View Full Version : Info on Cropping

17-01-2010, 8:10am
I need help. I never know how I should be cropping my photos, as in what ratio.

I hardly ever print my images, but if I do choose to do so, what aspect ratio should I crop them in for just in case events? I usually crop my photos using the originals ratio, but sometimes that just isn't good enough.

So what do you think about when you crop, as far as dimension ratios? Or do you even worry about it? Should I just not worry about it, and reedit the original when I need to print it, and set it up for whatever size I am going to print it at?

Any advice on this topic would be GREATLY appreciated.

17-01-2010, 8:32am
Hi Andrea.

Cropping should always be done to taste.
maintaining a set aspect ratio is really only good for when it comes to framing, as it's easier to find frames in a standard format.
If the prints are to be made on canvas or foamcore.. ie not to be framed then it makes no difference what aspect ratio you choose.
Of course frames can be made to order too, but I suspect that they'd be more expensive than the standard 'off the shelf', ready to go variety.

When cropping, I tend to maintain the aspect ratio I shot them in for simplicity sake, but if I have to crop freehand and lose the aspect ratio, it's no big deal.
It's best not to alter the aspect ratio when when resizing as the image will become distorted.

Big Pix
17-01-2010, 8:36am
keep your original files, and make a copy to crop as you like.........

17-01-2010, 8:39am
Hi Andrea,

It's best to do all your procesing on the entire image (uncropped) and only crop after doing everything else you want to do. Crop to any size and shape you like - let your eye guide you to what looks best for each individual picture. The aspect ratio they happen to end up at is neither here nor there. If you want to print an image one day, simply make a fresh crop from the full-size (uncropped and post processed) master copy that you (of course) kept.

17-01-2010, 8:51am
as said, if you are going to print 8x10 make sure you crop the final file you take to the printer that way first, or any ratio of that 16x20 etc

The kiosks if you go that way do allow you to crop as well, but, if you have cropped too tight originally and then force another crop with a different ratio then you might be forced to say lose a head or a foot in a portrait etc

17-01-2010, 9:07pm
As above with a note to add with the cropping tool to keep the "ratio" (that is a 4:3) this can be done in the value column on top when crop tool is used .That or use the free podcast on itunes and all is revealed in full


17-01-2010, 9:28pm
I used to think that a 4:5 ratio was a so-called "golden ratio" which I should aim for. But I agree with the above that it depends entirely on the image itself and the "rules" of composition. After all, who would crop a pano to 5:4?

19-01-2010, 10:55am
You need to crop to suit the image; there are laws here.

Always better to photograph a little wider and crop to suit PP

Cropping is usually one of the first thing I do PP. But you must make sure its a copy; not he original. This doesn't matter so much in Lightroom.

19-01-2010, 11:02am
I do crop as one of the first things in pp as well, because the histogram and things change with the cropping....

If you really need it to be a specific ratio for a print or so, you can always go back and crop it as you wish.



19-01-2010, 1:15pm
Thank you.

25-01-2010, 10:20am
If there is a lot of background I don't want then I'll crop it off first and then edit, but in general I don't crop to last either :)

25-01-2010, 10:46am
I usually crop the pic 1st after downloading a pic to what I want - if printing them I then usually will try and work out the measurements it should be for the pic depending on the size to print it - I don't often print out pics though

25-01-2010, 11:23am
I agree with tannin and kiwi's posts entirely. But here is a liitle extra tip when doing a crop. Crop OUT not in. I'll explain. Start very tight on the subject and start moving the sides out till you not adding interest anymore then do the other side, then the top and bottom. Then if needed more to the thirds rule if appropriate.

25-01-2010, 12:15pm
I think I was just over paranoid about keeping the original image aspects, and was ending up with too much extra space in my crops, or cutting out bits that I wanted to get in close. I have relaxed now a bit and I crop it to what looks appealing, these images are all for the web anyway, and I have the originals if I want to print.

Thanks all!