Today we will discuss cropping a picture.

Different size photos have different aspect ratios. To a mathematician, they have varying width to height ratios depending upon the size print you order.

To the rest of us it’s just a fancy way of saying that they are different shapes. If a 5X7 photo were shrunk down it would not fit perfectly over a 4X6. And if it were enlarged it would not fit perfectly over an 8X10. This picture shows how the three most popular photo sizes compare.

That’s why the top of Aunt Edna’s head always seems to end up cut off when the pictures are printed. The machine automatically crops the pictures to the correct aspect ratio for the size they are printed.

The machine renders it differently than you saw in the camera when you took the picture. In order to avoid that, crop them before hand at the aspect ratio for the size they will be printed. Then you will know what Aunt Edna’s head is going to do.

Now she will look more like this in your 4X6 photo album.

There are two orientations of cropping; landscape and portrait.

When you click on the Crop Tool and choose a size, Photoshop will automatically match the orientation of the photo.

There will be times you will want to change the orientation from the original; like this one

The orientation can be manually overridden. All you have to do is change the numbers in the “Width” and “Height” boxes.

This is the final rendition of the above photo.

It is what I call a “Nighttime Scene.” You can learn to do that here.

“Drag and drop” is a term for clicking and holding your mouse button while the cursor hovers over an object you want moved; moving the mouse to a new location and then release. Whatever you clicked on will move to the new location. This is a general computer term.

After you have your crop settings chosen all you have to do is drag and drop from one corner to the opposite corner. Once you drop the crop tool, you can resize it by clicking on any of the little squares around the crop box that is now showing and dragging the side or corner.

Then click the little green arrow; you’re photo will take its new shape and size. Remember that simultaneously clicking on the “Control” key and the letter “z” on your keyboard will undo the crop if you don’t like it.

To learn a simple principle for cropping read this page. It will help you decide how to crop your pictures in order to achieve captivating photographs.

From now on you can crop all of your pictures exactly the way you want them displayed. You will crop them specifically for the size and orientation each will be printed. No more heads cut off in your photographs. :)

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