Tip #55: Crop It!

Territorial (Trumpeter Swans: Cygnus buccinator)
Square Crop
Canon 7D + Canon 300mm f2.8IS L w/ Canon 1.4x Converter @ f5.6
Minnesota 
The title says is it all... 
Every camera and lens combination has the potential to enhance or constrain your vision. For example, the sensor in the typical digital SLR matches the 35mm format with its 3:2 framing ratio. In contrast, 4/3 (FT) and µ4/3 (MFT) cameras are defined by a smaller sensor with a 4:3 ratio. Prior to my transition to digital in 2003, I used medium format 645 and 6x6 cameras. I loved the large transparencies from these systems, especially the square images I produced with my classic Hasselblad.
Territorial (Trumpeter Swans: Cygnus buccinator)
Full Frame
Canon 7D + Canon 300mm f2.8IS L w/ Canon 1.4x Converter @ f5.6
Minnesota 
During a recent winter shoot, I had the opportunity to capture the drama of pre-mating rituals. Here the trumpeter swans had congregated in a patch of open water and were re-establishing pair bonds. Integral to this behavior is the the tussling between competitors as they define territorial boundaries. The top post demonstrates how a square crop emphasizes the size, behavior and action, where the 3:2 ratio includes benign elements that distract. While I am not an aggressive cropper, I believe that any crop that conveys your intent is not a crappy crop ;-)
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