Sometimes when I am out taking photos I for some reason or another take a photo with then intention of cropping it later. (Can be lack of a long lens, straitening lines by taking only the top half or different aspect ratio)

What are good workflows for managing this, are there any that are more convenient than taking notes in a notebook.

I am using a 5D Mark II and own the WFT-4 wierless adapter but Idealy an answer can explain which different options ther exists with different equipment.

  • Are you talking about a few dozen landscape shots over a several hours period? Or several thousand sports frames over an hour and a half? Something in between, or even outside of, these extremes?
    – Michael C
    Dec 21, 2018 at 5:27
  • Somthing in between I think, around a shot every 2-3 minute or so. Mainly street photography, portraits or landscape.
    – lijat
    Dec 21, 2018 at 6:46

2 Answers 2


Normally, I take pictures as well as I can, and expect to edit appropriately later, regardless of my intent at the time the photo was taken, as Rafael suggests. However, there are often reasons to edit as soon as possible in the field or to otherwise take notes on particular photos as they are taken.

If you wish to edit the images while in the field:

  • Some cameras allow limited in-camera editing (such as cropping or changing RAW settings).
  • You can edit images on your phone, which would be more portable than tablet or notebook. You can transfer the images using a wireless or USB OTG adapter. – I tend limit such edits to cropping, rotation, and exposure correction. Color correction is reserved for later.

To take notes:

  • Some cameras allow audio recordings associated with photos.
  • If your camera doesn't allow audio recording, you can record a video instead.
  • You can record an audio note on your phone. Don't forget to mention the relevant frame number.
  • If you have a portable white board or boogie board, you can write and photograph notes, such as contact info of people to send photos to later. You can have people pose with their contact info so it's clear who's who.

  • You can photograph hand signals as reminders.

    • You can show the approximate framing you want with an 'L' shape.
    • You can use sign-language letters.
    • You can indicate numbers from 0-31 by treating each finger on one hand as a binary digit. (With two hands, you can indicate 0-1023, but the camera would need to be on a tripod with timer.)

    • If you use manual lenses, you can photograph the lens before you switch to it. Then you can use a hand signal (such as a number) to indicate zoom level and aperture.

  • If your camera has a flip out screen, you can put a sticky note behind it to write brief notes.


I'm my opinion...

Just frame it the best you can when taking the picture.

  • When you come back and see your images on the computer, if you still need or want to crop it, you can just do it.

  • If you do not want to crop it anymore, is because it is good enough as it is with the original framing or was not a good idea to crop in the first place, so thank god you did not do it.

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