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English Online. Every child literate - a shared responsibility.
Ministry of Education.


Photographs can be described in similar terms to a picture and may be either accurate or stylised representations of people, objects, or scenes. They also use technology and techniques similar to those used for film or television. Terms that describe different kinds of shot, different angles of shot, composition, lighting, and colour are used similarly to the way they are explained in the Moving Images section on film and television.

Photographs may, of course, be used in picture books and be considered in the terms outlined above. However, news photographs are visual elements that present particular features for consideration.

News photos come in three basic shapes: horizontal, vertical, and square.

Newspapers crop the photos they publish. Cropping not only removes the edges and extraneous details but also helps to determine meanings. A photo can often be cropped in different ways to convey different interpretations or emphases.

A good crop creates impact by enhancing the focus and making the central image as powerful as possible. It eliminates unnecessary details like the ground, other people, the sky, and irrelevant background. Good cropping uses sufficient space at the top, bottom, and sides to avoid cutting off body parts or objects important to the effectiveness of the photo and to help set off the focus of attention. An extremely tightly cropped photo can utterly distort the meaning of the original.

Digital photography allows the size, shape, and quality of photographic images to be adjusted electronically.

Summary of Terms

crop cropping

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Published on: 07 May 2009