cropping the shot


This week Patti (one of the lens-artist group of talented photographers) has asked us to consider the value and necessity of cropping a shot as a way to bring out its best qualities. I use cropping a lot. For Becky’s square challenge (usually posted on Travel Words) a lot of images have to be cropped to a square format if they have not been captured in the 1:1 format in the camera.

(Please click on an image to enlarge)

But there are other reasons to crop. In the image below I took a photo of the lovely stone in a Cornish hedge along with the native flowers which grow on it. The background of the farm houses and building and a smidgen of sea didn’t add anything to the photo and the textures I was wanting to show, so a tight crop was made.

After removing the buildings and the rock on the right with the blurry cow parsley you can focus on the lovely necklace of navelwort at the base of the rock, the ribbon of ivy and the relaxed frothy heads of the contrasting cow parsley.

A row of ferns growing in the lane also caught my eye, with the sunlight fallen on the new unfurling leaves.

Again I just needed to tidy this photo up to remove excess greenery at the top and right that unbalanced the composition.

This pretty apple blossom needed to be tightly cropped as it was not necessary for all the twig in the top left to be displayed.

And one last image also taken on the same walk is this honeysuckle in bud. Nothing major needed to be done here just a bit of a tidy up so that the stem on the right was removed.

And my final photo was one taken at the beach in Marazion today. The sky was a wonderful azure blue and the clouds fluffy and white. The original image was taken in a very wide panoramic format using my phone. It was a bright day and I couldn’t actually see the image on my screen so it was very much pot-luck! On downloading it to my computer I wanted to focus on those central clouds and eliminate the unwanted buildings on the right hand side. The bit of seaweed at the bottom was distracting too.

Take One

After cropping in from both sides and the bottom, using the rule of thirds to position the beach in the bottom third I felt this was a much better composition. And that annoying seaweed has been removed too. But the clouds remain the focus.

Take Two

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #96 | Cropping the Shot


  1. margaret21 says:

    Great examples, Jude. It’s amazing how effective even a small tidy-up can be. I don’t think I can join this challenge though, as when I download, I tend to crop and otherwise edit immediately, so I have no ‘before’ shots to show.

    1. Heyjude says:

      You could always take some new photos ☺️

      1. margaret21 says:

        I went out this morning to do just that. It felt a bit silly taking shots I ‘knew’ I would have to crop.

  2. beetleypete says:

    Nice crops, Jude. I actually like the very wide shot of the beach though. It worked for me, with that sense of huge space 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete. x

    1. Heyjude says:

      The sense of space was wonderful Pete. I felt so much better. We see a lot of sky here, but on that beach with all the sand and water was just so liberating 😊

  3. pattimoed says:

    Hi, Jude. I love how you approached this post. Great “before” and “after” shots. The crops definitely heighten the impact of your subject. 😊😊The apple blossoms are my favorite. I’m still trying to capture a nice shot of that blossom here in the USA. A work in progress!

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thank you Patti. I was going to use these photos (well not the beach) in my last #StayAtHome post so I luckily hadn’t deleted the original photos. Apple blossom is so fleeting and the wind it doesn’t last long.

      1. pattimoed says:

        True. One strong wind gust and they’re gone!

  4. Leya says:

    Lovely examples, Jude! Tidying up makes the results shine – and you have got apple blossoms…the nights here are extremely cold for May, so we have lost some of the glory. Thank you for posting yours!

    1. Heyjude says:

      The nights have turned very cold here too A-C, but fortunately I live a long way south so not as low as freezing point. There is a very chilly breeze during the day though at the moment. You really have to find a sheltered spot outdoors in the sun to appreciate the sunshine.

      1. Leya says:

        Glad you don’t havev the nights we have. Many flowers are gone, and I worry about the migrating birds that arrived a couple of weeks ago – no insects for them.

  5. The cropping hones in nicely on the subjects … particularly like that necklace of navelwort, the ribbon of ivy and the frothy cow parsley heads…. now that’s botanical poetry!

    1. Heyjude says:

      Aw, thank you Liz.

  6. Elizabeth says:

    I love how easy it is to edit photos these days. I appreciated your discussion of how you decided what to crop.

  7. Great demonstration of the power of the crop – all photos better for it, because the subject is purely there. Lovely writing describing the rock. And oh the problems of not seeing the screen! Solved recently for me by photographing at daybreak!! Although I’m about to step out into bright 9am sunlight now. Haven’t got my view-finder camera looked at yet – it fell ill in Warsaw nearly a year ago.

  8. Perfect crops, Jude. I love the honeysuckle. 😍

  9. Sue says:

    Great crops enhancing your image to get rid of the extraneous detail, Jude

  10. Dina says:

    Lovely to see the before and after, Jude. A good selection and I think the last one from the beach profits very well from the crop, the distractions removed.

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