A guide to capturing photo dimensions & cropping

A Guide to Photography in National Parks… Vast Dimensions and Cropping

A while back we published a number of approaches to the “where and how” of street photography. The techniques that we reviewed were interesting and useful for the type of photography usually associated with cityscapes and the places we visit in cities. Since then I’ve been wondering about the types of photos we might take in open spaces where the view is wider and deeper.

This week I searched about and came across an article that focused on taking photos in the vast domain of National Parks. The lesson presented was directed at how to capture the dimensions of the views found there, and, as opposed to capturing personality, varying light settings and changing focus, the lessons were aimed at how wide and high to make the photos and when to crop them…a seemingly much different and appropriate emphasis on what to concentrate on.

However, as I read through the article I saw that there were ways of looking at the advice that would be appropriate for any type of photography. And our writer, Rebecca Latson, got me thinking more broadly when she shared this with us, “Focus and subject are the two keys. Are you happy with the original image, or would you like to place a little more emphasis on some particular item within your image?” That spoke to just about every photo I take.

Where Ms. Latson then takes us is through two distinct methods we can employ to get the most from our shots, Landscape vs. Portrait modes as we take the photos, and the use of a cropping tool once we have them.

First let’s take a look at using Landscape vs. Portrait.

First a landscape view.


And now the same scene in Portrait mode


I think that both have attractive features and emphasis. How do you feel?

Next let’s take a look at the results of cropping. First without cropping.


And now the same photo cropped.


It looks to me as though the emphasis in the uncropped photo is on the breadth of the mountains and the lake in front while on the cropped photo the focus is on the sun topped distant hills and the clear blue sky, a different emphasis. Yet both have their appeal.

Ms. Latson offers other examples of the two styles and her suggestions and reasons for both. See for yourself.

The article can be reached through the link below.

Let us know what you think.

Walter Krieg

Author: dotphoto

Glenn Paul is President and Co-Founder of dotPhoto, which began life in 2000 as a photo printing service and now also distributes user-generated media in Flash, video and on cell phones.

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