Back when I took photography in college, we were taught to shoot full frame. Now with digital photography, there is no need to accept the image as it comes out of the camera. Most pictures benefit from a little cropping which can improve their composition and impact.
This shot was taken at a farm stand near where we stay on Martha's Vineyard. I love this picture, but I wanted to keep the tractor and lose the white pick-up truck on the right.
Here's the cropped image. Much improved, don't you think?
To me, cropping is fun. Once I've downloaded my photos to my computer, I sort through them and select my favorites. Then I crop away. Most often, I crop my photos into squares because it's the shape I find most pleasing. I think the square preference stems back to my love of the Hasselblad camera I once used in college. (By the way -- squares also works best for listings on Esty.)
Here is another photograph from the Vineyard. It was taken last year at the farmers market.
Great flowers, but I how did that person's foot get into the picture? Gotta lose that shoe!
Ah, much better!
Cropping gives me a second chance to better frame the photo's subject. In my photo editing software, I can center an image or cut out distracting parts of the background. A vertical shot can become a horizontal. The cropping possibilities are vast, so take your time and enjoy the options. Just be sure to always crop on a duplicate of your original shot.
These two Martha's Vineyard pictures have helped to get me in a Vinyard state of mind. I've been thinking about the island a lot lately as we'll be leaving for our annual trip there later in the week. I can't wait! So tomorrow will be my last installment in this Photography 101 series. I've saved the best for last; photo retouching.