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4560×3648

March 1, 2020
© Jim Miller – Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)

All photographers crop.

Not all photographers want to admit this, but all photographers crop.

Professional. Amateur. Beginner.

iPhone camera wielder. Large format photographer with access to his or her own lab or darkroom and last pieces of undeveloped film and photographic paper left on the planet.

All photographers crop.

The act of choosing a lens, choosing a zoom setting, moving the camera, and even moving our feet all constitute cropping. With a camera we cannot provide a full view of what our eyes see, so any actions we take to put the wide world into a rectangular or square frame is cropping.

Almost all photographers crop when they process and/or print. If your camera makes an image in a 4×6 format and you print a 5×7 of the image, you have intentionally cropped. You may have not taken control of the process, but effectively parts of what you shot disappeared with the printing process.

Nearly all photographers who had access to the legacy wet darkroom also cropped. Whether it be through paper size or purposefully moving the paper to get the image they wanted, they cropped. I may have some memory gaps here and there, but nothing will clear out the memory of the vinegar-like smell of the stop bath in the monochrome darkroom.

Nearly all photographers in the digital realm do as well. It is sure a lot easier than the wet darkroom. But it is the same technique.

I crop.

Almost all of my images get dropped down into a 4:5 short end/long end ratio because I want all of my images to be ready to be printed as 8x10s without additional work when it is time to print. I can probably count on one hand the number of shots in my portfolio collection that I did not crop down to 4:5 ratio.

I usually further crop down because I didn’t exactly compose it right in the viewfinder. Almost every time. Sometimes a little. Sometimes a ton. But always in a 4:5 ratio.

I don’t do much more in Photoshop or Lightroom. Exposure, color temperature, and saturation are about the only other things I will ever touch. And to some degree these are also things that I would have been able to control either in a wet color darkroom or with film choice before the shoot. But I certainly crop.

My goal is to crop the bare minimum I need to in achieving that 4:5 ratio. My Canon 7D Mark II has an image size of 5472×3648 pixels. My goal is to only crop down to 4560×3648. Effectively only removing things from the left and right sides (or top and bottom if I shot in portrait format) to achieve the 4:5 ratio. I don’t achieve that very often.

When I do achieve it, it is a little celebration. I achieved an image I like on a technical basis and I did so through filling the frame in the ratio I find most pleasing.

So when you see in my technical details the magic 4560×3648 (or 3648×4560… a much rarer feat for me), know that I probably did a little happy dance as I was recording the pixel size in my spreadsheet and saving it into my file library.

About the Image:
Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)
Uvalde County, Texas – January 2020
Canon 7D Mark II, Tamron 150-600 (Gen 1) at 600mm
Tripod w/Wimberley gimbal head
ISO 400, 1/250 sec at f/14 – No Flash
Portfolio Image #0824
Image Size in Portfolio: 4560×3648

0792

February 28, 2020
© Jim Miller – Common Ground-Dove (Columbina passerina)

Common Ground-Dove (Columbina passerina)
Uvalde County, Texas – May 2018
Canon 7D Mark II, Tamron 150-600 (Gen 1)
Tripod w/Wimberley gimbal head
ISO 400, 1/640 sec at f/11 – No Flash
Portfolio Image #0792
Image Size in Portfolio: 4342×3474

Larger Size Posted At Flickr

Random Thoughts – Recent Travels

February 26, 2020
© Jim Miller – Olive Sparrow (Arremonops rufivirgatus)

The title of the blog is “Jim’s Assorted, Usually Photographic Ramblings,” so I will take this opportunity to use the usually to go a little off the normal script.

Lodging
In my travels back to Texas, I stayed at five different lodging establishments in four different cities and at three different chains. Three were Marriott’s Fairfield Inn brand. One was Hilton’s Hampton Inn brand. And the third was Wyndham’s Days Inn brand.

I prefer the Marriott brand in general. I had not stayed at a Hilton property since an unfortunate incident in the Lower Rio Grande Valley five years ago where I swore I’d never stay at another Hilton property again. And while I’m a member of Wyndham’s rewards program and have a slightly higher status due to my status a retired veteran, a recent stay at a La Quinta in Denver made me question staying at Wyndham again. I try to vote with my wallet rather than my voice.

The best stay of the five nights: The Days Inn in Kerrville, Texas. Older property. Lousy parking lot. Outside doors which I really dislike. But the room was amazingly clean, very comfortable, and recently updated. Everything worked and it just felt like home. Making the reservation was very easy on Wyndham’s iPhone app. And the value for the money on a late reservation on a Saturday night was outstanding.

Rental Car
I had the opportunity to drive a 2020 Nissan Altima on the trip. The car was practically new (less than 250 miles when I picked it up, but far more when I returned it). Impressive gas mileage. Impressive gas tank size–maybe too big because if I owned it and was taking a long trip it would mean maybe another hour or so in the car without having to take a break for refueling.

It is not a car I would have considered prior to driving it. Nor is it a car I’m likely to buy as I’m in the market for either a replacement hatchback of perhaps a smallish SUV–I have some unique requirements in terms of transporting another transportation item that likely will be a post for another time. But I really enjoyed driving the Altima.

Texas
I was reminded on the trip how much I missed Texas. The general atmosphere. The wonderful food. The great people. H-E-B. Whataburger. And so on. I brought back 3 large count boxes of H-E-B’s Taste of San Antonio coffee and three containers of Whataburger sauces (Creamy Jalapeño and Spicy Ketchup) to make the feeling of Texas last a little bit longer.

Colorado is outstanding, but I do miss Texas.

About the Image:
Olive Sparrow (Arremonops rufivirgatus)
Uvalde County, Texas – January 2020
Canon 7D Mark II, Tamron 150-600 (Gen 1) at 500mm
Tripod w/Wimberley gimbal head
ISO 400, 1/640 sec at f/11 – No Flash
Portfolio Image #0795
Image Size in Portfolio: 4169×3335

0804

February 24, 2020
© Jim Miller – Black-crested Titmouse (Baeolophus atricristatus)

Black-crested Titmouse (Baeolophus atricristatus)
Uvalde County, Texas – January 2020
Canon 7D Mark II, Tamron 150-600 (Gen 1)
Tripod w/Wimberley gimbal head
ISO 400, 1/400 sec at f/11 – No Flash
Portfolio Image #0804
Image Size in Portfolio: 3751×3001

0801

February 22, 2020
© Jim Miller – Pyrrhuloxia (Cardinalis sinuatus)

Pyrrhuloxia (Cardinalis sinuatus)
Uvalde County, Texas – January 2020
Canon 7D Mark II, Tamron 150-600 (Gen 1)
Tripod w/Wimberley gimbal head
ISO 400, 1/250 sec at f/18 – No Flash
Portfolio Image #0801
Image Size in Portfolio: 3200×4000

Larger Size Posted at Flickr.

0800

February 20, 2020
© Jim Miller – Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)

Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)
Uvalde County, Texas – January 2020
Canon 7D Mark II, Tamron 150-600 (Gen 1)
Tripod w/Wimberley gimbal head
ISO 400, 1/500 sec at f/11 – No Flash
Portfolio Image #0800
Image Size in Portfolio: 3390×4238

Larger Size Posted at Flickr.

0794

February 18, 2020
© Jim Miller – Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)

Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)
Uvalde County, Texas – January 2020
Canon 7D Mark II, Tamron 150-600 (Gen 1)
Tripod w/Wimberley gimbal head
ISO 400, 1/400 sec at f/9.0 – No Flash
Portfolio Image #0794
Image Size in Portfolio: 4214×3371

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