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Chris' Camera Bag

A Photo Web log by Chris Young

Cropping With A Purpose

April 15, 2008 at 11:27 AM

Illinois Outdoors

  When cropping a photograph, think about how the picture will be used. Of course, some photos won’t stand being cropped in different ways. It would just destroy the meaning. Oftentimes, though, ordinary photos can be cropped in more than one manner - ultimately giving the photographer and editor more options.

  The top photograph of redhead ducks flying overhead at The Nature Conservancy’s Emiquon Preserve in Fulton County is cropped for one purpose - to serve as the desktop wallpaper on my laptop. The vertical crop below was how the picture was used in the newspaper. The ducks flying in formation made a pleasing graphic composition, and the empty space to the left allowed for the page designer to use the picture big and put the story and headline in the empty sky.

  Many photographers hate having type put in their pictures. That’s fine. Just don’t ever expect to have a magazine cover to your credit. Making space for type allows the picture to be bigger and have greater impact. It also is a fact of life for anyone hoping to sell photos for publication and for landing the highest paying spot of all - the cover.

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