Photographers who always strive to “get it right in the camera” tend to forget that sometimes the soul of an image is only found when you crop it out of the surrounding mess. I took the digital cropping knife to one of the Polaroid Cube images I took in the lighting department at Menards, in the same session that resulted in yesterday’s “successful” photographs. I had this one in the semi-failure pile. I liked the yellows and the different dark shapes and the circular element at the upper right, but not the all the blue at the bottom and the tags and extra junk. So I cut once, and made it better. But this is a chicken-droppings crop. Too hesitant, too shy, too afraid of losing any of the edges. There is still a lot of junk in it, particularly to the left and in the lower center. I liked this crop when I first made it, but that only lasted a few minutes. Once you’ve broken the ice with the first cut, it’s easier to go on than you might think. This is better. Half blue and half yellow, with that wooden halo reemphasized in the upper right. I won’t say that cropping made this image into some kind of work of genius, but it moved it into the “successful” pile. I cropped for its soul, and I think I found it.
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