Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2003/10/21

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Subject: Re: [Leica] to crop or not to crop
From: "frank theriault" <>
Date: Tue, 21 Oct 2003 18:11:54 -0400

You're right, Barney,

The viewer of a photo doesn't care or know what the photographer saw in the 
viewfinder.  They (for the most part) also don't care what film was used, 
what type of camera was used, what lens, or even whether it was digital or 

A photographer takes a photograph for the viewer, to be sure, but a 
photographer should, first and foremost, be taking a photograph ~for 
himself~.  He/she will know if the photograph corresponds with what was seen 
in the viewfinder, and that's what's important, IMHO.


"The optimist thinks this is the best of all possible worlds.  The pessimist 
fears it is true."  -J. Robert Oppenheimer

>From: "Barney Quinn" <>
>Subject: Re: [Leica] to crop or not to crop
>Date: Tue, 21 Oct 2003 16:58:40 -0400
>My two cents worth. There are exactly two kinds of images....good ones and
>bad ones. I can't wait to hear what bd has to say about "The purity of the
>moment captured in the view finder." It's not an arguement which works for
>me. All someone looking at one of your images knows about is the picture in
>front of them. I doubt they either know or care what you saw in the view
>finder. Sorry to be harsh.
>I prefer to crop in the view finder when I can, and I prefer to avoid
>cropping when possible. The reason is that cropping degrades the technical
>quality of the image. You are, in effect. using a smaller negative and
>enlarging it more. This, IMHO, gets to be a real issue real fast with
>digital. Everyone has to "save" an image on the easel or in photoshop from
>time, but I don't kid myself aout what I am doing when this happens. It
>means that I was a step closer to failure than I really want to be.
>Having said that there are times and circumstances when you just can't crop
>in the viewfinder. Given a choice between no picture and one which was
>cropped either on the physical or the virtual easel, I crop. I try to keep
>the advice attributed to Robert Capra in mind. "If your pictures aren't
>good enough you probably aren't close enough." That sometimes means

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