Monthly Archives: April 2016

Assignment one – ‘Square Mile’ – The End

Course:  Expressing Your Vision

Assignment one – ‘Square Mile’ – The End (following on from Assignment one – ‘Square Mile’ – The Middle)

As well as providing the images according to the course requirements ‘1500 pixels along the longest edge and Adobe (1998) colour profile RGB jpegs’  I have also, as suggested by my tutor, submitted the images as A4 prints.  This was not a requirement for this Assignment but I took the view that sourcing a print company now and having a go at getting prints done was also an essential part of the learning process, so I decided to submit to my tutor as an A4 submission pack.

Here are my final selected images together with their technical specs.

Image 1 – “Off We Go!”
I liked the juxtaposition of the solid leading line that the wall gives, which feels closed in, compared to the more broken line the cars provide, which feels more open. I captured an element of my theme at the end of road too. The white house was a little over exposed but it was a bright day and exposing for both sunlit and shaded areas was a challenge.

Technical Details: ISO 100 1/320 sec. f/2.8 50mm

Image 2 – “Ahhh, Sniff Corner”
I focused again on lines and the route being taken.  I would have liked to have had the walker and dog larger in the frame but that was difficult as I wanted to capture the wall on the left.

Technical Details: ISO 100 1/13 sec. f/22 17mm

Image 3 – “Doggy Bin Day”
Apart from having an element of my theme, I liked this image because it has a square shadowed area on the floor which the bin man is positioned on the corner of. All the lines in this image seemed to work.

Technical Details: ISO 100 1/1250 sec. f/2.8 17mm

Image 4 – “See you there, Millie”
I had some challenging lighting conditions but focused on the reflection of the ‘Give Way’ sign whilst also capturing my theme in the background.  The road runs down but my eye wanted to level it off, however, this would have made the other uprights slanted.

Technical Details: ISO 100 1/1000 sec. f/2.8 17mm

Technical Details: ISO 100 1/1000 sec. f/2.8 17mm

Image 5 – “Where’s Old Jess?”
I liked the shadow running from left to right and the structure that the garages give to the image.  Now that I have seen this image in printed format, I could maybe have straightened the verticals a bit as they seem to splay out.

Technical Details: ISO 100 1/30 sec. f/22 17mm

Technical Details: ISO 100 1/30 sec. f/22 17mm

Image 6 – “Hello Tree”
I think the contrast worked well in this image.  It’s clear that it wasn’t taken from the sunny side of the street.  The tree almost acts as a door slightly opened so you can see through to the park and the final 3 images. 

Technical Details: ISO 100 1/8000 sec. f/2.8 17mm

Technical Details: ISO 100 1/1000 sec. f/2.8 17mm

Image 7 – “Time to Run”
I liked the shadows cast across the grass.  I captured an element of my theme in the image as well which was important to my assignment focus.  Here the emphasis is on the ground so the background subjects/elements are out of focus. 

Technical Details: ISO 100 1/100 sec. f/2.8 38mm

Technical Details: ISO 100 1/100 sec. f/2.8 38mm

Image 8 – “Beyond the Puddle”
Although the puddle initially acts as a barrier the tree’s reflection gives a bridge for your eye to cross into the rest of the image.  Once in, you can access the theme elements in the background. 

Technical Details: ISO 100 1/1000 sec. f/2.8 38mm

Technical Details: ISO 100 1/1000 sec. f/2.8 38mm

Image 9 – “Is That Me?”
As this is the final image it was only fitting to have the inspiration of my Assignment in the frame.  Due to the lighting conditions I felt that I lost definition between the subject and the background.  If I had not wanted to keep the horizon lines the same for all the images, I might have focused just on the reflection. 

Technical Details: ISO 100 1/1600 sec. f/2.8 17mm

Technical Details: ISO 100 1/1600 sec. f/2.8 17mm

Further development:

“This project could definitely be extended.  I think some of the photographs could have been stronger by obtaining an even lower viewpoint, however, even at the height I used I had to sit on the floor at times to look through the viewfinder, so a further reduction in height could be physically challenging.  I could also explore taking photographs within a dog pack but to do this a wider angled lens I think would be required because of proximity issues.”

As I mention in my formal submission (see above) this is a project that could definitely be extended in several different ways, from re-appraising the viewpoint which the photographs were taken, to changing the colour treatment to make an assumption on what sight with only 2 cones would be like, to maybe picking a specific element say, reflection and expanding on that within the theme.  I could go on but I won’t.

This completes my Assignment one ‘Square Mile’ submission from a course requirement perspective and I now await feedback from my tutor.


Assignment one – ‘Square Mile’ – The Middle

Course:  Expressing Your Vision

Assignment one – ‘Square Mile’ – The Middle (following on from Assignment one – ‘Square Mile’ – The Beginning)

Technical Approach and Techniques:

Research tells us that dogs cannot see colours in the same way as us humans can, apparently they have 2 colour cones instead of 3 but this is NOT what I am covering in my assignment.  What I wanted to achieve was purely a different view-point of my surroundings not through a different colour lens, so armed with my tripod and camera set to my dog’s eye-level height I took off on our normal walking route to the local park to capture his view on life.

I use a Canon 70D and currently have two lenses 17mm to 50mm and 70mm to 300mm.  I wanted to use a wider angle for most of my photographs for this assignment which meant I took my photographs with the 17mm to 50mm lens, using an f-stop range of between f/2.8 and f/8 to mimic my dog’s perceived view of the world.  I like getting up close and personal so this suited my style although I prefer portraits and getting down lower to the ground was not so appealing and reminded me how well prepared you needed to be as a photographer, even on a nice day.

“I want the viewer of my photographs to think that they are seeing the surroundings from the perspective of a dog.  So I set my tripod and camera up to dog-eye level and used the ball head mechanism as the rotation point (neck/head) to look around my familiar surroundings and capture unfamiliar viewpoints.  Not all the photographs have what you think initially should be the focus point, as I tried to capture what the dog would be interested in, e.g. the ground to sniff at, as opposed to the dog over the road.  I mostly used shallow depth of field because when focusing on a particular point peripheral vision is blurred.”

Self Assessment / Strengths and Weaknesses (including contact sheets):

This assignment really got me thinking about my photography in general.  I’m starting to appreciate that it’s not always a single image that can tell a story/narrative and that a series of images might be required to convey a bigger thought, idea or issue. We are exposed everyday to single shot imagery, advertising, posters, leaflets telling us outright or subliminally to buy this, do that and our lives will be great etc.  Apart from magazines and newspapers where there might be more than a ‘one-picture-tells-a-story’ approach, single imagery I think is the majority of the images we encounter in everyday life.  I certainly have worked to a one image approach to convey my thoughts up until now.  As a result of this assignment and also the Performing for the Camera exhibition at the Tate, that I recently attended, I have started to view and take my photographs with a collection in mind rather than based on a single image idea.  You can see this in my recent work which I have posted on my other general Blog At the Park and Time for some Guitar, which are meant to be more about the collection of images rather than of a single image.

I think my current style and probably my strength is viewing my subjects up close, it feels more intimate and hands on; a moment between you, the camera and your subject (animate or inanimate makes no difference).  I like using shallow depth of field, maybe because I am less concerned about what is in the distance/background.  This means that when I am framing a shot I do not look as carefully at the background and around the frame as I should do and will look to do this more often in the future.  Also I know I should push myself in to using a larger depth of field more often and will start to look further and wider than I do currently.

Page 1 of 4 Contact Sheets   Page 2 of 4 Contact Sheets   Page 3 of 4 Contact Sheets   Page 4 of 4 Contact Sheets

“My most successful photographs I think are the ones with subjects both in the foreground and background and with leading lines to invite the viewer into the image.  Also, the reflections, which initially were not intended but a real-time development, add a further dimension and point of interest.  The weaker photographs I think were those taken too close to subjects and would have benefitted from being taken further back.  I also think for this exercise the photographs recording singular subjects and which have no ‘story’ to them came across weaker, however, technically I could have used them as my holistic 6-12 photographs.”

Please follow this link for the next section – Assignment one – ‘Square Mile’ – The End (which includes my final image selection)


Assignment one – ‘Square Mile’ – The Beginning

Course:  Expressing Your Vision

Assignment one – ‘Square Mile’ – The Beginning

In our earliest years we know a patch of ground in a detail we will never know anywhere again – site of discovery and putting names to things – people and places – working with difference similitude – favourite places, places to avoid – neighbours and their habits, gestures and stories – textures, smells – also of play, imagination, experiment – finding the best location for doing things – creating worlds under our own control, fantasy landscapes.  (Professor Mike Pearson)

Photographers and artists have always found inspiration in their immediate location.  There is a concept within Welsh culture called Y Filltir Sgwar (The Square Mile), described above by Professor Mike Pearson.  It is the intimate connection between people and their childhood ‘home’ surroundings.  Use the theme of The Square Mile as a starting point for your first assignment.”

[OCA Photography 1, Expressing Your Vision course notes p14]”

I am far in distance and years from my childhood village ‘Square Mile’ life, having lived in my current locality now for over 20 years which I consider home more now than anywhere previous.

In my opinion home is the people you love and hold dear and the material things in life, are  transient and less important to the concept of home.  Saying that, to feel safe, warm and grounded to one particular place is not to be overlooked in its importance and it is the thing we normally label as ‘home’ but home could be anywhere if you are with the people you love and who love you.

More as an observation and commentary in response to the text provided, rather than directly related to the assignment, I can relate to Professor Mike Pearson’s text above in that when you are a child you; explore as a child, experience as a child, remember events and places as a child, all through the eyes of a child.  When you go back years later to your childhood ‘home’ and see the same places and people through the eyes of an adult, although the childhood memories and feelings are still there, the experience is very different e.g. places seem smaller.  As previously discussed in Part one, Exercise 1.1 with the concept and histogram proof that no two moments are the same; the same is true of experiences of people and places.  No two experiences can be the same as the situation; circumstance and time also have an impact.


Make a series of six to twelve photographs in response to the concept of ‘The Square Mile’.

This assignment should communicate something about you: your interests, motivations, and your ambitions for your photography.

Format of my Blog response:

Before I start with my ‘Blog’ response on Assignment one I wanted to explain its content structure.  I think the Learning Log is meant to capture more that the official Assignment response to the tutor, or at least this appears to be the general working assumption, so where text from my official response has been included I will highlight this to enable you (the reader) to distinguish between what is just ‘chat’ i.e. my thoughts, and what has been ‘submitted’.  This will help contextualize my tutor’s response/critique and any rework that is requested.

Initial Thoughts:

When I read the assignment brief I did wonder what I could photograph that was new and different in my locality, my ‘Square Mile’.  I’ve had my DSLR camera since August 2015, so not very long, but I have been keen to get out and use my camera at any opportunity so consequently it seems like I have photographed the area where I live almost to death.

After much thought I decided I would take a slightly less straight forward approach to this assignment brief and take photos from my dog’s perspective, at his eye level.  So, my set of photos represents exactly this theme – ‘A dog’s eye view of my Square Mile’.

“My first impressions of the brief were that it was wide and there was a lot of scope for artistic interpretation.  I had photographed my ‘Square Mile’ many times so wanted to do something a bit different.  That’s when my idea for taking photographs from a dogs-eye view was born.  I have a dog, so in preparation for this exercise I observed him on our walks.   He mostly looked down the street, sniffed at the pavement/walls and, although curious about his surroundings, wasn’t especially interested in other people or dogs.”


This is currently my ‘weak’ area because I have been focussed on learning the technical aspects i.e.; taking photographs, learning about light, gathering relevant equipment etc.  My focus has been on YouTube ‘How to..’s, and my subscribed photography publications such as Digital SLR photography so as to learn new processes and techniques.   I use the word ‘weak’ loosely as for me you have to ensure you are not too influenced by a particular practitioner otherwise your work could become theirs.  I agree it’s important to know what’s out there and the ‘hows’ and the ‘whys’, and it is one of the reasons I am taking this course for a wider understanding of where I fit in the photography world, but ultimately your work needs to represent you, your background, interests and experience ad should not be too influenced by someone else’s creativity.

Originality in a saturated field is very difficult to achieve so the only thing you can do with any passion is to; believe in your choices and understand why you have made them, take feedback on board and understand why you agree or disagree with that feedback, then move on to the next challenge without further dissection.

Photographers who have become well-known for their ‘art’ have been relentless in their pursuit of their art and ideas, and in most cases have produced a huge body of work over time and it is that body of work that is their legacy.  So I will keep going, enjoying what I am doing, appreciate other practitioner’s work (famous and not) but ultimately do my own thing.  I suspect at some point in the course I will be asked to submit images which mimic a particular photographer’s technique or recreate a particular image and in the spirit of the course and my further understanding I will, but I will also be looking for a unique angle in which to present my own work and hopefully create something a little bit different.

“Being new to photography and its practitioners, my knowledge is currently very limited.  So, for this particular assignment the main influence was my idea/theme.  I knew what I wanted to achieve and went with that.  It was only after I had completed the photography part of this exercise and my subject matter reading/research was properly underway that I came across a photographer, Elliot Erwitt.  Erwitt is a French advertising and documentary photographer (b. 26 July 1928), who has taken some humorous photographs at dog level.  I think if I had come across Erwitt sooner, my photographs would have been influenced by him in both perspective and humour.”

Please follow this link for the next section – Assignment one – ‘Square Mile’ – The Middle

14 April 2016 – Print Competition

This week was a print competition, the Carey Roberts Cup (prints), and there were 38 images entered in total.  Each member can enter a maximum of 4 images.

The judge for the evening was Miss Suzanne Flood DPAGB, who’s first evening as a judge apparently had been at our club, many moons ago.

I did not enter this competition as I hadn’t prepared any printed images for submission.  There is a particular way of preparing your images for a print competition, getting it mounted, so I just wasn’t organised enough on this occasion to submit anything.  Plus it was the last print competition for the Print League.

Therefore, I was there to support the other clubs members who had submitted their images and to take a note of the feedback they were given in the hope that I might learn more about a judge’s view of composition etc.

The scores ranged from 15 (the lowest score) to 20 (1st place).  There was a good range of images this week, from landscapes to still life to documentary style.

First place went to ‘Tree Fern’ taken by Albert Gilchrist.  This was a close up (macro image) of an unfurling tree fern.  You could see each of its tiny hairs which covered the fern very clearly.  A worthy winner.

The feedback given that I thought was noteworthy was:

  • Good colours to have together in an image are those opposite on the colour wheel e.g. blue and orange (or blue and yellow),
  • Take care when exposing for an open doorway image where the outside is brighter than the inside,
  • In portraits it is preferable to have a light in the eye/eyes but where the subject is wearing a hat this is sometime difficult to achieve,
  • Take care when using flash that you do not get any unwanted reflections from it showing in your still life,
  • When taking photographs of a showroom car (or any other car which is to be the subject of the image) ensure you get a good amount of the front and the side of the car in the image.  This may means moving round to the side more, rather than taking head on,
  • Try not to leave half of something in the frame, crop out or remove,

Lastly Suzanne noted that some of the mounts had been cut ‘in a rush’ and had not been backed so the light box frame could be seen through the photograph, noting that the presentation of your photographs is also important.

Part one – Project 3 – Thomas Ruff : Jpegs

Part one – Project 3 – Surface and Depth

And so to close Part one of the course…

Research point: Thomas Ruff – Jpegs

Brief:  Read the reviews by Campany and Colberg (see links below) and, if you haven’t already done so, use them to begin the contextual section of your learning log.  Try to pick out the key points made by each writer.  Write about 300 words.

If you wish, you could add a screen grab of an image from Ruff’s jpeg series, and one or two of your own compressed jpegs.

Context: Thomas Ruff’s Jpegs is a series of low resolution pixellated images sourced from the internet and his own photographs, where the visual effect of jpeg compression (the blocks of 8×8 pixels know as ‘jpeg’ artefacts’) are explored.


Campany’s review firstly focuses on the concept of the found image and the archive. The internet being the predominant archive or ‘archive of archives’ from which photographers have sourced images for the purpose of making “sense of a culture increasingly dominated by spectacle”. Ruff tells us that he has sourced his images from the internet but his usage is very different; his interest being in their electronic construction instead i.e. the pixel.

Secondly, Campany examines the historic use of grain (in comparison to the pixel), in particular in the 1930s, 40s and 50s where “graininess took on the connotations of ‘authenticity’”, reflecting a sense of urgency and being pushed to limits. Noting that, in some cases grain was the result of “hasty processing by an assistant in the darkroom”. Pixels, Campany says, are different to the scattered chaos of grain in that “They are grid-like, machinic and repetitive” and currently do not offer authenticity in the same way as grain had but may do so in the future.

Colberg’s review states Ruff is “inventive and creative”, even though he doesn’t consider Ruff’s Jpeg series as anything other than a technique.  Following a visit to the Zwirner gallery Colberg thought Ruff’s work was much better viewed in his book rather than in a large format as shown in the galley, as the large format lacked the detail required to justify large prints.

One point that both Campany and Colberg seem to agree on is that some of Thomas Ruff’s Jpegs images are beautiful. Campany states in his review “His work seems cold and dispassionate, willful, searching and perverse but at times surprisingly beautiful.” and Colberg states “The tremendous beauty of some of the images notwithstanding, the concept itself seems to rely a bit too much on the technique itself.”

298 word count


Here are a couple of my own images which have been saved at very low resolution to give them the same look and feel as Thomas Ruff may have done, although not in keeping with his subject matters which were normally unpredictable images of water, smoke, steam, explosions to name a few.

_MG_9020 _MG_9030

This concludes my submission for Project 3.


Thomas Ruff: Aesthetic of the Pixel | David Campany. 2016. Thomas Ruff: Aesthetic of the Pixel | David Campany. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 17 April 2016].

Conscientious | Review: jpegs by Thomas Ruff. 2016. Conscientious | Review: jpegs by Thomas Ruff. [ONLINE] Available at:  [Accessed 17 April 2016].

Part one – Project 2 – Exercise 1.4 Frame

Part One – Project 2 – Exercise 1.4 Frame

The final exercise of this project makes use of the viewfinder grid display of a digital camera.  This function projects a grid onto the viewfinder screen to help align vertical and horizontal lines, such as the horizon of the edge of a building, with the edge of the frame.  If your camera doesn’t have a grid display, imagine a simple division of the viewfinder into four sections.

Brief:  I interpreted this exercise as having two parts;
Part 1: Take a good number of shots, composing each shot within a single section of the viewfinder grid.  Don’t bother about the rest of the frame!  Use any combination of grid section, subject and viewpoint you choose.

When you review the shots, evaluate the whole frame, not just the part you’ve composed.  Take the same approach you used to evaluate the point and line exercises; examine the relationship of elements to the frame.  Composition is part of form and formal analysis will be a useful skill for your exercises and assignment as you progress through the course.

Part 2: Select 6 or 8 images that you feel work individually as compositions and also together as a set.  If you have software for making contact sheets you might like to present them as a single composite image.  Add the images to your learning log together with the technical information such as camera settings, and one or two lines containing your thoughts and observations.

Practical: For this exercise I used my Canon 70D and my new lens, Sigma 105mm f2.8 EX DG Macro OS.  This meant that I was a little bit more experimental than maybe I would have been otherwise, which is a good thing as practice makes perfect.

I used the immediate area where I live for inspiration for this exercise and I think I managed to capture some interesting and varied subjects for my results.

Results – Part 1:

Here are a couple of the photographs that didn’t make the final cut but I thought I’d use them to discuss the evaluation of point and line within the frame, as suggested in the brief.

1 _MG_9342

Top left section selection – Bee on Dandelion

Tech specs: ISO 100 1/2000 sec. f/2.8 105mm

This is a top left section selection.  I think it is obvious that this photograph is meant to be of a bee sitting on a dandelion as there is nothing else going on in the image except uninteresting foliage.  The eye is drawn immediately to the bright yellow flower (point) and then the bee (point 2) for relevance/intention.

The dandelion and bee are far enough away from the frame (equidistant from the top and side) to be in a neutral position within the whole frame and I would agree with my previous analysis as the dandelion and bee are just there, there is no drama it is just a record of reality.

Once your eye has had enough of the dandelion and the bee, it looks to the area adjacent to them which is in focus.  Finally it is drawn away and out of the photograph via the pale flower stalks bottom right (lines). The out of focus leaf at the bottom left acts as a barrier to the eye moving out of the frame instead it moves in back into the frame to find another route out.

3 _MG_9346

Top right section selection – Rose Leaves

Tech specs: ISO 100 1/400 sec. f/2.8 105mm

The eye is initially drawn to the dark branches on the left (line), probably because we read from left to right, but then the eye enters the top or bottom of the frame via the rose stalk (line), then over to the right hand side of the photograph to the leaves (point).  There is not a lot for the eye to explore in this image so it quickly moves around the branches (lines) and then moves off the frame.

Results – Part 2:

Here are my 6 shots which I have put together.  Each of them could have been taken compositionally in their own right but I have placed them  together as a set, I will explain why:

exercise 1.4 2

Settings: All images used ISO 100, f/2.8 at 105mm then; top left: 1/320 sec. top right: 1/320 sec. middle left: 1/80 sec. middle right: 1/400 sec. bottom left: 1/320 sec. bottom right: 1/160 sec.

Starting from the bottom where the eye enters the image;

  • the bottom 2 photographs have complimentary leading lines and when put together converge and entice the viewer in to the image.  Once the viewer enters from the bottom of the image the eye goes first to the ball (point), bottom of the bottom right section, and then upwards to the blue bin (point), top of the bottom left photograph, taking the viewer on a journey.
  • Once in the image the two middle photographs add a transition through to the top of the image by using vertical lines of a drain grating and trees.  I tried these two photographs the other way round but the darkness of the trees seemed to work better on the far right.  As a left section they seemed ‘in the way’, stopping the visual flow and easy passage for the viewer to move through to the top section of the image.  The eye definitely moves up the left lighter lines easier so the eye enters the top photographs on the left.
  • With the arrow in the top left section pointing to the right the eye flows easily to the top right photograph, which is a stand alone flower and works as a full stop to the visual journey.


I was a little confused by what the brief was asking me to start with but I guess that is one of the issues with being new not only to a degree course but also to the medium being studied.

I very much enjoyed the process this exercise took me through and it got me to think about putting images/subjects together which I wouldn’t have done so under normal circumstances.

From the 9 sections available, which we were asked to compose photographs for in part 1 of this exercise, my final composite used 5 out of a possible 6 sections, which is varied.  In part 2 the photographs were evaluated as a whole rather than by their individual section selections which may have highlighted that as well as the points and lines that there is a relationship with what is considered superfluous imagery within a photograph too.  I need to do some more thinking around this non-space idea before commenting further.

With regards equipment I realised that I much prefer to work at 50mm, in this exercise my distance from the subjects I was photographing with the 105mm lens felt awkward and I found the photographing process less intimate.  Not sure this worked for me, however, the photographs were taken and the exercise was completed.

After using Live View for this exercise I’ve decided I don’t like it for taking photographs in general.  I can see it’s appeal for stationary repetitive shots of the same subject but for me it was cumbersome.  Trying to get the camera to focus on the place I wanted it to focus on in Live View was more difficult than the methods I use via the viewfinder.  This was the first time I had used it for more than the odd shot, so maybe it’s something I need to use more to get used to it but to be honest I’m not sure I will bother.

By the end of the exercise I was more comfortable with the new lens than Live View which I did persevere with to complete the exercise.

This completes my submission for Exercise 1.4 which concludes Project 2.  Now on to Project 3, Surface and Depth...

Cropping vs Framing…

As part of the course we are asked to note down what we understand to be the difference between ‘cropping’ and ‘framing’.  This is to demonstrate our understanding of photographic terms, our ability to differentiate between them and our understanding of how they apply and impact on image capture, meaning and post processing.  Understanding the difference between cropping and framing which feeds into the quality of outcomes and gives context to composition.

Firstly, I will start with some definitions:

Verb: crop (cropped, cropping) 7. To reduce the size of an image by removing undesirable or unnecessary elements. (WordWeb Software. 2016. WordWeb Software. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 10 April 2016].)

Verb: frame 1. Enclose in or as if in a frame. (WordWeb Software. 2016. WordWeb Software. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 10 April 2016].)

I believe the key difference between cropping and framing is;

Framing happens before/at the point an image is captured, either in the planning stage and/or whilst looking through the viewfinder.  Cropping happens after an image has been captured.

Noting that;

Framing evaluates the relationship of the desired elements, in their desired positions at the point the image is captured.  Cropping selects the desired elements of an image, discarding the undesired elements, in post processing to improve/change what is shown within the frame.

Framing considers the camera viewfinder as the frame.  Cropping considers a frame to be of any dimension within the original image framing, according to; the elements captured and the application or specific requirements of the image.

Framing is done in camera via the viewfinder (or sometimes in planning using a framing tool).  Cropping is done in post processing software, on a computer or in a darkroom.

Whilst researching the differences above I noted that cropping is one of the most basic photograph manipulation processes available to photographers but there appears to be differing opinions between practitioners and the photography world in general whether cropping is acceptable not.

In my opinion there is a place for cropping, this could be to; change the aspect ratio of an image e.g. make the image panoramic, magnify the primary subject, improve composition and remove unwanted subjects.  magazines, for example, will have specific requirements for the space available for an image so it maybe necessary to adjust the size of the image to fit.

Also in sports photography where fast-moving subjects are being photographed, possibly on fast image capture, there may not be time to consider the best framing as you would say in a studio.  The action is happening within a split second so a wider angle is generally used and then the image is cropped back in post processing.

However, care needs to be taken, for example, in photojournalism and documentary photography where a photographer is recording real life subjects and/or events where I believe cropping in certain circumstances is not appropriate, e.g. where the meaning of the image is altered because of the removal of ‘unwanted’ items or subjects.  These types of images should NOT be altered e.g. in Photoshop in my opinion and I’m sure this will be a topic of conversation later in the degree course.  Also I think that one photograph/image may not be enough to tell the full ‘story’ and a series of images is required to get more of a feeling of the situation being witnessed by the photographer.

I note that framing is also open to abuse in this context, depending on the photographer’s agenda, but this point probably turns into a debate on ethics which is not for this particular post but maybe one for another…