How to crop a picture: using the Crop tool to maximise the potential of your images

How to crop a picture: master the Crop tool and maximise the potential of your images

How to crop a picture to correct problems

How to crop a picture to correct problems

As well as improving composition, the Crop tool enables you to overcome common problems. By zooming out to capture our landscape, we’ve caught the edges of the lens hood.

There’s also some vignetting at the top left. When shooting from a moving boat it’s harder to get the horizon looking horizontal, and ours tilts down towards the right.

To remove these problems, grab the Crop tool from the Tools Panel. Next, click and drag to select the entire image to start with. Turn on the Rule of Thirds Overlay.

Now hold down the Shift key and this will constrain the cropped shot to match the aspect ratio  – the shape and proportions – of the original photo. Drag a corner handle to tighten the crop window and lose the lens hood and vignetted corner.

Drag inside the crop window to place the rock in the bottom left Rule of Thirds grid. The mountain should rest in the central grid. Drag outside of the crop box to rotate it so that the horizon runs parallel with a horizontal grid line.

Finally, click on the tick in the Options Bar to complete the crop.

Resize
If you send your shots off to be printed at a particular size, you may find that they come back cropped, which ruins your careful composition. Check out our step-by-step guide to cropping and resizing with precision.

SEE MORE: Photoshop Layers Demystified – a beginner’s guide to smarter photo editing

How to resize your photos

How to resize your photos: step 1

01 CHOOSE A SIZE

Openyour start image.  Click on the Crop tool icon. Move up to the left of the Options Bar and then click on the Tool Preset Picker’s triangular fly-out icon. Click to select the Crop 5 inch x 7 inch 300 ppi preset.

 

How to resize your photos: step 2

02 CHANGE ORIENTATION 

By default, the preset will create a portrait-oriented crop, but our image is in landscape format. Click on the Swaps Height and Width icon in the Options Bar to correct this. Click and drag to crop the shot.

 

How to resize your photos: step 3

03 CHECK SIZE 

To complete the crop, hit Return or click on the tick icon. Go to Image>Image Size. Set the units to inches. You’ll see that the shot is precisely 7 inches wide by 5 inches high, with a resolution of 300 pixels per inch.

PAGE 1: How to crop a picture
PAGE 2: How to crop a picture to correct problems
PAGE 3: The Crop Tool explained

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