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How to know what to crop basically what to leave in and what to take out.

Started by Fotobirder, July 06, 2016, 07:04:10 PM

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This is my final crop. I should have shown you the original first. Here is the  original. I know Sunsets are very hard.



Hi Steve,
You photo is very good!  What I do when I'm looking to see how to crop an image is see how the image looks using the rule of thirds http://www.digital-photo-secrets.com/tip/2742/why-does-the-rule-of-thirds-work/.  Most of the time I think my image looks better using the rule but not always.  I would try placing the horizon on the third lines and see if it looks better on the top or bottom one.  If the horizon looks better in the middle, then that's fine.  I would try placing the sun at the top right 1/3 intersection to see how it looks.  All I do is play with it and see how I like it best.


I would crop the image very differently.  I am a great believer in cropping to the content of the image and not to a specific aspect ratio.  What I've done with my crop is used two different 'rules' for composition.  The first is the rule of thirds and put the setting sun on the right third line.  And secondly I have put the horizon slap bang in the middle (normally a bit of a no-no) however by doing that I've been able to emphasise the mirroring of the clouds with their reflections.  Finally I have left the land on the left in the image because it adds balance to the land on the right.  It also put the 'gap' approximately on the right third line to balance out the setting sun.

Hope that helps


PS - I also adjusted the colour by adding a bit of red to it.
Ian M Butterfield


Here is another version.
First I lightened then added a touch of contrast to brighten it up a bit.
Secondly I rotated the image a fraction to level some part of the image, which I chose the waterline in the background.
Thirdly, I brought the heavier portion of the image towards the lower third. Also left a waterline across the bottom to suggest further an edge.
fourthly, roughly centred the light source.
Finally, left enough land on left for the inlet to look larger than it is. The inlet is vital to this picture because it leads the viewer into the background wondering that is there to be seen. It is the wondering which engages the viewer in the photograph.

Top is original.