Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member
As a photographer, it's critical to learn how to crop and compose and frame your photographs. Therefore, it makes sense to learn how to crop with the Crop tool inside of Lightroom 3. We'll be working with these images you can find in the lynda folder and with this first image, it's in the Grid View mode, so the image is really small. If I want to see this image bigger, I need to go to the good old Loupe View mode. Now there's another way that you can navigate to the Loupe View that we haven't talked about, and it's by pressing the Spacebar key. It's a great way to just jump to this nice view.
Next, I'll press the arrow keys and that will take me through my different images and then I need to find an image that I want to work on. And let's say I want to work on this first image here. If I want to crop this image inside of the Library module, I'll navigate up to this panel Quick Develop, open that up, and by default this Saved Preset option will be closed. So what I need to do is go ahead and open that up, and then I have some crop ratios. Now I'm going to go ahead and click on that option, and you can see I have some new crop ratios inside of Lightroom 3.
What they've done is they've grouped these together, as well as given us some crop ratios that make a little bit more sense based on the type of printing we may be doing or the sizing that we need to do. So I'm going to go ahead and choose 1x1. Now, when I do that, I really don't have any control how that crop actually took place. Now it doesn't look bad. It looks pretty good, and I have a little bit more control. We'll press the R key. This will take us to the Crop tool inside of the Develop module and here what we can do is actually reposition the crop or change the crop, and I'll go ahead and bring this in.
To apply the crop, double-click within the crop area or press Enter or Return. Now if you don't like the crop, like you know what, I just want to reset the crop. I don't want to reset the whole image. I just want to reset the crop. What we need to do is press the shortcut, and the shortcut on a Mac is Command+Option+R. If you're on a PC that's Ctrl+Alt+R. So go ahead and press that shortcut key and then that will reset the crop. Now if we want to reenter the Crop tool, we can always click on the icon here in the tool strip, or we can press the R key.
Now that I'm back into this Crop tool, I'm going to go to my aspect ratio. Again, I want to choose that 1x1 just for fun to do something a little different, and I'll go ahead and reposition this and maybe rotate a bit. One of the things that you notice here is that I have this nice overlay. Now I can go through these different Overlay modes by pressing the O key. So I'll press the O key a few times, and you can see that I have a couple of different options. Now currently some of these options are better than others, and some of them you may notice that this particular one has the orientation down towards the bottom.
If I ever need to shift that around, we'll just press Shift+O, and it will go through some of the other options that you have there. Well, the nice thing about this overlay is that it can teach you a lot about composition. Photographers always say "you should crop on camera!" Yeah, I agree with that. Yet there's times when you can't do that and you have to step back, like I needed to do here, because I was using a 50mm lens, but I had a vision for a tighter crop and I need to do that in a Lightroom. And this grid really helps me out. Yet there's a problem with the grid and here's the deal. The user isn't ever going to see the grid.
And so at some point we need to evaluate this crop without that grid overlay on top the image. So there's a great shortcut that you can use. It's the H key. Think of H, like in hide. So if I press the H key I can toggle that crop overlay on and off. And actually what it's doing is it's going to these different tool overlay modes you can see down here. It's going between Always and Never. Now, while those options are kind of nice, my preferred method is to actually use Auto. Now what Auto does is it turns the visibility of the grid off and then it will bring it back if you click on the image or if you grab one of the corner points to reposition that, and so that you can see that grid overlay.
You can make an evaluation based on that let go, and now that's gone. To apply this crop, we'll go ahead and double-click or press Enter or Return. Now let's say that we want to apply this particular crop ratio to another image. All that we need to do is to select another image and then use this really interesting shortcut. The shortcut is Shift+A and what Shift+A does for me is it remembers the last aspect ratio that I used. It brings that up and also it's going to keep in mind whatever tool overlay I used last, and then from here I can go ahead and perhaps make this a little bit tighter and then bring this in.
Now just to illustrate this a little bit further, one of the things that you can do is you can unlock your aspect ratio. You can do that by pressing the A key, notice that toggles the lock on and off, or you can simply click on that little lock Icon there. Now when I do that I can make a free- form crop here. Again, it doesn't have a particular aspect ratio, but just something I'm arbitrarily deciding. and then I'll go ahead and double-click to apply that crop. Now when I go to the next image, if I press Shift+A at this point, again, it's going to pick that aspect ratio, even though it was that free-form ratio.
And you'll notice that it's not going to give me that same size, but if I wanted to lock this down now, I like this ratio, we'll go ahead lock it, and then I'll reposition the crop to get a little bit of a tighter view of this image, grab something a little different, and then go ahead and double-click to apply that. So again, now these two images have the same exact aspect ratio. All right. Well, that wraps up our look at how we can use a Crop tool inside of Lightroom 3.
Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.Become a member
180 Video lessons · 75556 Viewers
64 Video lessons · 94342 Viewers
86 Video lessons · 61877 Viewers
103 Video lessons · 31148 Viewers
Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.
Search within course videos and transcripts, and jump right to the results.
Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.
Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.
Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.