Photographic Innoventions: Photo Cropping

Monarch Butterfly. Copyright© Scott Thomas Photography 2007
In the days of film, it was expensive and time consuming to go about cropping photos. With digital photography that is no longer the case. Even the most rudimentary photo editing software will let you crop. While it’s easier to “crop” in the camera, it’s not always possible. The only restriction is the size of the digital image where if you crop too much, the size of the image becomes too small.

So, why do we need to crop? Sometimes we want to adjust an image to use the Rule of Thirds, eliminate unwanted parts caught around the subject or enlarge a subject to bring it front and center. Keep in mind, cropping is NOT resizing the entire image but taking a part of the image to make a better photo.

In Minnie’s Magnificent Butterfly Garden, I took this photo of the Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus) during Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival. The original you see above is a bit too centered so I wanted to change the orientation from a landscape to a portrait and make the butterfly even more the main subject. To do this, I used a photo editor to select a 5×7 crop size and rotated to make it a portrait then aligned it as you see below.


Monarch Butterfly. Copyright © Scott Thomas Photography 2007
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/250s, f/8, 200 ISO, -0.7 EV, 170mm Focal Length

Further Reading: Cropping Photos :: Every Picture Tells a Story

Scott's "Photographic Innoventions" blog focuses on intermediate to advanced photography concepts and techniques relevant for Point and Shoot and Digital SLR cameras.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *