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Thread: Cropping - Maintaining the Photo Ratio or Changing for a Better Result?

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    Cropping - Maintaining the Photo Ratio or Changing for a Better Result?

    Hi AP-ers,

    Something I have been debating in my head is cropping photos. I do a little PP-ing on my photos and I often crop, but generally, I stick with the photo ratios in case I want to print them down the track (not that I have printed a photo in over a year...). However, sometimes I think losing this ratio would lead to a more pleasing picture - A square frame would suit more than the standard rectangular frame, for example. I came to the realisation that there is no point debating with myself and I have a wonderful resource through this website - So I ask you, dear AP-ers - Where do you stand on this? Keep the ratio for a more "pure" (for want of a better word) result or don't stick with a specific ratio for a digitally more pleasing result?

    I'm looking forward to seeing the results of this debate!! Thanks in advance!!

    Erin.
    Better known as Erin.


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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    (What? Me? OK, don't push! I'll go 1st.)

    Hi Erin. Yes to both. I do almost the same as you. Sometimes I print 4:5, 6:7, etc. When I do that I just get the nearest ratio paper and shrink the image a bit to fit. I end up with white borders top or bottom, but they make good photo holders.
    Am.
    CC, Image editing OK.

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    Ausphotography Regular Brian500au's Avatar
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    I tend to stick to standard sizes, but every now and again I have to crop outside the standard - but once again where I can I try to stick to a standard size
    www.kjbphotography.com.au

    1Dx, 5DsR, 200-400 f4L Ext, 100-400 f4.5-5.6L II, 70-300 f4-5.6L IS, 70-200 f2.8L IS II, 24-70 f2.8L II, 16-35 f4 IS, 11-24 f4L, 85 f1.2L II, 500 f4L IS, 300 f2.8 IS, ∑50 f1.4 A


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    From my latest experiences , Stick to standard ratios if you plan on getting them printed Professionally , ie dont take 40 images to the printer all different ratios , If your doing one off's do the cropping , But remember what you cropped to 16:9 , 17:6 etc , Lately I've tried to stick with the Camera ratio (Canon) 3:2 aspect , Means more thought in taking the image , Comp wise , But a shite lot easier on the printer and framer
    Canon : 30D, and sometimes the 5D mkIII , Sigma 10-20, 50mm 1.8, Canon 24-105 f4 L , On loan Sigma 120-400 DG and Canon 17 - 40 f4 L , Cokin Filters




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    Okay! Great!! Thanks for everyone's opinions!! Keep them coming!!

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    If it is just going on the net, I crop as I feel I want to. But for printing, I crop based on standards, to ensure its easier to get printed, framed etc.
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

    Constructive Critique of my photographs is always appreciated
    Nikon, etc!

    RICK
    My Photography

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    Same as Ricktas.............for the net, it's a free for all for mine.
    When I PP i do so to the entire original 'copy' except vignetting.........then I will crop to suit, then add vignetting (usually in RAW)

    I treat every pic as though it will be printed so crop to standard printing sizes, which believe me does not leave you wanting in dimensions.
    I do my own framing as well, so no probs for myself, but if I have done pics for a friend (family portraits etc) I will ensure that they are cropped to an 'easily acquired store bought' frame size.
    Cheers and Happy Shooting
    Cindy

    Canon 7D, 50mm, 100mm Macro
    Olympus E-30, 9-18mm, 14-54mm, 50-200mm
    Photoshop CS5


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    Account Closed Wayne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post
    If it is just going on the net, I crop as I feel I want to. But for printing, I crop based on standards, to ensure its easier to get printed, framed etc.
    What he^^ said

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    I have to agree, generally, with everything that has been said. I generally stick with the photo ratios, but I am doing something specific for a digital album, I sometimes go with what feels good. Sometimes, although rarely, when I put something on here, for example, I will do away with the photo ratio. More often than not, however, I stick with the photo ratio and I think this has been occasionally part of my undoing in the digital world.

    Thanks everyone for your opinions. I hope everyone continues to contribute to this! It is quite enlightening for me!

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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Keep the original image in the native ratio you started with.
    Determine what size and ratio it needs to be for printing / framing if the project is for someone else.
    Be prepared to pay for custom framing if it is an "odd" sized print and you are having it framed.
    Within the limitations of the final file size for printing, crop a copy of the image to any size that has one side equal or close to equal to a paper width size that the printing company uses.
    If they are any good they will simply print at the size you want and return a correctly trimmed image to you.
    The printing companies work on varying paper widths on the rolls and simply charge you per square metre of paper used, printed or unprinted, at the end of the job.
    Andrew
    Nikon, Fuji, Nikkor, Sigma, Tamron, Tokina and too many other bits and pieces to list.



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    I like my computer more than my camera farmmax's Avatar
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    I try to frame the original photo in the camera so that the photo does not need cropping. If I do crop, it is without regard to standard photo printing sizes at all. I don't print all that often, but when I do, odd sized crops are placed on standard size canvas. The excess padding is trimmed of the printed photos when I receive them.

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    I tend to be fussy about aspect ratios (and fussy about just about everything, really), so I tend to maintain the 3:2 aspect ratio.

    More often than not, I'll frame my images without the intention of cropping.

    Any cropping I do tends to be very minor, but I maintain the 3:2 aspect ratio, which looks 'balanced' to me.

    Certainly at times a different aspect ratio can make an image stronger, but where possible I advocate framing in-camera so that cropping is not necessary.

    The notable exception would be panoramic-format images, where a 3:2 or 4:3 aspect ratio leaves too much land/water or too much sky (or both) in the scene, making cropping a necessity.

    In that case, still frame as best as possible in camera, ensuring that you capture what you want in the scene, knowing that the extra subject matter on the top and bottom edges of the frame will be left on the editing room floor.

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    Member Gunna's Avatar
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    I generally keep to the 3x2 ratio, but am in 2 minds when it comes to enlargements of family photos.
    Because most off the shelf frames are 8"x10" [why??], the photo cropped to that size has top & bottom cut off [not good when I have composed tightly].
    Not only are 8x12 frames harder to come by, because of popular useage of the 8x10, the 8x12 looks a bit out of proportion.
    What is common practice amongst members?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gunna View Post
    most off the shelf frames are 8"x10"
    Yeah, that's really quite annoying.

    I frame my images for the 2:3 aspect ratio, and 4:5 forces me to lose subject matter I'd otherwise want to see.

    Additionally, I just don't like that aspect ratio at all.

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    Ausphotography Regular junqbox's Avatar
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    I crop to whatever best suits the image. When printing (professionally), I'll often put the image into a black background frame and print them all at 12x18" and trim them down later. Since mine, and most others, are 2:3 ratio cameras and the majority of retail available frames are geared for 4:5 ratio (when you get to any decent size) I don't see the point in trying to maintain the ratio.
    To help counter this, I bought a pile of frames at largish size, and get the matt boards cut to suit. Otherwise decent quality, custom sized framing will cost a bomb.

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    Ready to Print Wayno's Avatar
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    For what its worth I keep the ratio for standard print sizes in most cases as its easier for printing. But some of the rules are made to be broken when you have that special picture.

    Canon user and abuser.


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    Ausphotography Veteran Speedway's Avatar
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    I usually crop my photos in 3:2 ratio for printing at 6x4, 6x9, 8x12 and 12x18 which I offer on my web site I also crop to 6:2 ratio for panoramic prints on double length A4 paper which I print up on my canon ip4700 printer. When framing if I can't get the right size frame I get the next size up and mount the photo on black card cut to the frame size. For the web I crop to suit the photo or 16:9 to suit my monitor.
    Keith.

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    Quote Originally Posted by junqbox View Post
    I crop to whatever best suits the image.
    I compose to whatever best suits the image.

    Quote Originally Posted by junqbox View Post
    I don't see the point in trying to maintain the ratio.
    It's purely an aesthetic issue for me; I just don't like 4:5 (or 4:3).

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    Ausphotography Veteran Speedway's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xenedis View Post
    I compose to whatever best suits the image.
    I do that too, but it is hard to compose for a single shot panorama as when shooting the full field at the start of a Go Kart race or 4-5 Karts in a close tussle.
    Keith.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xenedis View Post
    Yeah, that's really quite annoying.

    I frame my images for the 2:3 aspect ratio, and 4:5 forces me to lose subject matter I'd otherwise want to see.

    Additionally, I just don't like that aspect ratio at all.
    Easy. My D3 can be set to shoot in 5:4 ratio...So if I want to do any 8x10's, I can shoot the photo in the right aspect ratio to start with

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