Join Chris Orwig for an in-depth discussion in this video Finding pictures within pictures, part of Cropping with Photoshop and Lightroom.
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In order to get good at photography, there's a really important concept to begin to understand, and it's this whole idea that as photographers, what we're trying to do, is to find pictures within pictures. And what I mean is, we're looking at the world, this entire scene, and we're trying to find some small rectangular area which is interesting to us. And we can obviously do that with our cameras, yet we also want to think about that after the fact. And so here in this movie, I want to talk about that concept by showing you a few example images, and then I also want to show you a few famous examples as well.
Well let's begin with this photograph which I captured of one of my friends and also his son. They live down in Costa Rica. And really, the picture that I'm seeing here is the connection between father and son. Which really transcends who these people are, and hopefully connects with others, regardless of them knowing the subjects, or not. In order to make that stronger, what I need to do is to crop in on this image. And this isn't just about reducing and simplifying. But it's about seeing that picture there, that.
This photograph is really about the connection between these two. And here I want to bring out that connection. So I'm going to crop in a way that does that. So I'm focused in on these two subjects and their strength and their sense of character. In other situations, like with this next example here which was a client project. In this commercial shoot what I was doing was looking to try to highlight this professional surfer and this particular surfboard. Well this was the image that was used in the final advertising campaign.
Yet if I remove the crop by selecting the crop tool so that you can see the other areas, what you'll see here is that there was so much more to this picture. The original photograph was a little bit tilted and it showed too much of the backdrop. But again, rather than discarding this image or trashing it or giving up on it, what we have to do as photographers is have that vision to really look for and find the picture within the picture. Now again, ideally we do this on camera. And we do it every time.
But the reality of it is that sometimes we just don't. We make mistakes like I did here. But we can always seek to correct those mistakes or to improve our photographs even further by looking for that photograph within the frame. Now there are those who argue, you should only compose or you should only crop on camera. Well, I believe that that's something to aspire for but it doesn't always work. And I think this is true historically as well. Here what I'm going to do is open up my web browser and show you two Google image searches.
The first one is for Arnold Newman cropping and here we'll see two of his photographs which are. Two of his most famous pictures. One is of Igor Stravinsky, another of Picasso. And both of these images are pictures within a larger picture that he then cropped. And it's really fascinating to see the photograph before it was cropped, here. And then the final image, after it was cropped. I recommend that you pause this movie at some point, and do that Google search yourself, so that you can look at those images and really evaluate and see his thought process, and how he discovered a more simple and more powerful photograph within another.
I want to show you one more example. This is a Google Image Search for Che Guevara uncropped. This is one of the most reproduced images of all time. Literally in all time of all humanity, this is one of the most reproduced images. Well the original image right here, it isn't even really that good. But the version of this image which has been reproduced time and time again is a crop. So what I'm hoping to highlight here is that as you seek to look at your own photographs, you seek to improve your on-camera skills so that you can find those pictures when you're out and about in the world, or in the studio, or where ever you are.
But also don't give up on your photographs, look for those pictures that are hidden inside your photographs and if you can do that, if you can start to see those images and then crop your images in order to find whatever that picture is, sometimes this can help you to create even stronger and more interesting photographs
- Choosing a custom aspect ratio
- Cropping and straightening quickly
- Constraining the crop
- Cropping and rotating
- Resetting or removing a crop
- Changing the orientation
- Using lens correction to straighten a photo
- Resizing with cropping
- Cropping with layer masks
- Creating diptychs and triptychs