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Cropping in Lightroom

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In this video tutorial, Helen Bradley explains how to use the Crop tool in Lightroom. Topics include basic cropping and straightening, how to make a fixed size crop including how to make a portrait orientation crop from a landscape orientation image and how to view the available crop overlays.

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Helen Bradley is a Lifestyle journalist who divides her time between the real and digital worlds, picking the best from both. She writes and produces video instruction for Photoshop and digital photography for magazines and online providers world wide. She has also written four books on photo crafts and blogs at Projectwoman.com.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/tcdk/ TC

    Thanks. Didn’t know about the ability to change the overlay.

    (please get a better microphone, your voice was very flat)

  • Matt

    I ran into this exact problem with the landscape/portrait orientation just the other day. Thanks for the tip!

  • Johnny

    The tip about changing to the other overlays was nice. It would have been nice to add in a few extra things. Like clicking on the ruler and dragging along what you want to be horizontal will rotate the crop precisely for you. Using the ‘R’ shortcut key for cropping is very useful because it can let you quickly toggle back and forth between the cropped and original image to see if you like it or not.

    The instructions on how to change orientation are just wrong. You don’t want to drag towards the opposite corner. That will just keep you in the same orientation until you get small enough that you finally drag the box into a portrait shape on accident. You want to show Lightroom that you are trying to get the other orientation by dragging the mouse towards the other orientation. So in your example you would drag up and left not down and left. Then it will switch to portrait orientation very quickly.

  • http://subject2.com Nick@Subject2.com

    I appreciate the video. As a new photographer, I haven’t even got close to understanding all the great tools in post production.

    TC, I don’t think there was a problem with her mic, I just think she’s naturally monotone. No biggie

  • Andy McDonald

    Thanks for this tutorial. I’ve been battling with the frustration of trying to crop portrait on a landscape image for the past couple of evenings – I can see exactly what I need to do now.

  • http://www.championphotollc.com keith tharp

    I use lightroom all the time and was oblivious to being able to change the overlays, Thank You

  • http://unbiased-exposure.com Fadzil Zainal

    I’m new in photo post processing especially using lightroom.
    Thank you very much for this video it helps me a lot.

  • http://blog.inlina.com Corey Gibson

    To change between portrait and landscape, you can also the the ‘Crop Frame Tool’ with the Crop Overlay active. This is the little button to the left of the word aspect that looks like a set-square. If you click this, you can then drag out a new rectangular crop to your selected aspect ratio in either portrait or landscape.

  • http://paulpacurar.blogspot.com Paul Pacurar

    nice post; simple and straight.

  • Michael Rasmussen

    Thank You…so far this was the most frustrating thing in Lightshop. I had been crawling back to Photoshop when I couldn’t figure out cropping options.

  • http://www.shoplet.com/paper/paper_inkjetphoto.htm Photo Paper

    I enjoy reading your post. Thanks for the tutorial! Great tip about changing the overlays, didn’t know about this before. Thanks for sharing your knowledge, your video is very helpful!

  • http://cameraguyzack.blogspot.com/ Zack Jones

    Great tips. The video makes a world of difference. I need to crop some images to 5X7 and now I know how easy the task will be. Regarding the microphone — simply turn up your speaker volume. That’s what I did and I could hear her Helen fine.

  • http://www.Phohos.com Alex

    This was a great video on lightroom cropping. It revealed some new crop options i never even knew about!

  • http://nuwbie.fotoblog.by Uncle_IS

    Thank! It was very useful!

  • Bill Powers

    What a superb video. I tried (unsuccessfully) to use the Crop Tool in Picasa 3 for my Lightroom 2 images; if I had seen this video earlier it would make my aligning and cropping a lot easier. BTW, I notice in the Lightroom 3 beta the Crop tool will be similar to the vastly superior tool used in Picasa 3.

    Thank fot the excellent tutorial.

  • Robyn

    Thanks from me too. Having recently been introduced to Lightroom I need to learn from scratch. This video was extremely informative. But, try as I might with my computer and speaker settings, I just couldn’t quite hear you. More tutorials please, I loved it.

  • Vitaliy G

    @bill i am thinking of getting Lightroom 3 once it is out. What are the fetures that make Lr3 cropping more powerful? thx

  • Bill Powers

    Vitaly,

    Sorry this is so late–I’m catching up on my old email this morning.

    I have Lightroom 2.6 for 6 months now, and the longer I have it, the more I learn about all it can do–and the more I admire and like it. I tried LR 3 beta for about 10 days last month, and disabled it when I noticed it distracted me from my usual photioraphy routine, i.e., my Workflow.

    Two things that caught my attention right away in LR 3 beta were (1.) the new direct link to Flickr for uploading and exporting one’s images, and (2.) the new way the Crop tool emulated that of Picasa 3–making it far better IMHO that the LR 2 Crop tool ,

    Bill

Some older comments

  • Bill Powers

    February 24, 2010 02:55 am

    Vitaly,

    Sorry this is so late--I'm catching up on my old email this morning.

    I have Lightroom 2.6 for 6 months now, and the longer I have it, the more I learn about all it can do--and the more I admire and like it. I tried LR 3 beta for about 10 days last month, and disabled it when I noticed it distracted me from my usual photioraphy routine, i.e., my Workflow.

    Two things that caught my attention right away in LR 3 beta were (1.) the new direct link to Flickr for uploading and exporting one's images, and (2.) the new way the Crop tool emulated that of Picasa 3--making it far better IMHO that the LR 2 Crop tool ,

    Bill

  • Vitaliy G

    February 3, 2010 05:22 am

    @bill i am thinking of getting Lightroom 3 once it is out. What are the fetures that make Lr3 cropping more powerful? thx

  • Robyn

    January 25, 2010 05:01 pm

    Thanks from me too. Having recently been introduced to Lightroom I need to learn from scratch. This video was extremely informative. But, try as I might with my computer and speaker settings, I just couldn't quite hear you. More tutorials please, I loved it.

  • Bill Powers

    January 18, 2010 04:40 am

    What a superb video. I tried (unsuccessfully) to use the Crop Tool in Picasa 3 for my Lightroom 2 images; if I had seen this video earlier it would make my aligning and cropping a lot easier. BTW, I notice in the Lightroom 3 beta the Crop tool will be similar to the vastly superior tool used in Picasa 3.

    Thank fot the excellent tutorial.

  • Uncle_IS

    January 11, 2010 04:25 pm

    Thank! It was very useful!

  • Alex

    January 9, 2010 12:34 pm

    This was a great video on lightroom cropping. It revealed some new crop options i never even knew about!

  • Zack Jones

    January 9, 2010 03:10 am

    Great tips. The video makes a world of difference. I need to crop some images to 5X7 and now I know how easy the task will be. Regarding the microphone -- simply turn up your speaker volume. That's what I did and I could hear her Helen fine.

  • Photo Paper

    January 8, 2010 09:27 am

    I enjoy reading your post. Thanks for the tutorial! Great tip about changing the overlays, didn't know about this before. Thanks for sharing your knowledge, your video is very helpful!

  • Michael Rasmussen

    January 8, 2010 02:17 am

    Thank You...so far this was the most frustrating thing in Lightshop. I had been crawling back to Photoshop when I couldn't figure out cropping options.

  • Paul Pacurar

    January 7, 2010 10:19 pm

    nice post; simple and straight.

  • Corey Gibson

    January 7, 2010 08:26 pm

    To change between portrait and landscape, you can also the the 'Crop Frame Tool' with the Crop Overlay active. This is the little button to the left of the word aspect that looks like a set-square. If you click this, you can then drag out a new rectangular crop to your selected aspect ratio in either portrait or landscape.

  • Fadzil Zainal

    January 7, 2010 07:46 pm

    I'm new in photo post processing especially using lightroom.
    Thank you very much for this video it helps me a lot.

  • keith tharp

    January 7, 2010 11:29 am

    I use lightroom all the time and was oblivious to being able to change the overlays, Thank You

  • Andy McDonald

    January 7, 2010 06:16 am

    Thanks for this tutorial. I've been battling with the frustration of trying to crop portrait on a landscape image for the past couple of evenings - I can see exactly what I need to do now.

  • Nick@Subject2.com

    January 7, 2010 03:02 am

    I appreciate the video. As a new photographer, I haven't even got close to understanding all the great tools in post production.

    TC, I don't think there was a problem with her mic, I just think she's naturally monotone. No biggie

  • Johnny

    January 7, 2010 01:43 am

    The tip about changing to the other overlays was nice. It would have been nice to add in a few extra things. Like clicking on the ruler and dragging along what you want to be horizontal will rotate the crop precisely for you. Using the 'R' shortcut key for cropping is very useful because it can let you quickly toggle back and forth between the cropped and original image to see if you like it or not.

    The instructions on how to change orientation are just wrong. You don't want to drag towards the opposite corner. That will just keep you in the same orientation until you get small enough that you finally drag the box into a portrait shape on accident. You want to show Lightroom that you are trying to get the other orientation by dragging the mouse towards the other orientation. So in your example you would drag up and left not down and left. Then it will switch to portrait orientation very quickly.

  • Matt

    January 7, 2010 12:26 am

    I ran into this exact problem with the landscape/portrait orientation just the other day. Thanks for the tip!

  • TC

    January 7, 2010 12:12 am

    Thanks. Didn't know about the ability to change the overlay.

    (please get a better microphone, your voice was very flat)

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