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Old Feb 22, 2010, 2:12 PM   #1
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Default Cropping for wide angle effect

While editing some snapshots taken on a recent outing, I edited out excessive or distracting foreground and sky to make better compositions, and, while not the initial intent, the result was an appearance of wider angles. The first three pairs were taken at the equivalent of a full frame normal lens (about 50mm equivalent). In the third pair, the cropping might have eliminated some interest related to the birds running up for a handout. The fourth is actually two different shots, the first at wide angle (18 = 35mm equiv) and the second from the same point, but zoomed to short telephoto (=72) and cropped (cropping the first exposure to the same width would have lost too much resolution). The last single photo was at near maximum tele (=330mm) and cropping top and bottom giveing the impression of shorter distance, and therefor simulates a shorter (wider) FL. Comments on the effectiveness of the crops appreciated (I left the post in the first pair to preserve perspective).
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Old Feb 22, 2010, 2:12 PM   #2
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Old Feb 22, 2010, 3:37 PM   #3
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I think you make an important point here, Penolta. Cropping can make all the difference between a so-so shot and a marvellous shot. In "the other forum" there was a thread on cropping, the OP wondered if people keep strictly to the proportions of the original. I was astonished to read that most of the responders did! Never understood the thinking behind that philosophy. "Less is more"!
For the first one I think I'd have cloned out the bird in front with the chopped off tail feathers, and the barely visible white neck of it's compatriot. The second one is just perfect with the front birds as amused spectators.

Kjell
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Old Feb 22, 2010, 7:53 PM   #4
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On the first shot I agree with Kjell regarding the cloning out of the two front birds. I however feel that the rock plus the two poles gives the picture a nice diagonal leading line of three objects and would prefer to leave in the rock and crop a little foreground and more of the sky.

I think that the feeling of wide angle comes from the fact that when you stitch pictures to make a pano you get a long narrow image similar to what you see in your crop and thus the feeling of a wider image.

In the second image I would also clone out the two front birds.

Just my two cents worth.

Lou
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Old Feb 22, 2010, 8:20 PM   #5
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Hi penolta,

I crop just about every shot I take -- it's always my first step in PP. I've even added 16:9 and 2:1 ratio presets to the cropping tool in PSPPx2 for exactly the purpose that you've illustrated. The only shots I don't crop are those where a critical element would be cut out of the frame, and this situation only usually crops () up while shooting birds with a prime, and there's no real choice. I shoot predominantly for prints, and the 3:2 aspect ratio just doesn't fit any standard American paper sizes except for 4x6, and I've little use for that size except for hand out prints of snaps from a party.

I do take care to compose a shot as well as I can. I am very conscious of my backgrounds and try to get the best angle for a given shot. I don't pose people when I shoot them, nor do I set up shooting areas for my bird shots -- but I do try to attract them to where I'm shooting when possible.

The only changes I'd make to your selections would be to crop out the right side of #2 to take out the car noses and also the right side of #3 eliminating the cars and the 2 guys standing in front of them.

The last shot is interesting (looking at it as a photographer) as the telephoto lens compresses the distance between the people and the waves behind them, but the downward angle cuts off the rest of the background so this is not so noticeable, and the waves look closer than they actually were.

Bottom line, I like the panorama-like look of the wide crops. I especially like them when using the DA10-17 FE and centering the horizon. This gives me the look of 3 1/2 50mm shots stitched together but I only need to take one shot -- and most of the FE distortion is cropped out.

Scott
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Old Feb 23, 2010, 1:05 PM   #6
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Thanks Kjell, Lou and Scott for looking and commenting. I do agree with your comments about cloning and further cropping to enhance composition. I wasn't preparing these as finished photos, rather as an experimental exercise trying to get maximum wide angle effect without cutting out any important elements from photos not taken with that in mind, but your points are valid. I have been spending too much time at the computer lately, and was just too poohed out to bother processing them further!
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Old Feb 25, 2010, 10:46 AM   #7
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I somehow missed this when it was new - thanks for posting these! I like how the wide view accentuates the lines of the beach and gives you that big feeling you get when you view an ocean (or other large body of water).

I often crop my pictures, too. So often I'm shooting flowers and they work well when cropped close, which often means square. And there's nothing to say you have to have a picture any set size - cropping should be done to compliment the subject, like you've done here.
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Old Feb 25, 2010, 12:26 PM   #8
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The crops work well Pen. you done good.
I think the last is my favorite, wow, what color!
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