Tag Archives: dawn

Creative Cropping

This post covers a way to achieve different visual effects with one image by use of creative cropping. Today, achieving different effects is straight forward – if you are not an expert in photoshop or lightroom, there are lots of simple smart phone apps you can use to crop and adjust your images.

Show me some images!

In this post we will look at one image, adjusted using creative cropping.

Here is the original image. This shot was taken at Hahei Beach on the Coromandel Peninsula in the north island of New Zealand. This is a fantastic place to visit. It faces east, so you see magnificent sun rises over the water. I had the good fortune to visit Hahei in March 2014 to shoot a wedding. This shot was taken on the morning of the wedding during an early morning walk on the beach.

Hahei Beach

Original image, Hahei Beach

The image has a nice sunrise, a reflection in the water, some islands, and a human presence through the yacht on the right of the image. (I was jealous when I thought about people on the yacht seeing this type of sunrise every morning!)

This image has several creative cropping options. Let’s look at two different horizontal options first.

Hahei Beach

Horizontal crop of Hahei Beach sunrise


Horizontal crop of Hahei Beach sunrise

The first creative cropping horizontal image retains the human element by including the yacht. The second version excludes the yacht and creates a stronger feeling of nature and isolation – with a bigger role played by the golden sky. Both of these images make use of the horizontal elements of interest in the image.

This type of image also has a vertical option for creative cropping. This style of creative cropping makes use of the vertical elements in the image – in this case the reflection of the sunlight on the water – which makes a pathway from the top to the bottom of the image.

Hahei Beach

Vertical crop, Hahei beach sunrise

My favorite images here are the second horizontal crop, and the vertical image. I like the simplicity the creative cropping has brought, and the strong role played by the golden colors. Which is your favorite?


Photography Tips Showing Part of the Scene

Here is the latest of my photography tips – showing part of the scene. Sometimes it is more effective to show only part of the scene to communicate emotion in an image.

This week I have been in Sydney. If you have never been to Sydney, it is worth the trip just to spend a few hours walking around Sydney Harbor. In less than one hour you can visit Darling Harbor, The Rocks, Sydney Harbor Bridge, Circular Quay, Sydney Opera House, and the Botanic Gardens. While you can do that in less than an hour – I recommend taking the camera and spending much longer.

Sydney Opera House

Part of the Sydney Opera House which accentuates the size of the sails

Visiting Sydney reminded me of two of my favorite images – both taken several years ago, and both of which provide a compelling image by showing part of the scene.

The image above was shot at dawn. I was standing opposite the Opera House using a 70-200mm lens. It was a grey cloudy morning, until the sky lit up in golden, yellow colors. The sun broke through the cloud for no more than 3 or 4 minutes. During that time, I was fortunate that a jogger ran up the steps and into this scene – highlighting just how big the sails are.

The second image (below) was shot at sunset. It is a closeup of people doing the Harbor Bridge climb. It was taken from in front of the Opera House looking across to the Harbor Bridge with a 70-200mm lens. Again, shooting only part of this scene gives a stark contrast between the huge metal bridge structure and the tiny human figures. The nice sunset helps as well!

Sydney Harbor Bridge

Tiny human figures doing the Sydney Harbor Bridge climb

Both of these images are good examples of showing only part of the scene to communicate a message. The contrast between the small human figures and the large architectural structures is really striking.

These images were both shot in the Sydney Harbor area. Do you have a favorite photo spot in Sydney?