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  1. #1

    Info on Cropping

    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.
    Canon 600D + Tamron 90mm Macro DI f2.8 + 50mm 1.8 II + 75-300mm + 18-55mm IS II + 430 EX II
    My Life In Frames

  2. #2
    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
    Join Date
    04 Jun 2006
    the worst house, in the best street
    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.
    Nikon D800E, D300, D70s
    {Nikon} -> 50/1.2 : 500/8(CPU'd) : 105/2.8VR Micro : 180/2.8ais : 105mm f/1.8ais : 24mm/2ais
    {Sigma}; ->10-20/4-5.6 : 50/1.4 : 12-24/4.5-5.6II
    {Tamron}; -> 17-50/2.8 : 28-75/2.8 : 70-200/2.8 : 300/2.8 SP MF : 24-70/2.8VC

  3. #3
    Account Closed
    Join Date
    10 Aug 2008
    Lake Macquarie
    keep your original files, and make a copy to crop as you like.........

  4. #4
    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.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    12 Feb 2008
    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
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  6. #6
    D700 Goodness cupic's Avatar
    Join Date
    10 Oct 2009
    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


    Pentax K20D:Tamron 90mm f/2.8
    Nikon D700,D300s,Coolpix P7700
    Nikkor 16-35mm f/4 VR,Nikkor 70-200 f/2.8 VR, 70-300 VR, 35mm D f/1.8, 50mm D f/1.8, 85mm D f/1.8, Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8, Tokina 100mm f/2.8, Tamron 60mm f/2 , Tamron SP 24-70mm f2.8 VC Di

  7. #7
    Member Wazza's Avatar
    Join Date
    09 Jan 2010
    Balwyn North
    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?

  8. #8
    Site Rules Breach - Permanent Ban
    Join Date
    17 Jul 2008
    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.

  9. #9
    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.


    Constructive criticism is most welcome!!!

    Canon 40D, 100-300 5.6 L
    Sigma 17-70
    Manfrotto Tripod

  10. #10

    Join Date
    16 Jan 2010
    Thank you.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    13 Oct 2009
    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
    Kiddy Paparazzi, Wife and Mum of 4. Not always in that order!

    Nikon F60 & Nikkor 35-80mm, Nikon D700 & Nikkor 50mm 1.4, 24 - 70 f/2.8G, 105mm micro f/2.8G Nikon SB800 speedlight, Casio Exilim P&S and other assorted paraphernalia that takes up too much room in my study!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    22 Jul 2008
    Rosebud, Mornington Peninsula
    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
    Cat (aka Cathy) - Another Canon user - 400D, 18-55,75-300mm Kit Lens,50mm f1.8, Tamron 90mm f2.8 Macro, Sigma 28-70 f2.8-4 DG, Tripod and a willingness to learn
    Software used: PhotoImpact, Irfanview and a lot of plugins
    We don't make a photograph just with a camera, we bring to the act of photography all the books we have read, the movies we have seen, the music we have heard, the people we have loved. - Ansel Adams

  13. #13
    Ausphotography Veteran Allann's Avatar
    Join Date
    26 Nov 2008
    Booval, Qld (near Ipswich)

    Re: Info on Cropping

    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.

  14. #14

    Join Date
    16 Jan 2010
    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!

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