Old 03-08-2009, 08:41 PM   #1
A Siebold
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Default Cropping help

I've a basic question about cropping I hope you folks can help me with. Generally I've used a, for instance, 4x6 mask for cropping. But in reading various threads here I get the impression that more 'free' cropping is followed. "No clouds, the sky is extra -- crop it out" (not a direct quote). Does that mean you just slice off the top? (Creatively of course.) Doesn't that 'unbalance' the overall size? Are there any rules for cropping I might find helpful? I'm using PSE7, but I don't think this is a software program issue as much as a creative issue. I used the PS help features about cropping but my mind couldn't quite find my answer in their answer.

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Old 03-08-2009, 09:22 PM   #2
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I'm not sure what you're asking, but you can crop however you like as long as the dimensions of the image you want to upload is within RP's guidelines (1024 x 683 pixels for example).

While this thread isn't about cropping, it gives an example of the original image and then the final/cropped image the contributer was happy with:
http://forums.railpictures.net/showp...34&postcount=8
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Old 03-09-2009, 12:40 AM   #3
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It is a creative issue. My view/observation/experience is that anything between a 5:4 and a 3:2 ratio "works" for RP, and I do not restrict my crops in advance (by forcing a particular ratio within PSElements) but rather choose what works for the particular shot.

As for what Chris said, for horizontals I set the horizontal dimension to 1024 and the vertical to a minimum of 683 and on up to 819 which gives the 5:4. For verticals I follow the same process except I prefer not to exceed 900 vertical, which gives a range on the horizontal of 600 to 720 on the horizontal. You need a minimum of 600 in both dimensions.

For some reason RP does not like square compositions. I suppose that, for just about all train shots, square is not the best, but on rare occasions it does work for me.
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Old 03-09-2009, 01:10 PM   #4
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Thanks to both of you.
I didn't realize I could crop by pixel - so I've changed my PSE to allow that. I appreciate the pixel ranges I can work with.
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Old 03-09-2009, 08:12 PM   #5
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I always find square or very narrow crops to be somewhat odd. When I compose the photo, it's done through the viewfinder. I try to stick with the original aspect ratio of my camera. I try to fit the scene to the frame and vise-versa. If I screw it up, I delete it rather than produce a hot-dog proportioned photo.
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Old 03-09-2009, 08:25 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Ryan View Post
I always find square or very narrow crops to be somewhat odd. When I compose the photo, it's done through the viewfinder. I try to stick with the original aspect ratio of my camera. I try to fit the scene to the frame and vise-versa. If I screw it up, I delete it rather than produce a hot-dog proportioned photo.
Since when is 5:4 a hot dog proportion? I do agree on the very narrow crops, but I do see value in square, however infrequently.

As for the rest of your post, my camera is a 3:2. My vision - however limited - is sometimes a 3:2, sometimes a 4:3, sometimes a 5:4. I see no reason to limit what I want to do to the sensor dimensions of my current camera and I don't push toward 3:2. I saw no reason to change my compositional approach when I upgraded from my 4:3 digicam to my 3:2 DSLR.
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Old 03-09-2009, 09:12 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Ryan View Post
If I screw it up, I delete it rather than produce a hot-dog proportioned photo.
Mmmm, hot dog...
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Old 03-09-2009, 10:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lock4244 View Post
Mmmm, hot dog...
If that hot dog was removed from the bun, would it still be considered a hot dog bun (aka an "empty hot dog bun")? Or would it just be considered a bun?
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