In view of the recent thread on aspect ratios and cropping, which seemed to generate some differences of opinion as to whether to crop at all, and that perhaps cropping is just a cover-up for incompetence, I thought I'd post the following image which might highlight the subtleties of cropping.
My own view is, it doesn't matter much if this image is cropped or not, but nevertheless, one wonders. Any improvement is better than none.
The first image is uncropped. The next 3 are cropped versions about which I am unsure. Does it really matter at all if this image is cropped or not?
The following is purely subjective, but I can explain how it works/doesn't work for me.
I'm not particularly happy with any of the suggestions. Either they show too much, or they show too little.
1: Too top-heavy sky, left side tower adds little.
2: The only interesting bit of the right side is cropped out, too tight crop on left side, and the interesting pattern in the sky is cropped too tight for this chosen format.
3: Solved the last part of problems with image 2.
4: Too tightly cropped at top and bottom, the Sun wants more space around it, also in the reflection.
But I genuinely like the image itself, the patterns in the sky, the reflections, the water plants (water lillies or lotus?), the colours, the play of silhouettes and patterns, and the really discreet tree close to the shoreline. It's lovely, and I keep returning to the image.
I think these two crops work better, but
I think the first one's a bit too open in the top, and might actually prefer the last one.
Conclusion: the subject matter doesn't appear to lend itself well to a 2/3 or 3/4 format camera, but rather closer to a 1/2 vertical. A crop is therefore completely necessary.
Of course, I wasn't there, so I don't know what I'd have done with what is outside of the frame.