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Photography Tips & Tricks
Crop & Framing

The use of cropping and framing is a simple, but valuable tool for photographers. Good framing can turn any photo into a great composition and the possibilities are endless. There are many ways of framing a shot with some very basic techniques that we will look at here, and many more creative possibilities that you can discover on your own through experimentation.

The breakdown:
  • Remove distractions and focus on subject
  • Move the subject off-center
  • Enhance patterns, form, and the sense of balance
  • Change the orientation
One of the key points of good framing is choosing the focal point of your image. Usually this will be on your subject but abstract and creative photography do not follow that general rule. When cropping, eliminate any distracting elements so the eye can focus easily. In most instances, this will help tighten your image and bring a closer perspective.

More artistic photography will experiment with moving the main subject into different parts of the frame, like keeping it off center. This will change the composition of your photo and the entire feel of your shot. With a good sense of cropping, you can enhance natural patterns and the sense of balance in any image. These tools are extremely valuable when focusing on the composition of your work, and for more information on composition see our tip #1!

Changing the general orientation of your image from landscape to portrait also presents a variety of options. Remember, if you are working for print, your resolution and quality will dramatically change if you alter the overall size of your image with a significant crop.

Always save your master images by creating copies in which you can play around with various cropping alternatives. Keeping a master will always save you if you something goes horribly wrong! Sometimes the undo button just won’t cut it…

With digital cameras and post processing software, the photographer now has the ability to experiment creatively without spending too much money with trial and error, so use this to your advantage! Learn to change the look and mood of your photographs with the simple use of cropping. One image can be altered in so many ways, so take your time and pick the crop that delivers the message you are trying to get across.

Other Quick Links:

Photodoto
Microsoft on Digital Photograhy

Digital Photography School:
Cropping for Impact
Cropping to Improve Photographs
Previous Tips & Tricks
Composition