Which Crop Works Best?

It was a sunless morning as Karen, Birding Buddy Mark and I meandered down Centennial Trail in search of birds.  It was Winter Birding at its finest – after 45 minutes we had seen a Starling waaaaay up in the top of a tall tree and some Mallards flying by.  As we approached a clearing we saw movement and raised our bins to see 10 Eastern Bluebirds flitting between barren tree limbs and the frozen grasses that covered the ground.

One Bluebird perched atop a snag long enough for me to get a distant pic of it.  Back home I couldn’t find a crop that I was happy with so I thought I would bring it to you.  Below are three variations of the same picture, each cropped a bit differently. NOTE: due to the distance from which the picture was taken the bird is not tack sharp – ignore that when evaluating the composition and focus on the position of the bird and the limbs.  Which one do you think looks the best, and why?  Reply to the email or enter your comment at the bottom of the post.

1 Bird Centered with limited view of the snag.


2. Bird centered with more of the snag shown.


3. Bird set to right, balanced by branch to the left of the snag.


Your responses will be shared Thursday so vote now!


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TravelingOnBurning Nature photographyLeegramas Recent comment authors
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As usual, I like them all. I guess the last one is the most interesting to me.

Burning Nature photography
Burning Nature photography

I like #1 personally. The bird is the main subject. I feel like photos 2 and 3 are cropped making the snag the main subject. Just my opinion.


Nice capture,, bird and perch! Personally, I think #1 is the best of the 3. I often apply the rule of thirds and this makes the most sense, from that standpoint. The bird is the main subject and the branch and snag lead your eye into, and across the image as opposed to out of the image. Hope that makes sense.