Saturday, February 28, 2009
Golden Rules of Photography #2
Avoid Knee-Jerk Reactions
Here are two images of model Rosie O'Connell in my newly-refurbished photography studio. Well, that's not strictly true.
Does the top shot of Rosie look odd in any way? In theory it should, because full length photographs of people that are cropped between the knee and the foot (usually around the shin bone) tend to give a "disembodied limb" look, which can appearing jarring to the viewer. Sometimes, the reason for the shot not looking right to the viewer might not be obvious - they might not notice the missing feet, but it won't have a pleasing effect on them.
If the theory works, the second shot should have a more pleasing effect on the eye. When I cropped the second shot, I used today's Golden Rule of Photography:
If You've Lost the Feet - Lose the Knees
Following the Golden rule, I cropped above the knee halfway along the thigh, turning the shot into a "three-quarter" length crop, rather than a full-length shot with the feet missing.
This rule also applies to hands that have been cropped off at the wrist - giving that weird disembodied look. Although in the case of arms with missing hands, it might be harder to make a pleasing new crop without taking the crop to chest level - cropping between the elbow and the shoulder, turning what might have started out as a half length or three-quarter length shot, into a head and shoulders.
Try looking at your own shots with missing body parts and see if a bit of judicious cropping would improve the picture.
Golden Rules of Photography #1
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