Join Jan Kabili for an in-depth discussion in this video Cropping and straightening, part of Lightroom CC First Look.
- [Instructor] One of the most useful tools in Lightroom CC is the crop tool. You can use it to try to straighten a crooked image or improve a composition. To open the crop tool options, click the crop tool here in the column on the right. Or you can press the C key on your keyboard. The first thing I want to do to this image is to try to straighten the horizon. I could drag the straighten slider here myself or I can try Auto. I'll click the Auto button and Lightroom CC does its best to find something it thinks should be straight in the photo and it rotates the photo to make it straight.
Now let's say I also want to crop away part of this image, maybe this island over here on the left. Before I do that, notice that this icon is locked. When this icon is locked, as I change the size of the crop box, it will retain its original aspect ratio, the ratio of width to height. So if I click and drag any of the borders of this crop box, you can see that it does keep the same aspect ratio. Once I've got it about the size I want it, I'll click inside the box and drag to move the photo inside the box.
Notice that there's an overlay of vertical and horizontal lines. That's known as the rule of thirds. The idea of the rule of thirds is that if you put something of importance at the intersection of a pair of those vertical and horizontal lines, like the boat that I've put there, that will improve the composition. Now it doesn't always work, but you can give it a try. To finish up the crop, I'm going to press Enter or Return on the keyboard. Now you can always come back in and change the crop if you don't like.
To do that, I'll come back over, I'll click on the crop tool again, and this time, I'm going to unlock the lock icon by clicking on it. And now, when I drag any of the borders of the crop box, I'm free to change the shape, or the aspect ratio, of the crop box. Another way to change the aspect ratio is to go to the aspect menu and choose one of the common aspect ratios that you see here.
So for example, if I need a square photo, I'll click the 1x1 aspect ratio. That gives me a square crop box and I can change the size of that crop box by dragging any of its borders or corners, like this, and then I'll move the photo where I want it inside of that crop box. And then I'll press Enter or Return on the keyboard. So the next time that you want to straighten a crooked photo or improve the composition, give the crop tool a try.