How to Crop Your Photos Correctly

Thanks to the technology of the modern age, we are able to crop and resize the photos we are not satisfied with. Of course, the best case scenario is getting the composition right in camera, but if you don’t manage to get the perfect shot, you can still get the maximum potential out of that photo by cropping and resizing it. The crop tool, available in every post editing program, helps fix photos by cropping them to get rid of unwanted parts or by focusing on the subject of the shot. The crop tool can make a good shot great in less than a minute. Here are six significant tips on how to crop your photos properly.

Do the math

When cropping a photo, you must always make sure that the size of the photo and the pixels are in a good range, in order to keep the quality of the photo. Depending on whether you are going to use the photo in print or online, the photo will have to satisfy certain  requirements in terms of dimensions. Therefore, sooner or later you will have to start cropping your photos and when doing so, make sure to respect the size and pixels range. If you’re going to print the photo, it is best that it has the minimum of 200 dots per inch. Whereas, if you’re going to use the online site, make sure to keep the dimensions, both width and height to no more than 2048 pixels.

Know when to crop the photo

It is important to know when you can crop a specific photo, because in some cases, cropping can completely ruin the shot. However, there is no general rule when it comes to cropping photos, as they are all different and thus different rules apply. What you must do is always consider whether you have space for cropping in the shot. Sometimes, cropping out certain parts can leave a shot looking incomplete or lower quality. Whether you should or should not crop the photo depends on the photo itself, as well as the results you want to achieve. Be creative but don’t go overboard with the crop tool.

Focus the viewer’s attention using the crop tool

The crop tool can be used to focus one’s attention on what really matters in the shot by cropping out the irrelevant parts. If you want to draw attention to the subject in the shot, get rid of all distractions in the back and other extra elements. This will increase the impact of the shot and put an emphasis on the subject, as well as create context and highlight emotions. However, make sure not to crop too close to the subject, as you don’t want your photos to feel cramped and closed up.

Refine the subject using the crop tool

If you have a portrait shot that needs some re-touching, the crop tool is an essential to increase the quality of the photo. You can use this tool to make your subject look more interesting, by cropping in different shapes. Crop tool can also be used to position your subject in the shot. Portraits with the subject in the center are boring and outdated, so you may want to put your subject elsewhere in the frame, which will create a more appealing image. Use the crop tool to cut extra parts of the background in order to move your subject in the frame. Make sure to pay attention to the subject’s eyes. If they’re looking to the left, place them in the right side of the frame, to create more depth in the shot. This will also focus on the subject and emphasize their emotions, which is an add on to the previous tip.

Cropping portraits

Besides positioning your subject in the frame, when working on portrait shots, make sure that the crop is done at the eye level. This creates the feeling of eye contact, which makes the photo more engaging and meaningful. Using the rule of thirds when cropping is the best choice for photography shots. For more accurate results, use the grid to get the correct cropping size. Always make sure not to crop too much out of the portrait shot. For example, don’t crop too close to the subject and give them a haircut and don’t crop too close to the head and the neck. Try leaving the whole upper part of the body in the shot and leave some space above the head of the subject. Leaving out certain parts of the subject can make the shot look weird and it is also obvious that the shot was cropped. Always aim to get as natural results as possible, so that one cannot tell that the photo they are looking at wasn’t originally that way.

Stay consistent

Consistency is key in many things in life and so it is in photo cropping. If you’re creating a series of photographs on the same theme, it is important to stay consistent with the cropping. This makes the photos aligned and the viewer can tell that different pieces of the series really do belong together. Consistency in cropping is also important for aesthetic reasons, as differently cropped shots in a series of photos can seem sloppy and distracting. Therefore, unless you are trying to create a series full of diversity in photography techniques, make sure to stick to the same cropping style for each photo.

With these six tips, you will definitely start cropping your shots more effectively, especially because you know what can be achieved just by using the simple crop tool. Remember to always keep the size and pixels range right and to never crop out too much. The key to a perfectly cropped photo is making sure no one can tell that the photo was actually cropped. Try to make it look as original as possible, as if you got that shot right first time in camera.

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