Is it ok to crop a photo?

Is cropping ok in wildlife photography?

  • No, NEVER, it is sacrilege.

    Votes: 0 0.0%

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    33
Joined
Feb 18, 2015
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New York State
Purists are so boring! And self-appointed Guru's preaching from atop of their own pedestal are even worse.

I have always done whatever it takes (in either the darkroom or with software) to show the world my personal vision of my World and I hope that others may derive pleasure from my photographs.

If others enjoy sharing my viewpoint, that is terrific; and if they hate my individual view of the world that is absolutely fine by me too.

For paying customers, I do try to satisfy their needs as well as my own and that somehow has always worked out quite well over the years too.
 
Joined
May 27, 2005
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Clearwater, Florida
I just now read Moose's article and I'm surprised at so many of the negative reactions to it. Consider that Moose is only saying that he takes this stance for himself and doesn't impose it on anyone else. One of his primary reasons for not cropping is to develop and maintain discipline because, for him, doing so leads to producing better photos. The other primary reason is that not cropping fills an emotional need for him. Notice that he also admits that he is a nut, at least with regard to his position on whether to crop.

True, he does admit that he is a nut. However, I think there is an unspoken disdain for others who do crop inherent in his musings. I believe he thinks "croppers" are lesser photographers.
 

Butlerkid

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I do everything I possibly can to create my composition in camera whenever possible. THIS image was framed in camera and it was very, very tough to shoot portrait orientation with that long neck and bobbing head! LOL! However, I often adjust the crop to a square, pano, or bring in the sides a bit in post to refine a composition. However, I will not crop so much that the size of my image is unusuable except as a smallish 100 ppi image on the internet. That's just me. The IQ does deteriorate with signficant cropping. Some folks get in a dither about not identifying zoo animals as opposed to animals photographed in the wild. Some folks rail against those that bait their subjects. Some folks get irked if flash is used on some birds and/or animals. Some folks get upset if there has been cloning, compositing or other adjustments to the image. Some folks worry about cropping.

Life is too short. I think each of us should make our own decisions for our own images and should not worry about what others do with their images.
 
I crop my images as I feel may be needed for whatever reasons: aesthetic, functional, etc. One reason I am so pleased with my A7R IV is that it provides me plenty of megapixels with which to work, lots of good resolution, and although I do indeed try to "crop in camera," shoot the scene as accurately as possible, there are definitely times when that just doesn't work and then one does need to do some judicious cropping.
 
Joined
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Randy
I never crop.
I also never adjust white balance.
I also never sharpen.
I also never raise shadows, or add contrast, or clarity.
I also only use one shutter speed.
I never change my aperture.
I only use one focal length (zooms are for wusses).
Heck sometimes I don't even use a lens.

Why
 
Joined
Jul 8, 2019
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SF Bay Area, California, USA
For wildlife photographers and hunters, there has always been the difference in attitude and approach, between using fieldcraft to get closer to the subject vs. "sniping" from FAR away.

Me, I'm a suburbanite, with ZERO fieldcraft skills. So I will go the route of a LONG lens and/or crop.

One thing that I've learned is if I crop TIGHT in the camera, I've limited my options later.
Often, I make several different crops out of the same image. So shooting wider gives me more options.

Obviously that depends on the shoot and the shot. If my task is to shoot a head and shoulders shot, I am NOT going to do a full length shot, to crop into for the head and shoulder image. Instead, if I wanted a full length alternate, I would shoot a separate full length shot.

And if you shoot for a publication, you have no idea what size format the final image will be, so leaving room to crop is a necessity.
Example1 - I've seen editors cut of the top/bottom of a head because the image was not wide enough for the picture box on the page.
Example2 - You shoot a full frame image 2:3 ratio. But the picture box on the page is a square. So the editor crops off one or both long ends, to make a square.

Let's get back to most people.
If you shoot a family group pix full frame, then give the file to the client/your friend.
The client/friend will have a HARD time finding a 2:3 ratio picture frame, and will have to resort to expensive custom framing. Try finding a frame for an 8x12 print at the local stores.
I shot a company group pic, FULL FRAME, and had to have a custom full frame print made, then a $$$ custom frame made for that pic. This was all because the shot did not fit a standard 16x20 print. The cost was "pocket change" to the company, so they did not care. But it showed me how expensive a non-standard format print could be.
 
Joined
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Newcastle, Washington
"Life is too short. I think each of us should make our own decisions for our own images and should not worry about what others do with their images."

Completely agree with Karen's comments above on this subject. I don't think twice about cropping, I usually have bigger issues to contend with in my images.


Karen
 
Joined
Oct 9, 2005
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Moscow, Idaho
Here is an example:

1. The original (Tyne Cot Cemetery, the largest Commonwealth War Cemetery. It's a WW1 memorial near Ypers, Belgium)
Belg473_2_DxO.jpg
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2. Someone here asked for a close-up of the memorial (MIke B, I believe), and through the magic of cropping (thanks too to Nikon for their D850):

Belg473_1_DxO.jpg
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Joined
Dec 7, 2005
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MN, USA
As Nick suggests, it's a relatively sad attempt at humor.

For me this goes in the same file as the "primes make you a better photographer" acolytes. I always want to ask "Well wouldn't one aperture setting, or one speed setting, or one ISO setting also make you a better photographer?"

I think the answer is no and yes. No, just using one focal length, or f-stop, or shutter speed (and apparently one crop setting - we do have the option to change it in-camera), won't make you a better photographer in and of itself. But yes, it will probably make you a more disciplined photographer and THAT may make you more thoughtful, more deliberate, and more likely to have the image match your intention.
 
Joined
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As @ac12 notes there is something to be said for fieldcraft and the ability to get closer to your subject. There's a shooter over on the mu-43 that does an incredible job getting closer. But he (and I guess Moose) have the ability, time, gear, and/or get the enjoyment out of doing so. I don't have the ability, time, or gear as it relates to wildlife.

But for event? Sure never crop. :ROFLMAO: Yes dear bride and groom, stop right there in the aisle until your aunt/neighbor/third cousin once removed on your father's side moves out of the picture. :p And of course I'm always 100% level on ever shot. o_O

That doesn't even touch on album creation. Can you crop them out of this picture? That's my dad's ex-girlfriend's family we had to invite.
 
Joined
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As Nick suggests, it's a relatively sad attempt at humor.

For me this goes in the same file as the "primes make you a better photographer" acolytes. I always want to ask "Well wouldn't one aperture setting, or one speed setting, or one ISO setting also make you a better photographer?"

I think the answer is no and yes. No, just using one focal length, or f-stop, or shutter speed (and apparently one crop setting - we do have the option to change it in-camera), won't make you a better photographer in and of itself. But yes, it will probably make you a more disciplined photographer and THAT may make you more thoughtful, more deliberate, and more likely to have the image match your intention.
I take 1 body and 1 lens for wildlife and sports.
If I take a TC. I don’t take caps.
Changing lenses or TCs never works for me in the field.
 
Joined
Jul 30, 2006
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Southern California
The negative is the equivalent of the composer's score, and the print the performance.
Ansel Adams

I can't figure if that's the exact quotation, but it seems reasonably close... What's good enough for Adams is good enough for me. :)

I would agree that in some genres more than others (journalism, anything seeking to show factual truth), there should be much more care in what is cropped vs. what was originally shown, but other than that... go for it!
 
Joined
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vancouver, canada
The negative is the equivalent of the composer's score, and the print the performance.
Ansel Adams

I can't figure if that's the exact quotation, but it seems reasonably close... What's good enough for Adams is good enough for me. :)

I would agree that in some genres more than others (journalism, anything seeking to show factual truth), there should be much more care in what is cropped vs. what was originally shown, but other than that... go for it!

I agree with your paraphrasing the Ansel Adams quote. Cropping is good to allow one to achieve the image on is looking to create without being limited by the camera frame. There is an urban legend that a tourist who came out to Yosemite complained to a park ranger that the park looked nothing like the pictures of Ansel Adams he saw and to him the park was a big disappointment.

In Journalism however, I disagree with your point. The journalist does the cropping by choosing what to shoot and what to include in and exclude out of the frame. So, if you think the journalist's shot is accurate because it not cropped, you would be mistaken.

cheers,
alexis and Georgie Beagle

" I have the pictures so it must be real." - Georgie Beagle
 
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