Back Modifications (5)
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By Lakkou  
I went to Zoo in town, this time I didn't crop tight but I decreased the exposure in the right and I kept some space in the right.
Is it right this way?

My all the time problem is how cropping.
The original is in the mod

Tags: Zoo Lion Wildlife and nature

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mrswoolybill Plus
15 3.1k 2476 United Kingdom
4 Feb 2018 3:22PM
I like the way that you are thinking about how to take your images further. It's a very respectable original shot, but untidy without the male's head. You were at your longest focal length, so having got a sharp image the next step is to crop.

Off-centre placement is a good idea, even with a subject like this where the dominating effect of central placement is actually quite appropriate. The lioness creates a sort of L-shape, I would fit that into the left of a crop but you don't necessarily have to stick to 3 x 2. I think I feel another square coming on...

You have darkened quite considerably, that creates drama. But you need to look at working separately on subject and background. The lioness herself has become maybe a bit too dark, some detail is lost in and around the eyes. And meanwhile some disconcerting light shapes remain in the background, sort of floating in space. If you are aiming at getting rid of background detail, I think the job has to be complete.

I shall see what I can do...
pamelajean Plus
15 1.7k 2243 United Kingdom
4 Feb 2018 4:01PM
A nice shot, with the lion looking very relaxed.
Thankyou for showing the original, Akram.
You have done some nice work on it, producing an image with far more impact.

Your use of negative space is good, but you could crop even further, as Moira suggests.
I feel there is just a bit too much space on the right, in your lead image.

The guideline of positioning your subject so that they are looking into the frame doesn't apply here because your lion is facing forward. But placing her over to the left works, creating a diagonal from top left to bottom right.

You had to crop fairly close on the left of your lion because of the closeness of the male's leg in the original. But, if you wanted to, you could have added a bit more canvas, so that she didn't look too cramped on that side. When I do this, I clone in detail to the added canvas, which wouldn't be too difficult once you had blacked out the background.


paulbroad Plus
14 131 1293 United Kingdom
4 Feb 2018 5:44PM
A strong image with good exposure and crop. It could be a touch sharper, a result of the relatively slow shutter speed with respect to the focal length I would think, and I would do a little dodging to brighten just the eyes.

banehawi Plus
17 2.7k 4282 Canada
4 Feb 2018 6:16PM
We have to start with your original, as the success of further efforts depends on what you start with. For your cropped image, youve had to do way too much processing, which is destructive.

The original is overexposed. I dont quite understand why its underexposed, as you seem to have focused on the female lions face; I looked at your metering mode, and it indicated matrix. Canon doesnt have a metering mode called matrix, - I guess it is actually evaluative?

Assuming thats the case, do you use a single focus point, or the default group f focus points? The answer to this is very important, so I will check back.

The shutter speed, as Paul mentions, might be a bit too slow; its well within the capabilities of the IS lens at 250mm, but it can be too slow if the animal moves the slightest amount, which causes softness.

I used the original and decreased exposure by -0.5 for the full image, and then cropped closer from that on the female, and uploaded both.

I will check back to see any responses.


Lakkou 4 Tunisia
4 Feb 2018 7:28PM
Thank you all for your comments,

Moira I'll follow your advice and crop it following a square and add some space as sugested by Pamela.
@ Willie : the metering is evolutive (I let it is as I don't control well this parameter), the focus mode is Flexizone multiple (with AI Servo)

banehawi Plus
17 2.7k 4282 Canada
4 Feb 2018 8:13PM
Thanks Akaom. Therein lies the metering problem!

Do NOT use flexizone multiple, - you have NO control over the focus point; use a single focus point and control where you place it; DO NOT use AI Servo, - thats for sports and action photography; use the default AF, single shot. The reason you need to control the selection of the focus point, - apart from controlling precisely what you focus on ( the lions eye for example), evalautive metering meter off the point of focus; so in flexizone, it may have metered off part of the male lion, or the shaded grass, for example.

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dudler Plus
18 1.8k 1895 England
4 Feb 2018 9:21PM
Nothing to add - Willie knows how Canon gear operates, and that's all you need here.

Even when things in a camera are on 'automatic' it helps to understand what the camera will do, and why. If you don't, it can go wrong...
pablophotographer 10 2.0k 416
5 Feb 2018 12:26PM
Hello Akram.
I would like to remind you that the camera offers you four different aspect ratios to choose from, that is four different shapes of frames to shoot with.
3:2, the most known shape, established by the 35mm film photography, the 4:3 as if you were to shoot with a four thirds or micro four thirds camera, the 16:9 for long wide frames but relatively less height and the 1:1 square cropping as if you were to shoot with a TLR or a . 6x6 medium format camera.
Selection of these setting happens through the menu button, top left on the back of the camera body. It's four lines below where your AF Method was selected.
It is a very helpful feature. The advantage is that you see what you shoot the shape of frame you want, at the sot, without having to do cropping later, so it saves you time too!
I evangelise the Frame Follows Form principle. Try focusing on various subjects with all four types of frames available in the beginning. See what frame can contain your subject best without including any unwanted items, here the back of a male lion, and you will soon develop of an understanding of what frame works best for what you want to photograph.
Best regards, pablophotographer
dudler Plus
18 1.8k 1895 England
5 Feb 2018 1:09PM
Pablo makes a good point: I'll expand a little - you can always crop to an entirely different format in editing.

But Frame Follows Form is a good principle to work on, whether in shooting or processing.

One thought - I have found that my Olympus camera, set to shoot RAW as well as JPG files, records the full frame in the RAW version, though it takes a little seeking out in processing. It cam be worth looking, occasionally, if a cropped frame in shooting doesn't work well.
dark_lord Plus
17 2.9k 794 England
5 Feb 2018 8:56PM
I like your approach, taking what you hd in your original and getting to your final result.
Creating that much black looks brutal (when we look at the images side by side).

However, the fact the original is overexposed on the animal and isn't fully sharp. Get those two factors sorted and the final result will look fine. Heavy cropping as you've done here will only show up any areas of technique that need to be worked on.

As this is in a zoo environment at least you have a good chance of being able to get something similar on another visit.

Cropping, there is no right or wrong way, and here there are various options. What i will say on yor lead version here is that it looks awkward with the animal so far to the left and with so much black but of course if this were to be used as a poster or banner image with text in the dark area then it would be fine, it's all about hiw the image is to be used/viewed. For a pure image, the square or less oblong crops are very pleasing.
Lakkou 4 Tunisia
6 Feb 2018 7:01AM
Thank you all for your advice, I'm very happy because I feel that I progress my technique with you.

Thanks again

Kind regards

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