Old 07-21-2009, 07:53 PM   #1
David Harrison
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Default What We Really Need...A HOW TO CROP BOOK

Yes, you could even call it HOW TO CROP FOR DUMMIES. But it would be a tutorial, a how-to, it would show examples, screeners might even chime in with some examples too of what it is they are looking for. And it would be a "sticky"...that is always at the top of the forum.

It would be a perfect place to show by example..post the first rejection, then the second, if any, and finally the shot that gets in.

Some people have the cropping skill honed to a sharp edge. Othere, like me, stumble around, maybe getting it right, maybe not. The better croppers have tried to help the others, but this would be a systematic way of documenting the skills of cropping.

I know for this picture, I've done everything but stand on my head and it's still "no go."

http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...&key=792088126

http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...&key=820811282

http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...d=711171&key=0

So, your ideas and opinions.

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Old 07-21-2009, 08:01 PM   #2
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I'm not a screener, nor do I play one on TV, but to me they're all cropped too tight to the train on the left of the frame. Not enough "breathing room" around the subject of the photo.

As for the "how to" book - you might want to try going to the bookstore and picking up a photography composition book. It doesn't matter that we're shooting trains here, the guidelines of photography (rule of thirds, etc.) still apply.
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Old 07-21-2009, 08:05 PM   #3
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Well, what's wrong with that is there railfan cropping and then there is what normal photographer's do. Railfan photos have their own rules that others that don't shoot trains think were off, They maybe right!
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Old 07-21-2009, 08:14 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by railfanzone View Post
I'm not a screener, nor do I play one on TV, but to me they're all cropped too tight to the train on the left of the frame. Not enough "breathing room" around the subject of the photo.

As for the "how to" book - you might want to try going to the bookstore and picking up a photography composition book. It doesn't matter that we're shooting trains here, the guidelines of photography (rule of thirds, etc.) still apply.

Thanks for the response. I've got both RR Photography by G. Benson and RR Photography by M. Blaszak. The term "cropping" is not in either book indexes...perhaps because digital photography was unknown when the books were written.

Another thought on the how-to...only successful examples would go there. Persons asking for suggestions about a particular photo would use the normal threads.

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Old 07-21-2009, 08:23 PM   #5
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Thanks for the response. I've got both RR Photography by G. Benson and RR Photography by M. Blaszak. The term "cropping" is not in either book indexes...perhaps because digital photography was unknown when the books were written.

Another thought on the how-to...only successful examples would go there. Persons asking for suggestions about a particular photo would use the normal threads.

David
Not a problem.

Might want to look for "composition" instead of specifically cropping. I don't have my copies in front of me right now, and it's been some time since I've leafed through them, but there may be a section on composition.
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Old 07-21-2009, 08:27 PM   #6
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Yes, both books have a lot on composition. I might want to reread that again.

About adding more "breathing room." To me that would be moving the subject more to the center and away from the thirds on the left side.

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Old 07-21-2009, 08:32 PM   #7
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About adding more "breathing room." To me that would be moving the subject more to the center and away from the thirds on the left side.

David
Yes, that's correct, but not too close to dead center. Keep the subject to the left of the frame, but closer to the center. It just looks crowded the way it's presented now.
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Old 07-21-2009, 08:53 PM   #8
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Hi David,

Just google "Rule of Thirds". Read the pages you get as results. They will typically have diagrams that depict cross-hairs on the "third points"....points one third of the way from top to bottom or from right to left. You'll want to crop so that your subject....typically a locomotive....is sitting on or near one of those key "third points". Once you look at one of those diagrams and then look at some accepted shots, you'll see that for most photos, it's easy. Note that I say "most". Now and then, the rule can be tricky to apply.
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Old 07-21-2009, 10:13 PM   #9
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Opened up the left side and received.....you guessed it...Bad Cropping. What do they want???

http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...&key=554112048


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Old 07-21-2009, 10:38 PM   #10
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Opened up the left side and received.....you guessed it...Bad Cropping. What do they want???

http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...&key=554112048


David Harrison
The far right is not worth the space( uninteresting) and its to close to bottom to work.
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Old 07-21-2009, 10:51 PM   #11
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You mean that nice salt box...the berthing marks for 6 and 8 car trains...the berthing safety zone in yellow, all are not interesting?? Don't leave out the Keep Out...Danger sign. (smile) (big smile)

But if I leave some of this off, it moves the subject in towards the center some more unless I snip some off the left side too. And if I snip the left side, soon we're back to square one with the left side "breathing room." I'll add a little more at the bottom.

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Old 07-21-2009, 11:25 PM   #12
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That was an odd framing as the train is so far down thats your killer, way past the 1/3 line, And yea the right side was and is uninteresting, needs someone standing or something. I tried to crop one for you to show and wasn't happy as I had to trim to much off to make it work. well add some to below and you may have something.
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Old 07-22-2009, 12:17 AM   #13
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That's interesting. So you would move the "L" from the left to the right side. Only problem is with that severe magnification, we approach quality issues of the image.

But maybe I'm learning one cropping rule. If the right side of the train shows, the front should be over on the left side and if the left side shows, like here, the front goes over on the right side. So I should've waited until the train got closer...I did actually...but shoot the front on the right side of the frame...I shot with it on the left and didn't leave any breathing room on that closer shot.

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Old 07-22-2009, 01:02 AM   #14
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Only problem is with that severe magnification, we approach quality issues of the image.

David
This is a train photo site so they need to be a bigger and a bit more centered but not centered. If the train is back in the shot a ways you have to find it with your eye fast or it won't make it in, but can be the shot you like to do, it just have to make sure you can see it.

Yea i know the way i cropped yours wont work for your photo(to small) just show what may work there. What killed the shot was it was to low in the framing.
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Old 07-22-2009, 01:31 AM   #15
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But maybe I'm learning one cropping rule. If the right side of the train shows, the front should be over on the left side and if the left side shows, like here, the front goes over on the right side. So I should've waited until the train got closer...I did actually...but shoot the front on the right side of the frame...I shot with it on the left and didn't leave any breathing room on that closer shot.

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Old 07-22-2009, 01:34 PM   #16
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That was an odd framing as the train is so far down thats your killer, way past the 1/3 line, And yea the right side was and is uninteresting, needs someone standing or something. I tried to crop one for you to show and wasn't happy as I had to trim to much off to make it work. well add some to below and you may have something.


Thanks milwman...that was a real winning call.

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Thanks again. Now how about the idea of tutorial stickies or maybe even a new category on the forum?

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Old 07-22-2009, 10:43 PM   #17
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Look what gets on here, thats all you need. Thats what they like but shoot what you like and how you like. No problem glad you got something out of it.
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