If you’ve been on any of my workshops, you’ll recall me working with you, coaching you to take time to get the image “right” in-camera, let me explain why:  

Apart from choosing which lens to use, then there are your settings – ISO, shutter speed and aperture to capture the image to your liking, what I’m also wanting you to look at are:

  • The flow of the image – leading lines & framing your subject
  • Horizon – is it straight? 
  • Distracting objects in your image – what’s to the left or right of the centre of your image?

When we come to the important part of processing your images, I’m not wanting you to crop your image to correct leading lines and not to remove a distracting object from the side (rather user Photoshop), nor levelling the horizon.  

What Is Cropping?

Cropping is the process of removing a portion of an image in order to improve framing, emphasise a subject, or change the aspect ratio. 

While cropping can also help you reframe your subject or attract the viewer’s attention to a specific part of your photo for greater impact. 

Why I don’t want you to crop?  

Pixels, are the little squares of colour that form your image. Every digital photo is made up of a grid of horizontal and vertical pixels that work together to present your image. When you crop an image online, you reduce the number of pixels by cutting out certain sections of the image, hence quite simply, you are lowering the total size of the image.

Unless you’ve got a full-frame and/or high pixel-count camera, one of the other problems with cropping photos is that your cropped image might lack enough resolution for you to be able to print it at a big enough size.  

When it comes to cropping I personally never (well, very rarely) crop. Yes, you can call me old fashioned, but I like to get the composition as close to perfection in-camera rather than ‘fixing it in post’. There are many reasons for this. 

Firstly I believe it to be more artistic, authentic, even ethical, and professional to nail the composition in-camera by being more considered and working out angles, lens choice, where to stand and the like, at the picture-taking stage. 

Next, by cropping in post you lose resolution and I can’t see the point in owning a full-frame “big” megapixel camera if you’re only going to toss a lot of it away by cropping in post, which could yield a resulting image with the same resolution as a 30, or even 20, megapixel APS-C camera. 

ABOUT LESLEY: I am the founder of Women in Photography a global provider of photography tours and retreats whose philosophy is to mentor and grow the photographic passion of women.  I am also a multi-award winning and passionate photographer specialising in street and storytelling photography and a member of Australian Association of Street Photographers(AASPI).