One question, mainly about the (volleyball) players celebrating, is it fine to just cut off players body parts like that? Did want to crop that a bit tighter, but didn't want to cut any limbs off. Doesn't it seem accidental that their foot are chopped off like that?
They kept hammering us in school with not cutting off any limbs, or at least not abruptly like that.
There's no definitive answer to cutting off limbs. Sometimes yes, sometimes no. It depends on the photo. You have to decide what's important to the photo and what's not.
When you crop, you're doing a few things:
• cropping to improve your composition (maybe you were standing in the wrong spot, maybe your lens wasn't long enough or maybe you just did a lousy job of framing the image).
• cropping to remove anything that's not important to the story.
• cropping off anything that's distracting.
(and sadly, sometimes cropping to fit a specific image dimension)
But all of this boils done to one purpose:
• you're cropping to control the viewer's attention and eyeflow through the photo.
In the volleyball photo, cutting off a few feet isn't important since it gets rid of distracting background elements and helps keep viewer attention on the players. Viewers always look at faces first. If you leave in the background people you're giving viewers a chance to "wander away". In this case, some missing feet isn't an issue.