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Porth Nanven revisited; to crop or not to crop?

Porth Nanven; slight crop to raise the horizon keeping the same ratio.

Porth Nanven; slight crop to raise the horizon making the foreground more dominant (keeping the same size ratio).


This photo was taken on the same visit (15th May 2014) as the image I posted on 10th June.  It is a slight crop from the original, which was taken with an ultra wide angle lens.  Normally when composing with a wide angle lens I would point the camera slightly downwards to accentuate the foreground but since I was using the lens at 15mm I kept the camera dead level.  If I do this any distortion is not too obvious and is easily corrected in Lightroom.  This is not the case if the camera is not kept level; distortion, which can be difficult to deal with in Lightroom, becomes very marked with very wide angle lenses.   Below is the uncropped image:

Same image as above, uncropped.

Same image as above, uncropped.


I have started playing with the transform tool in Photoshop and below is a version of the image which I have manipulted to give the foreground even more prominence.

Original image manipulated using the transform tool in Photoshop.

Original image manipulated using the transform tool in Photoshop.


I am very wary of the transform tool.  It is an impressive tool.  You can change the size and the shape of the image and it is very easy to use.  I don’t know why but when I crop landscapes or seascapes I feel I have to keep to the same original size ratio, and I find using the transform tool an even bigger sin than cropping to non standard sizes.  I suppose it is all to do with the old (some may say unimaginative) idea that the image should be composed correctly when taking the photo.

I do prefer the top two images but cannot decide which I like best.  Maybe someone will let me know which version they prefer?


4 responses

  1. leecleland

    I’m just a happy snapper, but I prefer the cropped image. It shows up those lovely wispy clouds on the top right more and leads my eye to the rocks on the horizon instead of the larger rocks to the left. A beautiful calm morning shot.

    July 21, 2014 at 2:10 am

    • Thanks for helping me make up my mind. I too now prefer the cropped image!

      July 21, 2014 at 11:51 pm

  2. Another vote for the cropped image here Malcolm although I rather like the final image also. These choices become so difficult don’t they? We have so many tools and so many permutations open to us. I sometimes end up with so many different versions of the same image I have to delete them all and start the processing again.

    July 22, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    • Yes, Adrian, we have so much choice. On a photographic trip I take so many photos I cannot decide which to process, and then I produce many versions of the one I have chosen to process, and then I cannot decide which version is the best!

      July 24, 2014 at 4:10 pm

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