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The Ultimate Guide to Cropping in Lightroom

Cropping your images in Lightroom is so
important in order to make your images look more polished more professional and
of course more engaging and dynamic through better composition so that is
exactly what I’m going to show you in this video. I’m going to show you how the
crop tool works, we’re gonna talk about aspect ratio, changing orientation and so
on, so you’ve got really in-depth look at the crop tool. Now do you make sure that
you stay it right until the end because I’m also sharing a sneaky little bonus
tip for changing the crop overlay so you can get more dynamic composition
that’s really important so make sure that you don’t miss that! So without
further ado let’s dive into Lightroom and learn how to use the crop tool. So
here we are in Lightroom and we’re in the develop module and then over to the
panel on the right hand side you’ll see that you have this panel with different
tools on it – that’s your local adjustment tools and we want to click this one on
the far left and that is your crop tool and when you open that this is where all
your options for cropping in Lightroom pop up. So let’s just start with the
basics. So once you’ve selected that tool you’ll see that a grid comes over your
image and you’ll get these handles on the side . So if I move my mouse over the
side you’ll see that that changes and I can actually just click and bring that
in to crop into my image. Now when I move my mouse over my image it changes to a
hand and I can use that to kind of move that grid that I’ve just done or that
crop around the image to get our perfect location. I can also move my mouse to
the side just off the the edge a little bit there and you’ll see that that
changes to about two arrows but it’s basically so that you can kind of move
that around to straighten it as well so that’s the kind of basics of cropping
now for straightening we do have another tool that we could use which is this
ruler so just where these crop tool options are you’ll see that ruler just
click on it to pick up take it over your image now any line
your image you can use to kind of drag this along now I don’t actually happen
to have one here but if I did I would just click hold and then move that along
the line and then Lightroom will automatically straighten it to that line
and you can do it on a vertical line as well so kind of have a tree here that I
could use and it will do that for you automatically there now if you want to
change the orientation… so at the moment we’re in landscape orientation, if I want
to go to portrait all I need to do is press X on my computer keyboard so you
see that changes the orientation but everything works in exactly the same way.
We can move that, we can pull out the corners and so on. So it works in the
same way. I’m just going to press X again on my computer keyboard to go back to my
landscape orientation now the next thing I’m going to talk about is the aspect
ratio. So you can see that when I move this it stays to the same aspect ratio
doesn’t matter how much I pull in or out it’s sticking to that aspect ratio. Now
aspect ratio is the length by the height so it’s always keeping that same length
by the height. It doesn’t matter if I go in quite small it still has that same
ratio between the length and the height Now as standard your
camera is probably going to be 4 by 3 but you can change that aspect ratio
here. So where it says aspect and then original just click there and then you
can choose any one of these options. So for example if I wanted a 4 by 5 which
is a kind of classic 8 by 10 I could click on that and you’ll see that that
changes the aspect ratio of that grid over my image. I could choose one by one
and that’s going to do the same thing it’s going to change that grid. So you
can change to different aspect ratios Now you can also choose a custom size so
again I’m just going to click there and you can go down to where it says enter
custom just click on that and then you can put it in your custom aspect reach
you here now you’re not going to want to do that too often but maybe for things
like when you’re preparing your photo for
Instagram or Facebook you might want to change to a custom aspect ratio. Now we
do have another video specifically on cropping and just preparing your image
for Instagram I’ll link to that in the video description below
but for now we’ll keep that there. Now what I’m going to do is to show you so
we have this lock icon here if we click on that, that will unlock and what that
means is that I can pretty much do anything I like with regard to the size.
Now I don’t recommend that you do that generally because if you send this sort
of custom unconstrained cropped image to your printers they’re gonna
print into one of their predetermined aspect ratios like 4 by 3 or 8 by 10 or
whatever they happen to print to so do check that your print company is going
to be able to print properly what you’re doing here in your unconstrained. So most
of the time we were want to stick to one of these kind of standard sizes I’m just
gonna go back to 4 by 3 there. And once you’ve finished cropping you just need
to go down here and press done at the bottom right there or you can just press
ENTER on your computer keyboard and if you didn’t like what you did and you
want to just go back to the beginning and pretend like it never happened just
press reset and that it’s. Obviously there is a lot more you are
going to want to do to your image rather than just cropping and I do have a free
lightroom video training which is about an hour long and goes into SO many
aspects of organizing and editing your images i’m gonna leave a link to this in
the description below this video strongly recommend that you check out
it’s got so much great info in there. So I also promised you an extra bonus tip
so that’s what I’m going to show you now So you can actually change the overlay
that you have on your image to help you get a different composition. So you can
actually cycle through a number of different compositional guides and
that’s going to help you by allowing you to get more dynamic
and interesting images. So here’s how you use that. So
by standard it’s going to show you this three x three grid,
that’s your classic rule of thirds and you can use that to compose your
images to the rule of thirds but of course there are other composition tools
other than the rule of thirds and you might want to use them so Lightroom
does give you that option all you need to do is press “o” on your computer
keyboard and you’ll see that that changes the crop overlay so we have this
one which is diagonal lines I’m just gonna press over again that is giving me
the golden triangle, then I’m getting the golden ratio as a crop overlay, and this
one is the golden spiral so I can use these crop overlays to change the
composition of my image. Now this one when I pressed “o” again you can see that
that shows you the different sizing like if I had a 5 by 7 or 4 by 5 so it’s
showing you how the different aspect ratios might work and if I click again
on “o” on my keyboard it’s just giving me the grid and then that’s me back to
the rule of thirds so you can literally just go through pressing “o” and that will
allow you to cycle through all of those different options. If you liked this
video please give it a thumbs up or leave a comment below letting me know
how you got on with cropping in Lightroom and if there’s anything that
you learnt new in this video you’ll also want to make sure that you hit that red
subscribe button and the little notification bell and that way you’ll be
notified every time we release a new video which is going to be every single
week. That’s it for me thanks so much for being here and I’ll see you guys in the
next video!

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