Just a quick concept for today’s post: Identifying the Horizontal and accentuating it through the crop.
This is the raw capture from a recent studio shoot. Model Miss Maly, adorned in full costume, holds a Katana perfectly horizontal. I know because we worked hard on getting the sword level in the shot. Our model is pretty much dead center in frame. The shot is ok but it could be much a bit more dynamic.
- Space on right is not needed-at least not that much. It serves to center the model and we want to avoid that in most instances.
- Space below is not needed. There is little of our story there.
- Motion is horizontal. Crop can strengthen that.
- The eyes and the hands, key elements in the photo’s story, are arrayed more horizontally than vertically.
Items 3 and 4 tell me it makes sense to crop this image more horizontally than it is now. Our motion and our key elements identified. So the goal is to crop the image to emphasize its horizontal nature while taking away dead space below and to the right.
Rather than run you through my usual series of crops, I decided to go straight to the final image. (This was actually my first crop attempt) Just enough space was retained in the right hand margin to contain the pommel of the sword and allow for apparent motion. The bottom was cropped to contain the top orange band of the costume. The model is now just off center. I think the horizontal crop accentuates the line of the sword making it much more prominent in the final image. It doesn’t hurt that it slices the picture vertically either.
Look at your images and see what motion and subject orientation suggest. The choice of Portrait or Landscape should make itself evident.
Rikk Flohr © 2011