Tuesday, 28 May 2013

01.08 Cropping

Cropping is part of the optional editing process which happens after the photograph has been taken. It occurs often in the print-making from black-and-white film, where darkroom development is within easy reach. Print-making from colour film is much more complicated, and most photographers resort to commercial labs where the process is taken out of their hands. However with the advent of digital photography, the editing process has seen a resurgence.

Cropping, or the process of removing sections from the image frame inwards, is very powerful because:
  • it can alter the visual composition and hence the message of the image;
  • design decisions can be deferred from the instance of image capture; and
  • it allows for new possibilities of composition to be explored.
The trade-off is that cropping is a subtractive process - there is a loss of information, so images should be taken in as high a resolution as possible. Excessive reliance of post-production processes, especially cropping, can lead to sloppy composition at the time of capture. It's always better to start off with the best possible original material.

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