Photography Quick Tip 6 ~ Crop Distracting Elements

Beauty can be seen in all things, seeing and composing the beauty is what separates the snapshot from the photograph. – Matt Hardy


this photograph was cropped to show only the reflections

What’s your vision or in your mind’s eye when you get ready to take a photograph?


When I go out with my camera, I may have an idea of what kinds of images I’d like to come home with.  More often than not, there are delightful or unexpected shapes, patterns, lights or shadows that catch my eye.  It’s almost as though they call out to me to pay attention and capture their essence so that I can revisit the memory of them at another time and in another place. 

up close and personal with a cappucino

It’s always a good idea to take the photograph you plan to create by filling the frame in the view finder of your camera.  Before you press the shutter, walk around the subject, get as close or as far away as you like, look at various perspectives, and decide what to include. Remember to look at the corners and edges of the frame.

Sometimes I can’t always get exactly what I want in my view finder. I resort to cropping with photo editing software as a helpful way to remove distracting elements.  I use it in two main ways.  One is to take out parts of a picture, (usually from one or more edges,) that I do not want in the final picture. The other is to re-size an image for printing, matting, and framing.


Once an image is cropped, it is very important that you save it with a different name so that you leave your original picture file intact, i.e. just the way it came from your camera.  I usually save my pictures at 300 dpi (dots per inch) so that they are a suitable resolution for printing.

In this image of Mendenhall Glacier in Alaska, it was necessary to stay within certain boundaries in the park.  I walked on the trails and tried different angles but the zoom lens I had on my camera at the time simply would not let me get the shot I wanted.  Although the original photograph is scenic, shows the grandeur of the glacier, and the zig zag lines draw the viewer into the picture, it wasn’t what I wanted to print for a photo greeting card. I took the picture knowing that I could crop out the distracting elements such as the little water fall and people on the right, the pale sky on the top, and the shoreline on the bottom.

this is the final cropped image I planned

In the photo below, I wanted to create a close-up of this scrumptious dessert. It was the perfect ending to a delicious three course lunch with wine pairing at Gray Monk Estate Winery in Kelowna.  It was a busy day in the restaurant and I didn’t want to bother other diners by doing a photo shoot while they were eating.  I got up and took a quick shot standing by my table and planned to crop it on my computer when I got home.

there are unwanted elements in this picture

with cropping, I was able to get just the dessert in the picture

Cropping can make a difference in editing your photos.  However, it’s a good idea to try to get the picture you want when you press the shutter.

If you would like to see more of my photographs, check out my Fine Art America website.

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If you are interested in joining Fine Art America, click on the link below.

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5 thoughts on “Photography Quick Tip 6 ~ Crop Distracting Elements

  1. I find myself coming back to your blog. I am learning so much. I even purchased a new camera. Nothing like yours I’m sure. Just a step up over what I had and hopefully, so I will not be too frustrated and overwhelmed. Your explanations are great. Thank you. Love the Cappucino shot.

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