Cropping: thoughts

Film Photography & Darkroom discussion

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pirateoversixty
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Location: Peoria, Illinois

Cropping: thoughts

Post by pirateoversixty » Tue Aug 28, 2007 9:42 am

Just taking a break from the darkroom, and I thought I would run this by you.

Every now and then, I see published fine art photos printed with ragged edge carriers. Sometimes the notation from the artist is, " I don't crop; this is a full frame photo," or words to that effect.

Is this an affectation, or do these people really believe that cropping is a distortion of the image. To me, cropping is just another tool, the same as MC filters, dodging and burning, toning, etc.

Just an idle thought from somebody with too much time on his hands.
Jim


Keith Tapscott.
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Re: Cropping: thoughts

Post by Keith Tapscott. » Tue Aug 28, 2007 10:18 am

pirateoversixty wrote:Just taking a break from the darkroom, and I thought I would run this by you.

Every now and then, I see published fine art photos printed with ragged edge carriers. Sometimes the notation from the artist is, " I don't crop; this is a full frame photo," or words to that effect.

Is this an affectation, or do these people really believe that cropping is a distortion of the image. To me, cropping is just another tool, the same as MC filters, dodging and burning, toning, etc.

Just an idle thought from somebody with too much time on his hands.
Jim
Showing an image which includes the film rebate and even the sprocket holes when enlarging 35mm negatives, isn`t anything new. Sometimes, a negative carrier is filed on all four sides and can range from being neat and straight to having rough and crude edges.
Personally, I don`t have an ethical qualm in making a slight crop to tidy up the edges or balance the composition, but then I only take photographs for my own pleasure and I refuse to pander to the whims of so called `photographic-judges` at Camera Clubs and Photographic Societies.

Ornello
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Re: Cropping: thoughts

Post by Ornello » Tue Aug 28, 2007 11:10 am

pirateoversixty wrote:Just taking a break from the darkroom, and I thought I would run this by you.

Every now and then, I see published fine art photos printed with ragged edge carriers. Sometimes the notation from the artist is, " I don't crop; this is a full frame photo," or words to that effect.

Is this an affectation, or do these people really believe that cropping is a distortion of the image. To me, cropping is just another tool, the same as MC filters, dodging and burning, toning, etc.

Just an idle thought from somebody with too much time on his hands.
Jim
I think it is indeed pretentious, but it also reflects a lack of knowledge, because doing this slighly increases flare in the print, giving somewhat less highlight separation. The raw light entering the lens from around the image area can only increase flare. It seems to me utterly foolish to put stylistic affectation ahead of sound technique. I never do this.

I might note that much of what I see presented this way needs to be cropped.

I don't care when the image was cropped: in the camera, or later. Along with Keith, I have no interest in others' opinions. My photographs are mostly for my own pleasure.
Last edited by Ornello on Wed Aug 29, 2007 3:24 pm, edited 2 times in total.

pirateoversixty
Posts: 219
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Location: Peoria, Illinois

Cropping: thoughts

Post by pirateoversixty » Wed Aug 29, 2007 12:18 am

I agree, it may be pretentious, or may seem so now, now that it is not so new. In some cases, over done. In fact, I have no qualms about cropping to any degree if it shows what I want it to show. Maybe I couldn't get close enough to the point of interest. Maybe the peripheral noise is more distracting than I initially thought. Anyway, it is my photograph, and I have the final say so on how it is presented. Anyway, most of my pix are for myself and friends and family. If I were to put my humble efforts out for critical review, I still would feel the same way.
Jim

Ornello
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Re: Cropping: thoughts

Post by Ornello » Thu Aug 30, 2007 10:06 am

pirateoversixty wrote:I agree, it may be pretentious, or may seem so now, now that it is not so new. In some cases, over done. In fact, I have no qualms about cropping to any degree if it shows what I want it to show. Maybe I couldn't get close enough to the point of interest. Maybe the peripheral noise is more distracting than I initially thought. Anyway, it is my photograph, and I have the final say so on how it is presented. Anyway, most of my pix are for myself and friends and family. If I were to put my humble efforts out for critical review, I still would feel the same way.
Jim
Certain practices (rough borders, zone system, cross-processing, use of Rodinal) become commonplace among the 'in' crowd and in academia, for no particularly good reason. It just happens. It's often a case of mere imitation. In my experience I have found that photographers are often highly insecure people, easily manipulated psychologically. They want to use the same film, camera, developer, and technique that some 'guru' does. The same thing is true to a certain extent among young tennis players, who want to use the same racquet, string, style, clothes, etc., as their favorite tennis star. For this reason, many manufacturers often try very hard to get some big 'name' to use and endorse their products. It's rather pathetic, actually.

pirateoversixty
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Location: Peoria, Illinois

Cropping: thoughts

Post by pirateoversixty » Thu Aug 30, 2007 2:38 pm

agreed. the only "trick" thing i do to borders when printing, is to use an occasional pencil-thin black surround, if there is a need to contain the eye, ie, a high key photograph.
jim

pentaxpete
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Post by pentaxpete » Fri Aug 31, 2007 11:07 am

Yes; I'm 'Old Fashioned' and do not bow to 'Street Cred' - I even wear my hats with peak at the front! I crop as necessary as the aspect ratio of the film may not fit the subject are properly, but then everyone has heard of Cartier-Bresson, not many have heard of Peter Elgar !
Got COMPUTERISED and 'slightly Digitised Pentax K10D' but FILM STILL RULES !

Ornello
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Post by Ornello » Fri Aug 31, 2007 11:49 am

pentaxpete wrote:Yes; I'm 'Old Fashioned' and do not bow to 'Street Cred' - I even wear my hats with peak at the front! I crop as necessary as the aspect ratio of the film may not fit the subject are properly, but then everyone has heard of Cartier-Bresson, not many have heard of Peter Elgar !
What on Earth is "street cred"?

Keith Tapscott.
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Post by Keith Tapscott. » Fri Aug 31, 2007 2:24 pm

Ornello wrote:
What on Earth is "street cred"?
Credibility of urban youth, that`s the explanation I got when I Googled for "Street Cred". :? :roll:

Ornello
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Post by Ornello » Sat Sep 01, 2007 9:31 pm

Keith Tapscott. wrote:
Ornello wrote:
What on Earth is "street cred"?
Credibility of urban youth, that`s the explanation I got when I Googled for "Street Cred". :? :roll:
Huh? What are you talking about?

pentaxpete
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Post by pentaxpete » Sun Sep 02, 2007 10:42 am

I meant the style of using un-cropped prints with the black border is a 'modern' thing; Cartier-Bresson was mentioned because he wouldn't allow any croppping of his negs for reproduction in the magazines.
Got COMPUTERISED and 'slightly Digitised Pentax K10D' but FILM STILL RULES !

Keith Tapscott.
Posts: 531
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2006 8:58 am
Location: Plymouth, England.

Post by Keith Tapscott. » Mon Sep 03, 2007 6:50 am

Ornello wrote:Huh? What are you talking about?
More like, what are they talking about? I`m as confused as to what "Street Cred" is, the same as everyone else. :?: :!:

Ornello
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Post by Ornello » Mon Sep 03, 2007 12:41 pm

pentaxpete wrote:I meant the style of using un-cropped prints with the black border is a 'modern' thing; Cartier-Bresson was mentioned because he wouldn't allow any croppping of his negs for reproduction in the magazines.
Of course, he was perfect, nothing in his images could ever be improved (laughing my ass off.....)

HCB was a pompous twit.....there were many better photojournalists...

lithos
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Post by lithos » Thu Sep 06, 2007 4:07 am

I wouldn't agree with the exact phrasing of Ornello's, but I don't find HCB's shots all that interesting...*runs like hell*

I crop, as need. To me, it seems logical - there's just as many pros and cons to a 3:2 images as there is to a 1:1 image, or 4:3 or 1.263289:0.9843265 (ie, whatever.)

Again, I've had a few photo lecturers point out how some art photogs don't crop, specifically pointing out how the film edges are left on the print. About the only thing I find interesting about that is you can tell what film they used.

Remember, though, the only thing that's certain about the art world is that art is purely subjective - talent and skill doesn't have a lot to do with it (postmodernism!!! Argh!)

However, I can see that some may wish to limit themselves to a format - working within the boundaries of the 135 frame, or other format - same reasons that some only work with 50mm lenses.

But I think, why limit yourself?

To me, it seems that if you limit yourself to a frame ratio, aren't you discrediting other formats - 6x6, 5x4...?

Anyhoo, I crop in camera. Sometimes, you just can't move mountains, which is literal for landscape photogs, or buildings, or people. I'd rather crop than lose a shot for format reasons. I think, hey, it'd be good square, I can do that later. Or maybe there's something distracting at the edge of the frame, and it would be impossible to move the camera to eliminate it, so I might just crop off a tiny bit to lose it.

I'm surprised there isn't a film border Photoshop plugin - add borders! Any size, any ratio! Sprocket holes! Want people to think that cameraphone shot was done on Velvia! No problem! Want to show that you still shoot Tech Pan or Agfa Scala, 'cause you have the last rolls on earth deep frozen in your own private bank vault! And, now, for added pretention - films that don't even exist! Look down on those who don't know the rare Uzbekistanian slide film you shoot - snob them when they can't read the Cyrillic! They must be sheer Neanderthals if they didn't know that the best BW evah was made in a small factory by mystical elves in the Weimar Republic!

Of course, it would be even better if there was one that proved to the average joe you shot every picture in your life on a Leica. Plus let them know who else used one and how much it cost.

Basically, I guess I was saying: a) Art's subject and b) I like to use the wide palette of photographic tools at my disposal.

Ornello
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Post by Ornello » Thu Sep 06, 2007 10:31 am

lithos wrote:I wouldn't agree with the exact phrasing of Ornello's, but I don't find HCB's shots all that interesting...*runs like hell*.
The one of the man jumping over a puddle was staged! And it's not even very good! The //background// is distracting and the jumper blends into it.

http://dirckhalstead.org/issue0412/images/hcb_01.//jpg//

He may have forbidden cropping of his images because the editors may have been unable to do it competently. In that I can agree with him.

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