Is cropping cheating???
I don't understand the various cropping terms..100% cropped and such, but I get the sense that cropping is looked down upon. Being a newb, sometimes my framing is off, but my subject matter looks good. I tighten up with a crop and the picture looks better in some cases. Is this acceptable? When I post my pictures will others look down upon me because I cropped? I know it sounds goofy, but I am curious..


Comments (16)

No, absolutely not!.

I always take a shot a little wider than I think the final image will be, and then crop it to my desired AR (aspect ratio). This way I can get the exact proportions and also leave room for any errors I may make if I tried to exactly frame my shot with the camera..


Comment #1

If you frame a bit wide, you may find that it's a more interesting image when you frame it differently (or even that you can get two interesting images out of one shot ). The subject you're shooting might need a more panoramic feel, so you shouldn't restrict yourself to the 3:2 aspect (or whatever it might be) of the images your camera writes..


Comment #2

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window..

Comment #3

Cropping is completely acceptable. What you see as being looked down upon is what's called "pixel peeping," where a picture is zoomed or cropped to 100% to be closely scrutinized for things such as detail or sharpness..

'I reject your reality and substitute my own' -Adam Savage

Comment #4

"100% cropped" means that someone has taken a crop of an image in such a way that the computer was NOT allowed to change the values of the remaining pixels..

This is useful when people want to discuss the quality of the output of a lens or a camera without posting multi-megabyte images (huge by Web page standards)..

It's entirely separate from the cropping you do for artistic reasons...

Comment #5

Get the composition the way you like it, but doing some cropping in post processing is fine. Sometimes you don't have a choice if you don't have enough focal length and can't get closer to the scene/subject..

Photographers have cropped with film for decades..

Best regards,Doug

Comment #6

Artistically speaking, very little, if anything, is considered "cheating". Digital photo capture, along with the myriad tools available, has made pretty much any *artistic* expression acceptable..

Photojournalism, however, is a different matter. I'm not a PJ so I don't know all the rules, but I would imagine that simple cropping is about the only acceptable edit one can make to a photo that's used for news purposes due to a crop being, really, little more than an after-shot "zooming in", if you will..

But even then, ethical issues have been raised when a PJ deliberately zoomed-in or composed the shot to avoid capturing something that tells a story contrary to what the shooter wants..

It's a murky area. But again, artistically, I see nothing wrong with pretty much any edit as long as it's represented as "artistic" and not as "news" or a rendering of fact..



Comment #7

The person looking at the image has no idea if it was cropped..

I can imagine playing a personal game which forbids cropping; in fact I sometimes play that game to increase my awareness of composition when taking a shot..

I suppose the judgment of what techniques are acceptable might depend on which you care most about; taking the photo in the first place, or what it looks like when displayed..

I most often think of pressing the shutter button as an early step in creating a photograph rather than the last step. Often I press the shutter button without looking thru the viewfinder, hoping the image I capture will contain the photo I'll publish...

Comment #8

Digirob wrote:.

Artistically speaking, very little, if anything, is considered"cheating". Digital photo capture, along with the myriad toolsavailable, has made pretty much any *artistic* expression acceptable..

Not to mention that surprisingly little is new for digital. Photoshop is named that for a reason. A lot of the filters are emulations of old darkroom techniques, too..

It's okay to be a purist if one wants to (I put up quite strict rules for my photography every now and then), but it's at the same time important to be aware that post-processing and manipulation have been with photography since back in the 19th century, almost from day one.

Comment #9

To star, re>I know it sounds goofy, but I am curious.<.

No, not goofy at all..

You've already read about the 100 per cent crop stuff. That's just blowing an image up really big onyour computer screen, so that you can only see part of the entire image, and can judge how sharp the image looks, whaen all you can see is a little bit of it, on a monitor..

And you can use the crop tool to save just this little bit, and blow away the rest of the shot..

As for cropping actual images....

In some parts of the photographic art world, some but far from all artists set themselves the task / discipline to searching out subjects, or posing subjects, to fit the entire frame of the film or sensor..

In the 35mm film world, many photographers used a "filed" negative carrier to put their frame of 35mm film into an enlarger. The hole through which the light shone onto the photo paper was filed a bit so it was larger than just the image area of the film, and so the "rebate" or surrounding area also showed up on the photo paper. Often the filing was extensive enough that you could even see the sprocket holes on the final image as printed..

Photographers using other film formats had filed negative carriers in these sizes, too, or used sheets of glass as negative carriers. AGain, you could see the entire image as recorded, plus exta area around the image. This exta area turned out to be black on the print, because no light reached it when the phtos was taken..

Often you see enlargements from 4x5 inch film where there are some notches visible in one corner. 4x5 film itself has notches cut in it, so photogrpahers loadingthis film into film hlders in the dark can tell which side of the film is the emulsion side. Different notch patterns signifyt different film types, too..

Lots of photo art books, and lots of photo exhibitions, have pictures with these black borders on them..

In the photojurnalism worlld, unless the photographer is trying to be arty (pictures on an "Arts & Entertainment" page, for instance, or a portrait of a person in the news, the photographer, or, more often, and editor or art director, crop freely..

There may be a decision, for instance, to run a shot the whole page wide, but only 3 inches deep. Or a layout may be set up to use four square photos making up the four quadrants of a much bigger square. Chances are very good the original images were not square, and the editor / art director cropped the images..

The commonly 35mm film format, and the most common digital SLR format is a ratio of 2:3 (height compared to width on a horizontal picture).

This shape fits 4x6 and 6x9 and 8x12 photo paper, so a photographer can use the entire frame without cropping..

But if he wants the very common / popular 8x10 photo paper and frame size, he'll need to crop one inch off each side of the shot, even if he keeps the entire vertical (8 inches) original image..

For a 5x7 and for an 11 x 14, cropping is different again..

CROPPING IN THE CAMERA sometimes a photogrpaher sees a subject and decides on how much of it, in what shape, he wants for his final image. For instance, he may decide that this nice family, with the dog, should end up as a 10 x 10 print to hang onthe wall. So he arranges mom and dad in the back row, the two kids side by side in front, so the parents heads are still visible, and puts the pet goat in front of the kids. Everything works out square, and the photographer just ignore the extra space in the viewfinder..

Finally, a shot my lend itself to several final versions. HAsselblad film cameras are (vast majority) square cameras, and Hasselblad spent years advertising the bebefits by showing a square image that looked good, and then cropping it twice, so you could also see a horizontal image fromthe square, still looking food, and a vertical image, also good..

So, no, feel free to crop, unless you've set yourself the artistic requirement to meet the shape of the sensor..


Comment #10

Digirob wrote:.

Artistically speaking, very little, if anything, is considered"cheating". Digital photo capture, along with the myriad toolsavailable, has made pretty much any *artistic* expression acceptable..

Photojournalism, however, is a different matter. I'm not a PJ so Idon't know all the rules, but I would imagine that simple cropping isabout the only acceptable edit one can make to a photo that's usedfor news purposes due to a crop being, really, little more than anafter-shot "zooming in", if you will..

But even then, ethical issues have been raised when a PJ deliberatelyzoomed-in or composed the shot to avoid capturing something thattells a story contrary to what the shooter wants..

Fair enough. But then the ethical argument might not be against "cropping" but merely the choice of what to include and what to exclude from the picture..

This can be done by many other means, for example by standing on one spot rather than another to take the picture. Or taking the photo at one moment rather than another moment. So cropping in itself is not the problem.Regards,Peter..

Comment #11

Dave Martin wrote:.

I can imagine playing a personal game which forbids cropping; in factI sometimes play that game to increase my awareness of compositionwhen taking a shot......

Excellent point you've made here Dave..

I *always* play that "game" because  as I've said before  I'm from the 'old school' and I attempt to use the absolute minimum of post-processing (which to me includes cropping), and get the perfect (LOL!) pic straight out of the camera..

I'll probably be shot down for saying this, but one of my pet peeves is the number of so-called "fabulous" images I see posted in galleries and on forums that rely almost solely on excessive post-processing rendering for their dramatic and/or aesthetic impact..

If you reckon I'm off the planet with this, think about the National Geographic photographers of fifty years ago who only had a handful of filters, and used the odd dodge and burn to tart up their colour images..

Cheers ..

Comment #12

You can do whatever you please to get the best image. Those who choose to do it differently than you and have a problem with the way you do it, that's something they will have to deal with. You do not have to defend your methods, do not even have to state what they are if asked. The result is all that matters. "I really like this photo, do you?" Those who press me about methods when I say this get told I used a camera like everybody else does to produce a photo. I am very picky about reproducing what I remember seeing.

Chances are almost nil that two people would even choose the same focal length and framing within the scene if front of them, wouldn't notice, remember and try to reproduce accuratelly the exact same details even if they did choose the exact same photo. This is the point of showing our photos, is it not? Do what you are willing to do to get the best result you are capable of and let your photos speak for themselves. Tell other how you get your results if you like but don't let them convince that it should be done the way they do it..

I take care to get the proper framing in camera but it is easy to miss things looking through a weeny viewfinder. A full screen view on my monitor of a photo that is purposely slighty wider and more time and attention payed to getting the best framing is a method I refuse to do without and is one of the main reasons I prefer digital to film..

It's like my decision to use raw+jpeg. At least half the time the jpeg is more than adequate. When it is not, could have been done better, I have the ability to do something about that..

As a film, digital, digicam, dslr,raw, jpeg user, it's quite easy for people to disagree with the method used to produce a photo that is hanging on my wall. I don't care what they think about my methods. I don't even care if they like it. I put it there or in an album to view often and am quite selfish about what I choose to print. I do however find that the majority of people really seem to like the photos I really like no matter how it was produced, will even lie to me and say they like it when they don't. Those who don't like it due to the methods I used are told to go do it themselves their way, not my way.

I also do more artistic abstract images with photographs as the raw material but I do not try to pass them off as accuratte photographs, do not need to because they obviously an artists rendering of scene. Some people tell me this is wrong. Yea, so don't do it then. But do you like the result? I do...

Comment #13

In the film color slide days, I took great care to frame the picture, because WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get.) It was too hard to crop the original slide - besides it would project smaller than the others in the same presentation..

But with digital cams, and plenty of pixels, I'm working on changing my habit, and am shooting more or less wider, including more of the subject or scene, with the intent of dealing with cropping, straightening, etc. during post-processing..

"Cropping" is no different than changing a lens on an SLR. Whether you do it as part of a shoot, or do it later does not matter, does it?Go for it.RUcrAZ..

Comment #14

Now thats what I call a real honest straightforward and legitimate answer. Excellent!.


Jim H...

Comment #15

I display my pics on a 16x9 monitor and rarely print. but shooting 16x9 leaves no room for error. I crop everything...

Comment #16

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