Cropping your subject correctly is an important aspect of taking a great portrait. There are different standard portrait lengths: full body, the face and upper part of the body, close up of the face, etc. How do we decide what to leave in frame and what to crop out? I am going to talk about different ways to crop a portrait to make the finished image look more professional, and more pleasing to the eye.
There are two methods to crop a photo: cropping in camera, and cropping in post production. The first method, cropping in camera, is the preferred method of cropping, as it takes advantage of your camera’s maximum resolution per image. As you take a picture, you decide what to leave in what to leave out by properly framing your subject. So if you want to take a picture of just your subjects face, you are just focusing on the face, not the whole body with the plan of later cropping the picture on the computer. This way your image has the original resolution that your camera recorded.
Unfortunately, sometimes this isn’t possible, and that is why we also have the second method of cropping, cropping during post production. Sometimes you may find yourself, shooting pictures of a very fast event at a wedding; things may be happening so quickly that you don’t have the time to properly compose the image. Examples of this might be many people fast dancing at the reception, or people jumping to catch the bouquet or garter. This is ok. Just shoot and try to capture the moment, then later you can crop your image with Photoshop or another similar photo editing program. But, as stated earlier, you lose some resolution quality to your final image.
So, now that we know the different methods of cropping, how do we crop correctly? Which parts of the body do we cut off (leave out of frame)? First, lets start with where not to crop. Never crop a human subject at the joints, i.e., do not cut off your subject at the ankles, knees, or waist. We all know the full length shot, which is the whole body of the subject with nothing cut off, the next type of portrait is the 3/4 length. This is a portrait where you have the subject’s thigh as the bottom edge of the photo, and a small space above the subject’s head as the upper edge. Next, there is the head and shoulders length portrait. The bottom edge of the photo in this portrait will be the upper chest of your subject, and again a small space above the head as the limit for the upper edge. Lastly, and most complicated, there are close-ups of the face. Portraits of a subject’s face you might have seen online or in print tend to be more artistic, and therefore the rules for cropping are not as rigid. For facial close-ups, I suggest you take a look at different examples, and decide which type of cropping goes best with your style of photography.
If you are new to wedding photography keep with it! I hope this tip helps you out at your next wedding. Good Luck.
If you would like to see samples of this technique or photos of Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica, check out my website Kevin Heslin Wedding Photographer
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
To learn more about a great online class, check out – Photography Master Class
For a bit of fun check out – Trick Photography
Want to see the latest and greatest photo equipment and reviews?