18 Jan 2010

Exercise: Cropping

This task requires me to look back to a few old photos and re-crop them to improve their appearance and offer a fresh approach to the image.

1/125, f7.1, ISO400, 58mm

This image of an Australian aboriginal playing a didgeridoo abounds with clutter, much of it being modern day that detracts from the traditional image that I wanted to portray.  A tighter crop allows me to remove much of it and concentrate on the wizened features of the player.

 1/30, f3.5, ISO100, 33mm
Here is a shot of some grave stones in the old cemetery of Boston, MA.  Nearby is the grave of Paul Revere.  This shot of some of the broken headstones shows a rather remote image of the subject with a lot of dead leaves around and the unwanted corner of another stone in the bottom left corner.  A tighter crop allows us to centre on the rather ominous winged skull decoration and the word 'body' that jumps out of the text.  It gives the image more impact and interest.

1/200, f10.0, ISO100, 24mm
This original framing concentrated on the curve of the hedge which gives a natural frame to the landscape beyond.  It doesn't really work as the view isn't that impressive, being only a few fields and trees and being a narrow strip.  By cropping tighter I have endeavoured to bring the lady into a more dominant position and increase the detail of the view so that the buildings and the horizon are more obvious.  Also the shot is more balanced as all the action was on one side and it is now more evenly distributed.

1/1000, f11.0, ISO400, 275mm
This shot of the old parliament buildings in Canberra, Australia shows three areas of interest... the line of police men in their traditional hats, the white parliament building and the avenue leading up to the war memorial.  Behind is a large hill that is almost out of the shot.  By switching to a vertical format and closing in on the guys in the foreground  the image becomes more interesting as we now see them looking down at the people on the veranda in the distance all surrounded by the magnificent view down the avenue.  It gives the shot much more interest and makes it easier to concentrate on the points of interest.

I may have fallen into a bit of a trap in this exercise as I have tended to crop in a conventional way and mainly gone from landscape to portrait to achieve the desired effect.  I think that all the crops work well but wonder if I could have been a bit more imaginative in my choice of photographs and options for changing them.  However, my first assignment is looming and I truthfully want to get past these exercises and start work on it in earnest.

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