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Thread started 03 Oct 2007 (Wednesday) 20:44
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How to Crop - The "right way"...

 
taygull
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Oct 03, 2007 20:44 |  #1

Now there have been numerous discussions on do you crop "in camera" or in Photoshop. I've been in a thread for a couple of days where it is my opinion most photographers don't understand how to shoot where you can get maximum "saleability" and minimal work out of your print.

What I'll show is an example of why you should shoot "lose" and not "crop" in camera or frame to fill the frame.

As most of you know today's DSLR's shoot a 2:3 aspect ratio (same ratio as a 4x6). What I will show you is why you don't want to fill your subject to take up the entire frame and you should shoot so you can crop to a 4:5 ratio (same as an 8x10.)

Example 1 is of the image I shot and framed lose so I could crop to 4:5. This is the cropped version.

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The reason for doing this is what if the parents of this student want to buy a 4x6 for grandma, a 5x7 for dad's office, an 8x10 for the bookshelf and then maybe a 24x30 canvas or 20x30 print to hang in the hall way.

Here is an example of the loosely shot image with various crop marks. With this method I can upload this to an on-line gallery, the client can order any size they want and all I had to do was crop to a 4:5 ratio and I will never have to re-crop again.

Notice the lines on the bottom show where the image would crop for a 4x6, 5x7 or 8x10. There is minimal lose and no lose to the important part of the image.

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Now if I framed this to fill up the view finder it would look like this. Still a great shot but what if mom wants to order a 5x7 or 8x10...we are now in trouble. We can get a 5x7 but the frame might cover part of the head.

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Here is an example if they wanted a 5x7 from the 2:3 out of camera image.

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Now comes big trouble...what if they want an 8x10..or worse...what if they want a 24x30 gallery wrap and you could charge them $1200 bucks!

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I hope this makes sense on why you should shoot so you can crop to a 4:5.

I've shot events that had over 1,000 images of people at a dance. I've used this method and hundreds of clients went on-line and bought everything from 4x6's to 8x10's to wall prints and I only had to crop once. The lab did the cropping and I didn't get a single client complain because they lost a head or foot due to the crop.

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DwightMcCann
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Oct 03, 2007 21:11 |  #2

Absolutely ... and this is why we often want those "extra" pixels that some keep saying we don't need! I have a 1DsMIII on pre-order just because of this!


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sfaust
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Oct 03, 2007 21:27 |  #3

And this doesn't even taken into consideration shooting for publication, where more unusual crops are used all the time for layout purposes. I wish it was as easy to add masks or crop lines to 35mm viewfinders like it was with medium format cameras.


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deadpass
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Oct 03, 2007 21:46 |  #4

great point to make and it's something that any photographer that want to cater to the client should take into account. However, since I mostly shoot "artistic" as opposed to "archival" shots I sell a photo the way I saw it and the way I want others to see it. While it's true that I have less sales, I know the sales I make will look just like I want them to look.


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taygull
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Oct 03, 2007 21:51 |  #5

sfaust wrote in post #4059787 (external link)
And this doesn't even taken into consideration shooting for publication, where more unusual crops are used all the time for layout purposes. I wish it was as easy to add masks or crop lines to 35mm viewfinders like it was with medium format cameras.

My full-time gig is shooting for publication.

I'm thinking of etching my bodies with 4:5 crop lines. I know a few top shooters that do this.


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Curtis ­ N
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Oct 03, 2007 22:07 |  #6

Good thread, Chris.

I believe there are companies that sell focusing screens with 5:4 ratio crop marks on them.

Now that you have the cropping thing figured out, you can concentrate on learning to keep the camera straight. ;)


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sfaust
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Oct 03, 2007 22:28 |  #7

taygull wrote in post #4059955 (external link)
My full-time gig is shooting for publication.

I'm thinking of etching my bodies with 4:5 crop lines. I know a few top shooters that do this.

I used to do that with my Nikon F5 since it had replaceable viewfinders and was easily done. Not quite as easy with the new digital cameras.

Maybe another reason to get a medium format back I've be so good about talking myself out of :)


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taygull
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Oct 03, 2007 22:49 |  #8

sfaust wrote in post #4060169 (external link)
I used to do that with my Nikon F5 since it had replaceable viewfinders and was easily done. Not quite as easy with the new digital cameras.

Maybe another reason to get a medium format back I've be so good about talking myself out of :)

I'm not sure what is etched but I know it runs about $150 bucks.


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mcmadkat
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Oct 04, 2007 13:23 |  #9

I don't sell 5:4 ratio prints. No problem. :)

3:2 or nothing baby!



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notapro
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Oct 04, 2007 13:53 |  #10

mcmadkat wrote in post #4063708 (external link)
I don't sell 5:4 ratio prints. No problem. :)

3:2 or nothing baby!

I WANT to be with you. If I wasn't desperate to sell prints, I would be. I think everyone should switch. I've priced all my 2:3 prints at the same price as their 'traditional' counterparts. A couple people price theirs significantly lower.

The big disadvantage is that if you sell digital files, most cheapo labs don't do them for less than an arm and a leg, so your customer still needs the traditional ratios.


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notapro
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Oct 04, 2007 13:55 |  #11

Oh, and sorry - good tutorial for those who didn't understand about ratios and the ease of cropping when framed this way. Given that the whole world hasn't switched yet, and the volume of photos you do, it definitely make sense to be able to let the lab do the cropping.


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cdifoto
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Oct 04, 2007 13:57 |  #12

This is one reason I'm glad I moved on from the 4 MegaPickle 1D. Great camera but just not enough leeway in resolution. Sadly though, it got me into a tight in-camera framing mindset that I'm having trouble breaking.


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Curtis ­ N
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Oct 04, 2007 14:11 |  #13

mcmadkat wrote in post #4063708 (external link)
I don't sell 5:4 ratio prints. No problem. :)
3:2 or nothing baby!

I'm sure that's not a problem. If you're not interested in meeting your clients' needs, I'm sure they can find a photographer who is.

The 4:5 ratio really does fit better for the traditional head & shoulders portrait. There's a reason why the 8x10 size is so popular, and 8x10 frames are in abundance.


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notapro
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Oct 04, 2007 14:18 |  #14

Curtis N wrote in post #4063943 (external link)
I'm sure that's not a problem. If you're not interested in meeting your clients' needs, I'm sure they can find a photographer who is.

The 4:5 ratio really does fit better for the traditional head & shoulders portrait. There's a reason why the 8x10 size is so popular, and 8x10 frames are in abundance.

8x10s are yicky and so are traditional head and shoulders portraits. But people still want them. I just don't know why.


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Curtis ­ N
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Oct 04, 2007 14:25 |  #15

notapro wrote in post #4063981 (external link)
8x10s are yicky...

Please define that word. Dictionary.com has no entry for it.


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How to Crop - The "right way"...
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