marker normally works best when making your
cropping marks in the borders of photographs. China
markers allow you to make changes without difficulty
The aesthetics, or beauty, of the photograph should
be improved by cropping. The rule of thirds (fig. 8-10)
suggests that the center of interest be positioned roughly
at one of the four intersections created by equally spaced
horizontal and vertical lines. These lines divide the
photograph into horizontal and vertical thirds. When the
subject is centered in the photograph, as is frequently
done by amateur photographers, the photograph is often
static and boring.
When you consider aesthetics, cropping should be
based on the movement of the subject, leading lines,
lines of force and other framing considerations that are
explained in more detail in Chapter 12.
The shape of the photograph also must be
considered before it is cropped. Normally, a 3:5
proportion is most pleasing to the eye. Proportions of
2:3, 3:4, 4:5, 4:7, and soon, are acceptable proportions.
Simply cropping a photograph to make it square (3:3,
for example) leaves a newspaper page dotted with
square blocks and results in an unattractive page.
When you are considering the shape of a
photograph, there are times when a strong vertical or
horizontal will improve the look of a newspaper.
Obvious examples where extreme horizontals and
Figure 8-10.The rule of thirds.
verticals work well include tall buildings, parades,
travel photo features and many sporting events.
Photo Within a Photo
Careful examination of a print may allow you to
extract two or more reproduction-quality photographs
from a single print. There maybe two centers of interest
or separate actions taking place that separately qualify
as photographs. In a football game, an offensive lineman
may be blocking the star defensive end, while a wide
receiver catches a short pass across the middle of the
playing field. Both actions could be stand-alone
To crop a picture, you must mark off the unessential
parts. This can be done by cutting, masking or using
CUTTING. If the photograph or piece of artwork
is expendable (you have several originals or the
negative), you can do your cropping with a paper cutter.
This is the most accurate method and the one most
commonly used by ship and station newspaper editors.
MASKING. When a section of a valuable
photograph is to be reproduced, you may mask it by
covering the picture face with a sheet of paper that has
a window cut out to expose the desired area.
CROPPING Ls. Cropping Ls (fig. 8-11) are
useful tools when you are narrowing a photograph to its
center of interest. Cropping Ls are L-shaped cardboard
or plastic devices, often black in color, used to eliminate
dead space. When you place them over a photograph in