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To crop or not to crop that may be the question…

Often times when I’m out and about taking photographs I’m so caught up in the moment that I might lose sight of the small details. I find that I might try to put as much information as possible into frame and other times I may take it to the other extreme ending up with an image full of negative space. These are those if you blink you may miss it kind of moments where taking the time to fully compose your image is not an option.

Something that I personally as well as others have been guilty of is posting and editing an image as is and not taking the time to critically examine the image and see if there is something that can be done to make an image more successful and really stand out.

Below is an image that was shot at The Unisphere this image is uncropped and unedited

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This image was then edited and cropped using the Camera+ app (it is on both the iPad and iPhone) as well as Snapseed (there is a computer version of this as well.

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By cropping an image like this my goal was to draw the viewer into the image and having a stronger focal point vs having your eye wandering around not quite sure of what the subject matter is.

Below is another before and after example from the same day.

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Ideally when cropping you want to try to avoid taking off body parts as it can be a bit jarring however in the above image I felt that the child was so engaging that the extra arm may be overlooked.

I would like to pose a question to the readers when taking photos do you frame and crop in your mind while taking shots or is it something that happens during your editing process?

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Try it…if you don’t like it you can spit it out in my hand….

This was an expression that my sister and I heard quite often growing up especially when it came to the dinner table.  By keeping an open mind to the unknown and knowing that we could always spit something out if we deemed it be gross enough our palette was expanded.

But how does this relate to photography…. I’m sure that is the question your asking yourself.  Well now that most people have gone digital we have our images at our fingertips instantaneously so in the matter of mere seconds we can decide if we like the image we have taken or if we want to just spit it out.  This also gives us a sense of freedom we are not confined to 36 shots per roll in a situation where you have to make sure each one count.  Instead it enables us to step outside of a comfort zone and try something new whether it be a shooting style or subject matter.

Ultimately at first you may want to spit out this new taste, but if you wait it out and try a slight bit more you may find you enjoy it and if not well for a brief period your have tried something new.  And at the end of the day stepping outside of ones comfort zone will ultimately help in the training of your eye and allowing you to see things from a different perspective causing you to become a more well rounded photographer.

The following images were all taken on a photowalk that was lead by Rick Sammon that took place at The Unisphere  which is located in the Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens, NY.  These images are my way stepping outside my comfort zone and trying something new.

And in case you were wondering yes we did occasionally spit things out and most recently that food was Uni (sea urchin)

“Nothing happens when you sit at home. I always make it a point to carry a camera with me at all times…I just shoot at what interests me at that moment.” – Elliott Erwitt

I always remember being interested in photographs, however it was not until I first learned to shoot with a manual camera that I really understood my love of photography.  Like all things feelings and emotions change over time, I became burnt out and I put my camera down…

Almost a year ago that changed while trying to cope with things going on in my life I slowly began to take photographs again as a way to process and deal with my own emotions.  Photography became a release for me a way to escape and feel a bit more like myself.  What was the main factor in my taking photographs again… I stumbled upon a photography sharing app known as Instagram, by going though and looking at others work I became inspired and once again my love affair began.

There is not a day that goes by that I do not take at least one photograph, some are just brief snapshots, mere glimpse at where I am at a precise moment while others are more thought out and composed. During those days when I’m not walking around with my camera… well I always have my phone.

All of the photographs in this gallery have been shot using an iPhone4 some using the native camera, others where taken using apps such as InstagramStreetmate and Camera+.  For macro shots I use and recommend both the Olloclip system which is an all in one lens system as well as the 4-in-1 Lens system by Brainydeal which is an incredible deal at a lesser price.