Adobe Photoshop Lightroom has been my go-to package for doing the initial editing to my digital photographs. I prefer its cropping via the Develop Module to all other programs in my arsenal. At 12:01 AM ET on June 8th, Adobe announced the much-anticipated version 3.0 for release and downloading. Here is a summary of the crop-related enhancements in Version 3.0
Crop Feature 1: Consolidation of Aspect Ratios
In previous versions of Lightroom, common sizes of final output were individual even though they were the same aspect ratio. 4×5 and 8X10 are now combined as are 2×3 and 4×6. Aspect ratios are sorted in decimal order from 1.0 backwards to .66
Crop Feature 2: Constrain to Warp
Lightroom 3.0 features a Lens Correction Panel that allows for corrections in Lens Distortion and Perspective Adjustments. Changing these adjustment can, by default, cause an image crop by eliminating pixels from the rectangular image area. Checking Constrain to Warp in the Crop Tool Panel auto-crops the image to the maximum usable area. Constrain Crop can also be found in the Manual Section of the Lens Correction Panel
Crop Feature 3: Preview of Image Pixel Dimension in Crop Mode
When Info is selected [I] and one of your Info Displays contains Cropped Dimensions as one of the item options, the cropped dimensions are updated after release of the cropping handle rather than after application of the crop.
Crop Feature 4: Shortcut Key Application of Landscape/Portrait Change
This is a biggie, folks! The orientation of a crop can be changed from Landscape to Portrait and back again by the invoking of the [X] shortcut while in Crop Mode. No more guesswork is needed in changing a crop’s aspect ratio.
Crop Feature 5: Crop Overlay Tool Bar
A new tool bar appears at the bottom of the Image View of the Develop Module with the option to control the Tool Overlay (Crop Overlays such as grid, rule of thirds, golden ratio, etc) as well as a [Done] button to finish the crop .
All in all, for just the simple operation of cropping an image, LR 3.0 delivers markedly increased functionality. We can now crop with greater precision and control. Our workflow is much faster now, satisfying the goal of every photographer stuck behind the computer.
You can see a more comprehensive list of LR 3.0’s favorite new features at my Fleeting Glimpse Images Blog.
Rikk Flohr © 2010