View Poll Results: Do you crop your prints?
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Cropping is fine as long as you don't get caught. It should only be done in the privacy of your own home. Ideally there should be no one in the house.
Clay...that may be fine for you...but my parents told me that I would go blind if I cropped.
Originally Posted by clay
Not real sure on any of those, but what film were they using? Is it some sort of new "Fiber Grain" emulsion?
Originally Posted by David A. Goldfarb
Latent Images Plastic Toy Cameras
"Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive" - Howard Thurman
That is the new Giclee is has endlessly variable ISO, grain characteristics, and color saturation...wonderful stuff according to the manufacturers claims.
Originally Posted by noblebeast
My point is that we really have a limited set of aspect ratios available in photography if we refuse to crop, and even if there is a format that would correspond to most of the proportions used in painting, we usually only have one or two formats available to us at any given time, so we may previsualize a certain crop or not, and might decide after the fact that a certain proportion works for a certain image, and just as painters, we should not be slaves to the manufacturers' paper sizes or film sizes.
There is no photographic format that corresponds to Holbein's "Christ in the Tomb" (well, maybe on one of those swing-lens cameras there is something close), and one doesn't usually see full length photographic portraits like Whistler's as vertical panoramas, but should such images be off-limits to photographers because film or paper doesn't come in those sizes?
Another issue is to consider what counts as cropping. If one travels with 5x7", 8x10", 11x14", and 8x20" cameras at the ready and chooses among them, is that the moral equivalent of cropping? If one uses a Sinar Zoom back? Is the Xpan a tool for cheating? Is there a difference between using a wide lens on a 6x6 camera and cropping the bottom third of the frame and using a lens of comparable focal length on a view camera and using front rise to achieve the same composition in rectangular format?
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I feel that changing lenses, changing tripod positions, changing backs when out with LF gear are not moral equivalent of cropping. It is part of seeing, of visualisation IF the process leads to a full frame print. If I know that a scene is better at 4x5 before the shutter is triggered means that I have made a visual assessment at the same time that the emotional assessment was made. If I cropped my 8x10 negative into that same 4x5 area of interest in the darkroom (assuming I made the decision only after I have seen the negative or the first proof) means that whatever emoitonal impact a scene had for me has somehow changed hours or days later. Why this happened? For me it was because I did not connect with or see the scene properly. Or maybe I was rushing or I was hoping that by using the shotgun approach I might get something later on.
The results are what matter. If you like what you do then keep doing it. But this is a survey about the means to an end. I personally like to be disciplined in my means because it helps to justify my ends. I do not expect that criteria from anyone else nor do I need to know how they got there. I prefer to look at photographs.
Personally, I agree with what Francesco, Michael, George and others have said. I understand that there are different approaches to this matter. I think that Francesco made a key point when he addressed the matter of "connecting" or "seeing" the scene properly. I think that the "connection" happens when we "see" the scene properly at the time of exposure.
Originally Posted by Francesco
It must be understood that those mentioned above are all engaged in landscape photography as a portion or total of their work. A person photographing a less stationary subject could still pursue full frame images if they chose. I do recognize that my way of practicing my art is not the only way and it may not be the way that others choose.
It is this "connection" that comes through in the print.
Have I ever cropped? Of course...Do I view cropping as an option to me today? Very rarely if ever.
To me,personally, in the practice of my art...cropping is a lack of discipline. I think that art is about disciplined practice of technique that must first be learned and then practiced to produce predictable results consistant with the artists vision. This condition, I believe, transcends all truly artistic pursuits.
This is really getting to the point of beating dead horses here.
We are not painters, we are photographers, we don't have the luxury of drawing and redrawing a scene or making up fantasy compositions, we have to view a subject in front of us and put that scene on film, all in a fraction of a second, not days or weeks.
If you don't want to crop, then don't.
If you do want to crop, then do.
If you don't want to be bound by manufactures film formats, then don't be.
But please don't show me paintings to justify your beliefs, at least find examples within our medium. I'm sure they are out there.
If the image works hanging on the wall, wonderful. If it doesn't, then learn to make it better.
One way to improve composition was suggested in another thread. If that way doesn't work for your beliefs, formats, styles, or subjects then, by all means find other ways. And if people are so full of their own abilities that they feel they can't or don't need to improve, that is fine too.
The bottom line is that those things really only matter to you as the photographer.
What matters to me, as a viewer (or possible collector) of your work, is if the work is good or not. If its not, I don't care if you cropped it or not. I'll keep on looking for someone else to collect.