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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.
Technically speaking we have really covered everything we need to know about the Crop tool. So you can think of this movie as a bit of a creative bonus movie. In other words I would be remiss if I didn't at least talk a little bit more about Crop and Composition. So what I want to do in this movie is just walk through a few images and talk about how I would begin to think about cropping these photographs in order to get you begin to think about your own photos in a new way. Like this particular photograph of my daughter Sophia. You know what I was going for on camera? What I was going for was having her kind of in the middle of the frame and using this geometric shape, right, but I didn't quite get it.
So how would you crop this image? It's actually kind of simple. Press the R key to access the Crop tool. What I need to do is going much tighter here and I need to make sure I have equal space on this side as I have on this side over here, so I am going to reposition this and the crop until I have something that's pretty equal. This way Sophia will fall right down here in more of the middle of the frame. It also will remove some of the distortion that I got from the lens that I was using. Double-click to apply that, and again that's much more of an interesting and simple and graphic photograph.
All right, well let's take a look at a different type of an image. Here we have a photograph of a surfboard factory and when I saw this scene, when I saw the light coming through the skylights I just was in awe. It was amazing to see all of these surfboards, hundreds and hundreds of surfboards. Yeah, one of the things that happens here is that the surfboards don't quite fill up the frame enough. So here is how I'd crop this image. Again, press the R key, what I'd be interested in doing is bringing this way in and what I want to do is I want to create the illusion that these surfboards are just everywhere.
They are filling every corner, every aspect of the frame. Now I might make this a little bit bigger here, but again I'm looking to try to create this illusion of this pattern that goes on forever. And you know what happens, when you create images where the patterns go all the way to the edge and beyond, in your mind's eye that pattern actually continues. You see no stopping point, so it seems more full. So a lot of times what we need to do when we are cropping our photographs is think of that, think of the stopping point. Sometimes we need to bring our images in a bit in order to incite the imagination a little bit more or in order to make the frame a little more exciting or for that matter in order to create something perhaps it's a little bit more iconic or conceptual.
Well, let's take a look at yet a couple more photographs. Here I will press the G key to go to the Grid View mode. I am going to go to one of our Surf folders here. In this particular case I'm in this Surf folder surf_sponsor, and I'll click on this image here and press the R key, and here you can see the crop of the image. I am going to undo or remove the crop. I am going to do that by clicking on Reset. Now with this particular image you notice that I have the idea, surfboard in the foreground. I am shooting with a wide-angle lens, so I need something in the foreground.
Also, with wide-angle lenses, lines are really important. Yet one of the problems here is that isn't really level and the lines aren't in the right space and so you saw how the crop came together, right. We will undo that. What you can see here with this particular crop is it found a line in the foreground, and it cropped in so that surfboard is right here in the corner is also following this line in the tracks. This line is a little bit more dynamic. We have a little bit of balance in the surfboard here, surfer in the background here, and the composition is that much more engaging and interesting.
All right, one last photograph here. I will press the G key, navigate to the Surfers folder, and this time navigate to this photograph of Shaun Thompson. I will press the R key to open up the Crop tool. Well, again a pretty interesting crop. How about if we remove what's there this time? Command+Option+R. Well now that I have removed the crop one of the things that you may notice is that there is a lot of headroom, and so what happens in images like this is the person won't seem or feel as significant.
If we press the O key to go through our different overlays, we can see that the image is almost one-third sky, and so what I need to do with a photograph like this is I need to bring this way down. I need to have the person fill the frame much more, and I could even bring it in tighter if I'm interested in doing so. Now when I double-click or apply this crop it's going to make it feel like this person again is much more significant, rather than having this person flow in this environment. Press the R key again, and we can also go somewhere in between, right.
We can try to put the eyes and head somewhere near the rule of thirds over here and find a composition that's kind of engaging, and again this works as well. So what we're trying to do here as we work on cropping our photographs really is a fundamental of photography, and so if you're interested in getting better at cropping one of the things that I recommend you do is pick up a couple of photography books and start looking through and learning about cropping. So that when it comes time to work in Lightroom you are not just using the tool because it's there, but rather you have this built-in visual aesthetic as well as these built-in ideas of certain types of images that you like or don't like.
And then lastly, experiment and have some fun with the Crop tool. It's so quick and easy to use, and plus it's nondestructive, and hopefully what this can do for you is ultimately help you create more engaging and more interesting photographs.
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