How to crop your images

Mats Image processing, Learning Leave a Comment

Sometimes you may want to crop your images. If you don’t know how to do this yet, keep reading and in a few minutes, you’ll understand exactly how to do it.

Cropping means cutting your images into a different size and/or format. There can be all sorts of different reasons for cropping an image. Actually i would recommend you start your work on any image by asking yourself if it could be improved by being cropped. Using Lightroom, cropping an image is very simple. You open up the image in the develop module and then select the crop tool, either by clicking on the crop icon or by pressing the R key.

Crop button

This brings up the Crop & Straighten section of the develop module on the right. It has an aspect function and an angle function.

Crop and straighten panel

Aspect

The aspect function lets you drag the crop frame tool over the image to choose what part of the image you want to keep. Once a crop has been selected, you can fine tune it by dragging the image inside it with your mouse. When you’re satisfied with your crop, press the Done button in the lower right corner of your image or just press enter.

Crop overlay

There is a padlock symbol here. If it’s locked, you will not be able to drag your crop in any other aspect ratio than the one selected. If you want to crop without any restriction, just click on the padlock to unlock it. The drop-down just left of the padlock has a list of presets with different aspect ratios. the 1×1 aspect is useful if you’re preparing images f0r Instagram, since they will be square. You can even add your own aspect ratios by clicking on the Enter custom option.

Crop presets

If you want to keep the original relation between the height and width of the image, hold down the shift key while you’re dragging the crop overlay.

If you want to flip your orientation from landscape to portrait or vice versa, press the X key when you have marked an area for cropping.

Angle

The angle function lets you straighten images with leaning horizons. Click on the spirit level symbol and simply drag a line along the horizon of your shot. Lightroom will straighten it accordingly. In this image, i dragged the line along the water line and Lightroom straightened it. As you see, straightening will make your image smaller, depending on how much it needs to be turned to straighten it.

Straighten tool Lightroom

 

Constrain to warp

This option has to do with lens corrections. It will make sure your crop stays inside the image even if lens correction has been applied to the image.

Resetting the crop

If you want to return your image to its original format, you can reset the crop. Click on the Reset link or choose As shot from the aspect drop-down menu. The crop can also be reset by pressing Ctrl + Alt + R.

Reset crop

Keep in mind that if you crop out a major part of an image, you will end up with less pixels in your final image. This means your image quality will decrease. This depends on how much you crop out and how big the resolution of your original picture was.

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