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Cropping an image

From: Getting Started with Lightroom 4

Video: Cropping an image

No matter how careful you are to get the framing just right for a photo, or to ensure that for example, the horizon is perfectly horizontal. Every now and then, you're going to have an image that you need to crop. Either to remove an area from part of the image, for example, one side of the image, or to straighten out a crooked line. In this case, I have a line that should be about perfectly vertical over on the left side, but it's not. And so, cropping will allow me to fix that. I'm going to switch to my Cropping view. Over on the right panel above the actual adjustments, you'll find a tool bar that includes several additional tools.

Cropping an image

No matter how careful you are to get the framing just right for a photo, or to ensure that for example, the horizon is perfectly horizontal. Every now and then, you're going to have an image that you need to crop. Either to remove an area from part of the image, for example, one side of the image, or to straighten out a crooked line. In this case, I have a line that should be about perfectly vertical over on the left side, but it's not. And so, cropping will allow me to fix that. I'm going to switch to my Cropping view. Over on the right panel above the actual adjustments, you'll find a tool bar that includes several additional tools.

And the first of the those is the Crop View. You can also access the Crop tool by using the letter R on your keyboard. I'll go ahead and click the button here and we can see there is now Crop box around the image. I can specify particular parameters for the cropping over on the panel that is popped up below the Crop tool. That enables me, for example, to adjust the aspect ratio to a particular preset or to adjust the angle of rotation. Generally speaking, I'll work directly on the image though. The first thing I want to do in this case is to make sure that the cropping will cause this line on the left side to be perfectly straight. I'll go ahead and move my mouse outside the Crop box and then click and drag to rotate the image.

I want to pay attention to the image to see when that rotation causes the left edge of the column here for the building to be perfectly parallel with the left edge of the Crop box. I can then fine tune the crop as needed, for example perhaps I want to tighten up the crop a little bit. Notice that when I'm using the Crop tool, I can't actually cause the Crop box to go outside the image. And that's important. It helps ensure that we don't have any empty pixels along the corners, for example.

In this case I think I want to leave as much of the image as possible. I only want to crop for the sake of straightening up that line over on the left side. So, that looks to be a pretty good result. I can go ahead and click the Done button, so that the crop will be applied. The thing to keep in mind about cropping in Lightroom, though, is that it is completely nondestructive. So, if I change my mind about the cropping, I can always go back to the image and adjust that crop. I'll go ahead and click on the Crop tool once again, and you can see the entire image displayed going outside of the Crop box.

And so if I want to fine tune my cropping, I can go ahead and just change the Crop box position. In this case, bringing the left side in just a little bit to get rid of a distracting bright line that was appearing along the left edge. You'll notice that I have an overlay here. I have a rule of thirds overlay to help with my cropping when I want to try and obey the rule of thirds and I can determine when that overlay is visible. With the Never option, the overlay will not be visible at all. With the Always option, of course, it will always be displayed.

You can also choose Auto. That will cause the rule of thirds displayed to be hidden unless you start changing the cropping for your photo. And then those lines will appear once again. Generally speaking, I don't find those rule of thirds marks to be distracting at all. So I just leave the tool Overlay set to Always. That looks to be a good crop for the image. I'll go ahead and click done. And I'm ready to move on to any other adjustments I'd like to apply to this photo.

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Getting Started with Lightroom 4

37 video lessons · 4800 viewers

Tim Grey
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