|Vintage Abandoned Ranch - Rosamond, California|
I cropped this image to shape it.
Anyway, this idea continued with slide users who couldn't crop their slides (without an X-Acto knife, anyway). For many it became a point of pride. I'm so good I don't need to crop. Cropping is for lesser skilled people.
|From The Past - Mojave, California|
I cropped this image to clean up the edges a little.
First, one should crop in order to shape an image. Not all photographs need to be shaped the same. You might want to shape the photograph to be printed as an 8"x10" or 8"x12" or 11"x14" (16"x20" or 16"x24" or 22"x28"). Perhaps you want it to be square. Or something else entirely. There are no rules, you can shape an image however you want and can even go way outside-the-box. Whatever shape you decide, it should be the appropriate shape for whatever the image is.
|Knob - Mojave, California|
I cropped this image to "zoom" closer.
Finally, one should crop to zoom. Sometimes you just can't get close enough to the subject, either because it is too far away and it is impractical to move closer, or because the lens cannot focus close enough. Whatever the reason, you most likely have plenty of resolution to spare to get in closer by cropping. There is nothing wrong with cutting part of an image out to make it better.
Don't be bothered by those who think that they are better because they don't crop. Let the images speak for themselves. The finished photograph is what is important, and the details of how that image was created is not important to the viewer.