Opinions on best crop?

2020-03-25_16-22-00.53_DSC0450.NEF (23.5 MB)
LIcence: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (CC BY-NC-SA)

Hi all, here a capture I quite like, but am unsure of best presentation.
Between filmic-RGB and tone equalizer I am very happy with the overall appearance of tone, detail, etc. The current fairly close panaroma crop appeals in some ways, but not so much in others. May you find some enjoyment in trying your own take.

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Let’s call this take on a crop a little unorthodox :smile:

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Proves what you can do if you’ve got the inclination!

@martin.scharnke the xmp makes DT 3.0.1 crash. Which version are you using ?

I was a bit indecisive: a 2:1 (2.00) or cinemascope (2.35) crop. I did decide to use the 2:1, just a bit more pleasing to the eye in my opinion.

best.crop.nikon.d7200.nef.xmp (7.3 KB) darktable 3.0.1

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My take, with a less tight crop:

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RT5.8dev (commit 2bb747b55)

Edit: when it comes to tastes, I think there will be as many as photographers in this forum :laughing:

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RT5.8, free hand crop to my taste (well expressed, @XavAL!)

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Some photos do need cropping. for others I am uncertain and I have no decisive opinion about a best crop.
I made a crop similar to the one of @XavAL. letting space above and in front of the duck

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I think it’s good the way it is, I mean the raw


I also prefer more breathing room for the mallard. One thing that I find distracting is the strong reflection of the water’s surface. It distracts me from the subject because it is rather ubiquitous. Perhaps, a shallower depth of field or a different editing strategy (besides cropping) would help.

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Thanks for sharing !

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Sorry about that, @sovereign, version 3.1.0~git786.9f087e5ed

Just had to be different, didn’t you?! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Thanks, @afre for articulating what also bothered me, though I couldn’t put my finger on it. Of course I took this shot for the reflection and the glassy look of the water, but I agree that the reflection distracts the eye. What would suggest? Masking or vignetting? Shalllower depth-of-field regrettably not possible - f/6.0 is the widest I can manage at that focal length. Of course simulating shallower depth-of-field in post is possible.

Thank you @age for your take - that’s one way of removing the distraction!

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Focus on the head and neck. We all need a good massage there.

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You could reduce the reflections with a circular polarizer. But then, if your intent was to capture the reflections, the CP would go against that intent.

After experimenting with vignetting and graduated density without finding pleasing results, lowpass seemed to give the reduction to distraction without sacrificing the overall look.

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