Are five exclamation points enough for one title?
In my last article, I discussed the concept of cropping for aesthetics and what was the most radical aesthetically-motivated crop in my library. As it turned out most of them were Landscape crops. After writing the article and reconsidering my last line, sprinkled with Mark S.’s comments I decided to reevaluate crops from a vertical perspective to discover the most extreme portrait crop in my collection.
So just how vertical do I go with a crop when I am cropping for content and not to fit the space?
I looked around my walls and, in terms of custom-framed works already completed, 2:3 was the most radical ratio. In terms of framed art, I don’t seem to go all vertical pano on the crops. In fact – native aspect ratio seems to dominate. The 11×14 and 16x20s are common but they are cropping in – not cropping for.
I then decided to review my best images, my 4 and 5 star stuff from my library, to see what secrets they would reveal. What is the most radical vertical crop I have elevated to ‘my best stuff’?
This image (oddly taken with a 4:3 format camera) is the extreme vertical in my library. It is a 1:2 vertical that qualifies as a panoramic ratio (barely). It is a very vertical subject and much of the crop was driving by the lack of good space in front of or behind the subject. There was a lot of clutter and it had to be sacrificed. Another interesting tidbit: this was a JPEG capture due to having set my camera inadvertently to full auto.
Unlike in the horizontal or landscape crop, where I will go often to 2.5:1, 3:1 or even approaching 5:1, when it comes to portraits, I tend to top around 1:2 aspect ratio.
There must be a reason why I, and many others will go wide but not tall- at least to the extreme.
Rikk Flohr © 2011