The Power Of Cropping

Photography - 101 Composition, Artistry, And Creating Great Images
10 minutes
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Transcript

In this video I want to talk about cropping. Now cropping is another one of our four C's that go into our artistry component. But here's the thing, why are we including cropping over with the compositional kind of discussion? Aren't they one in the same? Well, here's my perspective on it is that cropping is really different from composition. And that's why I've made them two different things.

When I crop it's really more for the overall story. It's what I want to include in an image. What I don't want to include, it's basically the story that I want to be telling. However, an image that is cropped a certain way is still going to have a certain composition. And just because I'm cropping doesn't mean I don't have a composition, I would choose still the compositional theory or the competition that I like most for that particular image that helps me to tell and basically to sell that story, but the crop is really what we're deciding to choose within a frame. And to give you an example of that we've set up a nice little picnic scene here.

And for our picnic scene, we're going to have our lovely couple come in. In just a moment. I'm going to show you how basically, by cropping on this different scene we can tell a whole number of stories, we can crop to show the entire story. We can crop the show just little details we can crop to basically show anything. And it really is going to help us overall in our final product, especially if it's going to an album or a website or a magazine spread. If we have these different crops and each one kind of tells a different story or a different part of our overall scene, we'll have a much stronger product in the end.

Okay, so let's get started. We're going to bring in our couple and we're going to set them up. By the way, as far as our lighting again, we've set this up to be against the sunlight. Kenan Christian wants you guys come in here while I'm talking. We're gonna basically have them right here and they're gonna be backlit, but we do have a nice fill light coming in from the front. So it should look really nice if we need to, we can add another silver side to kind of do a little bit of extra fill light and so forth.

But we'll just kind of adjust and do that in the scene once we get this set up. So guys, why don't you come in and have a seat? And I'm thinking we have Keith on the side of the champagne and Christine on the shot side of the pillows. Okay, so we've got them in position. Let's talk about what we've done here. Now I thought it would look kind of cool.

We came across this scene we had a great backlight setup, we have these beautiful trees in this branch. Right here on the right side, it does a really nice job of actually framing them. And I thought it looked nice and unique. It's different from, well, a standard or typical picnic scene we might do on the grass or on the beach or something. So added a little bit of flavor by kind of doing it on these rocks. Don't you guys think?

So. They're disagreeing with me just agree. They don't. They're like, we're good. I just do your thing. Okay, so what we have is we have some flowers over here, some pillows, these pillows are just, I said pillows funny, but these pillows are just accent colors.

Okay, so we're using yellow accent colors, because again, our scene, well, it's all green. It's all kind of this nice yellow leaves in the background. And if you even look at their dress in their clothing, we have kind of hints of yellow everywhere. So these are the tones, we're going for yellows and greens and tan. These are all analogous colors. Again, we're going for that kind of harmonious look in the scene.

Also the whites, the whites on his clothing, the grays, whites and the flowers. Again, these are all analogous colors to the scene. Everything's going to kind of tie together it's going to come up with a really nice overall image. What we're going to be doing here is we're going to do a few different shots. We're going to do some I'm not shocked like drinks, we're going to take sips of our champagne. And we're going to take a few different photos.

So what we're going to do is focus in on different areas. So for example, well I'm going to go ahead and dial in my exposure first. I'm set up right now on a 35 millimeter, I'm actually going to switch this out to let me switch out to the 51st and then we're going to do a couple close up detail shots, get our exposure right and everything with the 50 and we'll come back to this. Okay, so I've got my 51.8 on I'm going to go ahead and just dial in an exposure. So I'm going to switch over to my spot meter real quick and we're just going to do our same little tricks here. Let me hit I to bring up their little guide metering we're going to go to spot and that's perfect.

Okay, I'm going to bring it up right over her face. I'm going to meet her for her and just go right underneath her eye and I'm going to get in really tight sorry mature I'm kidding like this is like creepy Li close but the closer I get the better it's gonna meet her because I just want her to I just to meet her the skin only Okay, so the camera Demeter the skin. So, right around one one 60th of a second. again. So right around one, one 60th of a second, I'm going to go down to f2. And then we're going to go up to ISO 200.

So let's go ahead and just bring this over to ISO 200. Let's take a quick shot just to double check and it looks pretty solid, it might be a tiny bit on the dark side. So what I might do, every time I say dark side, I feel like I'm talking about Star Wars might be a little bit in the dark, no, not Star Wars like exposure. Okay, so let me back up, I'm just gonna check out the overall scene. I'm going to drop this to one 100 at least until we're ready to start doing more cannon type shots, we're going to do cannon shots, I do need to speed it up. But for right now, let me just get a quick look at one 100 because I do want to be a little bit on the brighter side.

So I'm actually going to bring it up to maybe let's go back to one 200 and just see if let's see our histogram looks and actually, I want 200 a second, it looks a tiny bit dark on the display, but in the histogram, it looks totally fine. This is exactly why I say to make sure that you're using the histogram because this is one of those situations where I will kind of want to go live on the brighter side and I end up blowing things out. Okay, so where I want 200 f two, we're gonna shoot at F ISO 200. What I'm gonna do first is I'm gonna start out with some of these details. So let's do this, let's go get in close on these strawberries and kind of on the flowers. These are those setup shots, they're the shots that are going to kind of tell the overall story and, and let me have you kind of bringing a hand over like you're going to pluck a strawberry.

Okay? So just kind of bring the hand in. Yeah, actually grab one. Perfect. That's great. And then I'm going to go on to this side, we're going to get a little shot of our flowers.

Perfect. Okay, so Olivia, why don't I have you bring that in. I want to see what it looks like. If we just bounce a little bit of light. You're gonna have to stay outside the frame. So stay over on this side.

But bring it all the way up and I think we can capture a little bit of light from the scene and just reflect right on to them. Okay, so go there they are. Okay, perfect. That's great. That's a nice little difference. There.

That that little kicker, that little fill of light is going to really kind of help make the scene that much more, that much more better. That much more better, guys, that's how it's gonna be. All right, we're gonna do is take a couple scenes shots here. So let's go ahead and I'm going to crop so that we get the bottoms of their feet. So this is a completely different crop, then those close up shots as you guys can see, again, we're telling a story of him then being in this little scene together. I want you guys to look towards each other now.

That's perfect. I'm going to switch to go kind of with a little side composition. So we're going to shoot with them on the left third, love it interact with each other a little bit, guys just kind of There you go. Perfect. Love it. Give me a little bit of playing around a little joking around.

Okay, I'm gonna get a little bit low. We're gonna shoot for these big nice trees in the background. Guys look at each other again, kind of There you go. Perfect in the moment. Now we're going to do is we're going to switch too, I'm going to go for an 85. And I'm going to crop a little bit tighter with that last shot, we're kind of going for a negative space.

Now negative space doesn't necessarily have to be just open space, negative space can refer to just basically open side of the frame, or it can be like open clean space, we have basically the tree in that negative space, but it's still negative space where we can place text, we can place other things in the image, a for say, putting together a card and so forth. Okay, so what I'm gonna do is just kind of, I want you guys to wrap up each other's hands a little bit. That's beautiful. See what the shot I'm composing it so that the hands are towards the left third of the frame. And I'm going to get close I'm going to do one where we're composing with the hands in the center of the frame. Okay, so this is what I mean with every crop still has its own composition.

It's just the crop is telling the overall story is defining what we want to talk about. I think their feet are cute, and I love their hands and scene. So I'm going to go for a crop that kind of really shows off more of their clothing, more of the overall kind of scene, but not so much about them or their faces. It's just going to Be like their bodies and their everything else in the shot the details. Okay, we're gonna go for the details. So let's go ahead and what we're going to do is uncork the champagne again, plan, right?

So he's setting up I want to prepare, I want to lock in my settings. One 200 a second is good. I want a little bit of action in the cork. If I can get the cork kind of flying out, it's gonna look really cool. That's a really hard shot to get. But we're going to try and increase our chances of getting it by setting up everything being ready.

We're going to focus we're going to lock in anticipate where the action is going to happen, and we're going to try and get the shot. So where are you going to work it? Where are you going to be firing? Right? That would be an awesome outtake. Actually, should we try that?

Do it like right off the side of the camera? Okay, famous last words. Okay. Yeah, I'm gonna get kind of your hands as you're doing that. And then let's have your hands in the scene still. So yeah, Christine, kind of.

There you go. There you go. I'm just getting the details of him basically opening up the bottle and everything. Okay, I'm gonna hold up with One second. Okay, I'm gonna get I'm getting a little backfire so I can get a shot of them as they're opening the champagne. So kind of like a couple different focal lengths if you have a zoom, it's great but again, I want that Prime look.

So I've got to get a little bit of movement so I just have them pause here and there's I can move back and forth. Okay, I'm gonna speed up my shutter speed to 250 just to make sure we can get this and then let me that's accurate. That was awesome. That was completely unplanned. He did not touch the cork. If you can plan prepare, login to Settings anticipate and ready for it.

When it happened. We just went with it. I wasn't expecting to either kind of surprised all of us but we got these hilarious shots that you know you probably wouldn't put them in a magazine but they're awesome keepsakes for you guys so Okay, so we are done in our little picnic scene here. Hopefully this helps you all out to understand how cropping really changed the story of an image and how Each crop has its own composition, and how in a scene like this we can choose and we can crop in different areas to really add to an overall composition and tell a better story.

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