You may remember my post on improving your cat photos which I hope got you up and running taking cool pictures of your cats.
This time I want to take a quick look at how your pictures can sometimes look rather good when you are cropping them for Instagram. This is about making a good job of cropping your pictures before uploading them to social media accounts.
What is Cropping?
Instagram prefers square images and unless you use a smartphone specifically set to ‘square’ you will need to crop. I checked out this definition of cropping on Wikipedia.
The process usually consists of the removal of some of the peripheral areas of an image …….. to improve its framing, to change the aspect ratio, or to accentuate or isolate the subject matter from its background.Wiki
Let’s take a look at some cropped pictures to see what a difference it can make.
Cat Photos Cropped
This is Jack, ginger cat and New Zealand resident. The picture is a simple snapshot and I was lucky he looked up. Jack is not big on having his picture taken usually.
Jack looks cute, but his Tabcat tracking unit is dangling in a distracting way. To someone who doesn’t know what it is (it helps us find him in the garden), it just looks weird.
Now check out the square image that will go on Instagram. The focus is on Jack’s eyes and the tracker is hardly noticeable. You focus on his penetrating gaze and his bald nose (he has solar eczema and receives medication).
- Katzenworld can be found on Instagram here.
Let’s take a look at a full length photograph. How can I crop this?
Meet senior cat Harvey and a photo taken in profile while he was taking a stroll in the garden. Harvey is stage 3 kidney but still engaged and lively enough to demand fresh air so he has supervised walks.
There is a lot of dark and not really interesting greenery surrounding Harvey. Could I tidy the image up and make it a neat square to focus on him more?
This looks better. Harvey is the central focus of the picture and will look great when this is posted on our Instagram. Oh, and those shaved patches on his front legs? Harvey had a major dental some weeks ago and he came through it like a champ.
Let me finish with a side by side comparison. You can really see the impact cropping a picture can make.
Phoebe our youngest cat has been exploring a pile of rocks and the sun came out. She held the post long enough for me to grab my camera and take a few pictures.
The full-length picture looks good, it captures her wonderful kitty enthusiasm. But what would be cut off by Instagram? I wasn’t sure so I cropped my own picture to keep control. It really makes you look at her face doesn’t it?
Top Cropping Tip
Always work on a duplicate copy of your photograph.
You need not worry about damaging the photo because it is digital and there is an undo function in software applications. But, if you are like me, you will feel happier knowing work is happening on a ‘copy’ not the original image.
Do you crop a lot for Instagram, or is your smartphone set permanently to square?
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