Saturday, 5 February 2011

Part 1 The Frame; Project:Cropping and Extending

Exercise: Cropping

Objective: To look again at three images and find improved or different pictures within them. I have chosen one recent photograph from a series I took for the different focal lengths exercise that I didn't use and two from recent trips to Cornwall and Montenegro.

4153: 1/320s f5.6 200mm

This folly on the Downs above South Harting was photographed at the limit of my zoom lens and more that half the image is dominated by the foreground trees. there is also some reflected light  on the right edge of the frame. I decided to keep the aspect ratio and cropped as shown by the crop frame below:

This crop frame image is a screen shot of the crop tool in use in Capture NX2 where I do all of my image editing of NEF raw files. Having saved the screen image I then paste it into a new canvas on Photoshop, save it as a JPEG and resize it.

The file size was sufficient to give a good quality image when printed at A4 size. I have put the prints in my display folder. The comparable sized image is shown below.

2441: 1/400s f10 32mm

Bude Bay: This was the first of four in a panoramic series. Taken from Compass Point in Sept 2010 of a clearing sky after a previous day's rain. I wanted to bring the headland and houses in the mid ground forward, lose most of the bank in front of me and the boat at bottom right which is a distraction. I decided to keep the two figures for interest. The rivulets of wet sand make dynamic shapes in the foreground. I have lowered the horizon and kept most of the sky.

Again, the file size was sufficient to enable a comparable size print to made and placed in my display folder:

2002: 1/100s f4.8 56mm

Alley in Kotor old town: This was just a tidy up, removing the rusty iron reinforced corner and pale strip of stone to the right and the part door frame on the left. I decided against maintaining the aspect ratio by cropping the bottom or top as I wanted the irregular vaulting and the multicoloured flagstones in the foreground to emphasise the height of the alley

What did I learn? Using the crop tool can be useful for tidying an image after shooting, especially when viewpoints are limited and you have to include details on the edges of the frame in order to achieve detail at the top and bottom of the frame, as above. Using zoom lenses can reduce the need for cropping if used well but making small changes to improve an otherwise satisfactory image can be easily achieved using the crop tool.

Extending: Image 2441 (above) is the first in a series of four that I took for a panorama. It is quite successful considering it was taken "freehand" i.e without a tripod.

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