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Cropping an image

Rule 1; Save your original image and crop a copy.  If you get it wrong, or want a different aspect ratio later you can always go back to your original.

Do a "border patrol" let your eye wander around the edge of the image and see if there is half-a-something, or something brightly coloured distarcting you eye near the edge - simple cropping can save a lot of editing!

Next look at the image crtically; there are usually several images within an image - I have shown a few here.  The choice is yours BUT check you have evaluated all the choices.

Don't forget cropping is an ideal time to straighten any horizontals or verticals.  You will ALWAYS get a negative judges comment if the sea horizion is as much as one degree off!

Knowledge Image 1

Note the drop down; you can crop to the size you need which will make printing easier. I often crop to 16:12 which is the default size for the camera club. You can, of course, free-form crop (any width, any height) if your image has multiple distractions.

It occasionally, but rarely, works to crop tightly on an image.  You usually have to leave some "breathing space" around the subjects.  As with every rule, this one can be broken, just be careful.
Also leave some room for the subject to "travel" into the empty space.  i.e. for a ship leave some sea for the ship to sail into. 

If you're cropping a portrait, crop it purposefully. Take off the legs, or the body, not just a bit of arm – that will look like a mistake.

Knowledge Image 2

An example (from Julia) of a tightly cropped image that works fantastically well.

When it comes to choosing the crop size for a photo, it's often best to consider the final use of the image.

If the photo is intended for use on a website or social media platform, it's often best to crop the image to a standard size that is commonly used on that platform. For example, Instagram photos are typically square, while Facebook and Twitter photos are usually rectangular.

If the photo is intended for print, it's important to consider the aspect ratio of the final print size. The aspect ratio is the ratio of the width to the height of the image. For example, a standard 4x6 inch print has an aspect ratio of 3:2.

To choose the best crop size for a print, it's important to consider the aspect ratio of the original image and the aspect ratio of the desired print size. Ideally, the crop should maintain the same aspect ratio as the original image to avoid distorting the subject or cutting off important details.

Many photo editing software programs have tools that can help you choose a crop size that matches a standard aspect ratio. For example, you can use the crop tool in Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom to select a specific aspect ratio or choose from a list of preset crop sizes. 

You can set 'strange' sizes in the width and height boxes e.g. A3 is 297mm x 420mm so set those sizes in your crop tool and the end result will be right for A3 printing.

Alternatively, you can use a free online tool like Canva's crop tool, which provides a range of standard crop sizes for different uses.

Knowledge Image 3
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