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Question on image framing

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  • Question on image framing

    I had this photo rejected on the grounds of:

    - Part of Subject Cut Off/Missing
    - Aircraft Not Centered in Frame.

    I had a look at the screener's picks and noticed a half-dozen or more photos where large parts of some aircraft were cropped. Also, the part of this aircraft that was cut off is tiny - it's inconsequential and has no impact on the overall photo (shown below).

    I was taught that placing a subject squarely in the centre of the frame makes for a boring photo, and that in the case of an aircraft or vehicle, leaving space in front of the subject, in the direction of travel, makes for a more pleasing photograph. In any case, the main mass of the aircraft is centred in the photo.

    I consider this image to be of good quality technically, I think it has appeal due to the interesting situation of a close-up in-flight shot of an engine-out approach, and I took the time to include a concise, informative caption. The rejection on the stated grounds is something I am having trouble understanding. Any comments?


  • #2
    The aircraft is centered way to the left. Why crop off the edge of the horozontal stablizer and leave that much dead space on the right side of the photo? The quality is definately there, you just need to get it centered.


    • #3
      Hi Terry,

      Whilst it is a very interesting shot with the left prop feathered SWA733Captain makes a good point. If the stabiliser was severed in edit you might consider cropping to the end of it, rather than cutting it off. If the stab was cutoff whilst taking the shot it is still redeemable in my book:

      I've left the full left wing on as part of the motive of the shot is the feathered prop and it draws attention to it whilst retaining the 'movement' that was your initial intention. In this form I would accept it.

      All the best.


      • #4
        Thanks for taking the time to reply. I felt that if I had taken the image a second earlier, I would have sacrificed some drama by making the overall aircraft smaller in the frame. However, the screener has no way of knowing whether that is the case, or whether I miscalculated the shot and accidentally cut it off, or for that matter whether I cropped it after the fact. What is being done is, screeners are second-guessing people and deciding that such and such an image was cropped purposefully, which must mean the shooter knows what they're doing, while the next image looks like it might be cut off by accident and is summarily rejected, without consideration of how interesting or educational the image may otherwise be.

        How exactly does the cropping of the image improve it? The size of the subject is still the same - all it does is make for a more crowded image, and for what? To conform to a rule that stifles creativity while keeping others from seeing what must be a good number of interesting and creative images from various photographers that have been rejected over time?

        Everything I've learned tells me not to centre the subject in the frame, and while I'm not a slave to some "Rule of Thirds," I'm also not going to unlearn that very easily. I think it looks better without being tightly cropped, and I have no intention of re-submitting this image.


        • #5
          Terry, as a screener I'd then have to say go elsewhere.


          • #6
            I'm just wondering why the photographer decides to cut off one tiny bit whilst having so much space on the right hand side?

            IMHO, it would seem like a happy-go-lucky type of shot, where one takes the photo and hopes for the best.

            Another way of saying it is that is it THAT difficult to get the WHOLE aircraft in the frame?


            • #7
              As a screener I would also definitely have rejected it for both reasons. The cut off stabilizer clearly distracts from the pic. We don't second-guess, if the photographer deliberately cropped it that way, or if he shot that picture that way. We simply see the pic and decide "accept" or "reject".

              One other thing is this "moving subjects should not be centered" thing, which I can't hear anymore...

              There's no rule which says "subject not centered = movement". It doesn't always work that easy. There are different ways, how to show a fast movement in a "frozen" picture. For eample with a blurry background, ....[photoid=318772]or by making a composition, which "shows" this movement, for example by not centereing the subject in the frame.

              But, there is more, than only "not centering". The whole picture must tell me a story. There have to be other points of reference in the pic. For example a runway ...[photoid=318461] Another way is to leave more space BEHIND a moving subject, as if you wanted to show, where it was coming from, but always with another point of referenc, here in this case the ground and the mountains. [photoid=254760] Another way is to crop the main subject and to focus on a small detail. We know, that there is more metal on the right (an about 30 meter long tube in this particular case) and makes its own composition. [photoid=318126] Another point of reference which shows me the movement can be .... [photoid=148693] And the last example for now: why not work with perspective? [photoid=279723]

              An aircraft noct centered with a simple grey background doesn't show any movement at all.

              My photos on Flickr


              • #8
                G'day Terry
                I'd have to agree with a few of the things you said and also with what some of the guys here did as well.
                Given the shot is a 3/4 front shot enough distance is generated for the impression of movement by simply cropping close to the left wingtip.
                By only cropping with a small piece of the stab missing it creates the impression that you missed the target slightly.
                I would have cropped both closer to the tail and leftwingtip focusing on the aircraft and avoiding dead spacr on the right sie of the photo.
                I disagree when you say the photo is well balanced as i feel its got a fair bit of weight to the left.
                As you can see from AJ's crop the image still has the impression of movement as the nose is some distance from the right frame edge and hence gets away from the boring image layout and unbalance effect which plague's many aircraft photo's.
                PS It may actually not be an engine out approach.
                As an ex check and training pilot on both the B200 and Cheyenne series all of which use the PT6 many approaches are conducted with the engine running and prop feathered for training purposes.
                C90's are used extensively for initial turbine training and this may be the case in this shot.
                It still makes for an interesting shot though.
                Darren Howie


                • #9
                  >Terry, as a screener I'd then have to say go elsewhere.

                  I'm taking you up on your suggestion.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by zone-5
                    >Terry, as a screener I'd then have to say go elsewhere.

                    I'm taking you up on your suggestion.
                    Bye bye then. ..... and this after only 3 posts

                    My photos on Flickr


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by zone-5
                      >Terry, as a screener I'd then have to say go elsewhere.

                      I'm taking you up on your suggestion.
                      we'll miss you, really.


                      • #12
                        He should have cropped it like this:

                        Much more creative isn't it?



                        • #13
                          You posted a thread asking for help.....and you got it.....and you are leaving because you don't like it. That makes all kinds of logical sense doesn't it?

                          Regardless of what rules you have been taught or what you think makes a good photo, cutting off the end of the horizontal stabilizer adds nothing to the photo, at all.

                          Several of our screeners took time out of their busy duties to try and help you, at least you could do is attempt to learn from your mistakes and increase your chances of acceptance rather than "take your ball and go home."

                          Yes, Clovis...very creative


                          [LAX / IAD Update 2.27.07]