Picture-Within-a-Picture Makeover

You don't necessarily have to add or remove content to change an image dramatically; in fact, you can achieve some pretty stunning effects by doing a (relatively) simple crop. The important skill here is not the cropping technique itself, which (truth to tell) is a simple one-step process. The real trick is the ability to see the new image in your mind . . . the ability to see the picture within a picture.

Cultivating this ability to predict a picture within a picture is what can allow you to salvage dramatic images from otherwise-ho-hum photos. After a while, don't be surprised if you start putting this picture-within-a-picture vision to use right away in your work with new images — even in the initial image captures, as you're shooting the image. Once you get in the habit of seeing the picture within a picture, you'll start to pre-think your crops as you shoot your photographs.

To give you a sense of how this whole picture-within-a-picture thing works, check out the following makeovers.

Note: Cropping an image so dramatically requires that you have enough resolution to support the image dimension you want to create with just the cropped image. So always consider the cropping you intend to affect when you select your original image-capture resolution.

Changing the Balance

When you work on balance in an image, you manipulate where the various image elements are located and how they relate to one other. For instance, in situations where large masses of background mask the importance or significance of a smaller middle ground or foreground image, removing a competing element can shift the balance of significance to another portion of the image. The following makeover illustrates what I mean.

1 Open the Kenai_South.tif.

This image is available for download from the Web site associated with this book.

2 Choose ImageoDuplicate to make a duplicate copy.

Again, you're doing some radical editing here, so only work on a copy.

This photo of the Southern Kenai Mountains along the edge of Kachemak Bay is one of those ho-hum images I was just talking about — ho-hum for a number of reasons. First, the beautiful mountains are smack in the middle of the image . . . boring. Second, the large expanse of water in the foreground has little character to it; not only does it fail to add interest to the image, it actually detracts from the drama of the mountains. The sky has some interesting features, but again, the large expanse of dull water detracts from that too.

The solution here, clearly, is to lose the water. (A lot of it, anyway.)

On this page are several versions of this image showing various amounts of water and sky — and any one of them is a vast improvement over the original image.

3 Delineate your crop by selecting the Crop tool from the Toolbox and then clicking and dragging over the portion of the image you want to keep.

Time to use that picture-within-a-picture vision thing.

4 Press the Enter key to apply the crop.

Doing so gives the adios salute to those parts of the image you don't want around anymore — most, if not all, of that water.

You can see several, but by no means all, crop options, on this page.

0 0

Post a comment