“If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough”, said Robert Capa, famous photojournalist, in the 1940s.

Often, drawing attention to your subject can be effectively done through making it big.

And I mean big.



There is no mistaking what the subject is, and non-essential elements have been removed.

Try this more often than you do: yes you can do it, yes you can go close and crop off the sides, and yes, it is allowed.

0 thoughts on “Attention

  1. I agree! You say it is OK to crop the sides of a picture to focus attention and simplify. I always try to maintain “classic” photo proportions in my pictures. For example 1:1.5 which is like a 4×6 in print we’re all used to.

    Do you think that is important, for work posted to the internet?

    Or should we throw away those old conventions (tied to standard photo paper sizes) and look afresh at what crop / aspect ratio looks for each picture?

  2. That’s a great question.

    Personally, I never try to stick to old dimensions anymore. I crop to whatever works.

    That said, I crop to nice-looking proportions. Typically they will be around 1.6:1, but indeed, they can be anything from long to square, depending on what works. Simplification, nature of the subject, balance, are all part of this.

    When I print, I do try to stick to the paper aspect ratio – even then I use a margin, though, so even then, some variation is fine.

  3. Hi Michael;

    Thanks for your hint on cropping. Using the non-standard crop to get in very close makes a significant improvement for some shots. I’ve been trying it a lot since I saw your jellybean picture a few weeks ago. It worked well on this picture I took of sumac leaves where it was the edge of the leaves that was really interesting:

    I love your 747 picture—wow!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *