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…
Open the dialogue box.
In the ‘grid’ section, enter the figures as shown above.
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.
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.
As this is a transparent file, you should be able to see your image underneath when you make it visible.
A lovely example of the areas of interest falling right on the golden curve. I cropped the image in line with the golden box.
One thing I am sure of though is that despite the low visibility, the arctic circle must be in this photograph.
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.
Taken on July 17, 2011 on a photo tour through Iceland’s Southern Highlands (or Fjallabak – behind the mountains).