Photography Information

Cropping Digital Photos Into Shape


Did you know that in many cases digital photos are cropped by the time they reach paper? If you have never "cropped" your photos manually, you may not be aware that it is happening.

What is cropping?

Cropping is the process of trimming portions of the digital image so it fits in the shape of the paper. Let's say we have a 5" x 7" photo. The problem is, the frame we want to display is 4" x 6". One of our choices is to take scissors and carefully trim away the least important edges of the photo until it fits into the 4" x 6" frame. What we have accomplished is "cropping".

In the world of digital photography, cropping is performed with software. When the photo is comprised of bits of data, there is no need to crop for size alone-the software and printing process can stretch the image to fit. We do, however, have to crop digital images to fit the paper's shape.

A more detailed look

Let's look at an example. My Canon camera has a sensor size of 1536 x 2048 pixels. Dividing these numbers by the highest common denominator of 512, we get an image shape of 3 x 4.

How many print sizes do you think fit this shape? Not many. If we want 4" x 6" prints, the shape of the 3 x 4 digital image will not fit. It is possible to stretch the image into the 4 x 6 shape using software, but this will distort the image, which we don't want.

Our only option is to crop the 3 x 4 image into the 4 x 6 shape. If you are thinking, "I never had to crop my images and they always looked fine," then chances are the cropping was done for you automatically. Who would do such a thing behind your back?

Don't be alarmed, cropping was always done on our behalf, even with film photos. When we drop off our digital photos at a lab to have them developed, or insert them into our printer, the images are loaded into the computer system and are automatically cropped. How does the computer know which sections are OK to crop and which ones are not? It doesn't. When the decision is left to the machine, it will trim an equal amount from two edges.

Have you ever received a photo from the lab and something important near the edge was cut off, but when you saw it on the computer screen it was there? That is a result of automated cropping.

Do your own cropping for maximum control

Under most circumstances automatic cropping produces good results with our snapshots. In cases where we want to control precisely where the image is trimmed, we need to take the cropping under our own control.

Cropping can be accomplished in several places such as your photo editing or printing software, online developing services, or the kiosk machine available at many local labs. I find that the best place to crop your photos is on your own computer using the software you are most familiar with. If you have never used this feature of your photo editing software, I urge you to learn how to use it. The other two cropping methods are typically more time consuming. You may also be rushed during the delicate cropping procedure if a line forms behind you at a kiosk machine.

Charles Kerekes is an amateur photographer and maintains the Flying Sam Digital Photo Guide (FlyingSamPhoto.com) web site to help others find fun and unique digital photo finishing products and services.


MORE RESOURCES:
This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news


Digital Trends

The top-selling digital photography book can be yours for free now
Digital Trends
The Northrups have been posting regular photography videos on YouTube for the last six years, and have built up a solid fan base over that time. The channel covers a variety of subject matter that includes photo tips, camera reviews, and software guides.



iMore (press release) (blog)

iPhone Photography Awards 2018
iMore (press release) (blog)
I've been doing photography and working in the user experience design field for long time. I was fascinated by changing user behavior with the introduction of the iPhone. Almost every iPhone user I observed was using the camera for capturing moments.
Winning Imagery from the iPhone Photography Awards 2018Cool Hunting
From SE to the X: check out the 2018 iPhone Photography Awards winnersPhone Arena
The best shots at the iPhone Photography Awards 2018. Photowww.MICEtimes.asia (press release)

all 6 news articles »


New York Times

At Arles Festival, 7 Promising Photographers to Watch
New York Times
These are a few of the questions raised by photographers from places including China, France, Poland, Switzerland and Turkey whose works are on display at the Rencontres d'Arles photography festival, which runs through Sept. 23. These are edited ...



Fstoppers

Amazon's Second-Best-Selling Photography Book Is Now Available for Free Download
Fstoppers
The second-best-selling photography book of all time in the “Digital Photography” section of Amazon has been made available for free download by its authors, who are currently celebrating reaching one million subscribers on YouTube. Photographers Tony ...



9to5Mac

These are the winners of the 11th annual iPhone Photography ...
9to5Mac
The annual iPhone Photography Awards have recognized the best images taken with the iPhone over the last 11 years, and now the winners of this year have ...
Apple CEO Tim Cook Congratulates 2018 iPhone Photography ...Mac Rumors
See photos from this year's 11th annual iPhone Photography AwardsAppleInsider

all 5 news articles »



Fstoppers

Get a New Perspective on Aerial Photography With a 360-Degree Camera
Fstoppers
Drones have given us an entirely new perspective in photography and videography but, of course, they aren't the final frontier. This video from PhotoshopCAFE offers a different take on aerial photography and shows you how to do it. Host Colin Smith ...



HuffPost

The 2018 iPhone Photography Awards Prove You Don't Need A ...
HuffPost
Ever since the release of the first iPhone, the iPhone Photography Awards have honored the true masters of mobile photography. Now in its 11th year, we're ...
Winning images from the 2018 iPhone Photography awards ...Australian Photography + digital

all 13 news articles »


Fstoppers

Talent, Not Tools, Will Determine the Quality of Your Photography
Fstoppers
Today, I state the obvious. But sometimes even the most obvious things can be easy to forget. I got an email yesterday from a talented young photographer. The aspiring professional asked a very logical question, one that I myself would've asked when I ...



WZTV

FERRIER FILES: A dangerous game: Abandoned building photography
WZTV
That is a type of wedding photographer who captures very few posed photos. He is looking for moments. The natural emotion of the day. What most people don't know is that there is another side to Jay Farrell's photography, a temptation he can't resist.


Google News

home | site map | Seashell Photography
© 2006