Cropping Photos

Whether or not you straightened your photo, you'll probably need to crop ittrim it to a certain size. There are two main reasons for cropping your photos. If you want to print on standard sizes of photo paper, you usually need to trim off part of your image so it fits onto the paper. You also might want to crop away distracting objects in the background or people you don't want in the picture, for instance.

A few cameras produce photos that are proportioned exactly right for printing to a standard size like 4 x 6. But most cameras give you photos that aren't the same proportions as any of the standard paper sizes like 4 x 6 or 8 x 10. (The width-to-height ratio is also known as the aspect ratio .)

The extra area most cameras provide gives you room to crop wherever you like. You can also crop out different areas for different size prints (assuming you save your original photo). Figure 10-10 shows an example of a photo that had to be cropped to fit on a 4 x 6 piece of paper. If you'd like to experiment with cropping or changing resolution (explained in Section 10.5 ), then download the image in the figure (waterfall.jpg) from the "Missing CD" page at www.missingmanuals.com .

Figure 10-10. When you print onto standard sized paper, you may have to choose the part of your digital photo you want to keep. Left: The photo as it came from the camera. Right: The results of cropping the image down to make it the right shape for a 4 x 6 print.

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