How To Save Your Photos With A Crop

This is going to be a pretty short ‘How To’, but it’s a tip that I think can be really, really useful – and one that should make you think twice before deleting any of your photos. Basically, I think we should all be aware of just how much detail our fancy DSLRs record; all those megapixels at our disposal shouldn’t go to waste. So, when you take a shot and think ‘well, this doesn’t look too good’, why not try cropping your photo instead? You’ll be amazed at just how much you can crop and still retain plenty of detail, as the below example of mine shows:

A normal shot, before a crop saves the day

Before a crop

The above shot is a photo I took recently at a friend’s 30th party. It looks decidedly average, no strong subject at all, and one that you may just delete. However, by just doing a simple crop, I came away with a really nice portrait of my friend – see below:

portrait after crop

After crop

You can see that this is quite a hefty crop, but see all the detail still there? A photo I might have got rid of is now a definite keeper.


Another example of when cropping saves the day:

Before a crop

Pretty boring, huh? The subject is centre-frame, which is not ideal, and it’s pretty small within the whole photo (I took it this way because it’s a lot easier to track focus of a moving subject when it is in the middle of the frame, but that’s beside the point). But, with a simple crop…

After crop

…we get a much better shot! Again, this is a really large crop of the original photo, but there is still plenty of detail here – one of the advantages of having DSLRs is that they have a lot of megapixels; they record so much detail that we can afford to crop our images and still retain great image quality.

By the way, the shots above were taken with my Canon 7D, which has an 18 Megapixel sensor. But you’d be able to get just as good results in your crops with any camera that had, say, around 10 or more megapixels, which all modern DSLRs do.

So, next time you’re reviewing your shots and you’re thinking of sending a few to the Recyle Bin Graveyard, why not try a simple crop instead?


  1. I agree…prior to the purchase of my 21.1 MP full frame sensor’d 5dMkII I was forever trying to get closer to my favoured wildlife subjects, failing miserably and then inevitably bin’ing almost all the shots. Now it’s a simple case of ensuring good stabilisation, obtaining the correct shutter speed and exposure, firing off a few shots and then cropping to my hearts content. So much less wading through images and feeling disappointed after a long days work!

  2. Thanks for your comment, Rob. Your Harris Hawk shot ( is amazing by the way! Great Flickr stream.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *