I don’t crop my images very often out of their original composition. I do crop, yes, but mostly to take care of a slight oversight, correct a sloppiness of execution. I don’t normally do something like what I’ve done here.
The reason for it is, that I see a randomness in any format. Sure, there are proportions that please the eye more than others, but once the proportions are set, you only have the problem of using this frame to cut out a piece of reality, isolate it, make plausible the claim that this is a piece able to stand on its own, a piece that has its own, independent meaning. You make this claim at the time you take the image, and it may have merits or not, but if it has not, you have failed initially.
Only in rare cases I initially frame an image in full knowledge that I will crop it to, say, square, framing it for cropping from the beginning. Normally all other cases are essentially failures. Sure, something can often be done, some of it by cropping out of the original composition, but most of the time this still tastes like failure, and rather than cropping, I go out and take the image again. My ways are and my life is, that this is frequently possible and feasible. Then I go out and try framing again, doing it until I have what I intended or am satisfied that there is no proper solution.
Not so here. I was satisfied with the original. There is only a tiny crop from the right, that brings the strong verticals more on a third, but otherwise I have not touched composition. What I have done by cropping is the application of new proportions, cinematic proportions, proportions that tell the story better than others. I don’t do this very often.
Why do you crop? Do you? And if not, why not?