Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2003/07/29

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Subject: RE: [Leica] Cropping dilema
From: "bdcolen" <>
Date: Tue, 29 Jul 2003 15:36:18 -0400

There are a couple questions, and issues here, Feli -

First, what is this for? Is this just for your own use? If it is, do
whatever you want? Is it for some journalism usage? If it is, the first
problem I have is with using Photoshop to create a 12 degree tilt "to
increase the dynamic of the shot." If it wasn't dynamic, it wasn't
dynamic. End of story. End of shot. 

As to inserting sky and pavement where they don't exist - I'm a purist
on this one: If it's for you, insert Bozo The Clown if you want to. But
if it's for any purpose in which you are presenting the photo as an
accurate representation of what you saw, some form of journalism - then
no screwing around.


B. D.

- -----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of
Sent: Tuesday, July 29, 2003 3:03 PM
Subject: [Leica] Cropping dilema

Alright, picture this.

This may be a little difficult with me not being able to post anything
since I don't have a site, yet, but please bear with me. This is more of
a ethical question than a technical.

I have a shot that I grabbed this spring of two war demonstrators
shoving each other in an intersection, during rush hour traffic (night
time). They are a little to the left of frame center and take up about
3/5th of the frame height. About 8 ft behind them there is a city bus
bearing down on them. It pretty much looks like one of them is going to
end up under the bus (which almost happened).

Here's the problem. As it is the shot is weak. The level/wide framing
makes the action fall flat. So, I scanned it into Photoshop to play with
the cropping.

First I tilted it -12 degrees clockwise. That really increased the
dynamic of the shot. It increases the sense of everyone being off
balance and the danger of the bus. (bus is traveling left to right)

Then I cropped it tighter. The top of the bus and the demonstrators feet
are on the edge of the frame. Now the framing is nice and tight,
increasing the tension.

Here is the problem. In order to crop the frame this tight with a  -12
degree tilt, I run out of image area in the far corners. On the top of
frame we are talking about black night sky and grain. In the lower
corners a little piece of pavement. On an 8x10 print I would estimate
these "triangles" to be 1.5 inches wide and maybe 1/2 inch tall.

Is it ethical to fill these triangles in with some night sky and
pavement? Is that the same as doing some burning in the darkroom? Is it
the same as restoring a scratch on a negative? Filling in the corners
will not change the content, action, circumstances or meaning of the
photo. It's more of a technical fix.I know that news photos are
constantly cropped. Sometimes for the worse, since a crop can change the
context under which something took place. But that would not be the case
with these fixes. Still I'm very torn if this is an ethical thing to do.

It would be great to hear opinion on this. Ted? Slobodan?



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