfect composition" just scale the focus, approximate the exposure if needed and push the shutter. yes, in the darkroom u may crop it. but then i started to realize once again the importance of full frame. the plus point of those photos is that even th cropping is excusable when u capture such shocking moments.
by the way if u like cropping those portraits as u said, than just take a rangefinder with 75 or 90mm lenses and u will have 36 dynamic expressions on the same quality if not better when u will print it on the 8/10" paper
For me, this whole concept came about because of Bresson. He was alleged to have printed full frame. The people that were influential in my photographic life at that time were proponents of composing full frame. For a commercial shooter or a portrait photographer, I would think it is not something that would benefit them.
When I look at cropped images, I think I can tell the difference in a cropped and uncropped image. For me, it has to do with the aspect ratio, I think. The images looks different than it would uncropped.
edited for spelling errors
I used to be more rigid about trying to not have to crop, but that was because of shooting slides. Still, there are times outdoors when the options are either accept some cropping during printing, or learn to levitate. (I've tried, and I'm not picking it up too quickly)
On a related note, does anyone else sometimes just throw a negative up on the baseboard really large, and then look for other possible compositions within the frame? As long as they transition smoothly, I kind of like having 'microcompositions' within the major picture, as it gives you the challenge of finding the pictures within the picture.
Sponsored Ad. (Subscribers to APUG have the option to remove this ad.)
I've printed only full frame - usually taken on 35 mm with basic leans. But that is only my opinion / kind of sport or something about purity of process etc... only personal thing. Generally I think everybody have to find his/her way. You can obtain a nice picture with or without croping. Both is fine if you are satisfied.
I crop but rarely. With my LF I usually know before I've put the film holder in that I'll be cropping later.
Sometimes my photos are improved (and dramatically!) by cropping but usually a tosser is a tosser and cropping a good photo seems to change it's basic nature.
This may seem a bit odd but.. it's almost like you capture a little bit of the magic of a place and once you crop the photo it just seems unnatural. In reality it is probably just an optical effect I'm too primitive too understand and am hence attributing to the supernatural
Why do you consider it a failure? Perhaps you don't have the lens to attain the best composition you can, or maybe there is no lens that's perfect for the situation; rather, there's something near the edge of the frame that couldn't be avoided for the composition you wanted. It's not a failure to acknowledge that you'll crop it out later.
Originally Posted by jdef
But I'm glad you'll crop even if it does bother you :-D
Cropping is a tool. Just as choice of developer or film and tone of printing paper. To choose not to crop if you have the ability to is to introduce an artificial handicap IMHO. Now if you want to always print full frame and that's part of your artistic interpretation, then all the power to you. It's just that some images are improved with cropping. I've done some where a wide narrow presentation looked best and I didn't have a panorama camera laying about.
One of the nice things about using the 6x6 sq format is that I can get both vertical and horizontal croppings. Although I generally end up composing for the format used I certainly don't rule out cropping on some ethical grounds.
I may be wrong on this but I think even the contact printers can still crop if they so choose.