Sunday, August 23, 2009

Shoot now, crop later

Sometimes when I shoot, I shoot real tight, fill the frame, no cropping required.

For a long time this was considered the best way of doing it. Now I'm not so sure.

If you shoot real tight and something unexpected happens, you might be out of luck.

When you're on the quarterback and he drops the ball, you might wish you still had the ball in the frame, or at a soccer game it's nice to keep all the legs and arms in the photo, or at a crayfish hunt you might want the brother and sister in the frame.
I'm shooting with a camera that gives me a 68mg file when I open it in Photoshop.
This is too large for most magazines and newspapers and even Getty Images wants the photos resized. If you have to resize anyway, why not shoot a little looser and re-crop later.

I can take one of these monster 68mg files, crop it into a nicer composition and still end up with a 30-40mg file... still too large for a lot of places.

Shooting looser takes a bit of the pressure off while shooting, but because of the file size I'm ending up with a better composition and a file large enough for most publications.

I'm OK with that.
These shots were done with the 135mm Ziess lens on the full-frame Sony A850. No flash, shot on Aperture Priority, and re-cropped into photographs later in Photoshop

Rob Skeoch

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