How to Enhance Your Image Composition with Creative Cropping and Vignetting
This tutorial is a demonstration of the SLR Lounge Lightroom 4 Preset System. With over 200 presets, the LR4 Preset System has been critically acclaimed as the most powerful and intuitive preset system available for Lightroom 4, click the link above to learn more/purchase.
Although cropping is often used to correct for compositional errors like tilted horizon line or to crop out distracting objects along the edge of the photo, it can also be used to add a creative compositional look to your image. In this Lightroom 4 Preset System tutorial, we take a look at how cropping, framing, and using a custom aspect ratio such as a 2:1 aspect ratio can make a stronger impact to an image that is compositionally uninteresting.
We also used the HDR Light Preset to bring out the color and the tone of the image, as well as more detail on the subjects, to help create a warm, summer mood to our photo.
Before and After Image
Watch the Video Tutorial
LR4 Preset System Mixology
00 MY MIXOLOGY – 10 SOFT PORTRAITS > 16 SP HDR Light
Adjustment Brush: 13 Nature | Color
Creating the Stronger Composition
The composition in the original image is an example of what many beginners tend to do, which is to place the subject right in the center of the image. Although this “bull-eye” composition may work with images that have strong symmetry, it does not work with this particular image.
Placing the subject off-center using the Rule of Thirds helps to add interest by emphasizing the balance with the negative space of the foreground element. The 2:1 aspect ratio also creates a better panoramic look that will make a great print for our client.
The out-of-focus foreground bushes also create interest to the image by framing the couple and guiding the viewer’s eyes to the couple. By using Post-Crop Vignetting, we can further direct the eye towards the brightest part of the image, which is the subject.
Finally, we increased the Temperature and Magenta Tint to enhance the warm, summer mood.
As you can see with the final image, creative cropping and Vignetting can help create a stronger image overall.
The Lightroom 4 Preset System
The SLR Lounge Lightroom 4 Preset System is designed to enable users to achieve virtually any look and effect within 3-5 simple clicks. From basic color correction, vintage fades, black & white effects, tilt-shift effects, faux HDR, retouching, detail enhancing, and so much more. The sky is the limit with what has been dubbed the most powerful and intuitive preset system available. Click the link above to learn more/purchase.
You can also purchase the LR4 Preset System as part of the Lightroom 4 Workshop Collection.