How To: Crop For a Better Photo

Cropping in can help to center attention.

Kolkata-based Subhajit Dutta had a good idea in jazzing up the postcard view of the Taj Mahal with a foreground of brightly clad women, but the grab shot is too chaotic to be effective. Using the photographer’s RAW NEF file, we found that this vertical crop of one woman lost in thought better anchored the composition.

In Adobe Camera Raw, we used Lens Correction to fix distortion in the Taj, upped the Fill Light slider to get more detail in the woman facing us, then used noise reduction to bring down the resulting shadow noise. We boosted contrast and clarity, and used the Graduated Filter to darken the sky.

Dutta made the shot with a Nikon D80 and 18–135mm f/3.5–5.6 DX Nikkor lens; exposure, 1/400 sec at f/9, ISO 200.