How to Crop a Picture to Make It Look Great

Cropping a picture may look easy, but there are underlying concepts that can be followed to make your work look better. Here are simple tips to crop a picture to make it look great.


  1. Image titled Crop a Picture to Make It Look Great Step 1
    Understand the basics. When you choose the cropping tool in Photoshop you will see Width / Height / Resolution in the Options Bar. Note that you don’t have to fill in any figures for these options, you can simply start free form cropping,but the dimensions options gives you some additional abilities.
    • For example, if you know your result should be 1000px wide, you can put that in the width, but you can leave the height dimension blank. Now any cropped image will be 1000px wide, but its height will be determined by your mouse-determined selection, and it will be proportionate to its width (ie. it won’t be squeezed, squashed or out of proportion).
    • When you start cropping an image you will see the options in the Options Bar change. You can see drop down menu beside Crop Guide Overlay. These are grid tools to help you make a better crop. There are three choices – None / Rule of Thirds / Grid.
  2. Image titled Crop a Picture to Make It Look Great Step 2
    Use the Rule of Thirds. You might have heard about this rule before, but if you haven’t here’s a quick synopsis. It’s a method of composing an image by dividing it into 9 equal parts – three horizontal columns and three vertical columns. The idea is that by aligning the subject or focal points to one or more of these columns the visual dynamic and tension is increased and is more appealing than a photo with the subject placed in the centre.
    • Let’s have a look at this theory in practice. Here we have an image of a Thai Yak statue. The image to your left is the non crop image. It has a distraction in the top left with the bright highlight.
    • The subject of the image is neither in the middle nor to the left. So let’s use the cropping tool to make a quick adjustment. In the image to your right you can see the cropped image.
      • Here the Rule of Thirds was used to align the focal points of the image. The picture was cropped closer to the subject, removing the distraction on the top left, aligning the statue’s face to two of the thirds’ rules.

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Categories: Basic Computer Skills