It’s not always easy to get up close and personal with your kid when s/he’s playing sports. Even when you have a long telephoto lens or are able to zoom with your feet, there still are times when your digital SLR can’t just isolate on your favorite subject. And even those who believe that the security guards’ rules don’t—ahem!—apply to them sometimes have to use another means to bring the action front and center: Cropping in photo-editing software.
A friend of mine once asked if I thought cropping was cheating. No way! Rarely do I not adjust a pic in Photoshop. Cropping can make a good photo even better.
Look at the above photo of my #2 son competing in the 800 meters at last week’s track meet. There are so many distractions; it’s hard to concentrate on the true focal point.
Here’s how it looks after I’ve cropped it into a vertical (after straightening it) and taken away all the meaningless clutter. You can better see the strain on his face and how he has both feet in the air. It hardly looks like the same photo!
I usually set my crop aspect in Photoshop for 4 x 6 (or 6 x 4), which is the size that most parents want. It’s an easy-peasy change.
Here’s another example from the same track meet. Michael was practicing grabbing the baton from Owen before a relay. Which do you prefer . . . the straight out of camera shot above?
Or this one where there’s absolutely no question who and what this photo is about? Cropping definitely saves the day.
Need to get rid of people surrounding your favorite athlete?
Crop ’em out of there!
So remember, you can add to your photo’s interest by subtracting what isn’t needed (usually a lot of excess space and people). Become a better photographer by cropping!