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View Poll Results: Do you crop your prints?

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  • Yes

    49 72.06%
  • No, I print full frame

    16 23.53%
  • No, I print full frame with negative borders

    3 4.41%
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  1. #71
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    I completely agree that the bottom line is whether the work justifies itself, but in this regard, I see no distinction between painting, photography, or any other two-dimensional medium. Whatever the medium, the frame must have some proportion. We may choose the proportion, or we may let someone else choose it for us.

    I also don't care whether work is cropped or not, but knowledge of whether it is cropped will say something about what the work means and what the photographer's intentions were.

    For those of us who work in static subjects, we do have the luxury of revisiting, reframing, reproportioning, rephotographing. For those who work in still life and the studio, arguably all compositions are fantasy compositions. In much of the nineteenth century, before the age of relatively high speed film, no photographic decisions were made in the fraction of a second.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  2. #72

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    David,

    Quote Originally Posted by David A. Goldfarb
    I completely agree that the bottom line is whether the work justifies itself, but in this regard, I see no distinction between painting, photography, or any other two-dimensional medium. Whatever the medium, the frame must have some proportion. We may choose the proportion, or we may let someone else choose it for us.
    In painting and other two dimensional work you can sketch out what you want and make the decision about the size canvas (or other material) you want.
    If you were to apply that thought to photography then, you would determine what format you want to use to best display your vision of the subject in front of you. But then we would be talking about an experience that is happening during the exposure.

    Most typical examples of cropping (the topic here) are not done during that time, they happen back in the darkroom or studio. And can often be a second guessing of the composition of the subject. (Portraits of moving children aside)

    Also please note that I said "can often be a second guessing" this is not meant to say that anybody here on this board is doing this.

    Quote Originally Posted by David A. Goldfarb
    I also don't care whether work is cropped or not, but knowledge of whether it is cropped will say something about what the work means and what the photographer's intentions were.
    Yes, but in the real world, we don't get that chance to look into the photographer's mind very often. So that knowledge is not always given to us.

    Quote Originally Posted by David A. Goldfarb
    For those of us who work in static subjects, we do have the luxury of revisiting, reframing, reproportioning, rephotographing. For those who work in still life and the studio, arguably all compositions are fantasy compositions. In much of the nineteenth century, before the age of relatively high speed film, no photographic decisions were made in the fraction of a second.
    Now here is where I have to totally disagree with you. Every time you go out and shoot even it is the same subject you have shot before, it is not the same, and you are not the same. The lighting has changed, a car is park in a different place, some trash got picked up from the scene, some got placed in the scene, a new building is behind the subject, or an old one is missing and that causes the light to change. Whatever, its not exactly the same.

    A still life in the studio, ok, that could be the same. But still your not the same, you will at least have the experience of the first shoot and be armed with the knowledge of what worked and what didn't in the first shoot.

    That fraction of a second (that we now shoot with, I'm not a hundred years old) only happens at that one moment in time. You can never shoot that same moment again. You can never see the subject the same way again because you are only at that moment in time once. Which is why they came up with the saying "You only have one chance to make a first impression."
    George Losse
    www.georgelosse.com

  3. #73
    noblebeast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by George Losse
    This is really getting to the point of beating dead horses here.
    Fire up the coals for the Bar-B-Q, 'cause that meat's nice and tender by now! Who's bringin' the ketchup?
    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

  4. #74
    Aggie's Avatar
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  5. #75

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    I like this thread very much because it concerns seeing, visualisation, intent and discipline - ingredients that I need to make better photographs. Maybe a less charged title for this thread would have been Cropping - intentional or not?

    Also for me the word cropping implies accidental or repair or salvaging somehow. To decide to "crop" before shutter release does not imply cropping it implies previsualisation. This implies a choice while the other implies no choice.

  6. #76
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    It is true that we don't always know what the intention was, but the presence or absence of that information is interesting. The inclusion of frame edges makes a strong affirmative statement. The exclusion of the edges may express ambivalence or a desire to erase the technical process. The use of a clearly non-standard aspect ratio says something too.

    Indeed, we change and the scene changes when we rephotograph, but that's true for the painter as well. I think the idea that photography captures an instant in time is one of the great half-truths of photography. In some sense, of course, the illusion of photography is that we stop time and the thing in the picture was physically present before the lens. We all know a photograph can lie or mislead as well and is subject to manipulations of all sorts, and even if each photograph is new, it would be wrong to discount all the "drafts" and "sketches" in the form of scouting shots, and failed attempts that go into the final version.

    As much as "the view from the artist's window" is an old chestnut, I'm always photographing it. Sometimes I feel that with each photograph I'm documenting a moment in time, but I also know that each photograph builds on all the previous ones, and I hope one day to produce the "ultimate" view, knowing of course that it won't stop me from shooting it again the next day.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  7. #77

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    this has been an interesting thread, heated even, which is good.

    I suggest that another option be added to the poll
    "Do you pre-visualise a crop in camera PRIOR to pressing the shutter"

    I do, on some occasions, usually when I am shooting for enlarging (I shoot mainly 10x8 and contact print.) To me this is completely different to the photographer who blindly shoots at something then, later looks at the image and goes, hmmmmm well if I crop this out and do this it might work, I call this "post-visualisation....."

    Now I know, sometimes you have to shoot on the fly, but for every rule there is an exception.... and apart from some rules of physics and chemistry there are no rules really
    David Boyce

    When bankers get together for dinner, they discuss art. When artists get together for dinner, they discuss money. Oscar Wilde Blog fp4.blogspot.com

  8. #78

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    I never crop if I will contact print.

    I always try to compose full frame with 4x5 but due to limitations of the lens or compromise on my spot in relation to the scene it may be unaviodable. That being said, I am composing on the ground glass with that in mind and not going into the darkroom later and saying "gee I didn't see that, I'll have to crop it out."

    For some reason it is hit and miss with 35mm. I don't know if due to using LF I have a hard time being precise with a 35mm and if shooting from a tripod i usually compose to not crop, but shooting handheld, regardless of how carefull I am I sometimes need to crop some thing out later.

  9. #79
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Despite my defense of cropping, I don't actually crop that much. I looked around at the prints I have hanging at the moment at home and noticed that I tend to crop 35mm more than other formats. I usually chop off the ends and make it a bit more square. Maybe that's a sign that I should sell my 6x9 rangefinder and buy a 6x7 or 6x8 instead (Fuji made a 6x8 rangefinder for a while), since I seem to see that way more naturally.

    I occasionally crop 8x10" contact prints. I don't see contact printing vs. enlarging as an issue. I can crop with a knife and a straightedge (either the neg or the print).
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

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