Just a very short post today. Just thinking out loud, actually, but a thought I would like to put out here nonetheless.
Cropping. A word and deed that can cause controversy in some photographic circles. For some, cropping their images is just a matter of course. For others it is sacrilege and must be avoided at all cost. While others are neither here nor there on the subject. For my own part, I used to be in the “shoot it and crop it later” camp. I would frame the shot making sure all the essential elements were within the frame then take the shot. Later on in the darkroom (years ago when I had a darkroom) I would crop the image to more accurately fit the vision I had for that shot. Later, when I went to digital, that turned to cropping in Photoshop/Lightroom.
But then something happened. I’m not exactly sure what it was or where it came from but a a voice in my head whispered to me, “Why are you being lazy on shots you could spend just seconds or mere minutes on by moving and re-framing the shot? Why are you degrading the quality of the image by unnecessarily blowing it up through cropping when you don’t have to?”. It was true. I was compromising the best possible negative/RAW file because I was being lazy and anxious to shoot.
It was a few years ago, when I returned to film, that I made the conscience decision that I would no longer rely cropping at edit time. If at all possible, that is. What I have found is that my enjoyment of shooting has increased as I actively search for the right position to get the image on film that I am seeing in my head. There are times when the scene won’t allow me to get exactly the framing I want, but I fully expect that and have no problem cropping in those instances. But the days of shooting and cropping later as a matter of policy are gone and I feel I have a much more rich photographic experience because of it.
What are your feelings on the subject of cropping? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
God Bless and Happy Shooting!