Wednesday, 22 September 2010

What A Difference A Crop Makes

I feel like I've seen that title somewhere before. I'm probably plagiarising it without realising, so I apologise, it's not intended, blah blah blah.

Looking back over some of my older shots yesterday I realised I've unconsciously started getting into the habit of cropping a lot more severely than I used to. I've always been a big fan of bokeh and I guess previously took that to mean, I ought to include a lot of it in my shots.


Blammo - subject covers like 4% of the shot, and the rest is crazy blur.

In some respects a nice bit of contrasty bokeh can be kind of cool and interesting.


Here for example, I like the bokeh because it's quite contrasting to the subject and thus makes the subject stand out more while complimenting it at the same time.

I guess it's a matter of picking and choosing when a severe crop is necessary. All my recent hoverfly shots needed a close crop otherwise the flies themselves would have gotten lost:



The only problem with this, as you can see, is that on my crop sensor camera I start to lose some detail the more severely I crop. THIS IS THE ONLY TIME I WILL COVET MORE MEGAPIXELS. If I ever manage to afford a macro lens I will be able to get much closer, fill the frame a lot more, and thus won't need to crop off as much, thus losing less detail.

I even went back over some older shots this morning and had a look at what a crop would do for them:

Busy Bee


What was I thinking?! I MUCH prefer the new crop. Also I think I've grown out of that phase of adding texture layers to everything in existence, too.

A crop can make a huge amount of difference to your composition as well as helping you cheat a little and get more fake focal length out of your lens. I'm going to experiment a lot more from now on and try not to include bokeh just for the sake of bokeh.

I've said "bokeh" wayyy too much in this post now. I'm just gonna go crawl back under my rock.


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