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I often debate on whether or not to crop a photo. There's the part of me that says I should leave full shot and leave the cropping to the customer and some people like to see those big MB. But then I think of how the shot will look as a thumbnail among a few thousand other thumbnails and how you want it to pop.

 

Take this guy:

 

9532-sample.jpg

 

I prefer him cropped like this:

 

9532-cropped.jpg

 

He looks more camoflauged and as a thumbnail will stand out a bit more. 

 

Do you guys do much cropping, or submit as the photo stands (unless removing unwanted objects along the edges? I always wrestle with the cropping thing, afraid buyers won't like the smaller MB available to them.

 

Jill

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I try to crop as little as possible... on the basis that this is a decision best made before pressing the shutter, not after. If I crop, it's usually to make the pic a bit squarer.

 

I'm happy to leave space around the subject... but only if it's reasonably clear to drop text into. Otherwise I crop quite tightly.

 

I'd go with one version or the other, rather than submitting both...

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Remember that all photographs are abstractions. (Man, that sound technical, intellectual and much like total BS.) 

 

John, to be fair, you compose and you frame. Cropping is something done after the image has been taken. I don't crop much, and in framing I try to remember that the buyer might need to have some space to crop in order to fit the image into a layout. 

 

What I don't do is worry about cropping. 

 

And, Jill? What was the outcome of the tripod/monopod/no pod tests? Sorry . . . I see it over in the other post 

Edited by Ed Rooney
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LIke John, I try to frame in camera, but, using fixed focal length primes, I can't always get the framing as I want it. I then crop for maximum impact.

 

In the case of your photo Jill I think it looks better cropped, but, perversely, I would have placed the head a little closer to the centre of the frame. Can't explain why, I just feel it would look better.

 

I wouldn't upload both.

 

 

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I would have cropped, but slightly less - placed the head (nose, eyes) in the Golden Section / Ratio - perhaps composed in camera before shooting...

 

I think this is also, more or less, what Bryan meant...

Edited by Niels Quist
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John, to be fair, you compose and you frame. Cropping is something done after the image has been taken.

 

My point is that if you do 1 & 2 correctly, you'll seldom need to do 3... :)

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Your thoughts on how to crop this picture and the succeeding comments illustrate the difficulty of choosing  how to crop an image. I would submit the image 'as is', but if I were cropping it I would remove more of the snow to emphasise the contrast between the background tree and the fur and give space for text in a  light or white font., 

 

Overall, I think it's best to let the buyer decide how to crop as you can never be sure why a picture is being purchased and what the buyer's requirements are. The people who buy from Alamy are probably weighted more towards the professional picture buyer who is well capable of visualising the image they are looking for within a larger image and deciding on their own crop marks. 

 

If you are aiming to sell to a more casual buyer, say a blogger looking to illustrate an article, then the cropped and finished picture  is more likely to be bought for use off-the-shelf. However, I think these buyers are more likely to haunt microstock and Google (and possibly, in the light of recent events, Getty Embedding) rather than Alamy.

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I often debate on whether or not to crop a photo. There's the part of me that says I should leave full shot and leave the cropping to the customer and some people like to see those big MB. But then I think of how the shot will look as a thumbnail among a few thousand other thumbnails and how you want it to pop.

 

Take this guy:

 

9532-sample.jpg

 

I prefer him cropped like this:

 

9532-cropped.jpg

 

He looks more camoflauged and as a thumbnail will stand out a bit more. 

 

Do you guys do much cropping, or submit as the photo stands (unless removing unwanted objects along the edges? I always wrestle with the cropping thing, afraid buyers won't like the smaller MB available to them.

 

Jill

 

In general I wouldn't crop, the thumb will not be markedly different but when you crop out too much, as you have, you don't allow for banner (in this case) or skyscraper uses. By allowing a designer plenty of working background, you allow them to extend edges - for ad uses this can be very important and make a difference in getting/not getting a sale. Not sure in this case it would be as crucial but it's a general point.

 

Here's an example of a website that paid very well for image use and how they have extended the imagery (banner) to fit their requirements. http://www.spi.com/retail-service If you allow them to do that, you add value to the image's potential.

Edited by Guest
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I wasn't really looking on how to crop this particular image. I cropped him different ways and I like this particular crop as it gave the white snow for typeface if needed and I wanted to accentuate the camouflage aspect of the white wolf in the snow. I sort of wanted him to blend in a bit, as that is the point of him being white.  But that is an artistic and personal preference.

 

This shot was as tight as I could get with the 400mm lens so of course couldn't have framed it any tighter if I wanted. I don't think they would have let me climb the fence into the wolf pen to improve my options.  :)

 

I was really thinking of fighting with all the other thumbnails that are out there and as an example, how much smaller this guy would look in a thumbnail as someone is surfing through the zillions of photos. In a battle to be seen in the crowd, Decisions, decisions.

 

Jill

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While I try my best to get the image right in the camera, I also crop for composition when it's necessary.  The reason your second image is more appealing than the first is because it begins to follow the rule thirds.  I bet it would look better if the wolf's body was a little lower in the frame so that the eyes are at an intersecting point.  This would also allow space for text in the upper left....or if the designer flips the image, in the upper right.

 

Here's a good article....

 

http://thenextweb.com/creativity/2014/02/24/cream-crop/?awesm=tnw.to_t1yv8&utm_content=buffer9119f&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer#!zdKVj

 

As far as image size - it really doesn't matter.  The industry standard for years was 8x10 which essentially works out to 2400 pixels long edge.  Most images here are going to be used on a website or on a screen rather than on a billboard.  At most, that's 1080 pixels long ege.

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I usually crop only if something unexpected has intruded into the edge of a frame -- e,g. a foot, hand, car, etc. -- or if if there is a distracting element that I can't clone out. Sometimes if one of the edges is really soft, I'll crop slightly if it makes a difference.

 

Ed, makes a good point about size, it doesn't really matter that much (with exceptions, of course) for editorial use. One of my images from a 10 MP camera leased last year for billboard use ($500). No complaints so far, touch wood.

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I think I prefer an intermediate crop somewhere between the full frame and  the closer crop!   As you say, sometimes you just have to go for the shot you have with the equipment you have to hand. I find it useful sometimes to do a square crop,  as I think some clients like this, particularly for  use on the web.  I have found that with some subjects, a square crop  can totally change the impact of the  image, so  creating a stronger composition to the regular 3/2 aspect ratio.

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While I try to frame images as I would wish to see them circumstances often demand a rethink during processing. At the end of the day I try to portray a subject in a context which, hopefully, tells a story. If cropping is part of this artistic process, then so be it.

 

dov

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