Ah, to crop or not to crop. Personally I do crop. Cartier-Bresson allegedly never cropped an image out of principle. Yet one of my favourite contemporary photographers, Jack Davison, says this: “… the one thing I live by, still, is to crop out everything that's not important, and to make a really tight, strong frame.”

So, I’ll sit on the fence and say… it depends!

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When in doubt, I like to keep an uncropped version for a "just in case" scenario but in general I'm not too worried if I need to crop.

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during the season, i photograph a lot of rugby matches. between the sport photographers there is a saying "shoot tight, crop tighter". regarding sport i would say i crop most of my images. otherwise, not really, it depends.

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Aug 13Liked by Stella Kalaw

As we try and discern what the world actually needs, we encounter such interesting neighbors -- the art of cropping and the imperative of letting go. Often, less is more.

Thank you for a lovely and thought-provoking post.

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Everything in this letter resonates, Stella. Vocation, generosity, love and helpfulness. I think all these layers build a human life that pulses and flourishes, yet can be held lightly with curiosity for whatever is coming next in the story.

Re cropping: I tend to be a after-cropper because I love showing the intimacy of the moment. When I notice a living creature in the forest, it often feels like a shy presence is making itself known to me and I reverence that. Sometimes I like to hike without my glasses on, so I can’t fully control the image and see the finest details of what I’m shooting. It leaves a lot of room to be surprised by what’s been shown to me when I get back home.

I love your work. Thank you for making this. 🌿

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I have no photography experience but I do find when I take a pic without having to crop it, it’s a good picture. When I do need to crop it, I don’t feel it’s as good of a picture.

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Aug 13·edited Aug 13Liked by Stella Kalaw

I don't normally crop but I see nothing wrong with it. Whatever the picture becomes with the crop, it's still something that was there - taken in the original frame.

Love the Pema Chodron quote. Thank you for that.

P.S. I'm editing my comment to take out the line "To me it's just a form of editing" because that can be a whole can of worms. Ha!

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Aug 14Liked by Stella Kalaw

Love so many things about this post! Gui and I definitely have creative differences when it comes to cropping- it’s true that it depends on the creator’s intention. Your post also reminded me of how I like to think of creators like a conduit of something greater. Julia Cameron writes in “The Artist’s Way, “Creativity, I believed, was a spiritual practice. We had only to open ourselves up to the Great Creator working through us. We became channels for spiritual energy to enter the world. Writing, painting, dancing, acting—no matter what form our creativity took, the Great Creator caused us to flourish.” Thank you for your post! My website is finally up, you had asked about my art earlier...


Instagram: joanpintoceramics

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I view photos as stories, so I crop if that focuses the story and leave the image if that creates a better story.

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