Greetings Croppers. The Cropist has been AWOL again, traveling and shooting. It is time to get back to cropping. Here is a quickie to whet your cropping appetite.
We haven’t had a Crop Shop in a while so I figured we would dive in with an image from a concept shoot I did while in Salt Lake City recently. Below is the original capture with the post processing intact but cropping reset..
The first thing I see in this image is the need for some perspective correction. I am shooting high and wide and leaving some distortion. This is evident in the skewed mirror and the leaning walls. Correcting for the angle and the distortion of the lens is first because, as we’ve read here before, perspective correction is a crop.
With the perspective corrected we now have (mostly) squared edges and vertical lines where we should have vertical lines. Lets move onto the analysis.
Analysis reveals a few issues we need to mitigate.
- We have some perspective correction artifacts needing cropped off the top, right and left sides
- The above-mirror fluorescent light is too bright and dominates the scene. Crop it or subdue it? Crop it-it doesn’t add to the image story
- Big distraction is intruding from the right
- Dead space behind the model
- Distracting out-of-focus blob at lower left. We could probably lose most of the sink too.
- Model is slightly weakened by the position of her reflection. The crops should move her reflected face to a stronger position
- The space of the out-of-focus wall on the left can be reduced to hold the scene but limit the dead area
Move four edges in the appropriate amount and we find we have eliminated the bright at the top, the dead space at the right, the dead space and distractions bottom and left. In addition model Fayette Mariposa, is now in a much stronger position in frame. Her chin rests on the upper rule of third and her gaze is right into the left rule of third. The out-of-focus live model has just enough space to contain and define her.
A little perspective fix and four small edge-in moves strengthen and focus this image in short order. Now all that moody post processing we worked up can shine.
Rikk Flohr © 2012