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Part III:: Compositing Magic > Compositing to Improve a Picture

Chapter 12. Compositing to Improve a Picture

There is a school of photographic thought that proposes photographs ought to be created in the camera—that the photographer’s vision should be manifest only after much contemplation, careful examination of every element in the photograph, and the precise arrangement of every component within the photographic frame.

This sort of thinking produces those “arty” pictures you see in which the edges of the photographic film, maybe even some 35mm sprocket holes, appear in the print as “proof” that the image wasn’t subjected to some dastardly cropping in the darkroom. These are produced, apparently, by photographic artists who are able to envision every subject within, for example, a perfectly square 2 1/4 × 2 1/4-inch frame (a standard size for some kinds of professional cameras) or, perhaps the more flexible, but still stringent 2:3 aspect ratio (proportions) of the 24mm × 36mm frame of a 35mm camera. I’m still wondering what happens when these folks switch to a digital camera with, for example, 2048 × 1536-pixel resolution. Does their artistic vision have to suddenly conform to a 3:4 aspect ratio?


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