A Case for the Vertical Panoramic Crop
In the article Vertical Leap, I discussed the vertical panorama. Due to a couple of queries, I thought I might take a moment and discuss what went on in my mind when I chose a radically vertical crop.
The image at left is a finished image of a flower shot from the MN Landscape Arboretum. The image was originally captured in landscape mode. At the time of capture it was simply going to be a frame-filling picture of a flower. I liked the colors and the arrangement of the petals. Little did I realize at the time of shutter snap where the image would take me. As I traversed down the country lane that divides my crops from one-another, I ended up with an image quite different from my original vision- a better image if you ask me.
The Original Capture
As you can see the original capture is horizontal and the treatment of the colors and contrast is quite different. When I began cropping this image, I sought to remove the distracting out-of-focus petals at left and the bright green stem at right. I still wasn’t happy. Then I started playing with the crop-making it first wide, then narrow. I still couldn’t find the look I wanted.
Deciding Upon the Crop
The eventual treatments for color and contrast were vaguely suggestive of a stain-glassed window. After doing the image adjustments to enhance the window treatement, the crop upon which I had originally decided was discarded. If my image looked like a stain-glassed window with regard to color and tonality, why not go all the way and reinforce the effect?
Stained-glass Window Example
This stained-glass window photographed at the Cathedral of Saint Paul is four times as high as it is wide. It is a working vertical panorama. It became my example upon which I would work. I set Lightroom to give me an approximate 1:4 crop and began moving it around my image. Ultimately, I found that a little (actually a lot) crop rotation was in order to get the most pleasing arrangement of petals. Add a little vignetting to suggest shadowed recesses of the stone-framed glass and you see the final image below.
Ultimately it took a rotation of 45° and a 1:4 aspect ratio to find the look I was after to emulate my stained-glass window look and feel. Even though the original image had many other possibilities, my editing style and choices along the way, suggested a new approach and cropping brought me the rest of the way.
Rikk Flohr © 2010
*Frame treatment added in post production with CorelDraw.