I was thinking earlier today about the idea of "too-tight" cropping, in relation to the opposite idea that you see a lot in photography, which is "fill the frame".
Some noted awhile back about a butterfly photo of mine that the crop may have been too tight; while in my mind, I was filling the frame with the butterfly's beautiful detailed wings (side view, folded wings).
A recent post of a family photo (not mine) got some comments on the crop being slightly too tight. But does that mean it's not ok to want to "fill the frame" with the family?
I have just been curious what others' thoughts are on this
I've always been of the 'fill the frame' mindset, personally (it was one of the first pieces of advice I got to improve my snapshots and it made a huge difference). I struggle with this though. I often get in 'too tight' and that causes 2 problems that I have noticed ... one is that it often breakst he ROT. and while i recognize that the ROT is not the secret to a 'perfect' shot, it does seem to produce some rather pleasing results. the 2nd problem i have with the tight in-camera crop is when I go to print other sizes. my crop sensor produces a 2:3 ratio which is great for 4x6 prints. but when i go to print 5x7 or 8x10, then i often end up with a less than pleasing crop.
so ... while I'm a 'fill the frame' gal myself, i'm trying to back away from it a LITTLE to make sure that i can stick to the ROT most of the time and so that i can have different print sizes.
just my $0.02 worth.
Great topic for discussion!
You're so right about needing at least a little extra space for different print sizes. I also personally love the Rule of Thirds and I use it basically all the time when doing all my non-snap photography! Usually when you fill the frame with a person's upper "half" the eyes naturally seem to fall in the upper 3rd, so that's good
I agree with Gigi. I tend to do the fill the frame as well as centering everything (guilty). The way I look at is imagine the people in the photo stuck in a box (crop) that you frame them into, if you were placed in this position/box wouldn't you want some breathing room? I think extra space above or to the left/right helps give that artistic feature to the photo and also help with ROT. JMHO.
-El mommy to B & A
Just chug-chug-chugging along.
i'm definately all about filling the frame, when i've had my work critqued i've been told to stop chopping off shoulders with my cropping. In camera I give myself enough space to crop in different aspect ratios, but once i crop I like to get in nice and tight...lol.
I agree, El. Especially when the photo is of someone looking off in the distance to the side, or walking at an angle (like several of my Eva shots this year), I like to have space in the direction they're heading or looking, to see where it's going. I feel that is an artistic way of composing a shot like that.
I suck at knowing how to crop. I find myself centering a lot...which tends to leave dead space above a person's head and it doesn't look great.
I also tend to get too close to the subject and leave no room for cropping, so I've been working on backing up!
I tend to not fill the frame in the camera and then try to crop the photos later. I do this mainly to try to avoid chopping of hands, feet, heads, etc... But when I do crop, I am always torn on HOW to crop. The other day I cropped a family photo of DH's family (like the WHOLE family, everyone in from out of state, which will probably never happen again). It looked great, until I went to put it in a frame. UGH, I had arms on both sides getting chopped because of the frame. I know that DH's grandmother didn't notice or even care, but it bothered me. I really need to work on that.
using negative space can be a powerful tool in your compositions. Maybe it would be fun to do a mini challenge on it?