4 Alternatives To Cropping Your Photographs – Both Old And New Ways


Edges Darkened

Edges Retouched


So you don’t want to crop your image. What other alternatives could you consider to minimize distractions? Here are four.

Color - LHS

Contrast is an eye-catcher. So, if you don’t want elements to catch the eye, reduce their contrast. There are three types of contrast; luminosity, hue, and saturation. Depending on the situation, you may need to use one, two, or all three. Take your clues from the overall image and the immediate surroundings of the elements you’d like to direct attention away from. Rather than sleight of hand, it’s sleight of eye.


One of the strongest ways to deflect attention from an element is to blur it. The more you blur it, the less focus it will demand. Blur it enough, and it will disappear into its surrounding field of color. Take care to manage transitions between blurred and sharp areas convincingly (as if the blur happened in camera rather than in post-production); if they aren’t handled well, the blur will stand out as artificial and attract attention rather than reduce it.


Insights Members can login to read the full article.
or Sign up


  • Monica

    30.01.2023 at 06:17 Reply

    Words missing

    The blue sky surrounding a

    Unlike retouching, this adds nothing new to the composition; it simply repositions it.

  • Stu Nowlin

    30.01.2023 at 19:19 Reply

    I crop almost every photograph. Distracting elements? Gone. Lack of focus? Corrected. I presume that in a winter scene in Kansas my viewers would rather not see endless foreground corn stubble. A 16×9 ratio works or some of these scenes, but not all. I remove distracting elements. An abandoned shopping cart in a river? Lassoed and tossed out. It is “authentic” but so is leaving in garbage bins in a file on the only day I can shoot a scene.


  • johnpaulcaponigro

    08.08.2023 at 14:36 Reply

    Thank you.

  • Monica

    08.08.2023 at 16:25 Reply

    Why would you distort an empty sky rather than cloning the distracting element out?

Post a Comment