View Single Post
Old 12-26-2007, 04:23 AM   #8
Andrew Blaszczyk (2)
Senior Member
Andrew Blaszczyk (2)'s Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Marlboro, NJ
Posts: 1,956
Send a message via AIM to Andrew Blaszczyk (2) Send a message via Yahoo to Andrew Blaszczyk (2)

Originally Posted by Joe the Photog
I'm guessing when you say "well centered," you actually mean "focused on" meaning the train is the focal point of the picture. Because I know you have been part of a conversation where you were told that the train is not supposed to be centered, that you should follow the Rule of Thirds. However, to say the train should be the focal point doesn't really do this site justice. There are many photographs where the train is just part of a larger photo.

Here's my favorite example:
Image © Andrew Blaszczyk (2)
PhotoID: 209706
Photograph © Andrew Blaszczyk (2)

If the train is the focal point in my shot I rarely feel it meets my personal standards. It takes some truely awesome light or some other strange "effect" to get me to take a standard 'train shot'. I am a strong advocate for the Rule of Thirds and annoy myself a majority of the time by shooting the train in the middle of the frame and needing to crop to fit my requirements.

As for the photo in question here it reminds me of this shot of mine:
Image © Andrew Blaszczyk (2)
PhotoID: 178695
Photograph © Andrew Blaszczyk (2)

Notice where I cropped at the tree line and where in relation to the fence posts I put the edge of the photo.

It took me a while to figure out "dead space" and what qualified as being okay to leave in and what to leave out. It basically comes back to the idea of using frames.

Take this shot for example:
Image © Andrew Blaszczyk (2)
PhotoID: 159301
Photograph © Andrew Blaszczyk (2)

Although it doesn't follow the Rule of Thirds, I like it because 1) I'm not usually down in that area 2) Its a scenic shot. It took me a good 20-30 minutes to crop it a way that I thought it wouldn't get axed because of "bad cropping". The simplest "rough edge" on a photo can throw off its balance so its important to make sure it flows and is pleasing to the eye. It's subtle but look at the edges in the CSX shot. The left side is cropped just at the rock along the river and still includes some of the tree branches instead of being directly at the center of the tree. The bottom is cropped directly under the rock in the center of the frame and just above another rock that wouldn't make it proportionate. Despite the tree blending into the others in the background leaving a few branches visible balances out the right with the left side of the photo. The top was the biggest pain because in the original I included the whole 'dark' tree just above the nose of the engine. I had to find two even points on the left and right side to crop at so it flowed. Notice the top right corner and the lighter section of tree about an inch from the top left corner.

I am always this picky when it comes to cropping because I get distracted easily from what I should be looking at when there is an edge that makes me think.
-Andrew Blaszczyk a.k.a. AB(2)
Proud fan of the Sabres, Islanders, Rockies, and Lions.

"My camera is an artistic medium, not a tool of terrorism." Coming soon!
My photos on RailPictures:

Last edited by Andrew Blaszczyk (2); 12-26-2007 at 04:40 AM.
Andrew Blaszczyk (2) is offline   Reply With Quote