Help me crop this photo!
January 14, 2009 3:47 PM   Subscribe

Can you help me turn this photo into art?

I enjoy the challenge of cropping an average snapshot into a memorable photo. Tricks such as re-centering or zooming in on a particular detail, can really transform an average picture. Sometimes I can even get more than one really good composition from the same photo.

This picture I took really intrigues me. I thought I could diminish the busy background, and perhaps lose the rest of the right half of her face, but I can't seem to get it right. Can anyone help take this proect in the direction it should go? Thanks for your help!
posted by kgn2507 to Media & Arts (18 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Do you just want cropping or can we mess with focus and contrast and stuff?
posted by thirteenkiller at 4:15 PM on January 14, 2009

Yeah, i'd say blur the background and turn it into sepia toned retro photo. But that would require some detail work with the fine lines on the mask.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:21 PM on January 14, 2009

Response by poster: Anything goes!
posted by kgn2507 at 4:53 PM on January 14, 2009

Anything goes!

Go wild then.
posted by DarkForest at 5:10 PM on January 14, 2009

I would crop to highlight the blue eye and mask. Then remove color to bring out the texture of the mask and adjust the brightness/contrast.
posted by ljesse at 5:41 PM on January 14, 2009

this is the first thing that sprang to mind Quick and dirty cause I'm bored at work
posted by kanemano at 5:43 PM on January 14, 2009

So not a designer, but I felt like playing with photoshop filters tonight. :)


posted by heatherann at 5:49 PM on January 14, 2009

Since the eye is a dominant part of your picture, you might want to read this about placing an eye in the horizontal center of the picture. Here are some illustrations of the principle.
posted by DarkForest at 6:37 PM on January 14, 2009

Mediafire failed me. I put them on flickr temporarily.

Pictures have a basic description of what went into them.
posted by bradly at 6:46 PM on January 14, 2009

posted by leigh1 at 7:18 PM on January 14, 2009

A quick attempt: I like the focus on the back of her neck.
posted by thirteenkiller at 8:00 PM on January 14, 2009

posted by DarkForest at 8:20 PM on January 14, 2009

Here's mine (small or large)
posted by doctor_negative at 10:19 PM on January 14, 2009

Response by poster: Thank you so much to everyone! I loved seeing everyone's ideas!
posted by kgn2507 at 10:21 PM on January 14, 2009

It's already a fantastic, artistic photograph, so kudos. I wouldn't do anything extreme with it, just look at bringing out what's already there.

You do want to repair the color, and I'd rotate a touch clockwise and tighten the crop just a shade on the left side, but it's really already framed very well to my eyes. But repairing the color is the big thing, and you have a number of areas you can focus on.

You're right that the background is pretty busy and you'll want to take that down somehow or get rid of it entirely. As for her, I would bring out the details in the hair and the mask by deepening the shadows a little in those areas. Restore the blown-out color from the face (eye/nose/chin area, which is totally white) and bring up the deeper blue in the dress and the eye (both heavily desaturated by the camera) to tie them to the mask. The picture's all about blues and golds.

Something like this is what my intuition would say, but that is just me, and as always your mileage may vary. Blowing it way out with high contrasts could work well too. If you veer into the "Filters" menu, remember that stylizing a picture with a Photoshop filter can sometimes require a gentle touch.
posted by churl at 12:58 AM on January 15, 2009


Gave me a chance to play around with photoshop actions I got from Pioneer Woman.
posted by itesser at 9:03 AM on January 15, 2009

it's a beautiful photo - I wouldn't do anything to it but paint out the background
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 9:04 PM on January 15, 2009

This would make a great high key photo. I didn't have time but here's a (very) quick and (very) dirty attempt at B&W.

posted by jluce50 at 11:12 AM on January 16, 2009

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