Friday, October 25, 2013

Fhoto Friday

--Cropping to enhance your photos.

Cropping to Enhance Your Photos

I am by no means an expert photographer; but I have learned a few things (usually the hard way) about photography over the years.  Probably the biggest mistake most amateur photographers make in taking photos of people is to stand too far away and include too much of the background.  One of the simplest ways to correct that is to crop the photo, which is like zooming in on the subject. As I mentioned in my blog very recently, cropping is also a good way to create a portrait type photo, if you don't have one, to put into your genealogy software program.  I didn't have face views of either Art or Russ, so I cropped them both from this photograph to put in my genealogy software program.  Following is a photo from my files of my wife, Joanne's, mother and two brothers.  It was a 6" x 5" photo.   

Art McConnell, Frances McConnell Schmidt & Russ McConnell (circa 1950)

The below photo was cropped from the one above.  I scanned the original at 600 dpi (dots per inch); thus when it is cropped and enlarged, it still has reasonably good resolution.  .

Art McConnell--Cropped

 This next photo is an even better example of the value of cropping.  This is a photo of Joanne and family members taken by someone who made the mistake we mentioned above of trying to include too much background.  This picture was 3.5" x 2.25", a very small photograph.  Fortunately, the photo was very sharp.  That, and the fact I scanned it at 600 dpi, enabled us to enlarge it considerably without losing much resolution.

Betty Schmidt, Joanne Schmidt, Carol McConnell Liscom (Frances' sister), Frances McConnell Schmidt, Mary & Russell McConnell

Notice in the photo below that the tear in the lower right hand corner has been repaired.  I did that using the cloning tool in Adobe Photoshop Elements, the application program that is use for all of my photo enhancement work.  I demonstrated that in an earlier blog.
Repaired Lower Right Corner (clone tool)

I think you will agree that the below photo is much better of the family than the one above, in that you can more clearly see their faces.  This was accomplished simply by cropping the above photo. 

Cropped Images

 Once again, notice how clear the images appear, even though it has been cropped and enlarged.  I am sure many of you have also noticed that the photographer should have moved the group a few feet to their right so that Grandpa McConnell's face wouldn't have been in the shadows.  It would also have helped if Grandma had looked at the camera rather than the grandchildren.  Hindsight is always 20/20, isn't it!

When I scanned these I saved copies in both the TIFF and JPEG formats.  TIFF retains the higher resolution, whereas, JPEG reduces the resolution so that the photos take up less digital space and can be used by programs such as Google BlogSpot that I use for creating and posting this blog.

JPEG is also good when you want to send photos by 
e-mail, as they don't take up as much digital space and, therefore, can be transmitted more quickly.