Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Remembering to Crop in the Real World

It hit me this weekend.  It clicked with me that an important step in photography is important in the rest of life, too.

Photography is a multi-stepped process.  The stages a shot goes through from composition and the press of the shutter to final image is a long one.  I spend a lot of time in that process, and it's an interesting one.  It did not take long for me to decide on my favorite step - the one that makes an enormous difference, puts the image and all of its meaning into perspective.

I love the cropping stage.  It's not just that it's neat and tidy.  It is that, but I love the cropping step more for the beauty and meaning and clarity it brings to a photograph, a moment, a memory.  In cropping a photograph, the unneeded part is cut away, the image is put in its best light and the photograph suddenly comes to life.   For me, it is always the most amazing part of the journey.

Cropping a photo is an intentional way to create something more meaningful.

Cropping makes this photo . . .

become this image.

And this one . . .

become this . . . 

And this one . . . 

become this.

Cropping helps the photographer/editor focus on what's really important.  It helps us point the energy and call attention in a certain direction.

Cropping gets rid of the negative or unneeded parts of the photo.

Cropping puts a border on the junk that snuck into the photo.

Often cropping takes a snapshot and makes art.

Cropping is intentional.  Cropping takes time.  It takes thought and direction, and it makes the editor decide on what is the most vital part of the piece.

I've been wondering over the last few days about the way I should use what I know about cropping in the other parts of my world.  I've been running through the steps in my mind's eye and it seems to be a good tool to use . . . all of the time . . . not just with important photos.

How do you see it?

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