Friday, May 27, 2011

Cropping - an example

Tombstones on a Wall

Kate is currently reading "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" which is a non-fiction book about Savannah, Georgia.  It's very good and I have been suggesting that Kate read it for years.  This way, if we ever go to Savannah, she'll be prepared.

I came across the book the first time I was there doing a seminar.  Just about everyone in the class recommended I read it.  It's funny how people in Fargo weren't that enthusiastic about their movie.

Anyway, I sent her a link to my Savannah pictures and she asked about the above picture: "…is there some artistic reason why you didn’t crop off the partial one on the right side of the frame?" 

Great, everyone's a critic.

Here's my response: "I don't remember, but I'd do the same now.  Sometimes, cropping like that implies there are more items in the pattern that continue out of the frame.  Which there were in this case.  If I recall correctly, there was about 50 feet of wall with these tombstones attached.  If I hadn't left that partial one in there, the viewer might have the vague impression that they're seeing all there is."

Here's another way to look at it: if I had cropped it so that only the whole markers were visible, the viewer would have a sense of closure.  By leaving the right one cropped, the viewer does NOT have a sense of closure.  Which is the desired result.

Or it could be that I was just too lazy to crop that day.  I don't know.

Jim Frazier

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