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Cropping Photos

Perhaps the most important control you have as a photographer is selecting the composition and framing of your photos. And while you do your best when shooting the camera, you may want to cut out parts of an image that are distracting, or reshape the frame to highlight some aspect of the photo. Since it's all too easy to shoot from a little too far away, tightly cropping a photograph is a way to increase the impact and sophistication of many shots.

1.
Double-click the photo that looks like this in the Company Press album:

Double-clicking opens up the shot in the Edit window, which will look like this:

Running along the top of the window are the other photos in this album. From this window, you can select an individual shot and edit it in a number of powerful ways (many of which will be covered in the following lesson).

2.
Click the cursor anywhere in the image, and drag a rectangle across your image.

When you let go, the rectangle remains visible. If you missed the framing you were looking for, you can drag each side of the rectangle in or out to refine your frame.

3.
Once you have the photograph set up with the frame and shape you prefer, click the Crop button.

This disposes of the edges you don't want and redraws the new image in your window.

Cropping to Fit a Frame

Sometimes you crop not only to cut out bad stuff, but also to guarantee your photograph will fit in a picture frame (or CD case, or TV set). In these cases, you want to force the shape of your cropping to match the length and width ratios of your frame—known as the aspect ratio.

The following technique gives you prints whose proportions fit perfectly in a picture frame or a CD jewel case. It's worth noting that cropping a photo in an album, like changing a name or date, affects the original photo in the Library.

1.
Find and click this photo from the photos along the top bar of the window:

2.
Next to the Crop button is the Constrain pop-up menu. Click the menu and choose 3 × 5.

This preselects a cropping frame that is in the ratio of 3:5—effectively allowing your image to fit into a 3-by-5-inch frame. By clicking within the cropping frame and dragging to a new position, you are able to move this 3:5 rectangle around over your photo prior to cropping. Remember that you can also click and drag the edges of your rectangle if you want to resize it.

TIP

Even if you centered your subject when you shot your photograph, cropping gives you another chance to offset your subject and create an aesthetically pleasing composition (using the rule of thirds).

3.
Click the Crop button when you have positioned the frame aesthetically.

TIP

If you don't want to alter your original photo, make a copy of it first and then crop the copy. Select the image and then choose Photos > Duplicate, and a copy will be placed in your Library.


TIP

Don't forget that you can always undo a bad crop as well as virtually anything else you accidentally apply to a photo. To undo, press the keyboard shortcut Command-Z or go to the Edit menu and select Undo.


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