Crop Dictionary

Terms and Definitions

In order to aid in the understanding of the terms used on the Holy Crop! Blog, I have detailed several key cropping terms and their definitions as used in these articles. Wherever possible we strive to use industry-standard and/or industry accepted terms.  We may even make up a term or two in referring to a standard concept used in the Holy Crop! Blog.  These are subject to constant revision

100% Crop: A crop which has not been resampled and is viewed on a device where the image pixel to device pixel is 1:1.

Aspect Ratio: A number derived from dividing the horizontal number of pixels by the vertical number of pixels.  It can be expressed as a decimal or as a ratio. Examples: 3:2, 16:9

Bitmap: A type of image constructed of successive rows of pixels. Bitmaps always result in a rectangular image.

Close Crop: (Filling the frame) A crop which makes the central subject appear as close to the edges of the image as is practical.

Composition: The act of arranging the elements in a scene by manipulating the position, angle, and field of view of your capture device.

Crop: Removal of portions of a given image to improve the overall strength of the image for the purposes the image is being used. (Also know as Cropping for Content or Content Crop)

Crop Ratio: A pre-selected Aspect Ratio applied to a crop tool designed to match a certain pixel dimension or print media.

Diagonal: A line or path which moves up or down as you travel from left to right. Diagonal overlays are often used in composing during a crop.

Dots per inch: (DPI) The physical number of individual packets of color delivered by a device onto a physical media.

Down Sample: To create a smaller image from a larger bitmap image by analyzing and combining pixels. This process can result during a crop in certain software packages.

Fibonacci Sequence: (Golden Spiral) A mathematical spiral construct often used in placing elements within a composition.

Grid: An artificial overlay that allows you line up elements, straighten and otherwise arrange your image within a crop.

Golden Ratio: ~1.618 or (a+b)/a=a/b. This is a ratio often encountered in works of art. It is considered to be an aesthetically pleasing proportion.

Landscape: An Aspect Ration where the number of pixels horizontally is greater than the number of pixels vertically. Aspect Ratio is > 1.0.

Lens Correction: Distorting an image so that lens aberrations such as barrel distortion and pin cushioning are minimized. This can result in images losing pixels.

Letter Box: Dead space on top and bottom, or to the left and right of the image when outputting to physical media.  This occurs when the aspect ratio of the image and the aspect ratio of the physical media are different.

Loose Crop: A crop that incorporates significant space around the central subject.

Motion Space: The concept of leaving room before or after an important element of a moving object. Placement of object in cropping helps aid the illusion of motion in the still image.

Panoramic Crop: Cropping to an Aspect Ratio of greater than 2.0 or 2:1 in order to simulate a panorama captured/stitched image.

Perspective Correction: Corrections for various optical affects such as Keystone and Convergence.  All perspective corrections will result in a cropped image.

Pixels: Individual color bits that make up an image. Pixels are almost always square.

Pixels per inch: (PPI, Resolution) The number of pixels assigned to each physical inch by the image editing software to a digital image file.

Portrait: An Aspect Ratio whose orientation has more pixels vertically than horizontally. Aspect Ratio < 1.0.

Print Size: The physical dimensions of print media in inches/cm. Dividing the dimensions of the longest side by the shortest side will give you an aspect ratio for the print media. Thus an 8×10 page is a 5:4 Aspect Ratio.

Resample: Changing the dimensions of a digital image by analyzing and sampling the original data.

Rule of fifths: A compositional scheme, which divides the image into five equal sections horizontally, and vertically creating a grid that is 5×5 rectangles. The optimum placement for important elements is at the intersection of these grid lines.

Rule of grounding: Leaving a portion of the ground in-image so that objects which are anchored to the ground don’t appear to be floating in space.

Rule of thirds: A compositional scheme, which divides the image into three equal sections horizontally, and vertically creating a grid that is 3×3 rectangles. The optimum placement for important elements is at the intersection of these grid lines.

Slivers of Light: distracting blobs, slivers, and spaces of brighter-than-the-subject areas on the edges of your frames.

Square: A crop whose horizontal and vertical number of pixels are equal. Aspect Ration = 1.0

Straighten (Rotate): To rotate an image to correct for an unlevel camera or subject.  All rotations other than 90° increments will crop an image

Triangle: Three sided figure imposed on a rectangular crop (most often as an overlay) to aid in composition.

Trim: To remove portions of a cropped image to match a print media’s aspect ratio.

Up Sample: To create a larger image from a smaller bitmap image by analyzing scaling (and/or) creating new pixels. This process can result during a crop in certain software packages.

Viewing Space: Space left during a crop for natural viewing areas such as a space into which a subject’s gaze may be directed.


8 comments on “Crop Dictionary

  1. Pingback: The Crop Dictionary is Online « Holy Crop!

  2. Pingback: The Panoramic Crop: Landscape with Attitude « Holy Crop!

  3. Pingback: Facebook – Added Impact for Landscape and Panoramically Cropped Images « Holy Crop!

  4. Pingback: Crop Shop: Badger in the Grass « Holy Crop!

  5. Is there a way to increase the weight (thickness) of the various cropping guidelines? We older gents then wouldn’t have to squint so much. Thanks.

    • Not really. The closest you can come is to apply a Post Crop Vignette with no Feather. It still is just creating a black or white mask that gives the illusion of cropping.

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