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Photo Editing 101: The Basics of Cropping Photos

A great photo can narrate a story or establish a narrative or emotion within the smallest moment.  But a great photo (whether planned or not) still needs to be cropped to tell the story that you want it to.

Once you capture the photo you want, you must take the time to edit and crop it as you see fit. It takes a skilled eye to edit photos well because you need to know what to crop out and what to keep.

Keep reading for a photo editing 101 crash course on cropping photos.

Different Types of Crops

You may be familiar with cropping as a simple act of narrowing a photo to eliminate distractions and enhance the subject. But did you know there are different reasons for cropping images?

For example, some crop images to convert a vertical image to a horizontal one. This is one of the more basic forms of cropping.

There are also those who make copies of images and crop them to show a different perspective. You can also crop a picture to remove unused space that doesn’t look right.

Cropping can be done to create a close-up in order to highlight a subject.

2. The Rule of Thirds in Cropping Photos

When cropping a picture, you should think about what is called the rule of thirds. This requires you to mentally divide your image into two horizontal and two vertical lines. Then you position highlights of your scene along those lines or at the points where they meet.

The goal is to create an off-center composition that looks more natural and pleasing to the eye.

4. When Should You Crop a Picture?

If your picture is laden with distractions or unwanted elements, you should crop it out. Perhaps there’s a trashcan at your wedding photo that got into an unwanted shot. Or perhaps you had a pesky photobomber appear in one of your photos.

Or maybe you want to take a subject from an image and turn it into a close-up. Or perhaps you have too much unwanted and unused space that you find distracting or off.

To put it simply, if you see elements in a photo you don’t like, you should remove them. And for many of these simple matters, you can do it easily with your own editing software or even on your phone.

5. Advanced Cropping Techniques

While many cropping techniques are easy to do on your own, there are some that are a bit more advanced. While you can learn to do these on your own, bringing in photo editing professionals will save you time and frustration.

For example, perhaps you have an image with a background you don’t like. Path is an editing company that specializes in background removal, and they can make it look like the background never existed. Click to see more here.

Make Your Pictures Beautiful

This was your 101 on cropping photos. Now that you know how to crop photos, you can easily make your images more suited to your taste.

Visit our Software section for more pieces like this.

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