Photography Information

 

Cropping Digital Photos Into Shape




Did you know that in many cases digital photos are cropped by the time they reach paper? If you have never "cropped" your photos manually, you may not be aware that it is happening.

What is cropping?

Cropping is the process of trimming portions of the digital image so it fits in the shape of the paper. Let's say we have a 5" x 7" photo. The problem is, the frame we want to display is 4" x 6". One of our choices is to take scissors and carefully trim away the least important edges of the photo until it fits into the 4" x 6" frame. What we have accomplished is "cropping".

In the world of digital photography, cropping is performed with software. When the photo is comprised of bits of data, there is no need to crop for size alone-the software and printing process can stretch the image to fit. We do, however, have to crop digital images to fit the paper's shape.

A more detailed look

Let's look at an example. My Canon camera has a sensor size of 1536 x 2048 pixels. Dividing these numbers by the highest common denominator of 512, we get an image shape of 3 x 4.

How many print sizes do you think fit this shape? Not many. If we want 4" x 6" prints, the shape of the 3 x 4 digital image will not fit. It is possible to stretch the image into the 4 x 6 shape using software, but this will distort the image, which we don't want.

Our only option is to crop the 3 x 4 image into the 4 x 6 shape. If you are thinking, "I never had to crop my images and they always looked fine," then chances are the cropping was done for you automatically. Who would do such a thing behind your back?

Don't be alarmed, cropping was always done on our behalf, even with film photos. When we drop off our digital photos at a lab to have them developed, or insert them into our printer, the images are loaded into the computer system and are automatically cropped. How does the computer know which sections are OK to crop and which ones are not? It doesn't. When the decision is left to the machine, it will trim an equal amount from two edges.

Have you ever received a photo from the lab and something important near the edge was cut off, but when you saw it on the computer screen it was there? That is a result of automated cropping.

Do your own cropping for maximum control

Under most circumstances automatic cropping produces good results with our snapshots. In cases where we want to control precisely where the image is trimmed, we need to take the cropping under our own control.

Cropping can be accomplished in several places such as your photo editing or printing software, online developing services, or the kiosk machine available at many local labs. I find that the best place to crop your photos is on your own computer using the software you are most familiar with. If you have never used this feature of your photo editing software, I urge you to learn how to use it. The other two cropping methods are typically more time consuming. You may also be rushed during the delicate cropping procedure if a line forms behind you at a kiosk machine.

Charles Kerekes is an amateur photographer and maintains the Flying Sam Digital Photo Guide (FlyingSamPhoto.com) web site to help others find fun and unique digital photo finishing products and services.


MORE RESOURCES:

Fstoppers

Why Your Photography Service Is So Expensive? You Just Click a Button
Fstoppers
I think that often where photographers get into confusion is they look at their cost in terms of time, effort, equipment, expense etc and come up with a value for their work based on that. Unfortunately, how hard it was to create a photo has no impact ...



Times Bulletin

Photography lessons
Times Bulletin
12, the Van Wert Area Photography Club opened its doors to anyone having questions about their camera, how to use it, or photography in general. Rick and Bev Boroff of rural Van Wert took advantage of the invitation and got a wealth of facts and tips ...



Artvoice

Yes! You Can Create Your Own Photography Masterpieces
Artvoice
If you have always wanted to line your walls with breathtaking photographs that are truly pieces of art, you knew you were going to have to spend a good amount of money to do it. This is because many years ago, the only way to get crystal clear ...



Photography Friday: Chang Chungliang
Shanghaiist
Chang Chungliang 張仲良 is a Taiwanese artist who graduated from the Taipei National University of the Arts. He completed his advanced studies in France at the Ecole supérieure d'art et de design Le Havre-Rouen (ESADHaR) and later at the Sorbonne I in ...



Fstoppers

What is Your Best Photography Anecdote?
Fstoppers
Us photographers are bizarre creatures. It is as if holding a camera exchanges the focus of your preservation instincts from yourself to the camera and lenses. The camera's tunnel vision sometimes appears to extend to its user and all that matters is ...



PetaPixel (blog)

This is the First Known Photograph of a US Presidential Inauguration
PetaPixel (blog)
The Capitol was still under construction on March 4th, 1857, when photographer John Wood set up his wet plate collodion camera and captured the first known ...
The First Photo Of A Presidential Inauguration Was Shot With Wet ...Digital Trends

all 3 news articles »


The Newark Advocate

C-TEC senior finds passion for tech, photography
The Newark Advocate
Makayla is in her senior year of C-TEC's digital design and interactive media program, which teaches students how to use Adobe products, design websites, do computer coding and animation as well as photography and videography. She said the program ...



Washington Post

What it's like to have under three minutes to photograph president-elect Trump
Washington Post
And during the campaign, he sometimes banned certain outlets, including The Washington Post, from covering his activities. So it was a very welcome surprise when he agreed to sit down (and stand up) for a Post photographer this Tuesday, just days ...



Lifehacker

Take a Free Digital Photography Class From Harvard - Lifehacker
Lifehacker
Photography isn't as easy as many people assume, but you can learn the basics on your own. And if you need some structured lessons, this 12-module course ...
Updated: Harvard - NOT that Harvard - offers a free course on digital ...imaging resource

all 4 news articles »


Fstoppers

Why Landscape Photography Isn't Always Glamorous
Fstoppers
As we start filming our newest tutorial, "Photographing the World With Elia Locardi 3," this seems like a timely video. When we see the gorgeous images landscape photographers produce, it's easy to think that landscape photography is an ideal ...


Google News

home | site map
© 2006 KeralaClick.com