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  1. #1
    equilution's Avatar
    equilution is offline dPS +1000 Club
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    Default DPS Member Survey: Composition vs "Croposition"

    UPDATE: Croposition has been added as a word on Wikipedia here. I created the article just this evening! Tell me what you think of my explanation.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Croposition


    ...as you know, I like to make it up as I go along. If you recall, I coined the term, "hydro-bokeh." Well, I'm at it again.

    Back in the day, composition was much more critical on 35mm film, unless you had a sharp pair of scissors, and didn't mind putting your picture in an oddly shaped frame.

    So now, I'm less worried about composition...I concentrate more on getting all the elements into the shot that I want. Then crop for effect during PP....thus the term, "croposition." I did a cursory search of the internet for that word...you heard it here first!!

    I'm trying to poll DPS members to find out if they think croposition is cheating, or if it's just a benefit of the advent of technology.

    Here's an example of croposition:

    Out of the camera:
    before crop

    Cropped for effect:
    _purple rain

    With the hi-res sensors these days, you can crop 50-75% of the picture away and still be left with a very nice, sharp picture.

    What are your thoughts?

    Thanks.

    Jim
    Last edited by equilution; 11-10-2009 at 06:59 AM.

  2. #2
    cphoniball's Avatar
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    I think, as with everything else with digital, it is best to do as much as you can in camera. If I'm taking pictures of a stationary subject, I'll get multiple angles and multiple possible crops. I also think it's important to pay attention to composition while you're shooting.

    That said, there are also times where shooting with the deliberate knowledge that you're going to crop later is valuable. For example, if I'm shooting sports where I'm following the player with a central AF point, then I'll try to shoot a little wide so I have room to crop for composition later. There isn't time (for me, at least) to frame for composition with sports. I'm focused on the moment.

    I'm afraid your term "croposition" is going to make people think that it indicates a deliberate laziness in not trying to compose in camera. But as you will.

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    beatles2's Avatar
    beatles2 is offline A day in the Life
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    I do it all the time. I don't think it's cheating. To me it just gives you more options.
    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/paullacroix/ Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans

    http://www.lacroixphoto.net/

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    equilution's Avatar
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    Default Duly noted....

    Quote Originally Posted by cphoniball View Post
    I think, as with everything else with digital, it is best to do as much as you can in camera. If I'm taking pictures of a stationary subject, I'll get multiple angles and multiple possible crops. I also think it's important to pay attention to composition while you're shooting.

    That said, there are also times where shooting with the deliberate knowledge that you're going to crop later is valuable. For example, if I'm shooting sports where I'm following the player with a central AF point, then I'll try to shoot a little wide so I have room to crop for composition later. There isn't time (for me, at least) to frame for composition with sports. I'm focused on the moment.

    I'm afraid your term "croposition" is going to make people think that it indicates a deliberate laziness in not trying to compose in camera. But as you will.
    Duly noted. I would certainly not advocate a wholehearted departure from the purist's form of composition...in fact, far from it. Most of what I shoot is purposely composed. However, to bring out the detail I'm trying to draw attention to, I'll crop, as in the example picture to draw attention to the larger drops on the left. In some cases, the lens you have in hand will not allow you to get the proper composition for what you're intending.

    Thanks for the comments!

    Jim

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    pjflan7's Avatar
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    absolutely not cheating........The whole intent of photography is the photographer trying to capture a certain scene or essence or whatever and convey that to others or just his or her own pleasure. That is why we have so many styles of photography.....some do people, some nature, some astronomy, some the abstract, some architectural etc......but what really gets me regarding the "purists" is that they use filters like the rest of us.....that is intentionally changing the scene.....polarizing takes glare off of what is there.....glare is undesirable so we remove it......that's cheating if we want to go there. Cropping is essentially another form of change....dodging and burning is cheating......we create what we want.....be it dodging and burning, enhancing contrast, saturation color, airbrushing blemishes off portraits.....We would have to throw out filters of every type, throw out photoshop....everything if we were to be consistent with the purist philosophy......which by the way I don't believe has ever been purely pure!
    Patrick
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    "All of that beauty is out there somewhere...you just have to get out there and capture it!" PLF

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    cphoniball's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by equilution View Post
    Duly noted. I would certainly not advocate a wholehearted departure from the purist's form of composition...in fact, far from it. Most of what I shoot is purposely composed. However, to bring out the detail I'm trying to draw attention to, I'll crop, as in the example picture to draw attention to the larger drops on the left. In some cases, the lens you have in hand will not allow you to get the proper composition for what you're intending.

    Thanks for the comments!

    Jim
    Agreed! Not sure if it came across in the first comment, but I'm not against cropping at all. Sometimes you see things afterward that you didn't see when you shot (happens all the time). And if it's a choice between being "pure" and not cropping or having a well-composed picture, then crop away.

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    zona5101's Avatar
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    Back in the day, I cropped or adjusted my speed weasel under the enlarger all the time. Same-o only my fingers don't smell like fixer. (i miss that sniff, sniff, tear)

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    eric_nelson's Avatar
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    I just started shooting a full frame camera and while I love perfect comp, I believe some of my best shots result from careful cropping and digital editing. When I started with B&W and developed my own film and pics, I cropped many of them. Now it is much easier but both processes yield better results.

    I think the true art comes when you are able to take a simple picture from the camera and make a masterpiece during post process....so NOT CHEATING.

    Great question though!

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    plangereis's Avatar
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    Nice post, Jim. I like the idea of croposition. I mean, why not. It does not mean that you should crop down to only a smallish portion (large crop) of a photo, although I admit to doing this once or twice to get an interesting smaller area of a photo because I realized after the "shooting session" that the whole original composition was not working as well as I had planned, but to refine the composition to exactly what you wanted.
    For instance, if I think about my 40D, and the increase in the area of the actual image once I get it into my computer (the viewfinder shows only 96% of the actual image...approximately), I usually trim the excess I did not see in the viewfinder as I did not intend it to be in the photo in the first place. . I try to calculate this extra bit when I am framing at the time of the shoot, but usually I do not get it exactly the way i intended, hence the crop to tweak composition becomes the norm in most cases.
    I have no problem with doing it. Today's high resolution DSLR's allow that latitude, as far as I am concerned, so why not take advantage of this opportunity. Like I said earlier, as long as you're not cropping most of the photo, what is the problem. This is using a kind of technology at the fullest. I mean, why else would they provide a cropping/ straightening option in programs such as Photoshop, Aperture, and Lightroom etc? No brainer for me on this one, although i am sure you will get the camp of "purists", which I thought I was, initially, that would most likely disagree with this thinking. One man's two cents worth. Cheers, mate.
    Paul
    "Photography is like any other art...It reflects an individuals vision of life." My flickr

    Gear: Canon 40D/ Sigma 18-50 f2.8 macro lens/ Canon 70-200 f4. IS L series lens

  10. #10
    Chewys Dad's Avatar
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    Well I think your new Digital Photography Phrase should be in the Next Photography book out, Croposition. Yes Sir! It's one of the things I love about digitl photography. Years after you take a photo, one day you look at it in a new light and bang, you see something all together different and when you crop it, it comes alive.
    I call it Selective Cropping (not my Phrase) but it's a valuable tool and is not cheating at all.

    I still believe that composition is extremely important and no amount of cropping can really save a Poorly composed shot. Well I guess that's up for debate.

    Here's one where Cropositon or Selective Cropping was done well after the picture was taken.
    [IMG]lotus[/IMG]
    Larger: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2476/...16a8d9f1_b.jpg

    Thanks for Starting this Thread Jim
    Michael.
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    “I will now take my Canon and turn aside and capture this great sight, why the bush does not burn. Exodus 3-3 (paraphrased)
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