Cropping Photos

What the crop?

Here’s a term you never thought you would need to understand, “aspect ratio”. What the heck is aspect ratio? It’s the reason your kid’s heads were chopped off when you got your prints back. Today I’ll show you how to deal with this problem without any additional software.

Quick Explanation…

Aspect ratio is basically the relationship of an image’s width to height. The most common aspect ratio produced by today’s digital cameras is the same aspect ratio of a 4 x 6 print, an aspect ratio of 3:2. This means that the only sizes of prints you can print without losing portions of the image are of that aspect ratio, 8 x 12 for instance. Most of the common enlargement sizes are of a different aspect ratio, or proportion, so you will have to sacrifice parts of the image. So for an 8 x 10, you will need to crop out 2 inches in the photo. The key is to make that decision yourself, so your printer won’t cut off limbs…

Well, Help Me Fix It…

So the bad news is that you have to give up some of your photo. The good news is that you can do this without any software. All you REALLY need to know is that the most important page on any photo ordering website is the “Preview/Crop” page that is usually presented right before you complete your order. Obviously, you can do this with desktop photo editing software, but who wants to crop and save images of each size when you can do it in one place right before ordering? Here is a clip of how to do this on Costco’s photo site, which is the same as Snapfish. The option is available on the last page before ordering as a link right under your photo called “preview/crop”.

It is important that you choose “apply crop” before leaving the Preview/Crop page. Note that you can also resize the crop boundaries by clicking and dragging the corners.

Preparing for the Crop When You Take a Photo….

So now that you know you are going to have to give up some image, make sure you leave some room when you are framing your next photo. When you crop an image, you are also “zooming in” on the image. This means you can take more of the picture and eliminate unwanted edges of the photo later on when ordering your prints. So bottom line is “Zoom out when in doubt!” It’s cheesy, but I bet you will remember it next time.  Speaking of remembering, if you know anyone that wants to hire a friendly, cheerful woman and her Tampa photographer husband, remember Studio Tampa!!!

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