Sunday, August 22

Cropping and displaying

The intention never was to keep my pictures on my computer forever. It's something that has always annoyed me regarding digital photography and that I have appreciated regarding film photography. Yeah Picasa and Flickr and all the rest are great for sharing pictures with those who live in a different time zone and aren't in the habit of visiting often and, through tags and albums, they make organization simple and access easy, but I have wondered for some time how often people go back to their computer to see old pictures. Seeing pictures from someone's latest dinner party or vacation to Disneyland may be just as boring whether it's in a lap-sized album or on the screen, but I can't recall the last time people crowded around a computer to see them. I did try at our reception party by setting my computer to loop a slideshow from Kenya, but it was not so popular as I might have hoped.  I think a cousin and aunt watched for a few seconds.

Which made me very glad that Demetra agreed that it would be appropriate to print a selection of my pictures to adorn our walls with rather than generic posters and whatever else the kids these days are using to decorate their rooms, apartments and homes. The problem arose when I realized that my pictures, at a size of 2592 by 3872 pixels shot with the vibration reduction setting on, do not quite fit the standard 8 by 10 proportion for printed pictures. That's more like 2592 by 3239 pixels. That's something like four-fifths the original size. That's considerable. That's the difference between this

and this.

It just doesn't look as good. It looks squashed. Without revealing the leading boy from the base of his neck through to his feet, his grace is lost. When only half of the ball is visible, its motion disappears, and it just looks ugly.

I hate cropping. Absolutely despise it. To be true, it is a neutral affair with some pictures. In the following cases either image works.

I have no real preference between them. They both work. I could even be persuaded that cropping improved the following picture as a smaller field was still able to capture what made the picture so special and even focus attention on it.

Regardless of the positive impact on this one and maybe another one, I can never forgive the entire concept of cropping for forcing me to destroy one of my finest photographs. When I transferred it from the camera to my laptop, it was long, and that is how I wanted it to ever remain.

When all crops were made and I brought the files to Costco for printing I discovered they print at 8 by 12. That would take just a narrow slice from the short side. Freak. Next time I will know better.

Really, this is just an excuse to post pictures of our no-longer barren white walls.

Observe and appreciate the subtle narrowing angles. That's what I like to call design.

No comments: