Commack High School Girls Varsity Soccer vs. Hauppauge

Commack High School Girls Varsity Soccer vs. Hauppauge

This hard-fought match between Commack and Hauppauge ended in a 2-2 tie. This was one of the hottest days on the turf that I can remember and it was played in the morning. At times I had to stand in the shade, not because I was hot but because my camera was hot. They cancelled the boys match today because of the heat; definitely a good idea.

I thought I'd discuss the subject of photo cropping today because, well, sometimes the world doesn't always neatly fit into a 3x2 rectangle, or a square Instagram photo for that matter.

The purpose of cropping, in my opinion at least, is to eliminate the non-essential from a photo and give it a sense of balance. With some photos, eliminating the non-essential is easy; all the action is on one side of the frame and there's a large gap of empty space on the other. With other photos it's not so straightforward and sometimes comes down to personal preference.

Objects in photos, whether they're people or inanimate objects, all have a certain visual weight and, when they fall into the right place, give the photo a sense of balance. So one of the goals in cropping is to maintain or create this sense of balance.

Another reason for cropping is to draw attention to the subject of the photo. In most of these photos you'll notice that the subject, while not necessarily in the center, has a lot of space around her whereas the opposing players are confined to the edges of the frame and sometimes are partially cut off by the crop. The whole idea is for the crop to show what's most important in the frame.

In photos where a lot of players are part of the action the decision on what to keep and what to crop out is not as straightforward. Many times I'll keep players, and sometimes refs, in the frame who, while not part of the play, are looking at the subject and draw your eye to the center of the action. Conversely, I usually crop out players looking away from the subject.

The choice of subject in soccer is almost always the player with the ball. I say "almost" because sometimes "life" dictates an alternative subject. For example, in this gallery, the "jube" shot of the player who just scored a goal. I focused on the bench rather than the players on the field because (1) they were going crazier and (2) the player who scored never faced my way.

While we're on the subject of "subjects", sometimes your subject is isolated on the field without any opposing players around. This is not necessarily a bad thing. It's called a "bubble gum card" shot. I'll definitely take it if I don't have any other shots of that player but I tend to avoid shots like that for a number of reasons. First, it doesn't really give you the feeling there's a game going on and second, no newspaper or wire service will want it, for that same reason, unless they're running an article on that specific player. Occasionally, though, these shots do come in handy for parents and booster clubs making senior day posters.

Finally, if a player is running with the ball, I tend to leave a little more room in the direction she's running into rather than put her dead center in the photo. It's my personal preference, but I think players need some space in the photo to run into.

Well, that's it for cropping. This was a long one but, hey, my game got cancelled this afternoon. Have fun.

Commack High School Girls Varsity Soccer vs. Sachem North

Commack High School Girls Varsity Soccer vs. Sachem North

Commack High School Girls Varsity Soccer vs. Bayport - Blue Point

Commack High School Girls Varsity Soccer vs. Bayport - Blue Point