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Squirrel + Cropping tips?


Posted by CBoylston on Tue Feb 26, 2019 8:16 pm

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I liked this photo a bit more looking at in on my camera than before I uploaded it, but I think it came out well after the edit.  Its cropped about as much as I feel comfortable doing (roughly 50%).  When I took the photo I thought I was tighter than it turns out.  In cropping your photos, how much do you tend to crop?  I like the idea of not cropping at all, but I can never get close enough.  

Canon 1dx II
Canon 100-400mm II (360mm)
ISO 1000
F/6.3
1/500th

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by david fletcher on Wed Feb 27, 2019 12:51 pm
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Love the light and wintry feel to this Chris.  The only comments I can offer re cropping are these.

The First question for me is not how much but why... What is it I want to emphasise.  

Usually, it is quite subjective and personal to the user, so no real right or wrong.  Aka, in the above image, some may want to crop the right hand because it could be seen as the brightness of those branches is taking the eyes away from the squirrel.  

Others, may suggest cropping as a compositional tool.  eg.  a vertical crop with the Squirrel placed bottom right could be seen as emphasising the small size and vulnerability.  

Certainly, cropping is useful  as the internet/social media often leans towards a full on framed image so a heavier crop may suit more, whilst a wall hanger may be more suitable to a wider view.  

Sometimes cropping is needed too as a correctional tool.  (cropping out unwanted items, or correcting horizontals etc, but ultimately, it all depends on how you see the image you want to show..    

So my answer is not as based on how much, but rather the WHY... 
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by Carol Clarke on Wed Feb 27, 2019 1:59 pm
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Some very good points already, and I will just add that I prefer to compose in camera so that very minimal cropping, if any, is needed after the event. I love using my 100-300 + 1.4 TC which gives me the flexibility I need for wildlife photography, covering all sizes from elephants to frogs!

Your image might have some people thinking the out of focus foreground trees are too intrusive, but I feel its like looking through a window into the squirrel's world which is rather appealing.

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by Cynthia Crawford on Thu Feb 28, 2019 5:31 am
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I think you got some excellent answers, and it really is a matter of taste. I would suggest, for my eye, that the larger out-of-focus tree on the right be cropped as it keeps drawing my eye away from the squirrel. But I see Carol's point too- it is a very natural-looking scene, just as one might encounter it in the real world. One thing I tend to think about is what's around the edges of a composition that might draw the eye away from the subject, and even out of the picture. For me, with small subjects that I can't fill the frame with, cropping is usually inevitable. In that case, I very much like David's "why".

That said, I like the light you got on the squirrel and the woodsy setting.
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