Cropping vs Zooming vs "Zooming with Your Feet" in Photography. Which Is Best?

Which is better: cropping your photos, zooming in with your lens, or zooming with your feet? It's another one of those age-old questions from photographers and one that Matt Granger tackles in the below video.

Shot on location in Hong Kong, Granger captures fitness model Honey on the city streets holding a series of yoga poses so he can compare a cropped photo of her against a zoomed in photo vs one where he zooms with his feet. But first, spoiler alert, Granger says: "You cannot zoom with your feet!"

"People seem a bit confused between the results you're going to get if you zoom vs walk closer or just crop into the center of your image," he explains. "This has come up several times with the 'crop with your feet' community and more recently with the release of 100-megapixel cameras, people talking about being able to just crop in. What I want to demonstrate today is that changing your focal length gives you more creative options than simply walking closer or cropping your image."

But before he does his comparison test while photographing Honey, Granger defines the three terms.

#1 Zooming
"Zooming means changing the focal lengths. It could be using a zoom lens and going from the wide to the long end or it could be switching lenses that offer different focal lengths."

#2 Cropping
"Cropping means taking your final image, then trimming parts of the image away to effectively make the remaining part of the frame take up more of the final image."

#3 Zooming with Your Feet
"Using a prime lens and moving closer or further from your subject can change their final size in the image but it's also not the same as zooming and it will not give you the same result."

Watch the video below and let us know if you agree with Granger that zooming your lens is the best option of the three when it comes to creatively effecting the final shot. Or do you think the other two methods have their own merits? Then go visit Granger's channel to see all his photography videos.