No One Clear Preference
Yesterday I shared three versions of the same picture and asked, “Which one do you like best?”
Several GreatBirdPics members responded and here’s what they said:
JB: I like #2. It shows enough of the plant on the left to give the bird a sense of place; it also places the bird in the lateral 1/3 of the picture. If this were my image, I would crop to #2 and then clone out the OOF [Out of Focus] plants on the right side.
JW: My preference is #3
LG: #1 First
CB: Well… my preference is the second, I guess based on the rule of thirds, but even there I would prefer a little more of what is on the right hand side. First is the worst, centered. The third could work if it was for ID purposes.
BG: I like the third photo best. You still have some surrounding, but the focus is on the Goldfinch.
MW: I like the first.
LP: The first one is the one.
So from our panel of experts: #1 – 3 votes, #2 – 2 votes, #3 – 2 votes. Essentially a toss-up. They are all good shots and I admit I agonize over “which is the best” in similar situations all the time.
My choice was #2. #1 has a lot of plant heads to the left of the bird and a big blob of something in the lower right-hand corner. They distract attention away from the bird. #3 is good if that’s all you had to review, but you can see with the other two pics some very interesting texture and background have been lost when it was cropped so tight. A good picture of the bird but by including the plants around it the entire shot becomes more interesting. #2 doesn’t have too much plant distraction to the left and still shows a good deal of the beautiful golden-red background. Going back to the first comment from JB about the OOF [Out of Focus] plants on the right side, I debated about leaving them in or not. In the end I thought they added an interesting balance to the picture on the right side.
Obviously there is no one “correct” answer – much of bird photography is subjective. I invite further conversation about this (reply to this email or enter a comment if viewing the blog post). Hopefully exercises like this will get you to pause just a little bit longer on one of your next GreatBirdPics to see if it can be improved with just a little cropping.
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