the whole picture

I was reading a book the other day and a line popped out at me.

“Maybe things always look better when you can’t see the whole picture.”

The main character was referring to seeing herself and her friend cut up into thin slices in their reflections in some office building windows, how in small slices they looked thinner, their clothes looked nicer, the colours seemed more vibrant.

She’s right. Things do always look better when you can’t see the whole picture.

You can take it literally, like the slices of reflections and in the cropping of photos, or you can take it figuratively and see how it can refer to everything in life…

Have you ever admired someone else’s relationship from the outside, then gotten to know the people better and realised that it wasn’t so special after all? You could only see ‘slices’ of their life, maybe just the bits they wanted you to see, maybe just the bits you chose to see. Then when you see the full picture you see the ugly as well as the pretty.

Since I’m not a psychologist, this post isn’t about relationships but about cropping and how images can have so much more impact depending on how they’re cropped.

As you know I’m a graphic designer (or was in my previous life in Melbourne) so I know a bit about layout, balance and the aesthetics of pages whether on paper or the monitor. To me, cropping is a big deal.

Firstly, sometimes images need to be cropped to hide the crap I don’t want you to see!

Secondly, I have to crop to make things look prettier than they are in real life. You don’t want to see the weedy grass or the old boots lying on the porch. Trust me. You don’t.

So by cropping I not only make my house – and my life – look better, but I also spare you the reality of my life.

Now. Tell me. Aren’t you glad I know how to use the crop tool?

Mind you, I normally crop a lot when taking photos. I actually had a hard time finding photos I really needed to crop crap out of. Most of the time my photos come out like this one, not needing cropping to make them more interesting.

I’m just a smarty pants!


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