Cream of the Crop


Composing your images when you capture the photo has a lot to do with their appeal. However, pushing the shutter button is only the first step in composition. Every photo app/program has a cropping tool that gives you a second chance to adjust your composition. Cropping is simply removing part of the image, much like cutting it off with a pair of scissors. Many humdrum photos can become quite stunning with a little cropping.

Often we capture a bit too much sky and that dilutes the impact of an image. No problem, crop it out! Likewise, too much scenery that doesn’t tell the story can make your main characters get lost. By cropping out the extra scenery, you have an opportunity to reposition the  main focal point of the piece, thereby emphasizing your original intent.


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Overly bright and/or dark areas have the tendency to make the whole image appear too light or dark. Crop out some of those areas and you’ll find a totally different perspective to the scene. This is particularly true for bright areas near the edges of an image. Once you crop out any bright spots, your eye will no longer be drawn away from the main subject.

Sometimes we crop just to fit an aspect ratio (width versus height) for a particular frame. Most cropping tools give you the opportunity to rotate an image, and that can be a real lifesaver for shots with horizons. First make sure your horizons are level, then crop to suit. 

So pull up some of your past images and play around with cropping. With a little practice, you’ll not only turn “ho-hum” into “oh boy” … you’ll also be training your eye for the next time you click that shutter.  Ρ