Very early last Sunday morning, I walked to the end of Pier 14 in San Francisco. It’s a good spot for capturing the city skyline, and I’ve done that many times. On that day, I found this young man with his guitar looking out at the bay. I liked the composition from behind, so I took this first photo.

We then struck up a conversation, and after a while, I asked if I could take his picture. This is a crop of a larger composition.

The photo above makes him big in the frame, but I felt it would be more interesting to make him a less-dominant element in a larger composition. So I framed it this way.

To me, that’s the most interesting shot of the three. It reminds me, yet again, that while cropping tightly can eliminate distracting elements, it can also remove too much of the context that makes a viewer want to look at a photo longer, and that can tell more of a story.