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Thread: The Violin Player-What is the best crop?

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    Alis's Avatar
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    The Violin Player-What is the best crop?

    For some reason, I don't like this picture, I am not sure what I am doing wrong in PP. But aside from that, I would like to know what your suggestion is for cropping this shot. The first one is the original and rest are my quick crops.

    Thanks!

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    The Violin Player-What is the best crop?

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    The Violin Player-What is the best crop?

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    Re: The Violin Player-What is the best crop?

    Forgive the craziness of this image response, but when I started playing with each of your crops, I couldn't find a point which really satisfied my sense of a balanced look. I cropped slightly more to the left, but less tightly...and still wasn't overly satisfied, so I did a line analysis and I think when you look at the image, you will see these converging lines are pretty much universal in all three images.
    What happens is that the center of focus is too far right and too close to the center of the image. Try reshooting it with less dead space on the left, more image to the right which will allow his eyes to direct your eye to the bow, strings and chin position. I'd also tend to shoot with the central focal point either a bit higher or a bit lower than dead center.

    The Violin Player-What is the best crop?

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    Re: The Violin Player-What is the best crop?

    Thanks, Chris! Nice analysis. It would be easy to reshoot this but it is too late now. I have to wait until next year for the background.

    I agree the problem with the shot is that he was moving and I would not get the focus right and in this one, which is better than rest, I lost a lot on the right side and have a lot of space on the left which is useless.

    And since the focus is not right, I can't make it a tight crop close up of the face.

    Just wanted to see what you guys think.

    Thanks again!

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    Re: The Violin Player-What is the best crop?

    My suggestion, since you said that there is a possibility to reshoot the scene, try to completely include the whole violin on the next shot. That would make the image strong and with more impact to the viewers. Just my simple suggestion, Sir.

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    Re: The Violin Player-What is the best crop?

    I would say that as you don't have a shot with the whole violin then the next best option would be to concentrate on his face; in which case the last version works best for me.

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    Re: The Violin Player-What is the best crop?

    After looking for a while and reading comments, I'd agree with Geoff that it would be better to have the whole violin, or at least both hands. (Playing it a bit myself might bias my opinion...)

    On a side note: that's not HIS violin I hope?

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    Re: The Violin Player-What is the best crop?

    Quote Originally Posted by jiro View Post
    My suggestion, since you said that there is a possibility to reshoot the scene, try to completely include the whole violin on the next shot. That would make the image strong and with more impact to the viewers. Just my simple suggestion, Sir.
    Thanks, Jiro! I can reshoot it next year (the tree is gone) but he will be much bigger I guess. But I agree with your suggestion.

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    Re: The Violin Player-What is the best crop?

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff F View Post
    I would say that as you don't have a shot with the whole violin then the next best option would be to concentrate on his face; in which case the last version works best for me.
    Thanks, Geoff! I guess that is the best option. This is just a practice, but if I were to print it, it would not be sharp enough as he was moving and the focus is not right on his face

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    Re: The Violin Player-What is the best crop?

    Quote Originally Posted by revi View Post

    On a side note: that's not HIS violin I hope?
    No, you guessed right, it is mine! Full size adult violin

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    Re: The Violin Player-What is the best crop?

    I think your photo is nice.

    I did this but it can't be more than an idea, you will know

    The Violin Player-What is the best crop?

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    Re: The Violin Player-What is the best crop?

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisC View Post
    Forgive the craziness of this image response, but when I started playing with each of your crops, I couldn't find a point which really satisfied my sense of a balanced look. I cropped slightly more to the left, but less tightly...and still wasn't overly satisfied, so I did a line analysis and I think when you look at the image, you will see these converging lines are pretty much universal in all three images.
    What happens is that the center of focus is too far right and too close to the center of the image. Try reshooting it with less dead space on the left, more image to the right which will allow his eyes to direct your eye to the bow, strings and chin position. I'd also tend to shoot with the central focal point either a bit higher or a bit lower than dead center.

    The Violin Player-What is the best crop?
    What is a line analysis; are the yellow lines orthogonal, what is their purpose ?

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    Re: The Violin Player-What is the best crop?

    They call it "leading lines", Steve. Imaginary lines that are "present" in the image giving you the impression of being lead towards the main subject or focus on the frame. I hope I got it right.

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    Re: The Violin Player-What is the best crop?

    Quote Originally Posted by jiro View Post
    They call it "leading lines", Steve. Imaginary lines that are "present" in the image giving you the impression of being lead towards the main subject or focus on the frame. I hope I got it right.
    Pretty much so, Jiro. I have a built in "Rule of Thirds" overlay on my Smart Board at school and I use this technique to show my students what's happening in their photographs when I see what they do not see. It is more for for showing "in a perfect world..." but it is a good technique for any photographer to use to analyze what's going on in their work.

    I used the blue lines to represent the Rules quadrants, the yellow lines to show the general focal point...that point where all the actions in the photograph lead the eye, and the green line was to show where it all converged.

    What happened in the original composition was all the focus was to the center and one side of the frame with nothing strong enough on the opposing side to maintain a strong visual balance. If the boy is moved more to the left and the angle is either shot in a more upward or downward angle to push the convergence point more toward a quadrant point and less to center, then compositionally, it will work infinitely better. Exposure wasn't an issue, nor was the depth of field.

    Everyone should try this with their own work and then watch their compositional skills improve. I've been shooting for a long time and I do it on a regular basis.

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    Re: The Violin Player-What is the best crop?

    infinitely better; I can see where you can lead with real lines and use thirds or Fibonacci, but I'm a tad confused where imaginary lines should go. Could be that you will expect somebody else to answer, but I much prefer you explain 'lines analysis'.

    Just an observation, it looks like you don't want to tell me what it is all about.

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    Re: The Violin Player-What is the best crop?

    Quote Originally Posted by arith View Post
    infinitely better; I can see where you can lead with real lines and use thirds or Fibonacci, but I'm a tad confused where imaginary lines should go. Could be that you will expect somebody else to answer, but I much prefer you explain 'lines analysis'.

    Just an observation, it looks like you don't want to tell me what it is all about.
    I am not sure how much better I could have explained it, but I will go one step further if it will help. His eyes are looking directly at the bow. His arm and the bow are leading up and diagonally to the right, which is counterbalancing his gaze. The line from his chin down the fretboard intersects both lines. This, therefore is the focal point and not his head as you might (or might not) think.

    If you change the angle of his arm so the diagonal line ends up on the lower quadrant line at almost the exact opposite point of where the eye gaze line intersects the upper grid line, the effect will pull the overall focal point more toward lower center, which visually is more pleasing to the eye....well, at least, I think it is.

    Using the Rule of Thirds, the best compositional effects will take place at one of the cross sections of the grid. In this photo's case, the primary effect takes place at almost dead center in the furthermost grid line and therefore is enough out of balance to leave the viewer somewhat flat. this is further compounded by the dead space to the left of the boy. Try to think of a scene like you would a scene in a book. If whatever is in the field of vision isn't moving the plot forward, it has to go. The dead space, in this photo needed to go. Following that same train of thought, if there isn't something in the scene to move the plot forward, then add whatever it takes to make it successful.
    If you will notice, everyone who made a suggestive crop moved the boy more to the left.

    The photo has so many other good features in focus, depth of field and exposure, this focal point detraction, while somewhat minor, is enough to make the photographer ask, "what's wrong?"

    For further edification, as a teacher, I never hold out information from anyone. That goes against what I do in the classroom and what I do as an educator in general.

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    Re: The Violin Player-What is the best crop?

    Ta, certainly something I've not seen before. But I have used imaginary lines to force you to look where no golden ratio would help. cheers

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    Re: The Violin Player-What is the best crop?

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisC View Post
    Using the Rule of Thirds, the best compositional effects will take place at one of the cross sections of the grid. In this photo's case, the primary effect takes place at almost dead center in the furthermost grid line and therefore is enough out of balance to leave the viewer somewhat flat. this is further compounded by the dead space to the left of the boy. Try to think of a scene like you would a scene in a book. If whatever is in the field of vision isn't moving the plot forward, it has to go. The dead space, in this photo needed to go. Following that same train of thought, if there isn't something in the scene to move the plot forward, then add whatever it takes to make it successful.
    If you will notice, everyone who made a suggestive crop moved the boy more to the left.

    The photo has so many other good features in focus, depth of field and exposure, this focal point detraction, while somewhat minor, is enough to make the photographer ask, "what's wrong?".
    I found this technique, if I may call it so, very interesting.
    I try to use the rule of thirds whenever I can, but sometimes things don't work so easy.
    How can I explore it a little more? I would apreciatte some more tips for a better composition.
    The idea is to improve the "photographer's eye".

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    Re: The Violin Player-What is the best crop?

    There aren't any..."set in stone" rules, only guidelines. I tend to go back and look at what I've shot and apply the same techniques I did with the violin to my own work. there are times when I see where I could have forced a completely different perspective if I'd shot a little lower or higher or more oblique angle. I find that it helps me when I come to a similar scenario...if nothing more than to make me move around a bit more.
    The rule of thirds is a good starting point, and if done properly, will more often than not lead to a very good compositional study. Go back to previous work, make yourself a semi-transparent grid and scale it to fit each work.
    Another good technique is one Donald uses in shooting to specific ratios. There was a thread about it last month sometime. You might PM him for a query.

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    Re: The Violin Player-What is the best crop?

    Hi,

    IMHO, the child's face, concentration, tones are terrific. The violin leads up to his face, which is very good. But the bow forces our eyes to look away from the boy. In re-shooting, suggest you shoot when the bow is only seen as a circle from the back end. Alternatively, darken the white bow hair to make it nearly invisible. Finally, crop away most of the tree above his head. It is irrelevant to the boy.

    Good luck.

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    Re: The Violin Player-What is the best crop?

    Quote Originally Posted by arith View Post
    Ta, certainly something I've not seen before. But I have used imaginary lines to force you to look where no golden ratio would help. cheers
    I'm pretty sure Don covered it, but if you want a more expansive dissertation, you might try this.....
    http://www.spacesyntax.tudelft.nl/me...0I/peponis.pdf

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