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DPChallenge Forums >> Web Site Suggestions >> Can we change minimal editing?
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05/20/2011 10:03:04 AM · #1
What about changing the minimal editing rules to allow cropping?

Right now minimal editing favors the setup shot, simply because it's much easier to get the exact composition when things aren't moving. In the upcoming Henri Cartier-Bresson challenge, some people will try to do setup shots, some will try street photography. Especially when you're trying to stay discreet, it's much more difficult to perfectly frame a candid street shot. I think it would even the field significantly if we simply allow cropping.

I love the idea of the minimal challenges -- it really makes you pay attention to your camera settings, lighting, etc. But I do think that cropping will even the playing field between "found" shots and "setup" shots, without compromising the ideas of minimal editing.

What do you think?
05/20/2011 10:17:04 AM · #2
i dont understand why cropping wouldnt be considered minimal anyway
05/20/2011 10:19:45 AM · #3
Better to leave it and just retitle it (again) to Straight from the camera...but because you can sharpen, that is not an accurate statement. To me, it's part of the challenge.

I had some shots I dearly loved, but by not paying attention to detail there were distracting things in the corners. I like the challenges without cropping or it totally changes the spirit of this IMHO.
05/20/2011 10:20:10 AM · #4
The concept of minimal is straight out of the camera. For the Henri Cartier-Bresson challenge, cropping would certainly be a no-no. He even included a little bit of the film sprockets in his prints, so that it would be clear that no cropping had been done.

Added: But perhaps we should allow borders for this one:
' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/80000-84999/83313/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_908165.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/80000-84999/83313/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_908165.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

Message edited by author 2011-05-20 10:25:07.
05/20/2011 10:27:32 AM · #5
I just posted this in the other thread, I would really like something between minimal and basic, where you could crop and remove sensor dust. But thats all. No sharpen, diffuse or whatever. But you can still rotate.
05/20/2011 10:30:32 AM · #6
Originally posted by Yo_Spiff:

The concept of minimal is straight out of the camera. For the Henri Cartier-Bresson challenge, cropping would certainly be a no-no. He even included a little bit of the film sprockets in his prints, so that it would be clear that no cropping had been done.

Added: But perhaps we should allow borders for this one:
' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/80000-84999/83313/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_908165.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/80000-84999/83313/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_908165.jpg', '/') + 1) . '


but Spiffy...this DOES have a frame! ;~} Love it!!!
05/20/2011 10:33:37 AM · #7
Originally posted by Socom:

I just posted this in the other thread, I would really like something between minimal and basic, where you could crop and remove sensor dust. But thats all. No sharpen, diffuse or whatever. But you can still rotate.

For any challenge from basic editing on up, you can choose to edit any way you like. You don't have to do any editing if you want. Minimal was implemented as an editing set to (in part) appease those that wanted to get at the 'straight from the camera' approach to photography. Once you start adding in conditional bits, you have muddied it up too much.

One reason sharpening has been included as one of a very few editing options is the well understood situation that modern DSLRs images straight from the camera are actually 'desharpened' to allow post processing and sharpening to be done post processing.
05/20/2011 10:37:14 AM · #8
Thanks for the info, Peter. I didn't realize that shots were 'desharpened' to allow for post processing, which would account for why they look tack sharp when I shoot them, yet look soft when I pull them up. I though I was going blind! Good to know!
05/20/2011 10:38:27 AM · #9
Originally posted by bassbone:

Originally posted by Socom:

I just posted this in the other thread, I would really like something between minimal and basic, where you could crop and remove sensor dust. But thats all. No sharpen, diffuse or whatever. But you can still rotate.

For any challenge from basic editing on up, you can choose to edit any way you like. You don't have to do any editing if you want. Minimal was implemented as an editing set to (in part) appease those that wanted to get at the 'straight from the camera' approach to photography. Once you start adding in conditional bits, you have muddied it up too much.

One reason sharpening has been included as one of a very few editing options is the well understood situation that modern DSLRs images straight from the camera are actually 'desharpened' to allow post processing and sharpening to be done post processing.


I understand you can do less in the other challenges if you choose, but I dont think cropping changes the minimal approach, tho I can understand that sensor dust removal might.
05/20/2011 10:40:34 AM · #10
Cropping can make a HUGE impact on a photograph, changing the entire feel of what the original shot was.
05/20/2011 10:43:14 AM · #11
Originally posted by bassbone:


One reason sharpening has been included as one of a very few editing options is the well understood situation that modern DSLRs images straight from the camera are actually 'desharpened' to allow post processing and sharpening to be done post processing.


This is true for jpg and not just RAW? I thought it was a function of resizing that made them appear softer.
05/20/2011 10:46:00 AM · #12
Originally posted by bergiekat:

Cropping can make a HUGE impact on a photograph, changing the entire feel of what the original shot was.


Or the original shot was done with the intention of cropping it a certain way. I get what others are saying tho. I just think sometimes the vision is with the intention of cropping. Before Photoshop and all that, I would print and cut to do the same thing as a crop.
05/20/2011 01:01:41 PM · #13
Originally posted by Ken:

Originally posted by bassbone:


One reason sharpening has been included as one of a very few editing options is the well understood situation that modern DSLRs images straight from the camera are actually 'desharpened' to allow post processing and sharpening to be done post processing.


This is true for jpg and not just RAW? I thought it was a function of resizing that made them appear softer.

The anti-aliasing filter is also known as an optical lowpass filter or blur filter or AA filter. It is there to reduce artifacts and moire patterns.

All images are captured by our cameras as RAW images. RAW images are naturally soft in contrast and focus and need postprocessing. We can save those RAW image files for processing on our computers. Or, from the original RAW image capture, most (all) cameras can write JPG files to their respective storage cards. The process of converting "in-camera" from RAW to JPG can be adjusted or fine-tuned by setting the desired parameters (usually saturation, sharpness, contrast and color tone).
05/20/2011 01:05:51 PM · #14
I like the Minimal Editing rules. It makes me think and forces me to get it right in the field. This discipline has a carry over effect to everyday photography. We should ALWAYS be composing through the viewfinder. We should ALWAYS be trying to get the composition and exposure perfect in the field. It's really easy to get sloppy and develop bad habits.... like "I'll fix it in Photoshop, later."
05/20/2011 01:07:06 PM · #15
leave it alone. just as any image can benefit by a slight tweak here or there, the absolute challenge is not to allow any tweaks, cropping or otherwise. just get it right. be ready for the moment.
05/20/2011 01:11:51 PM · #16
Originally posted by hahn23:

I like the Minimal Editing rules. It makes me think and forces me to get it right in the field. This discipline has a carry over effect to everyday photography. We should ALWAYS be composing through the viewfinder. We should ALWAYS be trying to get the composition and exposure perfect in the field. It's really easy to get sloppy and develop bad habits.... like "I'll fix it in Photoshop, later."


Yup. But when you frequently shoot moving objects or untamed wildlife, it's extremely difficult to compose perfectly in camera, simply because you have to leave some extra space to catch a fast moving animal, or the wildlife is far away, so you need to crop to fill the frame (unless you have a 600mm lens). Yet on studio shots, there's no reason to have a bad composition since you can redo it as many times as you'd like.
05/20/2011 01:12:03 PM · #17
I really dig the minimal/stfc thing - doesn't matter to me whether it's an artificial imposition. The lack of ability to crop really makes you focus on your composition. And I'm not a studio shooter so am almost always dealing with the live capture of unpredictables.
05/20/2011 01:20:04 PM · #18
' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' hahn23 and ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_N.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_N.gif', '/') + 1) . ' skewsme stated it beautifully. If you absolutely need cropping, there are no shortage of other challenges to enter including an advanced editing free study each month. The no-crop rule is the best thing about minimal editing.
05/20/2011 01:22:42 PM · #19
Originally posted by vawendy:

Originally posted by hahn23:

I like the Minimal Editing rules. It makes me think and forces me to get it right in the field. This discipline has a carry over effect to everyday photography. We should ALWAYS be composing through the viewfinder. We should ALWAYS be trying to get the composition and exposure perfect in the field. It's really easy to get sloppy and develop bad habits.... like "I'll fix it in Photoshop, later."


Yup. But when you frequently shoot moving objects or untamed wildlife, it's extremely difficult to compose perfectly in camera, simply because you have to leave some extra space to catch a fast moving animal, or the wildlife is far away, so you need to crop to fill the frame (unless you have a 600mm lens). Yet on studio shots, there's no reason to have a bad composition since you can redo it as many times as you'd like.

True enough. Your point is well taken. Wildlife photography doesn't match up well with Minimal Editing rules. What that means to me is I will need to get out of my comfort zone and photograph subjects/scenes which move less, or not at all. After all, the reason I participate at DPC is the expansion of the limits of the envelope. Probably will choose subjects other than flying birds and fleeing wildlife for the Henri Cartier-Bresson challenge. That's a good thing.
05/20/2011 01:54:42 PM · #20
Yes, and the benefits of focusing/concentrating apply everywhere.

(That point about most cameras leaving jpgs unsharpened or desharpened finally explains why any sharpening of my old Nikon Coolpix L10 pics seemed like oversharpening; that camera was not made for pp adepts).
05/20/2011 02:00:56 PM · #21
I have grown to think the minimal editing rules are an artificial hamper to good photography. Adding cropping would go a long way to turn it back to its intended purpose. As another example to the one Wendy gave, macro photography is limited in composing what's within the frame and cropping is important.

I don't mind at all the idea of getting your photo as right as possible before the picture is taken rather than relying on post-processing, but no cropping seems as artificial as demanding that the picture must also be taken standing on one leg. You can't crop your way into good light or good contrast or good subject. The demand serves little purpose in furthering our skill in real photography.
05/20/2011 02:04:15 PM · #22
Originally posted by DrAchoo:

I have grown to think the minimal editing rules are an artificial hamper to good photography. Adding cropping would go a long way to turn it back to its intended purpose. As another example to the one Wendy gave, macro photography is limited in composing what's within the frame and cropping is important.

I don't mind at all the idea of getting your photo as right as possible before the picture is taken rather than relying on post-processing, but no cropping seems as artificial as demanding that the picture must also be taken standing on one leg. You can't crop your way into good light or good contrast or good subject. The demand serves little purpose in furthering our skill in real photography.


Thank you! Beautifully stated!

I understand Hahn23's suggestion for moving outside of the comfort zone -- but minimal editing also allows us to try to get our favorite genre perfect without post-processing. It's an incredible opportunity to really hone your expertise. But no cropping significantly limits our ability to get a good shot, simply because of equipment limitations, not because of knowledge or expertise.
05/20/2011 02:29:42 PM · #23
Yes, let's discuss "real photography" in the context of technique. That's always a crowdpleaser...
05/20/2011 02:33:12 PM · #24
Originally posted by bvy:

Yes, let's discuss "real photography" in the context of technique. That's always a crowdpleaser...


To avoid that discussion...I meant it in the context of the way you go about accomplishing the photography you want. Only an extreme minority will consider cropping to be detrimental to their process. Also, to reiterate, I'm fine with the idea in general. There are many more photogs who shun post processing in general or, at least, want to make things as good as possible before the shutter opens.
05/20/2011 02:34:53 PM · #25
But I thought standing on one leg was a given!
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