Cropping and a Black-Crowned Heron
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I have heard that cropping is the poor man’s zoom, and yet it is almost the first thing photographers do in post-processing. Not everyone can afford expensive telephoto lenses and even then you cannot always get close enough. Long telephoto lenses do not mean that you will not crop the result. Of course with higher megapixel cameras cropping is easier. Robert Capa, best known for his combat photography, is often quoted as saying: “If your pictures aren’t good enough, you aren’t close enough.” There is no argument that getting closer while retaining context can help composition. No one I know can walk on water, the bird in this picture was not just up a tree but also across a swamp. As long lenses are not always practical cropping is a good alternative. From what I have read most nature photographers and certainly “macro” photographers crop when necessary (though it might disqualify you from some contests).