Our theme for Photo101, Day Fifteen is “Landscape & Cropping”. I’ve selected a lovely landscape photo from my archives to demonstrate my perspective on cropping.
Photo 1 is my original, uncropped shot, modified only with a frame and my signature, as I do with all the photos I post.
Photo 1 is a lovely, but immediately I see opportunities to improve it. I must get rid of the unromantic cars parked in the lot at the right of the frame, as well as the snippet of a dorm building.
The results of the first editing (seen in Photo 2) crops out these unsightly distractions, realigns the shot to the horizon line, and omits some of the higher clouds of the original shot:
Next, I notice a white truck on the road in the distance, and depending on my subject for the day’s post, I may leave as is. But for today I want to see the effect when I crop it out. Since it is in the middle of the frame I must choose which half to crop out. The next two photos omit the truck, leaving a right side view and a left side view.
All three cropped shots appeal to me and my final selection is difficult. Should I opt for the wider shot that include a distant barn amid a rural landscape and gold-tinged clouds; or the left side, which emphasizes the road that leads into campus and the left edge of the soccer field; or the minimally edited full shot with the white truck as the focal point of the frame?
I opt for Photo 2. There is something broad and expansive about this rural scene, as the white truck traverses Undermountain Road. I wonder where it’s been and where it’s going.
The photographer not only sees the beauty inherent in a given frame, but also, instinctively anticipates the possibilities, when and if a judicious cropping technique is applied.
photo101: Day Fifteen: Landscape & Cropping