Craig Mod on cropping

I’ve never been a cropper. Having grown up photographing with film and spending years developing black and white photos in my university apartment in Philadelphia, cropping has always felt like a hack, a lie. Of course, all photos are lies, all photos are crops. The very definition of a photograph is to add edges to the world, slice off some snippet, place it in a tiny box. Or, as the late Chilean photographer Sergio Larrain put it, “The game [of photography] is to organize the rectangle.”

I realize now that a “perfect” rectangle — pulled back so you see the edges of the negative in the exposed print (to “prove” you haven’t cropped) — is a parlor trick more than anything.