View Full Version : How to crop this shot better?

Stephen T.
05-01-2007, 04:22 AM
I went down to this local spot in NJ where alot of fisherman go. I usually spend a few hours trying to catch amtrak going over the spuytin duyvil bridge. It can be hit or miss sometimes with the weather, bridge beeing open or closed and whether the train is running on time or not. I finally had beautifull weather today, thru the CPL on the 70-200 lens and went to town. Lens was set at around 100mm and f/8 or so. I didn't want a closer shot cause the apt. buildings in the background get chopped in half, the bridge looks weird. So i used 100mm too keep everything in the shot.

Is this what caused me to get "bad cropping" on my rejection? Here is the link to the pick.

Mike B.
05-01-2007, 05:22 AM
The problem is that the main focus of the shot is the road bridge and not the train.

05-01-2007, 06:05 AM
And there's too much dead stuff on the right side of the frame...

Joe the Photog
05-03-2007, 03:30 PM
I'm actually a bit on the fence on this one. It's obviously a wide shot, but I would not say the main focus is the road bridge. If you had zoomed in, the train would be partially obstructed by bushes. If you crop too much off the right, you then start cropping the highway bridge. You might try taking a little off, but not of the bridge or the building in the background.

I've had shots similiar to this rejected and it might just be that the train is too far away. A great shot, but maybe not rail picturey enough for Railpictures.



05-03-2007, 04:02 PM
Waaay too much boring sky, in my view. Also, it's hard even to find the train, given the highway bridge is at the lower rule-of-thirds level. I'd crop top and right, maybe not even preserving all of the highway bridge on the right end.

Even if the highway bridge were the sole subject of the image, I would still view the composition as quite bottom-heavy. So, to me it's not that the highway bridge is the main focus - RP has lots of pictures where there is a small train running through a big scene - but that the overall composition doesn't work.

Andrew Blaszczyk (2)
05-03-2007, 04:52 PM
I'm gonna be boring and just say ditto to everyone else's response. I would have taken another shot when the loco got to the second break in the trees/bushes. This version only works when cropped tighter as others have said. I know its suppose to be a skyline shot but you can do that with only a few buildings also; it conveys the same message. I will fiddle around with it at home the way I see it working.

Stephen T.
05-10-2007, 05:22 AM
i've gone back several times to catch another s/b into penn station. Today i used my 2x teleconverter to get a tighter shot. It helped, but most of the train is cutoff along with the bridge. There is 1 stupid lil bush maybe 20 feet from the bridge. I either catch the front of the engine appearing from the bridge or between. But the bush still takes up space when you are at 400mm.

Im going to go back tomorrow if its nice out again. Its been just so clear out with no clouds, kinda why the sky is lacking. Im going to walk down the hudson shore and see if there is any other openings i can shoot from to get more of a frontal shot. If not i'll drive over to the NY side and see what i can do there.

I do have another shot in mind from atop the cliffs but again, it will appear to far away in the pic. The bridge from the jersey shore of the hudson is just at 1 mile away.

Here is the shot i took today, a tighter crop but not to tight. I think it was around 140/200mm.

05-10-2007, 05:47 AM
This is new, I think:

- Composition/Balance: The composition of this photo is poor relating to the overall balance of the image.

Makes things clearer rather than 'Bad Cropping.' This should eliminate the whole "But I haven't cropped this image at all...it's straight out of the camera" threads...