More on FAQ #751

751. Why do respected news agencies allow cropping?

For the same reasons everyone else does:

• to eliminate superfluous or distracting pictorial material; or

• to fit the photograph into a certain proportion; or

• to allow “shooting looser [more wide-angle] and cropping later” to provide multiple options from a single image.

There’s nothing inherently “deceptive” about cropping.

Cropping doesn’t change the perspective or the relative sizes of the things in the photo.

Almost every photograph ever made has been “cropped” at the moment it was taken (including billions of new photos being made every day).

That’s because lenses create a cone-shaped beam of light that casts a round image inside the camera, while most cameras record only a square or rectangular portion of that round image.

Furthermore, how the photographer positions the camera and frames the scene before the shutter is even clicked is a highly selective process, leaving far more out of the picture than is included.

Every lens that can record single exposures “crops” part of the scene around the camera. The longer the focal length, the more is “cropped out” of the picture.

Summary: Cropped photographs usually are not a concern “trust”-wise.

(Needless to say, any cropping so deceptive that it would not meet rinairs would not qualify as TCQ.)