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Beauty contest

By Seamuscamp
I paid a visit to the annual Ryedale Agricultural Show - a wealth of photo opportunities. The image here is of sheep judging (I think they are Wensleydales). I am looking for some observations on the best way to crop

Tags: Photo journalism Pets and captive animals

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Carabosse Plus
19 42.3k 270 England
1 Aug 2009 1:49AM
Not the usual sort of beauty contest! Grin Well spotted and captured. You can tell what the picture is about and to that extent it succeeds in its aim. I am not too sure about the angle though; perhaps a move around to your left would have given more equal billing to the "contestants".

Also the eye is drawn to human faces rather than sheep faces and this distracts a little. However it is easily cured cropping from the top. I've uploaded a mod.

Hope this helps.
somnathchatterjee 12 67 175 India
1 Aug 2009 5:45AM
you have captured the image very nicely. it has some compositional value. i agree with CB above that a slight cropping from the upper side of the image would be better. i think the position of the sheep and the number of the sheep in this image could be better explored by the diagonal and number rule of the composition. i have uploaded a modification here. i have cropped the image in a way to apply those rules and used number 3 for that rule. i have also adjusted slightly the contrast, levels, color and sharpened the image.

Hope you like it,
malc_c 15 2 167 England
1 Aug 2009 6:02AM
Hi Seamus,

Rather different shot, and they all look so ewethful.

ok, moving briskly on, as CB says above, the angle would have been better if you could have moved to your left a bit and had more of a beauty contestant line-up. In addition, you need some more space to the left of the frame to centralise and contain your 'beauties' - so that's a sort of negative crop. And I would crop off some of the right of the image which isn't all necessary and is just pushing your subject too far to the left.

As well as cropping the (human) faces from the top as CB has suggested, I would also crop a chunk from the bottom- certainly enough to remove the blue jeans which are simply distracting, and as the main interest is in the sheep's faces, I don't feel the legs are of great importance to the image.

I have illustrated all of these points in a mod, and have also lightened the sheep faces with a curves adjustment, progressively blurred out the background on the right and burned in (darkened) the grass to the left- especially as I have added more of it. And finally added a little sharpening to bring out the wool.

Hope this helps
Seamuscamp 13 3 10 United Kingdom
4 Aug 2009 11:38AM

Quote: I am not too sure about the angle though; perhaps a move around to your left would have given more equal billing to the "contestants"..

I would have liked to have opened up the view by moving to the left but that would have meant hopping over a hurdle into a pen occupied by four Loughtan sheep, each with four horns and a reputation for mischief. You take what you can.

Anyway it has been a useful and interesting exercise, particularly as you have taken the trouble to explain clearly what was in your mind. I've absorbed what you've said about faces and jeans and selective blurring and sharpening. And ended up with three images! The original cropped and modified in line with suggestions; a crop of the left hand side; and a crop of the right hand side. The latter two I've uploaded as modifications.

Thank you all for your help and interest.


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