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Digital Photography : Cropping Photos To Tell A Story
A Picture can save a Thousand Words
Many of us take photographs to help us to remember something special - a person, a place or an occasion. There is a well-known saying: 'a picture saves a thousand words' which we can easily relate to. Imagine how many words you would need to use to fully describe a groups of friends enjoying a beach barbecue! On this page, I show you how to use photo-editing software to improve and correct your photos, and how to tell the story you want to tell by cropping your images correctly.
I took this photo in Snowdonia. It shows a beautiful lake, Llyn Teyrn, from the Miners Track, on the descent from Mount Snowdon. It reminds me of great times walking with friends in the mountains. After a bleak start to the day, the sun began to break through the clouds. Magic!
The photos on this page are all my own, and copyright to me. Please contact me first, if you wish to use any of them. Thanks!
What Story Are You Trying to Tell?
Having the ability to edit your own images can help you to improve them. Cropping images is a basic editing technique - how close you crop will depend on the story you are trying to tell with your images.
Here we get a much better idea of what's going on. The female is scurrying away while the males are occupied!
Our Best Shot
but not good enough
In an ideal world, we would always be able to compose our images perfectly. We wouldn't discover a tree or lamp-post mysteriously 'growing on someone's head' in our holiday photos and we would be able to zoom in close enough to see people or objects in detail. Sometimes, though, we just have to take the best shot we can e.g perhaps you wanted to remember the male tortoises scuffling over the female at the zoo.
Please note that the resolution of these photos is quite low. I took them several years ago, at Linton Zoo, on a low-res digital camera. Now, it's possible to get hold of an easy to use camera, with excellent resolution, at a very reasonable price.
But if you're only interested in the scuffle, you can crop even closer.
Cropping is a skill, but it's easier to get right if you first make a decision on which story you are trying to tell with your image.
Some problems you may encounter
1) Image RESOLUTION being too low to allow you to get in any closer - certainly a problem with the tortoises above.
2) Objects in the wrong place that can't be cropped out - sometimes we have to use additional techniques like removing blemishes by painting or cloning.
3) Images tilted at strange angles - we may have to straighten the image before we crop.
The Digital Photography Book is practical, filled with useful tips and the tricks that professional photographers use. It will help you get the most out of your camera, by selecting the right location and the right settings for the situation.
There are hundreds of different programs available, depending on your needs and on how much you want to spend. My favourites are always the Adobe Photo-editing programs, but there are many others that you could try. All good software programs have built-in help or "tutorials", so don't worry about getting started.
If like me, you are UK based and would like to see highly rated cameras available in the UK. You will find some superb Digital Cameras here
The links for cameras, software and books on this page will take you to the US based supplier Amazon.com
Great Range of Digital Cameras
Digital cameras vary in quality, resolution and price. I have selected some very reasonably priced, but still high quality cameras, which hopefully will inspire your photography.
This stylish camera is compact and easy to use. It has a 16.0 Megapixel Image Sensor, with DIGIC 4 Image Processor, 5x Optical Zoom and 28mm Wide-Angle lens, all of which combine to help you capture more dynamic, exciting photos.
With the Canon PowerShot, you can take high quality photos in a wide range of conditions. It is a 20 megapixel camera, with 10x optical zoom, and smart AUTO selection based on 32 shooting situations. It's easy to use, with great speed and functionality to give you the best results.
Tough, Water Resistant Cameras
Do you enjoy beach holidays, water sports or skiing? If you want to take photos of these activities, it is possible to get a tough, water resistant camera. The Nikon is a great example.
The Nikon Coolpix AW120 is great value and packing with useful features. It is waterproof and shockproof making it perfect for the great outdoors. It has wifi and a GPS system with compass, landmarks and maps. The Coolpix AW120 has a 16 MP sensor, a focal range of 24-120mm, and fast focusing in good light. It can also take full HD (1080/60i) video.
Need more information on cameras or software? - I hope these links help!
All you want to know about digital cameras
- Samsung Cameras
Samsung Smart Cameras let you capture and share your best photos by email or upload to social networks straight from the camera via Wi-Fi.
- Olympus Global Home Page
Olympus combines imagination with passion to create innovative products.
- Nikon | Home
Nikon Global website.
- Panasonic North America - Electronics for your home and business
Compare and purchase electronics including HD Plasma & LCD TVs, Blu-ray DVD players, digital cameras, 3D HD camcorders and more at Panasonic.com.
- Canon Global
Global Web site of Canon. The reformation and the expansion that healthily becomes it hangs, and Canon Inc. aims at further development.
Adobe is changing the world through digital experiences. We help our customers create, deliver, and optimize content and applications.
- Web Design, Photo Editing and DTP software | Serif - Inspiring Creativity
The leading independent publisher of award-winning, great value software. Download our web design, photo editing, desktop publishing and graphics software now.
- Photo Editing & Digital Imaging
Corel Photo Editing & Digital Imaging Software
- Paint.NET - Free Software for Digital Photo Editing
Paint.NET is free image and photo editing software for computers that run Windows.
- Zoner software
Zoner Photo Studio - download photos, manage whole batches of them, develop them from RAW, share in great ways like panoramas, HDR, and calendars... and of course the Web! Free download of photo-editing software.
More reading on digital photography
This Kindle book is for you if you are taking your first steps in digital photography. It offers the basics in an easy to read and easy to follow way.