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5 Photo Cropping Tips for Beginners

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Gary added on August 13, 2020 to Fotosifter

Photo cropping technique is one of the basic photo editing techniques, it is important especially for beginners. Here we summarized 5 tips can help.

What would you do when when you think a photo doesn't suit you or it has a bad composition?

Some beginners would delete these photos, but for me, I would like to crop them to try to remodel their composition. Yes, photo cropping, the basic photo editing technique.

an icon for photo cropping

By cropping we can change the composition of a certain picture in a certain extent. However, photo cropping is a photo editing technique, it is sometimes easy while sometimes can be hard. A good photo cropping can bring the dying back to life, but if you have a poor cropping technique, the composition of a photo may be worse.

Now let's step to today’s point: Photo cropping tips, the basic photo editing technique for beginners.

crop pictures with fotosifter

1. Crop to Traditional Proportions

When you are cropping your photo, at times the cropped photo might look weird, that is because you didn’t crop them to a traditional proportions.

The traditional 135mm full frame camera is in a 3:2 proportions, the 3:2 proportions is now a regular proportions, in even common modern single lens reflex camera is, for the 3:2 proportions is the size of films and modern photosensitive elements. In the digital era, the proportions of photosensitive elements in a portable digital camera has changed to 4:3. Soon afterwards the portable digital camera, the LCD screen has arisen , 16:9 proportions pictures became popular, meanwhile, many camera manufacturers use this proportions in their cameras to avoid the disturb form a black edge when using a LCD screen to watch photos.

photosensitive elements in different size

In addition to the rectangular proportions, there is a 1:1 photograph of a square, it is always favoured by art photographer.

photo size ratio examples

2. Make Duplicates

It is important to make a duplicate documents for your photo. One of the biggest advantage of duplicates is that if you messed a photo up, you can use a duplicate.

When art photographers crop digital photographs, they crop out the unnecessary; And digital clipping photos have a chance to come back, most photoshop software has the option to redo, so as not to accidentally modify the wrong.

duplicate your photo

But the opportunity is your own, if you save the cropped photo, no one can save you. The so-called original file is the most precious, save is the most practical. I recommend that you save a new file after clipping the photo.The most important thing is to save the original file. Even if you don't like the original cut in the future, you can use the original file to cut again. Plus the pixels will be lost after cropping, in some cases they won't work, you won't even have a chance to back out.

make a duplicate by using fotosifter

3. Level Your Photo

Horizontal your photo before you crop. Most of the time, when we shoot, we only pay attention to the subject and ignore the level of the photo. Some edges are sacrificed when leveling later. I recommend that you straighten the photo before cutting it, because you don't have to lose any more edges when cropping.

level your photo before you crop

4. Learn to Recompose Your Photo

We have our own compose method when we are shooting. By cropping our photos, we have the chance to recompose our photos. Just crop in a proper ratio, the object can be highlighting easily, you can even transfer the object.

There are so many software allows you to crop photos easily, such as Photoshop or Fotosifter, both of them have a reference line, to make users recompose their picture easily and crop their picture much more convenient.

recompose your picture by crop with fotosifter

5. Leave Some Space When You Shooting

If we find that the lens in our hands is not far enough in focus, or we only have a prime lens but cannot get close to it, then we have to shoot first and then cut. We should leave enough space on the top, bottom, left and right of the subject for clipping and recomposition. The more space you have left, the more flexible you will be in tailoring.

leave some space for you to crop photos

But pay attention to the pixel problem, if the body is too far away, or the more space reserved, the fewer pixels will be cut out; The fewer pixels you have, the harder it is to zoom in and print, and the less scope you will use. So we had to strike a balance between flexibility and pixels, or we had to take multiple shots with different focal lengths for easy cropping.

pay attention to the pixel problem


There are more great photo cropping techniques as long as they can make your photo looks great. If you have any more idea in photo editing techniques, you are welcome to share them in the comment area.

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