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Customizing the crop overlay

From: Cropping with Photoshop and Lightroom

Video: Customizing the crop overlay

In this move I want to talk about, how we can view and customize, the crop overlay graphic so that we can use this to improve the way that we crop, and compose our photographs. Let's begin by working with this image here, it's titled nate.cr2. It's a photograph of one of my friends down in Mexico on a surf trip. And here if we tap the R key to select the Crop Tool, or if we click on the Crop Tool icon, you'll notice that we have this rule of thirds overlay graphic on top of the image. Sometimes we can use these overlay graphics to help us to try to figure out how we might want to crop our images.

Customizing the crop overlay

In this move I want to talk about, how we can view and customize, the crop overlay graphic so that we can use this to improve the way that we crop, and compose our photographs. Let's begin by working with this image here, it's titled nate.cr2. It's a photograph of one of my friends down in Mexico on a surf trip. And here if we tap the R key to select the Crop Tool, or if we click on the Crop Tool icon, you'll notice that we have this rule of thirds overlay graphic on top of the image. Sometimes we can use these overlay graphics to help us to try to figure out how we might want to crop our images.

Now you'll notice in the tool bar below we have the ability to change the tool overlay or the way that the overlay is displayed, if we have it on always we will always see in this case the rule of thirds overlay or we can click on this menu we can choose a few other options, if we select Never that will forever hide that so as we click to drag this or to change the composition we will just see the photograph. On the other hand, if we choose the option of Auto, we will only see the overlay when we actually are recomposing the image or cropping the image.

Then when we let go of that, it will disappear. You'll want to choose the option that will be most useful to you. And in my own work flow, I find that the tool overlay option of Auto typically works best, because this allows me to see that overlay graphic and then perhaps recompose the image so the subject is there right on the intersecting lines of the rule of thirds then you can let go of it, because its helpful to see the image without that because you have to keep in mind that the final viewer will not see an overlay on top of the photograph.

For demo purposes though, I'm going to turn this back onto always, so we can talk a bit more about the overlay graphic. Now there are a number of different overlay graphics that we have access to. Here I want to apply this crop, so I'll double click this in order to apply that crop to the photograph, and I want to navigate to a demo slide which I have here which shows us the different overlays. Here you can see we have different overlay graphics. And we can view all of these graphics once we have the crop tool active and we press a shortcut key.

Let me show you what that is. We'll go back to the photograph which we were on previously, this one here. Let's reactivate the crop tool by clicking on the crop tool icon. And next, let's cycle through the different overlay graphics. When you tap the O key, you can see here that we can navigate through the various overlays that we have here. Including one, which allows us to have some overlays, which we can then use as guides to crop to specific aspect ratios. We'll talk a little bit more about that one later.

Yet for now, I want you to tap the O key to cycle through the different overlays. Now if ever you come to AN overlay where you have one that has sort of specific orientation, you can always flip-flop that by pressing Shift and then the O key. And here you can see how I can flip-flop this particular graphic. If we tap the O key again and navigate to the one which shows us the Golden Mean here, you can press Shift+O, and that will then rotate, or cycle that through the different positions in your image. Which sometimes can help you to come up with a better way to crop, or to compose your photograph.

And again, just tap that O key to go through those until you find one which will, perhaps, work for you, and typically, what works best is the rule of thirds. That's the most common overlay, and that's why that one is the default option. All right, well after having gone through those overlay options, let's go ahead and double-click inside of this crop area so that we can then apply the crop to the photograph.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Cropping with Photoshop and Lightroom
Cropping with Photoshop and Lightroom

51 video lessons · 3550 viewers

Chris Orwig
Author

 
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  1. 1m 40s
    1. Welcome
      56s
    2. Using the exercise files
      44s
  2. 16m 43s
    1. Examples and ideas for creating better composition
      7m 57s
    2. Why cropping matters
      4m 23s
    3. Finding pictures within pictures
      4m 23s
  3. 30m 48s
    1. Using the Crop tool to recompose in Camera Raw
      5m 53s
    2. Choosing a custom aspect ratio
      4m 49s
    3. Crop and straighten your photos quickly
      3m 30s
    4. Using Upright to level, or straighten, a photograph
      4m 36s
    5. Constraining the crop and using Upright to improve your photos
      3m 42s
    6. Crop and rotate for creative effect
      3m 6s
    7. Synchronize the crop across multiple files
      3m 51s
    8. Resetting or removing the crop
      1m 21s
  4. 51m 17s
    1. Cropping away distracting elements
      4m 43s
    2. Cropping and painting away distractions
      3m 39s
    3. Selecting and customizing the aspect ratio
      2m 6s
    4. Changing the crop orientation
      2m 10s
    5. Customizing the crop overlay
      3m 40s
    6. Using the crop overlay as a guide to improve composition
      5m 22s
    7. Straightening a photograph with the Crop tool shortcut
      3m 3s
    8. Working with lens corrections to straighten a photo
      4m 54s
    9. Using lens corrections and cropping for the best results
      3m 6s
    10. Crop and rotate for creative effect in Lightroom
      4m 16s
    11. Fixing a common issue when you crop and rotate
      4m 25s
    12. Crop, transform, and flip a photograph
      4m 34s
    13. Synchronize the crop across multiple files
      3m 21s
    14. Resetting or removing the crop
      1m 58s
  5. 43m 56s
    1. The most important crop setting
      3m 51s
    2. Resizing made simple with the Crop tool
      4m 26s
    3. Speeding up your workflow with crop presets
      1m 55s
    4. Creating your own custom crop presets
      3m 48s
    5. Straighten, level, and crop a photograph in one step
      3m 30s
    6. Crop and rotate for creative effect
      1m 59s
    7. Changing the crop overlay guides
      3m 53s
    8. Customizing the crop shield
      2m 29s
    9. Creating a crop from a selection
      3m 5s
    10. Cropping by creating a layer mask
      4m 17s
    11. Cropping to add canvas size
      3m 10s
    12. Using the Perspective Crop tool to fix distortion
      2m 53s
    13. Recomposing with Camera Raw
      4m 40s
  6. 36m 23s
    1. Crop away the clutter and clarify your voice
      7m 31s
    2. Finding pictures within pictures with a landscape
      2m 36s
    3. Finding the right crop in a fashion photograph
      2m 20s
    4. Adding balance to a photograph by cropping
      2m 15s
    5. Experimenting with different ways to crop
      3m 35s
    6. Cropping to reinforce a pattern
      2m 50s
    7. Rotating and filling the frame
      2m 24s
    8. Get close by cropping
      2m 50s
    9. Increasing the canvas size to place two images side by side
      3m 42s
    10. Creating a triptych from one photo
      6m 20s
  7. 1m 50s
    1. Resources to help you improve your composition
      1m 50s

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