The Crop

This photo of the Brock Monument at Queenston Heights near Niagara didn’t inspire me.  So I cropped it.Brock monument detail Queenston Heights 1


Brock monument detail Queenston Heights 1 SL 8x6

A few additional adjustments to detail and lighting and now I rather like it.  Perhaps not the expected crop but, I think, more interesting.  Comments?  Based on comments from Stephen, I straightened the image and softened the detail on the horizontal line of the wall coming in on the right.  For those reading the comments from Stephen and Ben, the last image on the right has been altered (again) very slightly, since their comments – straightening and correcting the blur on the plinth … I think.  I’m beginning to think my eye isn’t sharp enough 😉   Appreciate the input Ben and Stephen. 

 This is in response to Stacy’s ABFriday over at

23 thoughts on “The Crop

  1. Tighter crop brought those beautiful details on the statue closer and the image is now dominated by it, which works wonderfully. I think Stephen gave you the best advice, to let it sit for awhile. I tend to overdo my images, so I let them rest for a day and when I come back I see it much clearer.

  2. Lynne, I love the feedback Stephen and Ben have given you! The photo does present an interesting challenge because of the statue being in the middle and because there are many different “vertical” lines, none of which parallel each other. This second point does make it a bit dicey to straighten, and depending on which line you pick, it can look crooked to someone else. For me, it still is a little bit off the vertical. But c’est la vie – I’m apparently looking at a different line than you 😉 I might have played with highlighting the statue, the man, and a bit of that front wall to help separate them from the background and direct your eye in the triangular pattern you mention. But, again, that’s just my personal preference.

    Fun and interesting photo, Lynne!!

  3. The crop has helped a great deal, I prefer the second, straightened version, also I like the way the second crop has managed to remove the patch of path next to the person’s shoulder. For what its worth, I like the person in the foreground, they give the statue a sense of scale and the way they are looking up, interacting with the statue, adds a sense of story. 🙂

    • Hi Katie – ya see, I hadn’t even noticed the bit of path there – it’s so beneficial having other eyes – and it is better without it, and straight of course 😉 I liked the sense of story too. Your input most appreciated. Thank you.

  4. Stephen has mentioned a few things about the crop and composition, personally I think it works well in the centre as it is framed by the trees. In the SLR2 version I am not a fan of the blur/softening as I am not sure it is needed. Overall the image you put up is good.
    My personal observation (and this is a personal thing I have) is I don’t like the person in the foreground. To me this distracts me from the statue. As I said this is my personal thing about foreground objects and composition.

    • Thanks for the input Ben. I did the straightening and went in a 3rd time with very minor adjustment on the horizontal line. Myself, I like the juxtaposition of the person and statue but I do appreciate your viewpoint. What makes our images all different is our personal take on things – exemplified by Stacy’s one photo focus events 🙂

  5. To my eye your crop has given the statue a much more dominating influence on the composition.

    I would add – maybe the image could do with a bit of a anti-clockwise rotation to make the statue more upright in the frame – also, I would suggest a further crop the right hand side (depending your own intentions, of course), if you cropped in to put the centre of the statue on the right hand third line, the statue becomes altogether more imposing and dominating (at the moment I find the background pulls my eye on the right hand side because of the strong horizontal line of the wall). Naturally, with all this the whole context of the statue is lost and ultimately this might destroy the very concept you had in mind.
    (maybe the white pointer on the levels could come in a little)

    • Hi Stephen, and thank you for all your input. I had thought I had the statue pretty straight but my husband agrees with you 😉 I also see what you mean about the horizontal line of the wall – I could send that back a bit as I don’t really want to change the proportions of the image. The crop did make the statue dominant but I liked the juxtaposition it created with the person and the diagonal line of the wall, statue and person creating a strong triangle. My eye comes in along the diagonal line of the wall, straight up the statue and is drawn back down to the person. To me it was an interesting dynamic. Your viewpoint much appreciated – it’s very useful to view the image through someone else’s eye.

        • If you take another look at the post, Stephen, I made a couple changes based on your comments. At least I think it’s straight now … course I thought it was straight before. 😉 Softened the wall detail too.

          • To be honest, I think it could go a bit more vertical.
            As to the defocus/softening – I’m not sure that will work, as it looks unnatural if the wall is out of focus, everything behind it will have to be dropped down too… on both sides of the picture – focus will only ever work in plains (if the left hand edge of the plinth is in focus the right hand side should be too.)

          • A bit more maybe, maybe not.
            (I rarely use a horizontal line to give me a guide to a vertical orientation, preferring a vertical line as a guide – though where converging verticals are present because the camera back wasn’t parallel with the vertical plain it can be difficult, I always pick the vertical nearest to the centre of the frame as a guide from which to build the picture – correcting perspective with respect to this if necessary). Having said that, if I have a pure sea/sky interface I will use that as the ‘gospel’ horizontal. Of course, having said all that, if the picture looks right when it’s a bit skew whiff … that will do for me!

  6. Pingback: After-Before Friday Week 40 | Visual Venturing

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