I recently left a photography forum because I realized that it was a waste of my time.
The idea was that people could post an image for comments from other forum participants and everyone would learn from the critiques and comments.
In almost every post the first thing that people would say is that they would crop the image this way or that way. I saw landscapes one after the other with comments about cropping out this or that the person who posted should use Photoshop to remove something from the background.
I wrote a post on why I never crop an image
In the days of film, we took painstaking effort to get as close to a subject as possible to fill the frame. It was a pretty steadfast rule for street photography, photo journalism, portraiture, most wildlife images, and sports like golf, baseball, or auto racing.
Just about the only time anyone cropped an image was capturing birds in flight.
It’s true that in the enlarging process you might effectively “crop” an image by enlarging it and moving the paper to compose a shot from the enlarger, but, unless you had your own darkroom, that was not even an option for most people.
For Publication Work
When you shot for publications it was the editor that cropped your work– based on the needs of the publication– not as much for artistry.
Today, it is my opinion (and I am sticking to it) that photographers are in too damn big a hurry to click the shutter and “fix” the shot later in Photoshop or their “image processor” of choice. Just get the shot and massage it in “post process.”
My post received an “Okay Boomer” response. Ha!
Yes, I AM A BOOMER. And I am proud of it. lol
Why would anyone want to lose part of their image by cutting it away when they should be framing the shot in the camera? It is part of the rule of composition.
Until digital SLR cameras reached six mega-pixels I was shooting mostly film for my gallery shots. Back then, most photographers were trying to frame their shots in the camera because they did not want to degrade the image. Now, photographers are cropping just about everything because pixel counts are as high as fifty-one mega-pixels and they figure that anything above sixteen mega-pixels will give them a workable image.
I realize that there are times when I miss a shot because I frame my images carefully, but, I don’t crop anything. I am not shooting birds in flight in open sky. If I did I’d focus to infinity and blast away. But crop? Not if I can get the shot without it.
If there is no other way to get “the shot” go ahead and crop. It is sometimes the only way to get a good bird shot. Most bird photography professionals will agree on this, but, if the bird is sitting in a tree, use a long lens, get closer, use a blind, but you should not crop unless it is the only way to get the shot.
Trust me, it will make you a better photographer.