To crop or not to crop?

I’m not a fan of major cropping – I don’t like to lose quality of the images when post-processing them, so I make an effort to pay attention to the framing while I’m shooting. But sometimes you have no choice!

Last week I was taking some photos by the lake with my 35mm and noticed some birds in the water and those shiny reflections: I took a photo. When editing the photos on my computer my boyfriend made me realize that the image would look much better if I had been able to zoom at the time I took it, so… I cropped! Here’s the result:

cropped (1×1)

Here’s the original:

Lens: 35mm – Exposure: 1/4000 – Aperture: f/2.8 – ISO: 200

How do you feel about cropping?

11 thoughts on “To crop or not to crop?”

  1. in agreement that it looks better cropped, more focus on the beautiful birds and you still have the reflections and the movement in the water.

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  2. I like cropping, many times I see that using the 5×7 that my camera outputs is not the ideal, one of my favorite ratios is 8×10. Square can also be great, of course!
    However, one care that should be taken when cropping for the sake of enlarging the picture is to keep an eye on things that aren’t so evident in the normal size picture…. in this case, the few spots with chroma aberration/shifting to purple in the water.

    Still a very nice and lovely picture 🙂 keep it up!

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    1. Hey 🙂
      Indeed, even if they’re quite disguised by the reflections those purple spots are there. Actually, there’s a way to reduce the effect of this on Lightroom by going to the Lens Correction menu and adjusting the C.Aberration slider. I didn’t know, thanks for pointing that out!

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  3. I don’t think we should be afraid to crop. I agree that we should try and frame our shots appropriately but sometimes quite a harsh crop can really bring a photograph to life. It often allows the viewers of the picture to fill in what’s missing and this can really engage your audience. This shot is lovely and in my opinion benefits from the crop.

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  4. because I am also still learning, sometimes I just don’t get “the shot” in camera, and might need to drop, in the end I think it depends on what you want the focus to be.. i think both images are beautiful. The original shows the whole picture and the cropped one give a great detail. I love this image and the sparkle!!

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  5. I think cropping this photo made all the difference. The sparkle in the water and the birds dancing on the water really took center stage…great shot!

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  6. Yeah,like you said I try not to crop too..but I only have a 35mm so sometimes I feel like I need to cut! lol Definitely, I have to upgrade my glass 🙂

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