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Where to crop?

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steve14 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote steve14 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Where to crop?
    Posted: 13 July 2013 at 02:22
Over at my wife's grandparents farm house, I wandered out to the chicken pen to take some shots. These chickens do not cooperate with my photographic desires, thus I have to resort to cropping. My original shot uncropped is posted below.



In this shot I like how the tan colored hen is poking her head through the fence for a sip of water, so I want to isolate her. Obviously I'd prefer to have framed up a shot better while standing out there, but the chickens didn't hang around the dish for long so this is the only shot I have. The rooster in the background was very aware of my presence and wanted to be in all my photos. So I cut him off in the original shot and hoped he would not be too distracting back there. Below is my crop, with the thirsty hen's eye at the intersection of the third points.



Please let me know if this crop works of if I should try something different. And please be gentle - I'm learning.
a99ii & a77ii || CZ 16-35ii, 24-70/2.8, 50/1.4, 85/1.4, 135/1.8 | Sony 70-200/2.8 G, 70-400 G | Minolta 35-105, 70-210/4, 200/2.8, | Sigma 12-24 HSM II, 35/1.4 | Rokinon 14/2.8
 



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kenner1 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote kenner1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 July 2013 at 02:52
For me, I would eliminate the bird on the left altogether, but you would have to watch the edge of the bowl. Maybe just photoshop out a few feathers so you still have some space at the left edge of bowl.
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kerrath View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote kerrath Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 July 2013 at 02:59
To be honest, I prefer the uncropped version. It has a few things going for it that the crop doesn't.

The nearly square but not quite framing is unattractive to me in the crop. The leftmost chicken leaves behind a remnant when cropped, causing an unpleasant disembodied part. I think the narrow margin of grass is either too large or too small and should not be cropped at the bottom, or cropped tighter to the tray. The overall flow of the cropped version doesn't draw attention to the chicken with the head through the fence in my opinion, and seems too rigidly cropped to make it rule of thirds.

The uncropped version looks more natural and has a nice flow as looking at either chicken to its side makes me focus toward the central chicken. They're essentially framing it. Additionally, they have a color gradient, from red on the left to white on the right. I like that. The OOF chickens in the background, as well as the frontal grass give a better sense of context to the photo as a whole. They're not as complete looking in the cropped version so the benefit is lost. Likewise, the margin of grass at the bottom gives more context and helps with the balance of the photo. The only thing I would crop would be the metal post on the left.

My $.02, so your results and the opinions of others will likely vary. I often find that my most favorite photo in a set is not others' and that they'll like something best I thought merely OK. Same thing here and it ultimately depends on what you're doing with the photo. Whether it's for your enjoyment, or others'.
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steve14 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote steve14 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 July 2013 at 03:36
Thanks for the input. At first I tried cropping out the bird on the left completely, but that also put the middle hen off the third line. Perhaps as kerrath suggested keeping to the third lines is not as important in this case. I agree the fence post on the left should be cropped out.
a99ii & a77ii || CZ 16-35ii, 24-70/2.8, 50/1.4, 85/1.4, 135/1.8 | Sony 70-200/2.8 G, 70-400 G | Minolta 35-105, 70-210/4, 200/2.8, | Sigma 12-24 HSM II, 35/1.4 | Rokinon 14/2.8
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MichelvA View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote MichelvA Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 July 2013 at 07:13
I'd leave the three chicken in front just as is. You could try a crop from the top and bottom - slightly - so the three-in-a-row effect is more apparent. Of course the fence post can be removed.
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tigertimb View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote tigertimb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 July 2013 at 14:29
I'd agree with kerrath that nearly square never quite works for me and in a lot of ways the original crops is better.

If you do want to crop tighter, then I'd take into account that the subject is looking to the left, so I'd crop the other side from behind him instead. Maybe a square crop from the bottom that just cuts out the white chicken and the post?

But I like MichelvA's suggestion too.
Tim
If you appreciate comments on your photos, how about returning the favour to others . . .
 



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