Well, now that we’ve talked about composition and cropping and what not, I thought I’d make the case for not messing too much with your photos. I told you, I’m kind of a purist, and here’s why:
I ran across this one a couple of days ago, and I just keep staring at it.
That little muffin that’s about to slide off the horse is me.
See the hand that’s on the right edge of the shot? I think that’s either my mom or grandma, ready to catch me.
Now look over on the stove. See that metal pot? I can say with absolute certainty that it’s full of biscuits. I know this, because that’s my great grandmother’s stove and that pot was ALWAYS full of biscuits.
See the big cans of grapefruit juice sitting beside the stove? I remember watching my great grandmother open those cans. I remember seeing them in the fridge. In the same way, I remember that linoleum floor, and that wooden door. I can hear the hollow sound of walking on that floor, and the creak of old hinges.
Whoever took this photo was intending to get a picture of a cute (if I do say so myself) kid on a horse, but instead, they got so much more. They got loving hands ready and waiting to catch a little one. They got tradition and nostalgia. They got vintage and warmth. They got tastes and smells and sounds.
The photographer probably had this shot developed and thought, “Too bad, you can tell she’s slipping, and all that junk is in the background and those hands are mucking up the photo….” But to me, this shot is so much better than the one that was intended.
So I guess the lesson is, pretty is nice, perfect is admirable, but sometimes the mess of life is sweeter still.
I’m going to try to remember that, the next time I am tempted to hit that crop button.