8 comments on “Crop Shop: A Tale of Two Squirrels

  1. For me, I am drawn to the top photo (squirrel on right) not due to the lighting, but because of the squirrel’s visible eye (aren’t most of us drawn to a subject’s eyes first?)… The squirrel’s eye could be looking towards the open space to the left making ME want to look that way, too. That adds to the story of the photo (danger? food? a good-looking squirrel 🙂 The photo cropped with the squirrel on the left leaves me feeling “blocked” from knowing what’s going on.

  2. I don’t love either of them. I prefer the top photo for the same reason as petershelly — the lit side is towards the inside. But the rest of the composition favors the bottom photo — the entire shadow of the squirrel is visible, and the highlight in the background adds some balance, where the top photo is very unbalanced in the upper half. If only the camera position could have been moved to camera right…

    • I don’t love either of them either, Mark. They merely illustrate the point. The final crop of the image is actually very different from these two alternatives.

  3. I actually prefer the bottom crop. The body position of the squirrel (and the lighting) make the squirrel look like it is leaning to the left edge of the frame. When combined with the shadow angling to its lower right, this gives the image a strong diagonal line that makes it more dynamic to me.

    • I agree that the shapes of the shadows and light have to be considered here. Mike’s right about how the shadow of the squirrel leads us back into the frame on the bottom photo. But this fights against the lit side of the squirrel’s face which causes us to want to look in the opposite direction of the shadow. Which gets us to a photo where there is tension that’s pulling us in two different directions. That could be a dynamic feeling in some photos, but in this one it’s a dissonant feeling and so “I don’t love either one” seems pretty on target.
      Interesting that in the final follow-up crop, the tree branch angling to the left works to balance the strong squirrel’s shadow moving to the right. So now the dissonance is resolved and balance restored. Better photo for sure.

  4. Pingback: Crop Shop: Antenna Management for Better Reception | Holy Crop!

  5. Coming late to the party – my preference is for the bottom image. Not sure if it’s because as westerners we are more likely to look at something from left to right rather than the other way around. And I think I would have preferred if the squirrel was located more on the lower left Rule of Thirds power spot.

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