Take a look, if you will, at the 2 images below. It's pretty clear that, in the second one, the image has been cropped in order to bring the main subjects (the 4 people) closer to the foreground.
But take a second look. If that second image has been cropped, surely there should be information missing from the top, bottom and sides. And yet, count the number of fence posts, say, and you get the same in each picture. So here we have an image in which the main subjects have been brought to the fore, without any loss of visual information.
How? Through the use of a rather neat program called Image Resize Guide Lite. You can download it from http://tintguide.com/en/imageresize.html, but make sure you choose the link to the Lite version, rather than the paid-for one which costs $45 to register.
The download is just 3 MB, and it runs under all versions of Windows from XP onwards. To use it, simply load one your pictures, mark around the subjects that you want to preserve, then click the "start" button and watch an animated display as your photo is cleverly resized while leaving the marked areas untouched. To make it easy, there's a collection of animated tutorials that you can access when you run the program, which guide you through all of its features. I recommend that you watch them. The pictures below are actually the very first image I tried using with the program, which hopefully shows you just how easy it is to do.
My thanks to user Chris De Raud for telling me about this great Hot Find.
1. The developer's website notes that "best results are achieved against a background of snow, water, or greenery." You had better believe it.
2. Don't even try using this product without watching the demonstration videos.
3. A lot of experimentation is needed to get your head around this product. So if you expect it to work just by clicking a button you are going to be sadly disappointed. However if you are prepared to show patience you can with appropriate images, get some quite remarkable results.
4. Make sure you use the link on the bottom of the page http://tintguide.com/en/imageresize.html to download the free version as the link at the top of the page is to the trial version.
5. This product is not a universal solution to the problem of shrinking image size while retaining subject prominence but rather is simply another useful utility to have in your digital processing toolbox. It's well worth grabbing for occasional use on images well suited to the programs capabilities and limitations.