How to crop this photo?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by RickCanada, Nov 29, 2008.

  1. RickCanada

    RickCanada Guest

    Hi: I need help in cropping this photo. Uncropped, to me, it is
    unbalanced. I need to crop to a 4X6 format but I can't seem to
    get it right. Either too much of the sky gets cut or too much of the
    water is left leaving a horizon right in the middle of the picture.
    Any advice?

    http://outdoors.webshots.com/album/568938237EVjshK
    RickCanada, Nov 29, 2008
    #1
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  2. I think it is Ok as is - put it away for a few weeks and look at it afresh.
    the sun is in a compositionally strong point and sort of balances the larger
    dark mass of the trees to the left. Cropping out the trees will also cut
    out the nice cloud shape behind them. The only thing that could be improved
    would have been raising the camera a bit so that the boat cover does not
    merge with the distant shore line but only a small point.

    Malcolm.
    Malcolm Smith, Nov 29, 2008
    #2
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  3. RickCanada

    Paul Furman Guest

    Re: |GG| How to crop this photo?

    RickCanada wrote:
    > Hi: I need help in cropping this photo. Uncropped, to me, it is
    > unbalanced. I need to crop to a 4X6 format but I can't seem to
    > get it right. Either too much of the sky gets cut or too much of the
    > water is left leaving a horizon right in the middle of the picture.
    > Any advice?
    >
    > http://outdoors.webshots.com/album/568938237EVjshK


    How about a bigger crop that keeps just one tree and holds the bottom...
    then crop off the left & top till the tree branches with & without
    leaves look balanced. That looks pretty good to me. Straighten the
    horizon a little bit on the shoreline.

    --
    Paul Furman
    www.edgehill.net
    www.baynatives.com

    all google groups messages filtered due to spam
    Paul Furman, Nov 29, 2008
    #3
  4. On Fri, 28 Nov 2008 21:52:44 -0800 (PST), RickCanada <>
    wrote:

    >Hi: I need help in cropping this photo. Uncropped, to me, it is
    >unbalanced. I need to crop to a 4X6 format but I can't seem to
    >get it right. Either too much of the sky gets cut or too much of the
    >water is left leaving a horizon right in the middle of the picture.
    >Any advice?
    >
    >http://outdoors.webshots.com/album/568938237EVjshK



    First of all, straighten that image. You have a nice equidistant far shoreline
    for this purpose. The slightest bit of skew in an image will be unconsciously
    perceived by the viewer as "something's not right", but may not be able to pin
    their mind's-eye on it. It makes the viewer uncomfortable and they don't know
    why. Uncomfortable = not pleasing. This one needed a counter-clockwise rotation
    by 0.77 degrees.

    Use your rotation tool so it fills in the new border after rotation with solid
    black. This is usually done by just selecting the darkest value in you image as
    your editor's background color. In this case black is black. This will give you
    a little more border to work with at the bottom later when cropping, and it
    needs that little extra black there.

    The image is "okay" but it can be a little more by doing a couple of things.
    (It's basic stock-photography so there's not a lot that can be done to make it
    "spectacular", but a few things will help to make it more pleasing.)

    Cut off the extraneous sky at the top. It bores the eye and it's an easy place
    for the mind to wander off the image. There is also a little too much of the
    tree clutter on the right. It detracts from the smooth tones and clean open
    expanses. You can use some of it to your advantage by noticing something in the
    sky in the upper-left. See that faint wisp of cloud pointing to the upper-left
    corner? Do you see a thin branch on the tree on the upper-right pointing to the
    upper-right? You can use those two diagonal features to help tie and balance the
    two corners of the image together. It's not so obvious that anyone would notice.
    A subliminal balance to keep the viewer's eye drawn into the image.

    Since you now have more black border at the bottom to play with (after that
    rotation), go ahead and include it. The contrast between that, the blacks on the
    right, and the lighter hues works well to frame the image. I thought it needed a
    tad more black on the bottom when I first saw it, the needed leveling easily
    creates it for you.

    See this example to how I would have cropped it.

    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3069/3067833164_c4d8bd770b_o.jpg

    Doing it this way strikes a good average between the oft' quoted "rule of
    thirds" and the golden-ratio, putting the most important subjects at an average
    of their intersections. Note too the slight crop on the left. I did it this way
    because one of the clouds was trying to lead the viewer's eye out of the image a
    little too much. It's all subtle things like that which will help with
    composition and make someone stay to enjoy a photo rather than have their eye
    slide off the view onto something else.

    One last thing. The blues in the sky were rather grayed-out (probably from using
    auto-white-balance?). I used an editing tool to increase saturation on the blue
    hues only, and also darkened them a bit. It gave it just that little bit more
    color needed to contrast and balance with the oranges of the sunset. Due to JPG
    compression I couldn't select the hues that needed to be changed with much
    accuracy, they were in large JPG sized blocks in your sample image, so ignore
    that in my example where they become obvious when saturated more. It won't
    happen on your original (it not having huge JPG blocks) if you take similar
    steps. Darkening and intensifying the blues also helps to frame the subject with
    the blacks, again with the intent of keeping the eye inside of the image instead
    of having it slide off of an edge.
    shane traster, Nov 29, 2008
    #4
  5. RickCanada

    PDM Guest

    "shane traster" <shanetraster@.com> wrote in message
    news:...
    > On Fri, 28 Nov 2008 21:52:44 -0800 (PST), RickCanada
    > <>
    > wrote:
    >
    >>Hi: I need help in cropping this photo. Uncropped, to me, it is
    >>unbalanced. I need to crop to a 4X6 format but I can't seem to
    >>get it right. Either too much of the sky gets cut or too much of the
    >>water is left leaving a horizon right in the middle of the picture.
    >>Any advice?
    >>
    >>http://outdoors.webshots.com/album/568938237EVjshK

    >
    >
    > First of all, straighten that image. You have a nice equidistant far
    > shoreline
    > for this purpose. The slightest bit of skew in an image will be
    > unconsciously
    > perceived by the viewer as "something's not right", but may not be able to
    > pin
    > their mind's-eye on it. It makes the viewer uncomfortable and they don't
    > know
    > why. Uncomfortable = not pleasing. This one needed a counter-clockwise
    > rotation
    > by 0.77 degrees.
    >
    > Use your rotation tool so it fills in the new border after rotation with
    > solid
    > black. This is usually done by just selecting the darkest value in you
    > image as
    > your editor's background color. In this case black is black. This will
    > give you
    > a little more border to work with at the bottom later when cropping, and
    > it
    > needs that little extra black there.
    >
    > The image is "okay" but it can be a little more by doing a couple of
    > things.
    > (It's basic stock-photography so there's not a lot that can be done to
    > make it
    > "spectacular", but a few things will help to make it more pleasing.)
    >
    > Cut off the extraneous sky at the top. It bores the eye and it's an easy
    > place
    > for the mind to wander off the image. There is also a little too much of
    > the
    > tree clutter on the right. It detracts from the smooth tones and clean
    > open
    > expanses. You can use some of it to your advantage by noticing something
    > in the
    > sky in the upper-left. See that faint wisp of cloud pointing to the
    > upper-left
    > corner? Do you see a thin branch on the tree on the upper-right pointing
    > to the
    > upper-right? You can use those two diagonal features to help tie and
    > balance the
    > two corners of the image together. It's not so obvious that anyone would
    > notice.
    > A subliminal balance to keep the viewer's eye drawn into the image.
    >
    > Since you now have more black border at the bottom to play with (after
    > that
    > rotation), go ahead and include it. The contrast between that, the blacks
    > on the
    > right, and the lighter hues works well to frame the image. I thought it
    > needed a
    > tad more black on the bottom when I first saw it, the needed leveling
    > easily
    > creates it for you.
    >
    > See this example to how I would have cropped it.
    >
    > http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3069/3067833164_c4d8bd770b_o.jpg
    >
    > Doing it this way strikes a good average between the oft' quoted "rule of
    > thirds" and the golden-ratio, putting the most important subjects at an
    > average
    > of their intersections. Note too the slight crop on the left. I did it
    > this way
    > because one of the clouds was trying to lead the viewer's eye out of the
    > image a
    > little too much. It's all subtle things like that which will help with
    > composition and make someone stay to enjoy a photo rather than have their
    > eye
    > slide off the view onto something else.
    >
    > One last thing. The blues in the sky were rather grayed-out (probably from
    > using
    > auto-white-balance?). I used an editing tool to increase saturation on the
    > blue
    > hues only, and also darkened them a bit. It gave it just that little bit
    > more
    > color needed to contrast and balance with the oranges of the sunset. Due
    > to JPG
    > compression I couldn't select the hues that needed to be changed with much
    > accuracy, they were in large JPG sized blocks in your sample image, so
    > ignore
    > that in my example where they become obvious when saturated more. It won't
    > happen on your original (it not having huge JPG blocks) if you take
    > similar
    > steps. Darkening and intensifying the blues also helps to frame the
    > subject with
    > the blacks, again with the intent of keeping the eye inside of the image
    > instead
    > of having it slide off of an edge.


    This crop is better I think. But it's a pity you have to crop 4x6. It would
    look much better cropped wide.

    PDM
    PDM, Nov 29, 2008
    #5
  6. "RickCanada" <> wrote in message
    news:...

    > Hi: I need help in cropping this photo. Uncropped, to me, it is
    > unbalanced.


    Crop the bottom just above the shadowed structure in the foreground.

    Leave the right edge alone.

    Crop the left half-way between the sun and the edge of the frame.

    The top is then dictated by the aspect ratio.
    Andrew Koenig, Nov 29, 2008
    #6
  7. On Sat, 29 Nov 2008 12:10:20 -0000, "PDM" <pdcm99minus this >
    wrote:

    >
    >"shane traster" <shanetraster@.com> wrote in message
    >news:...
    >> On Fri, 28 Nov 2008 21:52:44 -0800 (PST), RickCanada
    >> <>
    >> wrote:
    >>
    >>>Hi: I need help in cropping this photo. Uncropped, to me, it is
    >>>unbalanced. I need to crop to a 4X6 format but I can't seem to
    >>>get it right. Either too much of the sky gets cut or too much of the
    >>>water is left leaving a horizon right in the middle of the picture.
    >>>Any advice?
    >>>
    >>>http://outdoors.webshots.com/album/568938237EVjshK

    >>
    >>
    >> First of all, straighten that image. You have a nice equidistant far
    >> shoreline
    >> for this purpose. The slightest bit of skew in an image will be
    >> unconsciously
    >> perceived by the viewer as "something's not right", but may not be able to
    >> pin
    >> their mind's-eye on it. It makes the viewer uncomfortable and they don't
    >> know
    >> why. Uncomfortable = not pleasing. This one needed a counter-clockwise
    >> rotation
    >> by 0.77 degrees.
    >>
    >> Use your rotation tool so it fills in the new border after rotation with
    >> solid
    >> black. This is usually done by just selecting the darkest value in you
    >> image as
    >> your editor's background color. In this case black is black. This will
    >> give you
    >> a little more border to work with at the bottom later when cropping, and
    >> it
    >> needs that little extra black there.
    >>
    >> The image is "okay" but it can be a little more by doing a couple of
    >> things.
    >> (It's basic stock-photography so there's not a lot that can be done to
    >> make it
    >> "spectacular", but a few things will help to make it more pleasing.)
    >>
    >> Cut off the extraneous sky at the top. It bores the eye and it's an easy
    >> place
    >> for the mind to wander off the image. There is also a little too much of
    >> the
    >> tree clutter on the right. It detracts from the smooth tones and clean
    >> open
    >> expanses. You can use some of it to your advantage by noticing something
    >> in the
    >> sky in the upper-left. See that faint wisp of cloud pointing to the
    >> upper-left
    >> corner? Do you see a thin branch on the tree on the upper-right pointing
    >> to the
    >> upper-right? You can use those two diagonal features to help tie and
    >> balance the
    >> two corners of the image together. It's not so obvious that anyone would
    >> notice.
    >> A subliminal balance to keep the viewer's eye drawn into the image.
    >>
    >> Since you now have more black border at the bottom to play with (after
    >> that
    >> rotation), go ahead and include it. The contrast between that, the blacks
    >> on the
    >> right, and the lighter hues works well to frame the image. I thought it
    >> needed a
    >> tad more black on the bottom when I first saw it, the needed leveling
    >> easily
    >> creates it for you.
    >>
    >> See this example to how I would have cropped it.
    >>
    >> http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3069/3067833164_c4d8bd770b_o.jpg
    >>
    >> Doing it this way strikes a good average between the oft' quoted "rule of
    >> thirds" and the golden-ratio, putting the most important subjects at an
    >> average
    >> of their intersections. Note too the slight crop on the left. I did it
    >> this way
    >> because one of the clouds was trying to lead the viewer's eye out of the
    >> image a
    >> little too much. It's all subtle things like that which will help with
    >> composition and make someone stay to enjoy a photo rather than have their
    >> eye
    >> slide off the view onto something else.
    >>
    >> One last thing. The blues in the sky were rather grayed-out (probably from
    >> using
    >> auto-white-balance?). I used an editing tool to increase saturation on the
    >> blue
    >> hues only, and also darkened them a bit. It gave it just that little bit
    >> more
    >> color needed to contrast and balance with the oranges of the sunset. Due
    >> to JPG
    >> compression I couldn't select the hues that needed to be changed with much
    >> accuracy, they were in large JPG sized blocks in your sample image, so
    >> ignore
    >> that in my example where they become obvious when saturated more. It won't
    >> happen on your original (it not having huge JPG blocks) if you take
    >> similar
    >> steps. Darkening and intensifying the blues also helps to frame the
    >> subject with
    >> the blacks, again with the intent of keeping the eye inside of the image
    >> instead
    >> of having it slide off of an edge.

    >
    >This crop is better I think. But it's a pity you have to crop 4x6. It would
    >look much better cropped wide.
    >
    >PDM
    >


    I agree, that's why I didn't originally crop to 4x6. I didn't even pay attention
    to that requirement, I never would. I think the image should define the crop,
    not the other way around. That's always my first instinct when I or someone else
    says "crop this image". If needing to be printed the blank paper will take up
    the slack as white or black border if it has to fit a certain size.

    Here's the same scene workably cropped to 6x4

    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3141/3067441593_7d75e9c4cc_o.jpg

    And 4x6

    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3038/3068269428_dba48b1b1d_o.jpg

    To get the vertical crop some minor twigs and a small bit of half-cloud riding
    the right edge had to be cloned-out, as well as cloning in a bit of sky at the
    top to be able to get it to fit that proportion, it doesn't work as well
    vertically. Not enough image to work with. Needed more foreground. It could be
    easily cloned in but I don't know the experience of the OP.

    Like this

    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3218/3067468955_729c21e633_o.jpg

    But then you have even more twigs and cloud to clone-out on the right, as well
    as cloning in some sky on the top.

    Now that I compare it to the other vertical, this one doesn't work as well.

    Maybe a compromise between the two might land okay. It just doesn't work well
    for vertical.

    I missed cloning out that little power-line over the pier... Eh, enough time
    wasted on this.
    shane traster, Nov 29, 2008
    #7
  8. RickCanada

    Nervous Nick Guest

    On Nov 28, 11:52 pm, RickCanada <> wrote:
    > Hi: I need help in cropping this photo.  


    No, you don't. You can do it all by yourself.

    Uncropped, to me, it is
    > unbalanced.  I need to crop to a 4X6 format but I can't seem to
    > get it right.  Either too much of the sky gets cut or too much of the
    > water is left leaving a horizon right in the middle of the picture.


    > Any advice?


    Yes. Take up skydiving. as a hobby.
    Nervous Nick, Nov 30, 2008
    #8
  9. Nervous Nick wrote:
    > On Nov 28, 11:52 pm, RickCanada <> wrote:
    >> Hi: I need help in cropping this photo.

    >
    > No, you don't. You can do it all by yourself.
    >
    > Uncropped, to me, it is
    >> unbalanced. I need to crop to a 4X6 format but I can't seem to
    >> get it right. Either too much of the sky gets cut or too much of the
    >> water is left leaving a horizon right in the middle of the picture.

    >
    >> Any advice?

    >
    > Yes. Take up skydiving. as a hobby.


    Wow, Nick, that's pretty uncharitable! One of the few posts that
    actually brought on a good discussion.

    Have a nice day!

    --
    john mcwilliams
    John McWilliams, Nov 30, 2008
    #9
  10. RickCanada

    Roy G Guest

    "Allen" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Andrew Koenig wrote:
    >> "RickCanada" <> wrote in message
    >> news:...
    >>
    >>> Hi: I need help in cropping this photo. Uncropped, to me, it is
    >>> unbalanced.

    >>
    >> Crop the bottom just above the shadowed structure in the foreground.
    >>
    >> Leave the right edge alone.
    >>
    >> Crop the left half-way between the sun and the edge of the frame.
    >>
    >> The top is then dictated by the aspect ratio.
    >>
    >>

    > A radical suggestion--try stretching the image slightly and see if it
    > results in obvious distortion. Of course, according to some who have
    > posted to the "what is a photograph", it would no longer be a photograph.
    > Allen


    Don't tell them. Just let them live in their unreal world of snapshots,
    what they don't know won't harm them.

    You don't need to crop to change ratio. Depending on the subject, part can
    be stretched or compressed by selecting then "Edit", "Transform" then
    "Scale". It works well on water and skies.

    Roy G
    Roy G, Dec 2, 2008
    #10
  11. RickCanada

    RickCanada Guest

    Thanks everyone for all your efforts and answers. They were all very
    much appreciated.
    RickCanada, Dec 5, 2008
    #11
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