Is It Cropping Or Framing?

One of the topics that often comes up during our workshops is how to crop a photo. Should we crop it tighter, looser or maybe more square.  If you are changing the aspect ratio to meet your expectations of the scene without losing pixels on both long and short sides, you really aren't cropping but perhaps changing the framing. Framing, more specifically, making a conscious decision on what you show to the viewer, is one of our most creative tools if we think about it in those terms. And, one which needs to be used with a soft touch.  What I mean by that is to be careful about"cropping in" too much thereby diminishing the quality of your images by diminishing the pixel count. This has the danger of yielding a print that is limited in size you can enlarge, have a danger of banding in your skies, etc. This is most often avoided by using the correct lens choice at the time or moment of capture.

Canon's 300mm f2.8 L series lens was responsible for all of this great sharpness and eliminated my need to "crop in" later.

Much like the old days of film photography, when you enlarge too much or just use a small area o of the negative, quality will generally suffer. However, a little creative framing of your picture can really bring it to life and show the viewer something unique or give one of those "hey what a cool idea" thoughts...

Here are a few from our recent workshop to Fossil Rim, Texas with our great friend Laurie Rubin. We had a fantastic group of students and the private trucks we hired proved to be just the right touch to get up close and personal with these great animals. The guides were also spectacular. Enjoy my odd framing.

This oddball positioning of the subject just felt right to me as I was shooting with my 24-70mm 2.8 lens. I had it vertical with him in the center, then turned horizontal with him in the center, then just kept moving and moving and I didn't like any of them....and then I captured this in the camera and just kind of smiled. 

Nothing wrong with a good square from time to time...