Image cropping is an essential part of photography which adds a creativity and feeling to the frame. It is a technique of image editing to remove the irrelevant or unwanted parts of an image, to adjust the aspect ratio, and to improve the overall quality of a picture. It aims at keeping the main subject in focus with perfect sharpening effects, tonal and color balance.
How to crop images like a professional
In order to give your picture the best visual effects through cropping, you need to understand a certain set of rules before you proceed. They are as follows:-
1. Chop the unnecessary details
While cropping an image, observe the picture carefully to find out the unnecessary elements that draws away the focus from the main subject. Your photography should reflect the main subject meaningfully eliminating useless to make it look attractive instead of a photobomb.
2. Crop at Eye level
The position of the image subject defines the quality of cropping. You image subject should be at eye level and at a position of one third below the top horizontal grid so that it gives a feeling of real eye contact to the outside world.
3. Give a space to your subject
Don’t just always chop off the side and background areas only keeping the subject in focus. If you see the surrounding areas are adding a meaning to the picture keep those details along with the subject allowing it to breathe and add a life to your picture.
4. Cropping a Person
If your image subject is a person, try to keep essential features of the individual while cropping. Don’t chop off the haircut, hands, limbs or fingers making it look meaningless. You can crop around the waist, torso, thighs portion so that the individual looks real and natural. Also, leave a little space from the top of a person’s head while you are cropping.
5. Cropping in creative patterns and shape
It’s not necessary to follow the regular square shape cropping pattern every time. You can always experiment by trying different crop shapes like circular, hexagonal, oval to add more dramatic impact to your picture. You can also try offbeat cropping from different angles to have a more dynamic effect.
Cropping a Picture with Adobe Lightroom
Adobe Lightroom gives you the best platform to crop images with the maximum visual impact.
The following steps are to be followed to Crop in Lightroom like an expert professional:-
1. Before doing advance cropping in Lightroom you need to examine the subject clearly and mark the essential and non-essential elements to proceed.
2. First, choose an aspect ratio for your image. Normally your image is in Original ratio. You can try out different options like 1×1 for Instagram square frames or enter custom ratio as per your requirement by going to the Aspect section with a predefined Lock icon. You can click on that icon to set your own ratio.
3. Once set with the ratio, now you need to crop your image using the Rule of Thirds. It divides your image into 9 points having two vertical and two horizontal lines on it.
4. You need to focus the main elements you want in your image. The horizontal and vertical sections define your cropping points.
5. To keep your focus only on the cropped area you can use the Lights out view option while cropping by pressing ‘L’ two times on keyboard. It will dark out the outside areas and highlight your cropped portion.
6. Now when you are ready to crop, move your image accordingly in the cropping section and press enter to see only the cropped out image eliminating the surrounding areas.
The above mentioned steps in details hence give us the best guidelines to crop image perfectly with a solid visual impact.