Cropping to Tell Stories

Gerry van der Walt All Authors, Gerry Leave a Comment

A few days ago, in this post, I had a look at cropping and how it can change the story of your wildlife image.

As I was working through some images from our Tuli Nature Photography workshops I found another great example that shows how cropping can be a very effective way to create different stories.  Different mages.

Check it out.

This is the original image as shot out in the field.

Gerry van der Walt - Wildlife & Nature Photography

As the small herd of ellies moved past us I was focusing on the little family unit right in the middle but I just could not get a clean shot as the one youngster on the right had his butt in the frame the whole time.

Now I am not against this shot as it definitely shows the family in the middle and, by including the butt on the right, shows that they are part of a larger herd.  There is a story there.

Now let’s crop.

Gerry van der Walt - Wildlife & Nature Photography

By doing a simple crop in Lightroom I was able to create a similar but more focused story.

Cropping out the young elephant on the right hand side left me with an image that is a lot more focused on the family and the new portrait orientation makes the height differences within the group more pronounced than in the landscape image.

Gerry van der Walt - Wildlife & Nature Photography

I do not necessarily prefer one image over the other but it’s great to be able to create to different images, two different stories, from one frame.

Cropping can be a very powerful part of your post processing workflow.  Learn how to use it properly, without overdoing it, and you will have a great creative tool with which to tell stories.

Until next time.

Gerry van der Walt

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