Cropping is not Scary

Cropping an image can change so much about what you want to convey. Cropping is as much about what you take away as whatyou leave behind in a photo. Cropping images in PhotoShop Elements is not a difficult process. But you need to know a few tips on how to make your crop a great one. Take for example this image below.

This is one of my Transformers, Hot Shot. I like the image but maybe I wanted to crop in tighter and make an image where you only see one arm but that leads you up to the head and the helicopter.

That is okay but I really want to give a sense that this guy is a badass so I want to focus on this head and shoulders, the body is positioned to for action and it looks like he is ready to attack in the cropped shot below.

So as you can see I can do a lot just by taking away part of the original image and shifting the focus to other areas, it changes the whole tone of the image. I actually like the image above this one better, it gives a much better sense that this character is powerful.

So, how do you crop? What is cropping and what do I need to do to crop my image? First you need to make a setting change to the Image Size routine.

The reason that you need to go here is that you need to make a setting change that will allow you to crop and retain the detail and beauty of your image. You want to make sure a few things are checked off on the screen.

Checking off Scale Styles and Constrain proportions makes sure that you crop still looks good and your image does not get distorted in the cropping process.

More importantly than that is making sure that you check off the Resample image feature and choose Bicubic. I’m going to let Wikipedia explain more on that, it is math related and well I just know it works and that is good enough for me. Using that feature has never steered me wrong. When you check off Resample image then the Pixel Dimensions box becomes available for you to use, this is good because when you are making graphics for your blog you’re going to care about pixels not inches.

Once you have made those setting changes then you can go back to the work area, click on the crop tool and crop your image. Like this:

You may want to have some more control over your crop so you are going to want to make some changes to the tool settings depending upon what yo want to crop and how you want it to look. So this is these are the options that come up when you click on the crop tool.

With this tool you have control over Aspect Ratio, Height and Width as well as resolution. You can also quickly change the values in the height and width boxes by clicking the arrows in between those boxes.

There are some pre-defined choices under the aspect ratio box, using this you can make images that fit very specific sizes or you can just do your own thing and set the no restriction on the crop and just crop with your eye.

If you choose one of the pre-defined options then as you drag the crop tool across your photo the box you create will be the size of the final crop. I had been cropping my images to 8×10 but changed to 5×7 because I can get a wider crop, or at least is seems that way.

I use a custom crop each week for the post image for every Royal Tutorial article I write. That custom is 200 pixels X 200 pixels. I can easily set that as a custom crop with the crop tool. Like this.

So that is it, cropping make easy and less scary. Experiment and tell me more about how your images look after being cropped.


Everyday Photos… Every… Day… is about my life through photography. Each image is a gateway to a story about my daily life. Occasionally funny, inspiring, interesting or creative is real life in photos. With over 1838 consecutive days and five different cameras has documented images from the mundane to the amazing. I am Blog Consultant, Photo-A-Day Photographer and Daddy Blogger.