The Magic of Photo Crops

I liked this image right out of the camera first time I saw it. There was just something about the light and the depth that appealed to me. But the longer I looked at it, the more I got thinking, “Gee. I wish that I could see more of the Nuthatch.” If I blew up the image full size on my monitor, I could see how cute the expression was and the fact that I had eye contact. I almost shrugged my shoulders and said “Oh well.”

But then it hit me. Why not crop it. Not only did I crop it, I also did a Topaz treatment that simulates the look of a painting or watercolour. I can’t help it! It’s like an addiction I have to turn everything into a painting these days. Maybe after the novelty wears off I’ll leave well enough alone. But in the meantime, I just love the effect and this little cutie is no different.

The thing to remember about crops is that your image has to be sharp to begin with. If you have ghosts or too much noise, you’re better off to leave the image larger. I know that new software can “sharpen” images these days. (It’s amazing how far the digital manipulations have come in only a year!) And if the image is only slightly blurred, then the software does a fairly good job. But serious over sharpening can cause a myriad of other issues to “crop” up.
Sorry. I couldn’t resist.
Over sharpening leads to attenuated noise in the photo and there’s no amount of treatment that will get rid of it. You would spend less time in trying to redo the shot than squinting at the monitor trying to clone out or brush out the problems. Of course, there are some instances where the shot is a “one time only” deal. In which case, I suggest cropping in only so far and stopping before the noise issues and sharpening become glaringly obvious. As a hobbyist, we have to learn to get brutally honest with ourselves about what constitutes a “keeper” and what is an, “Oh I can fix that in PS”. I’m speaking from personal experience. I saved all my images even though there was no way in heck I could “crop” anything off them. Yes, they were that bad. But they looked “cool” so I saved them. 3 years later, I’ve learned. If they can’t hold up to the old 1:1 view, then they better have some other redeeming quality in order to make the grade. For instance, a shot of a UFO …. kidding.

But that would be SO cool!

Anyway. Give the idea of cropping your photos another thought if you haven’t already. Sometimes, what we thought was just an OK picture, with a slight crop can suddenly become the money shot for you. Also, take into consideration, if you had a landscape layout – there’s no reason you can’t crop portrait style:


















Yeah. I had to play with this one too. There’s just so many opportunities with photo editing software these days! And what else am I going to do with this bad back but play with pictures? 🙂



About Positive Polly

I am a retired Avionics Technician, wife, mother, sister, daughter, and dog owner. I enjoy knitting, baking, photography and photo editing.
This entry was posted in Animals, Photography and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to The Magic of Photo Crops

  1. I love to crop but do less now that I am learning to frame my shots with more care. I will have to check out the Topaz program it looks interesting.

  2. I like the shot right out of the camera but I too love to play and see what will work. Most times I just leave it . Great information.

  3. eyegillian says:

    I too find that sharpness is becoming a make-or-break element. But cuteness can overcome all! Fascinating look at three possible presentations; I have to admit I like the “topaz” version best because of the warm colours.

  4. I hope you didnt give up your blog.

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