Exercise: Cropping

An exercise in cropping. For this exercise I dipped into my library of photos (well the last 18 months worth as anything prior is snaps!!).

This photo was taken just off the main square in old town Marrakesh. I liked the repetition of the phone shelters although they were in constant use so I couldn’t get a people free shot.

I reviewed the whole shot and considered my original intention (repeating telephone shelters) and looked at where a crop could restore what I intended.

The cropped shot then, when I applied the crop I found the lone figure walking up still in frame. I liked this, it seemed to add a bit of story to the shot without taking away from the telephones. Overall then, closer to the original intention but with perhaps a bit more ‘story’ to it?

A distant shot of the windmill at Pitstone (windmills a popular subject for me). Although I liked the framing, the shot looked like potential material for a crop.

I played about with various options, considered cropping the top and bottom away but I liked the balance of land to sky, nearly 50/50 so decided to retain that.

The finished crop then, I kept the path to the windmill to give a leading line from the bottom left hand corner. I considered cropping more from the right hand side but this just seemed to work and the windmill was less ‘lost’ in the shot overall without losing the feeling of breadth.

Ah, Boris’s bikes. Plenty of opportunity for repeating patterns although this was on a shadowy street on a sunny winter day in London.

I experimented with various crops for this shot, what did it offer. I decided there were two elements worthy of consideration. The obvious repeating pattern of the aligned bikes was best represented by the rear wheel mudguards, made all the more easy because all the bikes have the same wheel size. However there was a different photo in the varying heights of the saddles, in many ways in sharp contrast to the first potential crop whilst benefiting from the saddles being the same size, colour and construction.

Saddles crop first then, conceptually I liked this but the overexposed sky and building in the top right corner were a distraction. I’d probably try to shot this if (when!) I’m in London again.

This crop whilst perhaps more obvious, is my preferred shot. Interestingly it brings to life the one bike that hasn’t been put away properly (top centre) bring the shot a bit of unexpected variation.

A really interesting exercise then, these were three photos I’d kind of filed away as nothng special but with a crop, there was something else there I had missed on first inspection. Its also made me think about some of my framing and opportunities to frame differently in the future.