Learn about Straightening and Cropping

Learn about Straightening and Cropping

Think about an important picture you have, maybe of your extended family, all your siblings, parents, grandparents, cousins, and so forth. Now think about how that picture doesn’t look level, like maybe the lake in the background looks like it wants to pour out of the photograph. And maybe there is something (or someone) on the side of the picture you don’t want there, like a rusty car or some other kind of blight that make the photo look bad.

Not to worry, you won’t have to get the entire family together again to make a new picture. All you have to do is learn a little about straightening and cropping in your image editor to set things right.

Cropping and straightening use to be done during the printing process before digital photography came along. The photographer would adjust the enlarger, magnifying the image enough to put the unwanted element off the printing paper, or move the easel holding the printing paper in a way that horizontal and vertical lines would be parallel to the paper’s edges.

But now with digital photography and image editing software it has become very easy to straighten and crop your photographs before you print them. And if you have old photographs that you want to crop and straighten you just have to scan them. Then work with the scanned image in your editing program just like any photograph you have taken.

All of the popular image editing programs use a grid for a guide. You can rotate your image and line up the vertical and horizontal lines to the grid, insuring they are parallel to the edges of the final print.

Popular editing programs, and even the not so popular software, come with a cropping tool. Generally, you would select the area you want to keep by drawing a rectangle around it and everything outside of the rectangle is cropped (deleted).

One thing to remember when you straightening or cropping, or any kind of editing, is to keep a copy of the original file just in case.

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