Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Cropping evidence

I was having a discussion recently about cropping. It was triggered by Katrin Eismann's article in Photoshop User about framing the scene and reasons to crop. She mentioned that one of the reasons one might choose to crop a photo was to "[d]elete or hide unimportant image information." Another reason might be to re-compose, focussing on essential content.

The danger for us is that the decision to delete info or to re-compose requires a judgement call that will have to be explained later. In a previous post, I outlined how to crop non-destructively. Katrin also notes the potential for destruction and offers her take on non-destructive cropping.

In the new world of Melendez-Diaz, documentation is key. If you choose to crop an image, make sure that you document not only what you did and how you did it, but why you chose what you chose to remain. The defense may want to know why, and you should have a very good reason - one that's easy for the jury to understand.

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