The photograph above was taken with a Leica R8 (1998)
Among photographers, the idea of cropping photographs seems to be a continuous debate. While some professional photographers state that cropping images goes against their purist ideology, others feel that it can otherwise save a poorly composed photograph. In my experience as a photographer and teacher of design, I find it rare that a poorly constructed photo can be fixed in post-processing. However, that doesn't mean it's impossible either.
Throughout the history of photography, there have been many well-known photographers like Ansel Adams that often cropped their images in the darkroom. In fact, Henri Cartier-Bresson, who was firmly against altering his compositions, occasionally cropped his photographs to create a more pleasing design that followed strict Dynamic Symmetry principles.
With that said, regardless of your ideological views, photographers that want to crop their photos in post-processing will find Dynamic Symmetry to be an extremely useful tool. Also, because the photographer isn't faced with time constraints when designing their images "after-the-fact," I recommend experimenting with the basic armature of the rectangle as well as more complex design schemes that include overlapping root 4 Dynamic Symmetry rectangles in a 1.5 frame.
Click here to download a free Dynamic Symmetry grid pack for Lightroom and Photoshop.
While I have nothing against cropping images, it's not a practice that I perform on any of my photos. I find shooting full-frame allows me complete control over my designs.