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In Photoshop Lightroom 3 Essential Training, author Chris Orwig provides a comprehensive look at Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3, the popular photo-asset management, enhancement, and publishing program. The course covers indispensable techniques such as importing, processing, and organizing images in the Library, correcting and adjusting images in the Develop module, and creating slideshows, web galleries, and print picture packages. In addition to exploring all of Lightroom 3's capabilities, this course is rich with creative tips and expert advice on photographic workflow. Exercise files accompany the course.
Learning how to crop well in the Develop module is as much about learning how to use the tool as it is about learning how to think like a photographer. In regards to composition and photography and how images impact us. Like with this particular photograph of my daughter Annika. I like the photograph. It was taken when we were apple picking. I like that part of the sign is covered up and that she's offering me an apple and she has a little Band-Aid on her chin. Yet one of things that's distracting is this top portion of the image. Whenever you something that's bright or white that's near an edge, your eye kind of goes towards that, and it gets hung up on that edge.
So I want to crop that out. Well, a lot of times what you will hear is people will say "you have to crop and compose camera." While I agree with that, there are sometimes when you just don't hit it, like with this image. I thought I did a good job, but it didn't really work out so I need to just clean this one up a little bit. Well, to access the Crop tool you can either click on the icon in the tool strip here, or you can press the R key. So go ahead and press the R key to access the Crop tool. Now currently my aspect ratio is Original and what I am going to do is hover over one of these corner points and because the aspect ratio is locked I can either drag one of the corner points, or I can drag one of these other points here on any of these different sides of the photograph.
Next, I can click and drag to reposition the image to find a particular composition that I think works well. Now when I'm ready to apply a crop I can do this one of three ways. I can either press Enter or Return, or I can click the Done button, or you can you simply double-click inside of the crop area. Well, that looks much better. It's a much more clean photograph. Now sometimes what we are going to do is we are going to use a Crop tool in order to clean things up. Other times what we will do is just use a Crop tool to be a little bit creative.
Let's say that's what I want to do here. Well, I am going to create a virtual copy and there's a shortcut to do this, as we've covered in another movie, and that shortcut is Command+Apostrophe if you are on a Mac. That same shortcut on a PC its Ctrl+Apostrophe. Well, down below you can see that I now have two versions of the photograph, the original and then the virtual copy. I will press the R key to reopen the Crop tool. Here you can see it's showing me the last crop that I applied. What I want to do is click Reset. I want to take everything back to normal.
Now so far we have taken a look at how we can drag these different points in order to change the crop size. But what you can also do is simply click and drag over your photograph, and you can either drag to change the over orientation. In this case, it's more of a portrait layout crop. In this case, it's a horizontal or landscape layout. I am going to go ahead let it go. It reorientates to that position. Double-click to apply that. Again, just a much more tight perspective. Now with my arrow keys I can go through these two versions of the photograph.
Now let's say I want to get even more creative. Let's create another virtual copy. On a Mac you press Command+Apostrophe, on a PC that's Ctrl+Apostrophe, press the R key, grab your Crop tool. Here what I am going to do is rotate the angle. In this case all that I am interested in doing is just seeing, hey, will this image look good this way, and I will grab my corner points and then click and drag to reposition, double- click to apply that crop and again, it is a very different image. A little bit too much red showing there. That's distracting.
So I will press the R key, and then I am going to make that a little smaller, little tighter, and then double-click to apply that. Here we now have three versions of one photograph. Let's go through them. Here was the first one where we cleaned things up. Then we got in a little bit closer, and then we rotated the frame. So sometimes what this will do for us is it will remind us, hey, pay attention to details. And then this one. Perhaps sometimes you need to get closer, move in. Then other times, hey, why not experiment a little bit? Why not just tilt your camera every once in a while? What cropping can do for you is it can expand how you think about your own photography.
It can also reinforce other things too. You may discover that, you know what, I don't like the rotation, or this one is too close. I like this little bit more pullback perspective. Sometimes by comparing your images with different crops you can come to certain conclusions which will help you grow and develop as a photographer.
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