street musicians full frame

This shot at the top is the full frame photo. The next three are all crops that I made with different proportions. I cropped them as an experiment, following on from to my last article on Proportions, Space, Framing.

You may like one crop more than another.

street musicians close up 5x3

The musicians in the photograph were taking part in the Cambridge Mill Road Winter Festival. I was so intent on the two men in the centre talking to one another that I was only vaguely aware of the other two men.

If I had not only just bought the camera and if I had not been using it for the first time, I might have spent more time looking around for photos of the other two men. That said, the two in the middle were in conversation, and that drew my attention.

Seeing all four of them in Photoshop was the first time I saw the two other men clearly. I’ve noticed before that I can be very focussed and miss what is around where I am looking at something. I see it as a defect in being aware of the best shots that may be in the offing.

I remember Tamara and I walking past Charing Cross station when she pointed out three women right in front of me. I was so focussed on where we were walking that I failed completely to see them.

They were pretty obvious once Tamara pointed them out – three women sitting in a line on the station steps – in identical pink cowgirl costumes.

street musicians close up 4x3

For the crops, I tried to start and stop the outer edges in the same place in all three crops so that they are comparable. 

The top crop is 5×3, which is approximately the Golden Ratio, then 4×3, and finally, 5×4.

street musicians close up 5x4

Does one crop please you more than another? 


  1. dapplegrey says:

    4×3. No question. I do masses of cropping, and I never ever bother about numerical ratios because it’s never going to be the way to get the reliably best composition. But when you get it, you know!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 4:3 is the proportion that Olympus and Panasonic settled on when they joined forces to create the Micro Four Thirds sensor.


  2. Responding as a complete novice, I find it interesting that the first one feels more pleasing – I like the proportions… But when I studied them further I realized that the last one is most effective at focusing the eye on the men. I scrolled through the pix before I read your post and consciously noted that it was only when I got to the last that I really SAW the man on the left – the shape of his mouth, the smile in his eye. I’ll go back and read your linked post… Looks interesting but somehow I missed it.


    1. Thanks for your view and for commenting.

      The shirt of the man with the fiddle dictates to me where I would crop. I would crop far enough down to get in his diaphragm so as not to cut off his breath, and not too much beyond that. That’s more or less or just a tad less than the depth of the last image.


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