Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Composition part 6: cropping

The sixth in a series on basic composition rules to further enhance the quality of your photographs if you are not aware of them yet - the first one, dealing with the rule of thirds, can be found here, the second one, dealing with the background choice, can be found here, the third one, dealing with framing within the frame, can be found here, the fourth one, dealing with leading lines, can be found here, the fifth one, dealing with viewpoint can be found here. I am using an article on the site Amateur Snapper as a guideline here, but providing examples from my own stream. This is the first of two contributions on the subject of cropping, and will focus on the amount of space around the main subject, either determined directly during the taking of the photograph, or in hindsight when editing the shot in suitable software. Many beginning amateur photographers tend to include too much of the surrounding, whereas the shot can be far more powerful if the main subject fills a large part of he frame. An example from my own stream (Up close and personal) is shown above. The trick is not to go overboard and leave insufficient breathing space around the subject - as a guide line, 10-15% space on each side will usually be a good compromise. Note by the way how this image also fulfills previously discussed rule: the head follows the rule of thirds, with the eyes practically on an intersection point, the background is contrasting without being too much of an attention drawer, and the viewpoint is lower than many people would use. In the next part of this series, I will focus on cropping into unusual shapes of the photograph.