Narrow or Wide?

January 30th, 2022




Historically, I have always tended to shoot 'narrow' allowing my subject to almost fill the frame; however recently I have on occasions thought a wider angled shot showing subject and some background often gives a fuller picture.

I have used the above as examples; what do members think?
January 30th, 2022
I love the close up but the top one really tells a story. I find that I tend to post too many cropped or close ups and am trying to change it.
January 30th, 2022
With this couple I prefer the bottom one. I cannot work out what the main subject is of the top one John, and the reclining rider on the bike is obscured by his helmet and the red and white kerb. My eye roams around the whole photj and allights on the 4 figures before the bike and it's rider. On the bottom photo, for me, the story is immediate and the eye stays on the 'rider and bike. Just my uneducated opinion, which do you prefer and think 'works' best?
January 30th, 2022
I think narrow. There is quite a bit going on and with all the surroundings, I didn't even see the person on the bike. There is enough colors and "action" in the narrow one to tell a story. The top one distracts from the narrative. Maybe if it would be black and white, it could be different, but it is hard to say. For me, the bottom one.
January 30th, 2022
i agree with the comment above, that the wide version has too much going on making it unclear what the main subject is...

that said, some food for thought...

1 - you could play with lighting in processing to better focus on the bike and the reclining rider...

2 - you could (in hind sight) consider whether there might have been other ways to compose the image that would draw the eye to the bike while still shooting wide and giving a sense of place and story... this might not have been feasible for any number of reasons... just something to think about

3 - re-crop the wide version to exclude the person on the left... this would place the bike in the foreground on the left but you'd still have the people on the right as well as some of the landscape to give you the sense of place... you could crop some of the top off as well, to avoid a square crop... i think this might get you the best of both worlds... i'd still be inclined to play with the light to draw the eye to the bike...
January 31st, 2022
I like @northy assessment which provides several variations on the theme
January 31st, 2022
I have a different take on it. I prefer the wider angle one here as, for me, the story isn't just the person reclining on the bike but also where he is doing it, and the fact that all the people around him are just getting on with their day.
For me the bottom one is still too far out, and includes too much other background action to really be focused on the bike and recliner. It also bothers me that the bike is so far to the right in this one as I think it would look better to have more space in front of the bike and to lose the piece of cement post or whatever on the left.
It's interesting because I often struggle with the same sort of decisions when composing, or cropping, my shots and can not make up my mind which way to go but for your shot I knew what I would do right off.

Seems I am in the minority opinion here but, oh well, that's what makes the world interesting.
January 31st, 2022
I like the top one, context makes stories.
January 31st, 2022
I feel in agreement with the comments from Joanne @gardencat. Moreover, I think I would also have cropped the upper third of the wide angle image. That part of the picture does not add much to the story, and cutting it off would bring less distraction to the eye and more focus on the main subject.
January 31st, 2022
I would crop the upper third and the left third. The person on the left has on an orange that matches the bike and draws the eye away. Thanks for this opportunity. I like reading everyone’s comments. They offer a lot of valid ideas.
January 31st, 2022
I like the top wide one. The bottom narrow one lacks context.
February 2nd, 2022
the wide shot gives a lot of information and makes us forget the main subject which seems to be the biker. I prefer the tight framing
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