Photoshop Basics – cropping for composition.

Cropping for composition

There are many reasons why you might want to crop an image. You might want to make a smaller file size, you might have straightened an image and you need to correct it,or maybe you want to improve the composition. This article looks at post-processing tools so that you can crop your images according to the rules of composition.

Let’s first look at cropping to improve composition.
You may have a good picture but you want to get the composition perfect in terms of composition rules such as the golden mean or the rule of thirds.

Rule of thirds

Open Adobe Photoshop and go to Edit=>Preferences=>Guides, Grids, slices and Count…

Photoshop Grids and Slices

Edit=>Preferences=>Guides, Grids, Slices and Count...

Open the dialogue box.

Photoshop grid dialogue boxIn the ‘grid’ section, enter the figures as shown above.

View=>Show=>Grids” width=”494″ height=”467″>

View=>Show=>Grid

You can also use the shortcut (Ctrl + ‘) to turn the grid on and off quickly.

The rule of thirds grid should appear over your image.

Golden Mean

The golden mean is much more complex. There is no preset grid so we will steal a template from here.

Right click on the image and save it to your hard drive. Now open your image in photoshop.

Import the golden mean template and paste it over the top of your image. Resize it to suit.

fibonacci spiralAs this is a transparent file, you should be able to see your image underneath when you make it visible.

Golden meanA lovely example of the areas of interest falling right on the golden curve. I cropped the image in line with the golden box.

Shot to nothing

Shot to nothing

One thing I am sure of though is that despite the low visibility, the arctic circle must be in this photograph.

Red Blaze – Night Exposure

Red Blaze – Night Exposure

Although the Northern lights require a long exposure, the object is often to reduce exposure time as much as possible to achieve a usable exposure and with minimal star trails.

Fjallabak Night

Fjallabak Night

Taken on July 17, 2011 on a photo tour through Iceland’s Southern Highlands (or Fjallabak – behind the mountains).

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