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Cropping photos

From: Photoshop Elements 10 Essential Training

Video: Cropping photos

Cropping an image trims away the edges of the image. Why would you want to do that? Well you may want to remove some distracting content near an edge, or you may want to change the proportions of a photo so that it fits in a particular frame or in a particular area on a web page, or maybe you just want a more balanced composition. Here in the full photo edit workspace, cropping is done with the Crop tool, which is located here in the toolbar. I'm going to start by making a simple crop in this image to remove some of the foliage peeking out of the edges of the photo. First, I'm going to go up to the Options Bar and I'm going to make sure that the options are set back to their defaults because some of the crop options are sticky.

Cropping photos

Cropping an image trims away the edges of the image. Why would you want to do that? Well you may want to remove some distracting content near an edge, or you may want to change the proportions of a photo so that it fits in a particular frame or in a particular area on a web page, or maybe you just want a more balanced composition. Here in the full photo edit workspace, cropping is done with the Crop tool, which is located here in the toolbar. I'm going to start by making a simple crop in this image to remove some of the foliage peeking out of the edges of the photo. First, I'm going to go up to the Options Bar and I'm going to make sure that the options are set back to their defaults because some of the crop options are sticky.

So these are some numbers that I typed in the last time that I used the tool and they're still here the next time that I use the Crop tool. To set these back to their defaults, I'll click the arrow to the left of the tool Options Bar and I'll choose Reset tool. I'm also going to change the Overlay menu from its default to None. Now I'm ready to drag out a crop boundary. I'll move into the image and I'll click and drag. The area that's dark outside this boundary is going to be trimmed away from the image, and the area that's light inside the boundary will be kept in the image.

I can adjust the shape of this crop boundary by moving my mouse over any of its edges and dragging. If the horizon in this image were crooked, I could rotate the crop boundary to both straighten that out and crop at the same time by moving my cursor over one of the corners of the boundary and dragging, but there really isn't anything crooked here, so I'm not going to drag. And I can move the entire crop boundary by clicking inside of it and dragging, and then to commit the crop, I'll click the green check mark under the crop boundary.

If I don't like that result, I can still undo it by going up to the bar at the top of the editor and clicking Undo. Another reason to crop a photo is to make it into a more balanced composition. There are some new crop overlay guides that can help you to do that. Those are located here in the Options Bar for the Crop tool in the Overlay menu. From that menu, I'll start by choosing Rule of Thirds. To show you that, I'll drag out another crop boundary. Now the crop boundary contains this crop overlay guide that's divided by a couple of horizontal and vertical lines.

The idea is to place one of the horizontal lines in this guide on top of any horizon line in your image. So I'll click and drag down to do that, and then you can also try to put the intersecting points of these lines in the guide on top of important content in the image. So I'll make sure that one of those intersection points is on top of the horse, and I can adjust the crop boundary to try to get the other intersection points over the clouds and maybe the mountains here. So that's one of the crop overlay guides.

There's another one I want to show you and that is the Golden Ratio overlay. The idea with this overlay is to get this mathematically determined green circle right on top of the focal point of the image. In this case, the white horse is the focal point. I might just move this over a bit, and if I were to adjust the edges of the crop border, then I may have to change the position of that green circle again, dragging it on top of the horse. When I'm satisfied with my crop boundary, I'll click the green check mark.

There's one more reason that you might want to crop an image, and that is to change the proportions of the image. To show you that, I'm going to double- click this photo here in the Project Bin to open it in the Document window. In the last movie, I showed you how to change the size of this photo, but resizing does not change proportions. To do that, you need to use the Crop tool either after or instead of resizing. I'd like to crop this photo to a square proportion so that I can print it out and put the print in a small square frame that I have.

I know the exact size of the crop that I need. So I can enter those numbers up in the Options Bar for the Crop tool. First I want to remove the numbers that are there, so I'll go to the Reset tool option and I'll set the Overlay menu back to None. From the Aspect Ratio menu, I could choose one of the set sizes here, but I don't see one for a square. So instead of choosing numbers from that menu, I'm going to type the dimensions that I want into the width and height fields.

I'd like this to be a 2-inch by 2-inch square. So I'll type 2 in the width field and then press the Tab key to add the inches unit of measurement, and I'll do the same in the height field. It's important to add the resolution that I need for my particular output here in the resolution field. If I don't do that, when I create a crop like this with exact dimensions, the resolution can change. So I'm going to type 300 in the resolution field, because as I explained in the last movie, most desktop inkjet printers like mine produce the highest quality prints from a file that has about 300 pixels per inch.

Now I'll come into the image and I'll click and drag a crop bounding box. No matter how big I make that box, it's going to be square in shape because I typed in equal dimensions in the width and height fields. I want to be sure not to make this box too small because then Elements would have to take just a small bit of content and size it up to 2 by 2 inches. And that could make the resulting photo blurry. But this is a healthy amount of this image. So I'm going to accept this crop by clicking the green check mark. So that's how to use the Crop tool to trim away unwanted content, to improve the visual composition of a photo, and to change the proportions of a photo.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop Elements 10 Essential Training
Photoshop Elements 10 Essential Training

140 video lessons · 9359 viewers

Jan Kabili
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 23m 48s
    1. Welcome
      58s
    2. Getting around Elements
      6m 9s
    3. Exploring the differences in Mac versions of Elements
      5m 41s
    4. Working with Organizer catalogs
      6m 16s
    5. Using the exercise files
      4m 44s
  2. 21m 39s
    1. Touring the Organizer
      5m 35s
    2. Importing photos from a camera
      4m 44s
    3. Importing photos from a computer
      3m 1s
    4. Importing photos from an iPhoto library
      5m 27s
    5. Importing photos from external drives
      2m 52s
  3. 31m 24s
    1. Working in Thumbnail view
      4m 10s
    2. Working in Folder Location view
      4m 33s
    3. Reviewing photos in Full Screen view
      4m 55s
    4. Editing and organizing in Full Screen view
      7m 20s
    5. Comparing photos in Side by Side view
      4m 10s
    6. Displaying photos in Date view
      2m 40s
    7. Viewing photo information
      3m 36s
  4. 47m 47s
    1. Using keyword tags to categorize photos
      6m 42s
    2. Organizing keyword tags
      4m 25s
    3. Finding photos by keyword tag
      3m 39s
    4. Automatically tagging people
      8m 21s
    5. Using automatic smart tagging
      5m 36s
    6. Assigning ratings to photos
      4m 9s
    7. Creating albums to organize photos
      5m 7s
    8. Creating smart albums
      5m 52s
    9. Stacking photos to reduce thumbnail clutter
      3m 56s
  5. 24m 35s
    1. Finding photos that are visually similar to each other
      4m 3s
    2. Searching for an object in a photo
      3m 45s
    3. Finding duplicate photos
      4m 50s
    4. Searching by text
      5m 59s
    5. Exploring the Find menu
      4m 27s
    6. Finding photos in the Timeline
      1m 31s
  6. 22m 41s
    1. Deleting photos
      4m 30s
    2. Renaming photos
      2m 24s
    3. Moving photos
      3m 58s
    4. Reconnecting missing files
      4m 37s
    5. Changing photo dates
      4m 29s
    6. Backing up
      2m 43s
  7. 16m 14s
    1. Choosing an editing workspace
      4m 37s
    2. Autocorrecting with the Organizer's Photo Fix options
      3m 47s
    3. Photo finishing with the Organizer's Photo Fix options
      4m 2s
    4. Changing a Photo Fix adjustment
      3m 48s
  8. 22m 10s
    1. Editing with assistance: the Guided Edit workspace
      6m 27s
    2. Retouching a photo the step-by-step way
      7m 55s
    3. Creating a dreamlike Orton effect
      1m 8s
    4. Simulating shallow depth of field
      4m 11s
    5. Creating a collage using Picture Stack
      2m 29s
  9. 29m 26s
    1. Quick improvements: introducing the Quick Edit workspace
      3m 28s
    2. Applying Quick Edit corrections
      4m 8s
    3. Adjusting lighting
      4m 0s
    4. Correcting color
      4m 20s
    5. Fixing red-eye, improving skies, and touching up photos
      6m 28s
    6. Sharpening images
      3m 10s
    7. Saving in Quick Edit
      3m 52s
  10. 41m 16s
    1. Full control: introducing the Full Edit workspace
      5m 19s
    2. Tips for using the editing tools
      3m 50s
    3. Customizing panels
      5m 10s
    4. Undoing your work
      6m 22s
    5. Zooming and navigating
      4m 41s
    6. Saving images and examining file formats
      4m 50s
    7. Working with multiple documents
      4m 0s
    8. Creating a file from scratch
      2m 57s
    9. Customizing Editor preferences
      4m 7s
  11. 25m 42s
    1. Understanding layers
      7m 3s
    2. Managing layers in the Layers panel
      7m 19s
    3. Tips for working with layers
      4m 25s
    4. Understanding layer masks
      6m 55s
  12. 29m 59s
    1. Understanding selections
      6m 49s
    2. Using manual selection tools
      4m 42s
    3. Modifying selections
      4m 20s
    4. Using the automatic selection tools
      7m 11s
    5. Refining selections
      4m 50s
    6. Saving selections
      2m 7s
  13. 23m 52s
    1. Retouching blemishes with the Spot Healing Brush tool
      2m 50s
    2. Retouching skin with the Healing Brush tool
      6m 7s
    3. Retouching with the Clone Stamp tool
      1m 58s
    4. Using the Content-Aware option in the Spot Healing Brush to remove content
      3m 13s
    5. Touching up photos with the Smart Brush tools
      7m 22s
    6. Using the Dodge, Burn, and Sponge tools
      2m 22s
  14. 1h 0m
    1. Understanding color management
      7m 23s
    2. Understanding adjustment layers
      6m 49s
    3. Adjusting part of a photo
      6m 16s
    4. Correcting contrast and brightness using Levels controls
      5m 6s
    5. Enhancing color with Hue/Saturation
      4m 32s
    6. Improving shadow and highlights using Shadow/Highlight
      2m 36s
    7. Adjusting lighting and color using Color Curves
      3m 53s
    8. Removing a color cast
      2m 11s
    9. Converting color to black and white
      3m 15s
    10. Reducing noise
      3m 53s
    11. Sharpening images
      6m 43s
    12. Processing multiple photos
      8m 19s
  15. 23m 6s
    1. Resizing and changing photo resolution
      7m 1s
    2. Cropping photos
      5m 35s
    3. Straightening photos
      2m 35s
    4. Adding canvas around photos
      2m 43s
    5. Changing a photos orientation using the Recompose tool
      5m 12s
  16. 23m 50s
    1. Combining photos using the Place command
      5m 21s
    2. Using a layer mask to hide a background
      6m 26s
    3. Blending images using a gradient
      8m 18s
    4. Blending images using Blend modes
      3m 45s
  17. 24m 2s
    1. Creating text
      6m 22s
    2. Editing text
      3m 49s
    3. Creating text on a selection
      6m 1s
    4. Creating text around a shape
      3m 51s
    5. Creating text on a custom path
      3m 59s
  18. 22m 43s
    1. Applying filters
      5m 24s
    2. Adding effects
      2m 6s
    3. Adding layer styles
      7m 38s
    4. Making shapes
      5m 17s
    5. Using the Cookie Cutter tool
      2m 18s
  19. 42m 14s
    1. Understanding Camera Raw
      3m 35s
    2. The Camera Raw interface
      5m 16s
    3. Adjusting color using the white balance controls
      4m 41s
    4. Controlling lighting and contrast
      6m 26s
    5. Enhancing photos with the Clarity, Vibrance, and Saturation controls
      2m 39s
    6. Cropping and straightening
      2m 12s
    7. Reducing Noise
      2m 24s
    8. Sharpening
      6m 46s
    9. Outputting from Camera Raw
      4m 43s
    10. Processing multiple photos in Camera Raw
      3m 32s
  20. 56m 43s
    1. Creating a photo book
      6m 50s
    2. Completing the photo book
      10m 5s
    3. Creating a photo calendar
      8m 19s
    4. Creating a photo greeting card
      5m 17s
    5. Making other photo creations in the Create workspace
      2m 8s
    6. Outputting photo creations from the Create workspace
      2m 50s
    7. Creating a photo slideshow in Windows
      8m 45s
    8. Completing the photo slideshow
      3m 31s
    9. Making a scrapbook page from scratch in Full Edit
      8m 58s
  21. 41m 34s
    1. Printing photos
      8m 30s
    2. Printing contact sheets and picture packages in Windows
      5m 23s
    3. Printing contact sheets and picture packages on a Mac
      8m 33s
    4. Ordering prints from the Organizer
      4m 22s
    5. Sharing photos by email from the Organizer
      3m 46s
    6. Sharing photos with Photo Mail in Windows
      5m 3s
    7. Sharing photos on Facebook from the Organizer
      3m 42s
    8. Sharing photos on Flickr from the Organizer
      2m 15s
  22. 7m 34s
    1. Signing up for an Adobe ID
      2m 20s
    2. Sharing online albums from the Organizer to Photoshop.com
      5m 14s
  23. 40s
    1. Goodbye
      40s

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