Cropping an image and keeping quality

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by theymademedoit, Sep 16, 2010.

  1. Hi,
    I went out on one of my 1st street photography shoots last week and took a pic of a man sitting on a bench.
    I used my 50mm lens and couldnt get too close.....when you see the pic you will understand why.
    He was slightly mental to say the the time I took the snap and he yelled at me and it was time to leave.
    Anyway.....what I need to do is to crop the rather useless backround right down and make him the main focus in the shot but I dont want to lose too much quality.
    What is the best method for this?
    I am using CS4.
  2. Hope you gave him something..... karma
  3. Ask before you take a picture? You might get closer and don't need to crop later...
  4. So no tips? Hang on...he wasnt looking at me until I started to compose...then he did when I snapped....I have only just started using the 50mm as apposed to my would be nice.....
  5. Obviously a few people don't understand the word "mental"!
    All you can do is process the raw as you like, output it as a PSD or tiff and crop it. You are going to lose all those extraneous pixels regardless of anything you can do. Keeping it as a Tiff or PSD keeps whatever quality you can save in tact.
  6. ..and if the crop needed is way too small compared to the full frame, you may have to add some more sharpening.
    and Hey! I shoot street too, and that sort of thing do happen occasionally. And conversely, there are times when people feel honoured of the attention and then will do ask you ask (i.e pretend they don't know you are shooting them) to best show themselves in the images.
  7. Thanks...its was in the UK...a place called Newcastle...and I was attempting 'candid', so you cant really ask can you?
    Here is my 1st attempt.
  8. oops...sorry!
  9. In general, quality refers to compression while quantity refers to megapixels. The more megapixels you have, the more you can crop in on an image. If you use the Marquee tool in Photoshop, you can select your desired aspect ratio and crop the image with no loss of quality, just cropping away the pixels you don't want. Then, under image, you can check the image size and see what kind of resolution you have for your crop and whether that is sufficient for your purposes. If it isn't sufficient, your only choice is "uprez" the image using Photoshop or another program designed for such a purpose. At this point, you will being to lose quality since the application is adding resolution that wasn't there in the first place. However, as to how visible any such loss will be depends on a number of factors, not the least of which being how well the original image was captured.
  10. You succeeded Alan, nicely done (with the crop and the capture).
    However you give the experts little to go -- 6MP original or 22MP? As you hopefully know, the more MP's you start with the "higher quality" your crops are gonna be (also factoring in sharp glass and proper technique -- e.g., using the 'sharpest' aperture for the lens as well as higher shutter speed and proper focus) when you display or print them.
  11. Alan,
    is that the cropped version?
  12. If the guy doesn't want his picture taking you should respect that, not plaster it all over the internet, Imagine the roles reversed.
    Try Saturday nights in Toon land, nobody will care. 'Mental' town
  13. I like the shot. I shoot a lot of people I meet and I do ask and get releases, but it is a different sort of photography. Doing candids is certainly not the time to ask, but be open to positive contacts that might develop. I don't see this image as one of exploitation, as I think some were thinking but it is a fine line at times. If you haven't seen Bruce Gilden work, a Magnum photographer, you will see the extreme of not asking and intrusiveness! I like his quote "I have no ethics".
    One of the things I have found, notwithstanding the resolution you already have, is that you can pretty much uprez a file without losing discernible quality pretty much to its size on your screen at the screen ppi. So, if your monitor resolution is 100ppi and the image can size to that without resampling-and it looks good on the monitor, you shouldn't have any issue uprezing to say 300ppi for a print. Much over that and you will start to "notice" some loss of quality in many images. I have compared photoshop's own uprez capability with genuine fractals and have seen very little to no difference (GF might be a tad better in some cases, but I don't think it would be noticeable in a print--caveat, my tests were on large files that I routinely upsize, like 120mb 16bit files rez'd up to about 1.4gb for prints of about 40x60 at 360dpi-large files fare better than smaller ones in most cases--I always use the "Bicubic" rendering regardless of up or down rez)
  14. John A....thanks for the tips....I watched that video and thats insane....Some superb shots!
  15. To Ken Papai...thanks for the compliment and the help. Very useful!
  16. Martin S....yes it is the cropped one.
  17. Tony...I took the pic and then he was annoyed....I see pics all the time of people waving their arms about not wanting to be shot.
    His words were...."Are you taking a f*cking picture of me you c*nt" which I replied "yes".
    That was it....end of...I like the shot and want to share it.
    Most people dont want to have their pics taken but say nothing....this guy was drunk and aggressive so had the balls to say something............hell my mum says no when I take her pic....I am still gonna use it!
  18. Nice job Watt, I rather like the idea of taking "real" street photographs - candid and in the heat of the moment. Keep it up! Oh by the way, care to share the original crop ?
  19. I am not a crop artist. To me, there is nothing wrong with environmental portraiture. Showing a subject in his environment can be very powerful.
    Though I have never seen one, I have heard of this lens with a mirror in the side that focuses sideways. You point your camera in one direction, you are actually focusing off the the side. This would be perfect if you want candid shots. :)
  20. what I need to do is to crop the rather useless​
    No...what you need to do is understand the techniques for street photo journalism.
    Given the scenario by you in getting this shot will place you in jeopardy sooner or later; and probably far more than you realize.
    Street photography does not require you place the camera to your eye, making it so obvious what you are doing; especially in this setting.
  21. To Kevin,
    Hi..thanks for your response....basically, there was a wall between me and him....I couldnt get any closer (I will post the original when I get home).
    I just think on this occasion it was bad luck...there was no-one around and he wasnt looking in my direction, and didnt even know I was there until he turned around.
  22. Some interesting comments. As to cropping, I am not one that often crops, almost never in fact. But when I do crop, I usually know that is what I am going to do back in the darkroom or at the computer when I shoot it. Sometimes a format doesn't fit a scene, you don't have time to change lenses and the one you have isn't cutting it for what you want, etc. I think if you habitually crop back to the same format as you shot, then you probably need 1.) a longer lens, 2.) to walk up a few feet closer or 3.) to just learn to see with your camera. I think in a case like this I would reflect back, personally, as to whether I had time or wanted to risk changing lenses before shooting. There isn't a right answer to the question except if you do change lenses and get the shot framed without a crop as you envisioned it, then you know you made the right decision--but there are lots of chances you wont get anything if you don't shoot now in these cases!
    I am reading Kevin's comment as one of shooting from the hip. But that is just one technique and the results are of a different nature than when one puts the camera to the eye. Not better or worse, just different. I work both ways and recently posted a series on my blog that was all shot "from the hip" as it were. I think it was a necessary part of getting the images I wanted to get, but being more conventional, with the lens to the eye, might have produced some similar results, but also, certainly, some different ones as well.
  23. Kevin your input is wise, but I do not personally believe that this situation calls for such extraordinary measures. Surely there is a place where and when a journalist or photographer must adhere to remaining undiscovered, just not here. As for cropping I really hate the idea of doing it, even if I am guilty of it. But my reasoning is that it makes me feel as though I am a bad photographer, I should have paid more attention to the scene to create a better composition.

    But, in Alan's case here, the problem wasn't his equipment or the environment, but rather the circumstance of events. For some reason I find myself quite excited to see the original.
  24. Hi,
    Here is the original.
    Without a zoom (which I didnt take as a force measure to make me use my new 50mm) and walking around into his face....I had no choice.
  25. I find it to be very unethical that you would capture and disseminate the photo of someone who wished to not be captured. Regardless of what the law says you can do (the law has little to do with ethics), don't you find something wrong with using a photo where your main subject did not approve? It's one thing if the subjects are unaware (though, there are still strong ethical concerns in those cases), but in this case the subject was aware and objected. I'm not one to go around trying to give people lessons on morals, but I do find this to be rather shameful -- your "right" to take his photo does not supersede his right to privacy. Whether you believe in karma or not, you might change your view if you suddenly land up being the objecting subject one day. I hope that someone has a camera handy the next time you're in a compromising situation...
  26. ...... Alan, if you cant see the difference between some poor down and out and your mum then you've a bad day or two coming your way. That was an ill considered analogy
    I find this type of photography cheap and disrespectful, the terms 'street' and 'real' doesn't elevate the practice to some acceptable form of alternative genre. Take the picture by all means, but if the person objects then apologise and dump it, or at least keep it for your personal catalogue. If they're ok then buy them a drink.
    Have a little respect and your craft will reward you many times over.
  27. To Karl, I think you are talking utter crap and are being a drama queen.
    To Tony, I have already explained the situation and I think your comments too are over the top.
  28. Thanks John A. for sharing that video, fun to watch. As for the cropping question... well I forgot my lines.

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