Photography Cheat Sheet: Cropping Guide for Portrait Photography

Cropping in your framing or in post-processing is necessary for portrait shoots. Let this photography cheat sheet serve as your guide to do it effectively.

The concept of composition is the foundation of any outstanding photo, and it’s especially the case for portrait photography. Part of compositon is deciding which part of your subject appears in your shot. Whether composing through your camera or cropping in post, you don’t want to ruin a perfectly good portrait by trimming it at an awkward part. To that end, this simple photography cheat sheet will be a handy guide for you.

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The Trick to Fixing Portraits with Awkwardly Cropped Limbs You Need to Know

Fix those awkwardly cut off limbs in your portraits with this quick trick


One of the very first things photographers learn during their venture into portraiture is properly framing the subject. Limbs should not be cut along the joints. When badly-framed shots still make the cut, we sometimes notice they’re actually not so bad if not for the awkwardly cropped limbs. A quick video tutorial by Pretty Preset for Lightroom tells us how to remedy this with a simple trick on our photo editing software of choice.

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The ReEdit: Editing Skin Tones and Getting More Control in Capture One

In today’s episode of The ReEdit, I decided to go back into my portfolio of hard drives to a shoot from 2013. This session was done with a fan favorite: Grace. I was reviewing a Profoto light and the images, even today, hold up. First off, it was done with what’s an old camera by today’s standards, the Canon 5D Mk II. However, when using it with the Sigma 35mm f1.4 Art lens combined with the Profoto light I’m able to get sharpness that rivals modern cameras and lenses. This proves more than anything that your lighting is really what matters. Then I go into the editing process.

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Why You Should Never Underestimate the Power of Cropping

When you’re going through Lightroom or Capture One 10 while looking at your images, there’s a big chance you’re not using the majority of the images from your shooting session. Most people casually glance over them and, instead of trying to find a way to make them into something better, just move on. If you’re on a deadline that makes sense, but if you’ve got some time you should consider cropping your photos. Lots of photographers don’t ever consider just what cropping can do for you. It’s one of the most powerful tools of photo editors at big news wires and can help you to create a better final product overall.

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Lessons to be Learned from Post-Processing

1 Leopard Yawn

Leopard Yawn. I maneuvered myself so no sky was visible, only lush green.

All images by John Rowell. Used with permission.

The main goal of post-processing is the finished image itself, right?  If you answer yes to this, then you are missing out on many side lessons it offers that can help you in the long run. I use post-processing as self-evaluation and a learning tool. It helps me to develop my style and reduce my time editing future images too. This ultimately leads to less computer time and more shooting time–which is great since I am a photographer and not an editor!

Anyone can do this by asking a simple question every time you are processing your images. “How could I have done this in camera”? Think of post-processing as a breakdown of what you did wrong, or could improve upon. Now use this breakdown to take better images next time!

Follow John on Twitter for more!

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Three Ways to Create More Effective Images Through Cropping

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Canon 28mm f2.8 IS first impressions (16 of 31)ISO 1001-200 sec at f - 2.8

Think about all the different ways that you can crop the image above. Then think to yourself how that crop will affect the way that someone views it.

Many photographers may tell you not to crop your images and instead to get it right in the camera in the first place. If you’re fortunate enough to have the time to do that, then we fully agree. But in many situations, a moment can already be gone by the time you’re ready to shoot. However, cropping an image can make it stronger–and it’s a tool that photo editors at magazines and newspapers have been using for years to make something look more effective for the content that their companies produce.

Here’s what we mean.

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National Geographic Photo Contest Winner Gets Disqualified for Removing a Bag from Winning Image


See that photo above? According to Fuji Rumors, that is the original photo that was supposed to be entered into a contest for National Geographic. The photo is by photographer Harry Fisch, who explained the entire situation on his blog.


Harry emailed Nat Geo’s editors after learning that his photo was disqualified to argue a very valid point that has been totally fine in photojournalism for years: what if he cropped it? Cropping the image doesn’t change it enough to call it Photoshopping. In fact, it’s a practice done by photo editors every day to make a good image stronger. Fisch’s point was that the bag didn’t have any major impact on the image at all.

What do you think? Oh, by the way: the image was shot with the X Pro 1.

Editor’s Note: we corrected our misinterpretation that Mr. Fish cropped the image. Instead, he simply argued the point. We’re sorry for the mistake.

Via Fuji Rumors

An Introduction to The Rule of Thirds

The Rule of Thirds is a fundamental concept of photography that deals with the composition of your image based upon an imaginary or superimposed grid. We talk about it often here on the site, but you may not even know what it really is or how to use it. Here’s your field guide.

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