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31 Mar 2023


Term: Cropping
Description: Cropping is the act of excluding elements from an image frame. It can either be done in camera or in post production.In-camera cropping involves the decision to omit distracting aspects of a scene. Not everything will be able to be dealt with in-camera however, and when, for instance, the photographer didn't have a long enough lens to be as selective as they'd have liked with their in-camera cropping, pixels can easily be cropped away.The downside to this is that you are actually losing resolution when you crop pixels in post, and if you crop heavily into an image you can severely limit print size at an acceptable quality level. In addition to removing distractions, cropping in post can be done to change an image's aspect ratio. One reason to do this would be to change the aspect ration in order to print in a specific size.

Telling A Story

In our Photography 101 workshop, I discuss how composition helps us to tell the best story in our images. One of the ways we achieve great storytelling is through the usage of cropping. In this video and article, I want to show you guys how cropping can be a powerful way to compose a picture and tell a great story.

Cropping helps us to decide what story to tell in the image by dictating what is included and what is excluded. The difference between composition and cropping, however, is that cropping is more focused on the overall story and theme and allows us to focus in on more specific details of the story.


For example, we created a cute picnic scene with a couple shown in the image above. However, if I had just taken wide shots, capturing only the wider context of the scene, then you lose focus on the overall details of the story.



I love the strawberries in the picnic scene, and I think that their feet dangling off the wall looks cute. The power of cropping lies in capturing the details of an overall scene which contribute to the over-arching theme of the shoot. So I focus in on some detailed shots of the overarching scene and utilize the power of cropping to tell a great story.


In the end, what we produce is a collection of pictures that highlights different components of an entire story, resulting in a stronger and more elegant product.

Related Articles to Cropping Definition


The Lightroom Cropping Tool: A Simple but Powerful Tool

In this video from our Lightroom 4 A to Z Workshop on DVD, we are going to go over the various tools available in the Adjustments Tools that can help us crop our images. The Cropping Tool is a very simple yet powerful tool in Lightroom 4. The Cropping Tool is helpful because we can use it to easily straighten strong lines in our images. We can also crop out unwanted areas of the image as well as crop an image to turn it into a panorama. This article will hopefully give you a better understanding of how to use the cropping tool in Lightroom 4.