We have all heard this from pro photographers that cropping should always be done before “moment of capture”. That, it is a bad practice to crop photos later on.
“We should always scan the four corners of our frame before we actually take a picture.”
To some extent it is absolutely true, that we should in fact try not to crop in post. But the reality is as people come into photography, they hardly know what the rules/guidelines of a good photograph is. They just want to take pictures with their new dslr or cameras. It is only after they view their images on a computer screen, that they feel their picture lacks that appeal, that eye grabbing factor.
The next obvious step would be to crop and then make a better composition via cropping. Agreed that you loose pixels but hey what the hell, with dslr’s providing so high resolution pictures, it would not harm that much to crop a little and learn from it. Let me give you an example of what i want to illustrate.
This is a nice little image i made when i went to Darjeeling. But the reality is this was not the actual image i had taken. This was in fact the original image.
For me we are all on a learning process and on the way if we come across some issues which we can crop and get a better pleasing photo, then why not. In the image above, the buildings in the forefront did not help much, and thus i decided to crop the image and make a 16:9 composition. Even though we might not be able to print the picture as the original picture would have allowed us, but even then, we would learn from our compositional mistakes and rectify ourselves. So that in the future we may indeed crop in camera, and print the photographs as large as we might want them.Although one should always remember a bad photo cannot be rectified by any amount of cropping. Cropping can sometime bring out the photograph, out, which was lying inside the frame you captured, but it had also many other unwanted elements. Cropping might help one in that situation. After a point in your photographic career you will understand where exactly to put your subject and what to include in your frame, so that you do not have to crop in post, but till then, crop till you are satisfied with the final image.
Nowadays, i almost never crop my images, its become second nature to me scan all the corners of the frame, and only then press the shutter button.
Tell me if these tips helped you in learning to crop in a more creative way, and helping you create better photographs. Share your views on cropping, do you crop in post? Share your views in the comments below.