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Non Aperture cropping question For Thomas Boyd or other Sports Shooters #1
Andrew Mumford's picture
by Andrew Mumford
June 5, 2012 - 7:42pm

I wanted to ask what was the accepted rule / guidelines about cropping for editorial use.

i.e. How much can you crop on an image for editorial sports use, are there any rules ? Is it totally dependent on image quality and so is it acceptable to take a portrait image and crop it not a landscape format ??


Andrew Mumford

Thomas Boyd's picture
by Thomas Boyd
June 5, 2012 - 8:05pm

There are no specific ethical concerns other than maintaining a truthful image. It’s totally fine to crop a vertical into a horizontal image, unless the publication specifically forbids it. Although, I’ve never heard of one that did.

As far as technical concerns, each publication has it’s own specifications as far as file size. If you crop too far into an image, the file size will diminish. With new cameras like a Mark IV, you can crop down dramatically without causing reproduction problems. Even then, up-rezing the image can help in this regard as well.

If you have concerns about it, just inform the photo editor of the crop so they aren’t blindsided later.

Andrew Mumford's picture
by Andrew Mumford
June 5, 2012 - 8:07pm

Thx Thomas,

Andrew Mumford

Butch Miller's picture
by Butch Miller
June 5, 2012 - 9:08pm

I concur with Thomas’ advice … cropping is done by photojournalist’s and layout editors all the time … as long as you don’t clip too much data that would cause severe reproduction problems, or edit out important factors that would dramatically change the content that could create any possible doubt in the viewer’s mind as to any perceived bias … you are good to go ….

With the MP range for most current DSLR’s, cropping for the sweet spot in a good photo isn’t out of place.

PhotoJoseph's picture
by PhotoJoseph
June 11, 2012 - 4:40pm

My 2¢…

Cropping is akin to swapping lenses, so ethically, no issue.

It’s retouching to remove or replace objects that is completely verboten.

I am curious though on color enhancement, Thomas. Once could argue that pumping up the saturation to make the sky more blue for example is misleading, but then again photographers used to choose film based on the saturation reproduction/enhancement, and of course when shooting RAW how that blue is interpreted is up to the software, before the user even touches it.

On the extreme, would an HDR image not be considered photojournalistically ethical?

it’s an interesting world, for sure.

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