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« Use flare creatively to make better photographs | Main | Create depth in your photographs »
Sunday
Nov142010

Cropping to make better photographs

Subtle changes in the composition of an image can make a big difference in how your audience perceives your work, and can even change the photograph's message.

In this example, I was attracted to the repeating pattern of cars inside a box pattern of yellow stripes.  And the complementary colors of yellow in the stripes and various shades of blue in the cars.

After looking at the exposure I made in Adobe Lightroom (below),  I realized that the composition would be better if the horizontal yellow line was perfectly level.

Original uncropped photographOnce I made that first crop, I saw the potential for an even tighter crop and accentuated the pattern even more.

An even tighter crop accentuates the pattern morePersonally, I like the crop in the top image, because it allows the viewer's eye some room to move around the photograph and enjoy the subtle spaces and relationships between the cars. But the tightest crop has a punch that might be perfect if this was an editorial story talking about an overabundance of used cars on the marketplace, for example.

Creative cropping is a great tool for enhancing composition, and message.

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