Final cropping

This is the final stage in deciding how each picture should be cropped. What began as the original framing up of a subject in the viewfinder concludes here by your deciding whether any last trims will strengthen the composition further. Don't allow the height-to-width proportions of photographic paper to dictate results. Standard size enlargements from a processing lab, for example, show the full content of each negative - and however careful you were in the original framing, individual pictures are often improved by cropping to a squarer or a more rectangular shape. Placing L-shaped cards on the print surface (Figure 44.1) is the best way to preview any such trim. Then, put a tiny pencil dot into each new corner to guide you in either cropping the print itself before mounting, or preparing a 'window mat' cut-out the correct size to lay on top (see Figure 44.2).

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