4 Comments

  1. Belinda McCarthy
    July 22, 2011 @ 7:08 am

    Nice subject – I don’t think I’ve seen it covered in this way on a blog before! The amount of images I see which would go from ‘ok’ to ‘great’ just given a little thoughtful cropping… I’ve lost count. Crowd shots are a case in point – having half a head, or a leg walking into shot, behind your main point of composition can ruin a shot.

    Cropping to a non-standard image proportion can sometimes look strange, too – as if you’ve accepted that your original composition was wrong and are trying to correct it (badly). I had a client who cropped one of my well balanced images of him into a square proportion and from a shot where he was leaning his chin upon his hand and his elbow upon the table, it then looked like there was an alien arm coming in from nowhere to touch him on the face!

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  2. Frank
    August 3, 2011 @ 1:22 am

    Many of the professional head shots crop off the top of the head (hair), while many amateurs (including myself) leave some space above the head that shows the background.

    Even with the most beautiful backgrounds, the chop off versions almost always look better.

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  3. Phil Steele
    August 11, 2011 @ 12:55 pm

    Thanks, Ed, this “further down the limb” principle is a really simple rule of thumb for something that I always found a difficult choice. You just made my life a bit easier.

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  4. Arian
    September 16, 2013 @ 12:20 am

    It’s good to know all these rules, but at the same time they say there are no rules. I just look at the overall composition and don’t get obsessed about every little thing.

    Cropping off the top of the head looks better because of ‘the rule of thirds’, where subject’s eyes happen to be on the line which divides the image into 3 sections and draws attention to subject’s eyes.

    Nice subject by all means.

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