On Aggressive Cropping

By |2012-01-20T14:20:31+00:00Jan 20th, 2012|

It feels great to get back into posting images and anecdotes here. Last week was pretty crazy with travels to New Orleans for the Imaging USA Expo. Anytime we travel for major conferences, free time is a precious commodity. Regardless, I always make it a point to grab at least one body, one lens, and a tripod. NOLA was no exception.

I took this shot the night before we were due to fly back to Oregon. The weather was poor because a major storm was about to roll in. Light was flat, which was a good thing here. It allowed me to expose for about 2’15” using the Lee Big Stopper 10-stop ND filter. I was using my Canon 24-70 lens which, in hindsight, wasn’t the best choice because that focal length didn’t do much to help spur creativity. There is something very vanilla about that focal range.

When this happens, I try to fall back on the ideal of simply getting the best frame possible in the field and then rely on more creative cropping in post. And that was the case here. The original frame contained way more information than I cared for. By cropping in while constraining proportions, I was able to achieve a much more pleasing image.

The long exposure helped give the scene an ethereal feeling and I aimed to accentuate that with this particular B&W conversion.

So, don’t ever feel like you’re fully limited to what you capture in your frame.

With digital photography, it’s clear that the creation on the image no longer stops with the camera.

In album Pic Picks Over The Years (113 photos)

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  1. John De Bord January 20, 2012 at 9:21 am - Reply

    wow, that is literally what I said when I saw this. This is simply beautiful

  2. Jennifer Messina January 20, 2012 at 9:22 am - Reply

    Thank you for sharing.

  3. Brian Matiash January 20, 2012 at 9:22 am - Reply

    +John De Bord Cheers, my friend.

  4. James Brandon January 20, 2012 at 9:23 am - Reply

    I would have cropped a little tighter. :-)

  5. dene' miles January 20, 2012 at 9:23 am - Reply

    Love it!!

  6. Nathan Langley January 20, 2012 at 9:28 am - Reply

    Thanks for sharing Brian, wonderful shot. You continue to inspire me to finally get some ND filters. I love these types of photographs!

  7. Brian Matiash January 20, 2012 at 9:32 am - Reply

    +Nathan Langley It's my pleasure! I am so glad to help.

  8. Jennifer Messina January 20, 2012 at 9:36 am - Reply

    I share +Nathan Langley's sentiments! You really make me want to give ND filters a shot! Any recommendations? :D You do very nice work.

  9. Russ Scullen January 20, 2012 at 11:02 am - Reply

    Sure missed ya. Hey Brian, it's really good to see you getting back into the posting mode:) After your move plus the traveling you've been doing it's understandable why you haven't posted a lot. Really do appreciate your pics and the background info.

  10. Shelly Gunderson January 20, 2012 at 11:31 am - Reply

    Lovely. Almost like out of a dream.

  11. Scott Frederick January 20, 2012 at 11:54 am - Reply

    I wouldn't know what an ND110 was if it wasn't for +Brian Matiash! Hell, I wouldn't know anything at all if it wasn't for +Brian Matiash! ;) Love the image and the crop dude!

  12. Kirk Norbury January 20, 2012 at 12:50 pm - Reply

    Nice shot Brian :)

  13. Scott Starks January 20, 2012 at 3:00 pm - Reply

    +Brian Matiash I've done the same thing with some of my photos. One of my favorite from last year was an aggressive crop. When I took the picture I liked the fire escape that was in the frame, but when it came time to process it just looked like a sore thumb.

  14. Dave January 21, 2012 at 1:24 am - Reply

    This is a very nice image Brian and a very good point about the shot not ending with just the press of the shutter. I don’t agree about your comment on the 24-70mm being very “Vanilla”, I think this is more a state of mind. This is a pretty good range of focal lengths with lots of scope for all sorts of creative shots, it’s just a case of seeing them or getting in the zone. Think of it in the same way as going out only armed with a 50mm. Perhaps it’s the fact that it doesn’t warp/distort the scene to the same extent as say a super wide angle or a fisheye, but then it could be argued that perhaps it is easier to make interesting shots with these types of lenses because their characteristics and are naturally intriguing to view. Perhaps. 95% of my shots are made with an 18-50 f2.8 (very similar to 24-70 on a full frame), I hope I’m not making only “Vanilla” shots.
    Not a dig Brain, just a thought on perception of focal lengths. It is good to see you posting again, I need to do the same. :-)

  15. Luis January 21, 2012 at 9:57 am - Reply

    Great result, I love the color contrast between the water and the peer’s wood. Don’t know how the original image looked like, but this one’s composition is just perfect!

  16. Javier Esvall January 22, 2012 at 12:20 pm - Reply
  17. klaire law January 23, 2012 at 9:28 am - Reply

    this is amazing

  18. Filip Farag January 23, 2012 at 12:02 pm - Reply

    I love it Brian! Great CC as usual.

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