Six Rules of Thumb for Good Photo Cropping
Written by Idea File Staff
- Perhaps the most common reason to crop a photo is to get it to fit a layout. This is fine if the photo has some areas that can be removed without ruining it. However, when cropping to fit lessens the visual effectiveness of a good photo, it is time to change the layout or select another image.
- A better reason for cropping is to eliminate some distracting visual element from the print. Cropping out a distracting foreground, side or background element, will help the reader quickly find and stay focused on the story-telling center of interest.
- Another good reason for cropping is to improve the composition of the photo. Knowledge of the principles of photo composition, combined with careful cropping, can create a rule-of-thirds position for the center of interest.
- In sports action photos, tight cropping on the center of interest creates visual impact. It does this by heightening the feeling of intensity and action.
- Cropping people in photos poses some interesting challenges. As a general rule, the crop should eliminate enough of the person so that it does not look like a mistake.
- Perhaps the best advice on cropping is to eliminate any elements in the photo that do not contribute to the story it is telling.