Cropping your photos is a great way to improve your composition after you take the shot – it can get rid of distractions, straighten lines that were accidentally crooked, and completely shift the focus and feel of the photo.
And these days it’s easier than even to effectively crop your photos! Lightroom has some top notch tools that you can use, like overlays that let you see how the crop will fit into different grids (like the Rule of Thirds), or a preview of the image cropped at different common aspect ratios. Amazing!
So check out the video below to get the full scoop on how to crop your photos with Lightroom!
Essential Cropping Shortcuts
Use these shortcuts to make your cropping faster than a speeding bullet!
- Shift and drag – Maintain the original aspect ratio while cropping.
- R – Enter the crop tool from any area in Lightroom.
- Command-Option-R (Mac) or Control-Alt-R (Windows) – Reset the crop while in the Develop Module.
- Hold Command (Mac) or Control (Windows) while in the Crop tool – Access the Angle tool, then click and drag along a line to automatically straighten it.
- O – Rotate through crop overlays.
- Shift-O – Change the orientation of the crop overlay.
- X – Switch between horizontal and portrait crop orientation.
Tips for Using Cropping for Stronger Photos
- Straighten up! Use the Ruler tool to make important lines (like the horizon) straight, so they don’t feel sloppy.
- Check the edges of your frame for distracting elements that weaken your composition. Crop them out!
- Use the crop overlays to see how your image fits with different compositional guidelines, like the Rule of Thirds.
- Experiment with cropping both vertically and horizontally to see how it changes the look and feel of your photo.
- Before you print, make sure to preview how your image will look at the different print ratios. You don’t want to loose important parts of the photo when you print!
Cropping is an essential technique for creating stronger images. It can help remove distractions, and aid in bringing your viewers attention where you want it. So make sure to get nice and friendly with the crop tool in Lightroom using these tips and shortcuts!
Now go practice with some of your own photos!