My Name is Verm, and I'm a Cropaholic

January 08, 2013  •  5 Comments

My name is Verm, and I’m a cropaholic.  There, I’ve said it.  It’s gotten so bad, I’ll back up from subjects, just so I can fix the shot in post.  I’ll constrain the crop to 2x3 ratio to disguise my evildoing, even when the image would fit better as a 9x16 or 1x1 or even in an old oval portrait frame. 

I’ll excuse my actions as a necessary evil in bird photography.  Point out that a Peregrine Falcon glides at 60+ mph and can hit four times that speed in a high altitude stoop.  Explain how the most accurate AF sensors are centered in the frame so to track flying objects it’s best to center them, then recompose in post.  I might even expound on the diminutive size of my subjects and their cautious demeanor.  If all that doesn’t get my critics to back down then I’ll fight dirty and say, “Shoot any good senior portraits lately?”


My excuse for this bland composition?  The wind was whipping and the rain dumping as I shot this from a bobbing boat. My AF was locked on the center cross-type sensor for maximum accuracy in case some quick action like this should happen. The Anhinga emerged from underwater for just a minute, tossed the fish up to swallow it, but missed the catch allowing the fish to escape.


Back home, I couldn't help myself and grabbed the cropping tool.  If I wasn't such a naughty boy Santa would have brought me an 800mm and this would have never happened.


Fortunately I've seen the folly in my ways.  With the help of Cropaholics Anonymous I'm working hard to conquer my addiction.  With any luck we will no longer see anymore of this scat. 

Forgive me Father for I have cropped.  Over 75% of this image in fact, from a DX sensor no less. Please Lord, give me the strength to delete such sinful images from my archives.


"But Verm,: you say, "that shot looks killer on the web, check out those flying feathers.  Don't throw it out.  If you don't like it like that then cropped like this it would make a great web banner:"

I'm sorry reader, you just don't get it.  Cropping is a gateway drug.  Run with the cropping tool and next thing you know you'll be cloning out sensor dust and tweaking white balance.

"Then why not pull back on the crop and have a great contents page like this?"

What part of you don't get it, don't you get?  Cropping is for farmers.  A true, self-respecting photographer would never let their work run full two-page bleed in a mag because that works out to 11"x17", i.e. a 1.54545454 ratio, and everyone knows if you're going to print into you sprocket holes to prove your holiness, you'd better have a 1.50000000 ratio. 

"Join the 21st Century Verm!  Pull your head out of your analog ass and smell the ones and zeros.  High MP sensors and judicious cropping allow nature photographers to maintain a respectful distance from their subjects and allow the animals to behave naturally.  You don't have to bait or call them in to fill the frame anymore.  This is a technological win-win."

You poor delusional reader.  While your argument appears sound on the surface, it's really just the brink of The Slippery Slope.  Start compromising your ethics with the crop tool and pretty soon you're sliding down that slope faster than an otter on crank and your pics will go from this:

Kind, Adorable Snow Goose

To this:

Don't F#©K With Me Goose

Last I checked (when waiting for hours in the doctor's reception lounge), ESPN The Magazine isn't running Snow Goose portraits on the cover even if they've had the grunge preset applied.

So please, I implore you to disavow your evil ways, disable your cropping tool, and repeat after me.

Every pixel's sacred,

every pixel's great,

if a pixel's wasted,

God get's quite irate.


Yours in sober reflection,




Please do not tell anyone - our little secret - but I crop the photos of my daughter's sports games. It's like getting 3 photos for the price of one.
Pixels are there for wasting.
Pixels are your SLAVES.
It's YOUR story and that's why we're here looking at it.
god said so.

It's really interesting how often you are able to catch (so to speak)
the moment when various sharp-billed birds think they have
dinner nailed but must perform one more maneuver to get it
down the right pipe----no free lunches.
Good Work!!!
The subjects change but the Verm is still the same.
The 1st step is admitting you have a problem...
Moisty Murphy(non-registered)
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