The Power of Cropping 


I am an old school guy. I have learned photography in the film days. I have been following the some advices from the Masters. Since then I have been following some rules for my self, “Never Crop”. If the image is not so powerful enough that it has to be cropped, then it is not a good image. These among other directives have been my “Decalogue”. So I never crop (almost never), for me is like cutting a limb, it has been hard to crop images, I do not feel keen about it.
One of my life learnings is that humans are humans because movement, if we do not move then we cannot evolve. We tend to stay in our comfort zones and dwell in our life, feeling safe, feeling cozy, feeling stable. But, does this sis the correct way to evolve? I do not think so, we have to be in constant movement in order to feel free, to be free. So why if I been this evolving human I cannot evolve in my photography “Decalogue”.
Yesterday I had a critique of some of my work, previously I received some advice to crop some of my images, to try and do so and would find out that with the crop the image could became more powerful. I dis as advised and after looking both versions I saw that the image, in fact, looked more powerful. The critique went well.
In this process I understood several things, the power of the image does not reside solely in the power of the image per se, but also with some luck and some processing. With this in mind I am embracing movement, evolution and will crop the images that need to be crop, and most likely, explore the possibility of changing my beloved 28mm glass to a 35mm, this change could help me with my own vision. The 35mm could be a tighter frame and might be the good for my own vision. This is movement, this is me evolving.
Yesterday I browsed through some images I have made this year, and as I found this one I remembered that there was something there that appealed me, but it lacked of something, could not realized what it was, so I left it rest.
With yesterday’s critique and embracing the “Power of Cropping” I cropped and processed, so with no further ado, here are both version, cropped and un cropped. You are the judge.







3 responses

  1. Gustavo – where is the uncropped image? Would love to see this evolution. Will view your critique on the cohort.
    Is this Oaxaca?
    Main question that I struggle with in cropping or not is determining what is the subject. In this photo what is your subject – the crossing guard; lady crossing the street or just the street view?

    1. Finally I managed to get back to the laptop and answer your comment. No, it is not Oaxaca, it is Quito, Ecuador. I will publish the cropped image. Here I like the the lines, the straight line from the vendor in the left through the lady walking and the diagonal from that to the policewoman. I did liked the graphic shape it was formed here emphasised as I cropped, because in the full image it is not so evident.

  2. Thank you for your reply.
    I think you’ve done an awesome job with your blog. Great photo. Would love to see the before and after.

    I am trying to learn about cropping so this is really great.



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