Which crop do you prefer?

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bajadreamer

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This shot, a Toucan Barbet, presented me with a quandary. I really like the OOF flowers in the BG of the lower part of the image. To try to preserve those I cropped in a more horizontal mode. Unfortunately, IMO, that made for an ungainly looking image. I then cropped in a more traditional, rule of thirds, manner but had to add canvas at the top. That gave a better composition (again IMO) but I lost a lot of the BG OOF flowers. Any thoughts? Otherwise the image had the bird slightly brought up and the BG slightly brought down.

Toucan-Barbet-Birdwatchers-House.jpg
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Toucan-Barbet-Birdwatchers-House-recropped.jpg
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BarkingBeansCoffee

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For the screen I kinda like the second one, but if I were farther back then maybe the first. Both are good. The second leaves you wondering what has its attention more than the first, at least for me, on the screen.
 

Butlerkid

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#2. For me the bird is the subject and my eye in #2 stays focused on the bird. Typically the OOF background shouldn't draw a lot of attention.

FWIW....in #1 I'm drawn to the white circle under the branch in the middle of the image. It becomes a lot less noticeable in #2.
 

NorthernFocus

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Of these two options I prefer the first one. IMO the added canvas on top of the second image wasn't necessary. But rather than either maybe try keeping the 2x3 format and simply pulling in the right side of frame until the bird's eye is centered left to right and on the upper third line.
 
#1. For me, the closer crop creates more tension as if the bird has nowhere to go. Plus, the way the moss is cur off on the right side is a little distracting. For either one, I would also recommend you burn the corners for a slight vignette.
 

bajadreamer

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For the screen I kinda like the second one, but if I were farther back then maybe the first. Both are good. The second leaves you wondering what has its attention more than the first, at least for me, on the screen.
I like that idea. You are correct-he was actually interested in another bird that was advancing toward his perch.
 

bajadreamer

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#2. For me the bird is the subject and my eye in #2 stays focused on the bird. Typically the OOF background shouldn't draw a lot of attention.

FWIW....in #1 I'm drawn to the white circle under the branch in the middle of the image. It becomes a lot less noticeable in #2.
That typically is my philosophy. BTW, I did not notice the white spot before you brought it up and now I cannot look at anything but that. I will go back and clone that out, no matter what my final crop is.
 

bajadreamer

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Of these two options I prefer the first one. IMO the added canvas on top of the second image wasn't necessary. But rather than either maybe try keeping the 2x3 format and simply pulling in the right side of frame until the bird's eye is centered left to right and on the upper third line.
I often have trouble with long birds (tip of beak to tip of tail) that are sitting horizontal. I think that is the issue for me here.
 

bajadreamer

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#1. For me, the closer crop creates more tension as if the bird has nowhere to go. Plus, the way the moss is cur off on the right side is a little distracting. For either one, I would also recommend you burn the corners for a slight vignette.
I definitely need to do some clone work to clean up some of the distractions no matter what crop I finally settle on.
 

tc1

Active member
One for me. Two is too tight and you have cropped out the mossy green bits at the bottom which add to the image. Also IMHO there is too much space above the bird in two. If available, did you consider more image to the left as the tail is quite close to the edge in both versions.
Just my two cents.
 

bajadreamer

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One for me. Two is too tight and you have cropped out the mossy green bits at the bottom which add to the image. Also IMHO there is too much space above the bird in two. If available, did you consider more image to the left as the tail is quite close to the edge in both versions.
Just my two cents.
Thank you for looking. I agree with you about #2. A common problem that I face is deciding what to do with a horizontal bird. This bird, while not a large bird, is long-from tip of tail to tip of beak. So, to try to get more frame in front of the bird than behind, I often end up with the tip of the tail too close to the edge. I guess I need to look at cropping more often in 16:9 or other horizontal formats.
 
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Hobbzz

Well-known member
First one. I'm not a fan of tight crops and the negative space you left does wonders for photography.
 

Calson

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I prefer the second image but with both images I would do an auto mask and tone down the background to provide better separation for the bird.
 

bajadreamer

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First one. I'm not a fan of tight crops and the negative space you left does wonders for photography.
Thank you for looking. You and my wife would certainly agree on that point. She is constantly after me to loosen up on the crops.
 

bajadreamer

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I prefer the second image but with both images I would do an auto mask and tone down the background to provide better separation for the bird.
Thank you. I have already desaturated the BG and brought it down a little. In the second crop I also applied a light blur to the BG. I have to be careful as I tend to brighten my birds and darken the BG too much sometimes. You are absolutely correct about separation though.
 

Woodyg3

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Number 1, although I might have cut a bit off the right. Number 2 has too much space above the bird, IMO. Great shot!
 
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