In the previous iteration of Crop Circles, I discussed, primarily for the sake of argument, the concept of the circular image. Though our lens casts a circular image we tend to capture a rectangular subset of that image circle. For now, I am going to drop the pretense of a film discussion and focus (pardon the pun) on digital capture. In an ancient Holy Crop! article, I discussed this in-depth and there is no need to rehash it here. Images, on computer at least, are rectangular. Even the circular crop above is bounded by a nice rectangular box specified in the PNG file format.
The impetus of this article is a casual email from a friend, Mark Sirota. Mark is a regular on Holy Crop! and a former victim in our Sharecropping Series. Mark, ever on the look out for another cropping article to shovel into my salivating grin, sent me this rather brief email:
An interesting topic for the Cropist?
Apparently there is a world of circular cropists out there-at least a small band of intrepid corner-haters. I would encourage you to take a look at this link and see what the concept of circularity (is that a word?) does to your sensibility. In fact, reading this series of posts is your homework and must be done before I can write the next installment. I will wait…
Like many of you, my grandmother had those old-fashioned portraits hanging in oval frames under curved glass. Any nice gift shop has an assortment of frames with oval or circular frames (more likely oval as that better matches the typical camera’s aspect ratio than does a circle). But we are just cutting circles out of squares or ovals out of rectangles to use the more inclusive term. (after all, all circles are ovals just as all squares are rectangles.)
While I still maintain that with the exception of a lens’ image circle that the circular crop is a phantom (at least as it relates to a digital file), there may be some of you out there who want to create an ‘analog’ (read print) and trim it circularly, and display it. What happens to composition when there are no corners?
Part Three of Crop Circles is going to explore just that. Is there still a Rule of Thirds? What about Grounding? Diagonals?
It will all have to wait for the next edition of Crop Circles in Holy Crop!
Rikk Flohr © 2012