re composing by cropping
I'm not sure if this is a feature or what, but I find often enough after contemplation for some time that I like an alternative composition from my captured exposure. This often involves changing from (say) landscape to portrait orientation as well as cropping in tighter.
Perhaps its because I'm used to using a 35mm camera with a zoom, but at least twice now I've taken images with my 4x5 where I've started out with an image taken and then cropped off top and bottom to make it landscape (when it was portrait) or sliced off 2/3rds from one side and made a landscape out of a portrait orientation.
Perhaps its because I only have 2 lenses (180mm and 90mm) but luckily the negative has enough area (and the images were sharp enough) to cope with it.
Whilst I compose in camera for the photograph I want, I often find alternate compositions suggest themselves when I view a print after some time. Sometimes they are better, but more often are just different, and interesting in their own right.
I prefer to use every square cm of the neg, but certainly would not turn down an opportunity to create a new image from a neg by cropping...or to plan to crop to get the image I see with the the format I am using.
If one seems to be always doing some cropping to get a good image from a neg (and especially if the original compostion is not usable), then I would say that either the proportion of the format is not suitable for the way one sees, or one needs to concentrate on seeing more clearly (with one's format and lens/es) before clicking the shutter.
In my own work, I see the image before I set the camera up and refine it on the ground glass. This is usually not the case with the "average" 35mm camera user (especially with a zoom)...who composes primarily thru the viewfinder.
It can be a useful exercise to see just how many alternative pictures you can get out of a negative by cropping.
Or maybe it's time to think about longer lenses... or maybe just walking closer!
Originally Posted by Vaughn
someone here has a sig line that goes like "if it doesn't look good your not close enough"
Originally Posted by eddym
I have been thinking about that a lot. If only I could get my LF camera this close
I have just finished developing 14 sheets of 4x5 film taken over the Easter break. With one exception, all sheets have the possibility of either portrait or landscape cropping.
This is a feature that is often present with the wider type of view with this format. Also, as the negative is reasonably large, most tight cropping doesn't require a herculean effort to keep quality reasonable.
I find this to be one of the nicer aspects, of 4x5 photography.
I choose between landscape to portrait orientation depending on the direction of the "lines in the image", whichever takes the view longer ways.
fyi from photoquotes.com :
If your pictures aren't good enough, you're not close enough. - Robert Capa - before he got too close to mine that killed him, while covering Indochina.
Getting closer changes perspective. Sometimes I need to compose with a lens that is too wide then crop in the enlarger. It is easier to do in large format for sure.
And I would rather choose between horizontal and vertical formats. "Landscape" in most magazine use is a vertical composition. Most cover photos are vertical compositions.
If you find yourself cropping often you aren't getting in close enough in the first place and/or your composition skills may need some work.