Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Cropping the Shot

This is my contribution to the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Cropping the Shot although I must admit that I ignored the instructions in the prompt and went my own way.

That’s because I very rarely crop. I was taught in art school to get it right in camera and it’s still something I practice today. Having spent decades shooting colour transparency film for clients and editors there was no option to crop, what ever was in the shot stayed in the shot.

However, modern digital equipment does have one huge advantage for me. Zoom lenses are finally good enough to use. I never found a zoom good enough to use alongside my prime lenses in the film era which resulted in me carrying between six and eight primes.

Using zoom lenses allows me to crop precisely in camera and shoot multiple versions of a scene. So here’s some in camera crops of Colpoy’s Bay and the Niagara Escarpment at sunrise one morning.

I will start off with a wide view before cropping sections of the view using my zoom lenses.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Cropping the Shot


Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Cropping the Shot


Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Cropping the Shot


Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Cropping the Shot


Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Cropping the Shot


29 replies on “Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Cropping the Shot”

Thanks Patti. It could be different these days but when I studied photography a lot of work was on colour transparency film (slides for 35mm) so there wasn’t the option of cropping.

Not really. I developed dermatitis from having my hands in the chemicals so much. Once the demand for black and white died off in newspapers and magazines I converted my darkroom into a mini studio with fish tanks and vivariums for documenting life cycles and other behaviour.

Interesting! I’ve heard of skin reactions to the chemicals, but I didn’t do it often enough to have a reaction. A vivarium and fish tanks…great idea.

It probably didn’t help that I was racing motorcycles at the weekends so if I didn’t have my hands in darkroom chemicals they were covered in various oils and greases. Using a fish tank was the only way to document the lifecycle of species such as frogs where they’re underwater for the tadpole stage.

Love the selection of images.

Good point on 35 mm transparencies. Back in the day, the only color work I did regularly was typically on Fuji 35 mm. By the way, I use the term work inappropriately. I was never a professional photographer.

Thanks John. I shot Kodachrome for a couple of decades before editors started preferring the Fujichrome Velvia colour palette. I have been digitizing my slide archives since Christmas.

These are lovely David. I agree cropping via camera and lens is a better option but there are definitely times when you cannot get the desired result, especially when working with wild animals and birds. There is also, of course, the element of cost 🙂

Thanks Tina. Even with digital I rarely crop birds or mammals. In the film era shooting slides if I couldn’t get the subject large enough in the frame I didn’t take a shot. Having developed that habit I find it a hard one to break.

These are wonderful, David. I stopped developing in the darkroom in my early 20s (a long, long time ago!). The chemicals would give me a 3 day asthma attack, which wasn’t sustainable in college. I couldn’t lose the 3 days of study time. I wasn’t an art student – I was pre-nursing and taking tough chemistry classes. I had a hard enough time with them without losing 3 days. I stopped doing photography as an art form for decades, and only returned to it a little over a year ago. Digital has been a godsend for me!

Thanks Hannah. I suspect that it could have been a stop bath causing the asthma attacks. I seem to remember some pretty nasty fumes of something and think that it was the stop bath.

I don’t know what it was in particular – whatever it was, it made the entire dark room reek. Also, 40 years ago the medications to control asthma were not nearly as sophisticated as they are now, so I couldn’t recover from the attack as quickly as I would be able to nowadays.

Absolutely beautiful photos! I completely admire and respect the fact that you don’t usually crop. Rare to meet someone who can take the photo and make it right the first time. You are indeed an accomplished artist. Donna

Thanks Donna. It’s the way I was taught when studying photography and I shoot digital the same way as I shot film. Rather amusingly I take less photos using digital than I did with film as I often tried to make duplicates with film in case the film got damaged or misplaced by an editor.

Thanks Ann-Christine. I had to come up with variations on a photo and I’ve always liked the clouds from that morning.

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