Today’s found on the net article is by my friend Julieanne Kost. In it, she details shortcuts an techniques for getting the most out of Photoshop’s crop tools. Give it a read.
Rikk Flohr © 2017
If you are a Creative Cloud subscriber (perhaps to the Creative Cloud Photographer’s Program) and you have synced your images for use with Lightroom for Mobile on your Android or iOS devices, you now have access to Lightroom for Web too! That may be old news but…
New in Lightroom for Web are the develop tools you need to start fine-tuning your images.
For you Cropists in the crowd, you can now sync a file from your Lightroom for Desktop catalog to your Lightroom for Web. When you bring up an image in LR4W, you now have the option to edit these files within a web browser. Those edits will sync back to your desktop master catalog and all of your synced devices. How cool is that?
As you can see, my favorite tool, the Crop tool is now at your browser-based fingertips! Crop from anywhere and sync it throughout your Lightroom ecosystem.
Rikk Flohr © 2015
If you’ve ever dealt with a professional print fulfillment labs and had a client order a wallet-sized image, you may have run into the Double Crop Conundrum. The standard wallet size is 2.5” x 3.5 “. Conveniently, it shares the same aspect ratio as the venerable 5×7 size print. At first blush, that makes cropping for the wallet-sized print a snap. Right? Wrong! Here’s why:
Setting the Lightroom™ Crop tool to the 5×7 aspect ratio and applying a crop seems like the correct thing to do. Well, it is but it isn’t the last step in the process. We will go ahead and apply this crop and then export the image for upload to our photo lab. In my particular case, this is White House Custom Color.
The resulting photo is the correct proportions and size for the lab to create the wallet-sized prints. Here’s the problem: photo labs don’t print a wallet one-at-a-time like larger size prints. They gang them up into groups of eight and put them on a larger sheet for printing.
Here is a visual example of what your photo lab is actually printing. It is the classic 8-Up wallet print. Printing wallets in this fashion is much more efficient. The problem comes when the wallets need to be separated into individual pictures. No Customer, Photographer or Lab wants to hand cut these photos so it is done by machine using a die cutting device that quickly punches out the individual wallets. This is where the second crop comes into play.
When you load up your image in your lab’s upload platform and select the wallet, this gray box appears, superimposed over your image preview. This is the die cutter’s safe line. The precision of die cutting a sheet of wallets is such that anything within the boundaries of this gray line is subject to being summarily trimmed off. Anything outside the line, well you can just plan on kissing that goodbye. That is the second crop issue with the Approximate Die Cut overlay. If you cropped too tightly in Lightroom while prepping your file, well, back to the drawing board for a recrop and the hope you have enough material left in the original image.
Suppose there was a way in Lightroom to preview the Approximate Die Cut line before you exported your finished crop… you are in luck – there is.
It is possible to assign a graphical overlay on your image within the Loupe and Develop views within Lightroom. This lets you put a graphic such as a logo, a team picture template, a magazine cover or even a cropping guide on top of your photo so that you can insure your layout is what you want before you commit it to a file.
In your Lightroom menu, go to View>Loupe Overlay>Choose Overlay Image> and navigate to a PNG file with transparency that you’ve created for just such an occasion. Here is the PNG file I am using for this overlay.
I created this file in CorelDraw and exported it as a PNG with transparency enabled. It was built on the 5×7 aspect ratio and should work on all 8-Up wallet prints.
Going to View>Loupe Overlay>Show or hitting the [Ctrl/CMD]+[Opt/Alt]+[O] keyboard short cut cycles the overlay on and off. Now you can adjust your crop in the Develop module and compare your results to your lab’s die cut line and get it just right before exporting the file.
You controlled the first crop where you fine-tune the composition and the edges. Now you can control the second crop too (within the boundaries of the approximation of the guide) and ensure that finger don’t become amputated, hair doesn’t get flat-topped or vital elements aren’t squeezed against an unfeeling machine-cut edge.
Note that when you are actually cropping the image, the crop overlay supersedes your Loupe Overlay until the crop is finished. The guide will disappear and not return until your crop is complete. You may have to go back and forth a bit but the visualization of the overlay will help you create the perfect sized and composed file for printing your wallet.
The PNG File above can be clicked upon and saved to your own computer for use in Lightroom. Consider that a free gift from the Cropist. Install it in your Lightroom catalog and never suffer from the Double Crop Conundrum again.
Rikk Flohr © 2015
When I finished the mockup of my latest concept I decided to crop it down to an 8×10 aspect ratio. To aid in composition, I used Adobe Photoshop Lightroom’s™ Crop Overlay for the Fibonacci sequence or Golden Spiral, to which it is sometimes referred. The Crop Overlay is accessed with the [ O ] key and cycling it several times will bring you to this overlay. [Shift][ O ] rotates the spiral through its eight possible incarnations. It becomes then a matter of working your crop to place a strong point of emphasis into the terminus of the spiral.
Rikk Flohr © 2013
My favorite image editing software, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom™, offers some great tools for performing a crop. In preparation for an upcoming article, I thought I would devote a little time to a discussion on Crop Presets (Aspect Ratio Presets if you prefer). If you invoke the Lightroom Crop tool from the Develop module, you have the opportunity to both use and create Aspect Ratios to match a variety of situations.
The list of Aspect Ratio presets is divided into several areas. The first bundle of ratios is common print sizes. These represent the likely sizes you will need if you are cropping your images for print. The second bundle of Aspect Ratios is designed to give you a sampling of common Display/Monitor/Projector ratios. There are even handy example pixel dimensions to help you pick the ratio that serves you best.
The third section. and the section that concerns this article, of Aspect Ratios is the 5 most-recently used Custom Aspect Ratios. This is a place to fill in the ratios you need most that are not in the first two lists. By selecting “Enter Custom…” you see this dialog. It allows you to place a custom ratio.
I tend to find the Custom Ratios which I enter remain stable with time. I also tend to reuse certain aspect ratios over and over again such that this list usually has 4 of the 5 items shown here at any given time. Occasionally a transient or seldom used ratio will bump one of these out. I thought it might be interesting to look at the ratios in my most recently used list and why they are there.
3.33:1 – This ratio is a transient ratio. It was the result of a couple of previous articles on Holy Crop! It is a crop I use for extreme panoramas. You can read that story here
8.51:3.14 – This is Facebook’s dimensions for the cover image on your profile page. I often cycle images through this header image and keep this hard-to-remember ratio handy.
2.35:1 – Think BIG CINEMA. When I want a wide-screen bigger-than-life this is the crop I try.
2:1 – I honestly think Adobe did us a disservice forcing us to use one of these common print ratio’s as a Custom Aspect Ratio. My lab makes 4×8, 5×10, 8×16, and 12×24 images. If they are looking for a quick augment for a future version of Lightroom, put this into the Print Ratio list.
1.618:1 - This is the crop that creates the so-called Golden Rectangle. Even though there is a crop guide for aligning along the golden ratio’s key rules, there isn’t a crop preset that precisely emulates the Golden Rectangle. When the goal is a classically shaped image boundary this is my go-to ratio.
Someday, it may be possible to customize further or make this list sticky so that you always have just the ratios you need. I hope that day comes sooner.
Rikk Flohr © 2013