Greetings all and Happy New Year! Today we are going to look at a rotation and a frame fill to improve composition through the crop.
Here is our original in-studio capture. The model has a nice expression and the wind-blown, neck-tossed mane has created a nice swirling frame around her face. The original capture is deliberately wide because the model was well, wild. Keeping her in the frame was quite a challenge as she was all over the place. Compositionally, we nailed the Rule of Thirds but the picture doesn’t look as good as it could.
The big empty space in the upper right is almost like a framer’s square marking a smaller rectangle within the larger frame. It is too big, too empty, too squared to the image boundaries. We can chop it off or rotate it to change the shape and size of the space.
Any time you rotate you lose pixels and we are glad to lose them here. The image needs to be much tighter and compositionally we can sacrifice that waving hand out in space. The goal here was to unsquare that awkward space. I decided to make the topside of the sleeve intersect the upper right corner and give us a nice diagonal. From there it was just a matter of how much hair was necessary to complete the portrait and retain the wind-blown head-tossed swirl of hair.
The final crop is a much more dynamic image. The aspect ratio is slightly on the wide side of the original 3:2 capture ratio but works nicely here. I could sacrifice the diagonal corner intersection or the extra hair at left to make it fit a frame if I had to. But, I don’t so I will leave things alone from here.
The final crop rotation ended up being 42° for those of you keeping score at home. Who would ever hold their camera at such a freakish angle? Perhaps me? That is another story…
Rikk Flohr © 2013