21. Crop –

The first and hardest paradox I had to relearn when moving into digital photography and out of film photography was the idea that you cropped a picture AFTER shooting.  I began taking digital pictures putting inside the frame exactly what I wanted only to find out later that I had to crop and make a smaller image.  I was not happy about this and it took awhile to retrain my brain.  Now I embrace the idea as it allows you freedom, flexibility and speed to shoot and you are allowed to rethink and change your mind later (changing your mind is something not just privy to women).  You can even make more than one final crop saving each image using >File >Save As and a different file name for each one (I add a dash and numbers after the file name).  So let’s begin…

  • Select the orange tab Fix and pick >Full edit or >Quick edit to get into the Editor Workspace.
  • to pick the tool on your left that looks like an unconnected square, click on it.
  • Once you click on this tool (as with all the tools) the bar above the workspace will give you options.
  • Aspect Ratio – No restrictions, or pick one of the standard sizes in the drop down menu.
  • If you pick No restrictions, the Width and Height boxes will remain empty; pick any of the others and it will fill in the boxes for you.  Putting numbers in these boxes is always an option.  Notice the double arrows between the boxes.  Use them to switch the order.  For example width 8, height 10; click the arrows and it becomes width 10, height 8.
  • Resolution – For a nice print, put 300 ppi (pixels per inch) here.  If you want to put something on the web and make it not print well for anyone else, use 70 – 100 ppi.  I suggest making the original crop at the higher resolution, then saving an additional copy of the image at a lower number to place on the web by just using the >File >Save As selection (when it asks the final question about saving to the original file, be sure to pick No).
  • So here’s the dilemma as I understand it, and I’ll admit that I am still learning what my preferences are.  The place in the camera that captures the image is larger than the size of photographs developed for the film camera, which means that some part of the image has to be cut off.  It was explained to me that the sizes of pictures we are used to: 2×3, 4×6, 5×7, 8×10 are not consistently larger as math calculations.  A 2×3 doubles nicely to 4×6, but you can’t get to an 8×10 keeping the crop in tact.  The professional lab I use prefers pictures uploaded without cropping the portrait.  In this way, they crop for a 4×6 a little differently than cropping for the larger 8×10.   If you don’t crop before getting your pictures printed, the place that processes the image will do it.  Ever tried to get prints and the heads were cut off?  This is why.  You need to go into the edit mode when you order pictures and move their little square around so that you can choose what is in the printed picture.  It is wise to look into the edit mode for each picture if you are as picky as I am for getting “what I want” from a picture.  If you have already cropped to a standard size, just be sure to select the same size of the crop for the picture ordered.  If I have cropped to a standard size, I add those numbers to the end of the file name.
  • Click on the tool, then click anywhere in the upper left corner, hold the click and pull down and across the image to the opposite lower right corner.
  • Get the box the size you want it.  Let go of the click.  Now you can reposition this box in the photo by clicking inside this box, holding the click while you move the box around.  A green check mark will appear and a red circle as soon as you let go of the initial click.  If, at this point you want to try again to make this box differently, select the red circle and start over.
  • Click the green check mark when you are finished cropping.  Additionally, using the Enter key or double clicking inside the cropped area will tell the computer that you want to apply this crop.
  • If you decide later to redo the crop, go the Edit menu and the first thing listed is the last thing you have done to the image.  Pull down to this Undo option and it will let you redo it.  Ctrl Z will undo and you can use the History palette to undo the crop as well.
  • By using the corners to adjust the crop you can make the image a consistent rectangle.  If you click on the little squares along the edge of the crop square, it will end up being an odd shape.  I just use the corners.
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About momentsphotographybysandy

This blog is designed to enrich the world of digital photography by expanding the creative potential allowed in Photoshop programs. Shoot - that sounds like fun!
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