I Will Never Forgive Myself for Amputating This Girl’s Feet

A tragic framing error begs the question: Will this footless girl ever dance again?

A tragic framing error ruins the balance of this image.

This could have been a very good photo, but I did not frame it properly. Shooting performances, sports, or wildlife, I sometimes get caught up in the moment and forget to leave enough room in the frame to compensate for both the subject’s movement and my own. There are many things I like about this image, but I don’t like the image. The moment is right; the light is interesting; the girls are perfect. Except for the missing extremities. Incomplete and off-balance, this composition mocks me as a photograph that might have been. I post it here to remind us all that we are responsible for the entire frame. In the studio or in a controlled situation, we can crop as tightly as we like in the camera, and we should, to ensure maximum data collection. In action in the field, a little compositional breathing room prevents unsightly amputations.