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. BeckyB says:

    Wonderful cropping, all look so much better

    1. Heyjude says:

      I have a lot of experience in cropping due in part to one lady who insists on squares 🀣

      1. BeckyB says:


      2. Sue says:


  2. Suzanne says:

    Highlighting the subject gives the viewer an idea of why you took the photo. A photo becomes less distracting when cropped and irrelevant “things” have gone.
    Like your cropped versions Jude.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thank you Suzanne.

    2. Su Leslie says:

      What she said. That’s pretty much what I was thinking too!

      1. Heyjude says:

        And thank you too 😘

  3. That was interesting. I crop quite a lot. I think I remember Tony Hart or someone else doing something similar with drawings, moving a frame to highlight different sections.

    1. Heyjude says:

      I am a lot more conscious of how I frame the shot now than I used to, but sometimes you just have to see an image back on a larger screen to notice something you didn’t on the viewer.

  4. PedroL says:

    When crop is well done can turn a regular image into a good one πŸ™‚ we’ll done! stay safe and greetings from Portugal, PedroL

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thank you.

      1. PedroL says:

        πŸ™‚ PedroL

        1. Murtagh's Meadow says:

          Great examples.

        2. Heyjude says:

          Thank you!

  5. restlessjo says:

    I always think it’s a form of cheating, but I do it all the time. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ As I remarked to Tina, a photo very often doesn’t tell the whole story. You can crop out anything ugly. The luxury of a beach to yourself, Jude!

    1. Heyjude says:

      It’s not at all cheating Jo. It’s simply a case of focusing on what you want the photo to tell people. And yes, there was plenty of room on that beach though one idiot fella (old bloke too who ought to have had more sense) came far too close when I was sitting on a rock.

      1. restlessjo says:

        Sitting on a rock!!!! Our maritime police have been scooting about on uad bikes (oops, forgot! πŸ™‚ ) moving people on if they loiter.

        1. Heyjude says:

          Boris says we are allowed to sunbathe or sit on a bench now. As you know I always follow the rules 😜

        2. restlessjo says:

          Boris talks out of his… if you’ll forgive my rudeness. πŸ€­πŸ’•

        3. Heyjude says:

          Ooh…. I am shocked 😲

        4. restlessjo says:


        5. Sue says:

          No you aren’t, Jude!

  6. Tina Schell says:

    A lovely set of images all improved by your edits. I like that there was no major surgery involved, just judicious trimming. Well done Jude

    1. Heyjude says:

      I try and compose my photos better these days Tina, so major surgery can be avoided 😁

  7. lolaWi says:

    lovely cropped images! cropping enhances photographs. i do it a lot! πŸ™‚

    1. Heyjude says:

      It’s a useful tool to have in the toolbox πŸ˜‰

  8. pommepal says:

    All are improved and I like how you have shown before and after

    1. Heyjude says:

      I figured you need to see what the original looked like to decide whether the cropping improves it or not.

  9. That gorgeous sunny day must make you feel that summer is not far away.

    1. Heyjude says:

      It’s been like this pretty much since we went into lockdown, which is why it has been so frustrating. All these lovely sunny days and empty beaches that we couldn’t quite get to. In fact April was much warmer.

  10. JohnRH says:

    Excellent examples. Well done. I like the rock and ferns shots in particular. Excellent colors.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thanks John.

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