Basic Lightroom Cropping Tutorial for Enhanced Photographs

During the holiday season, I think I may take about 1,000 photographs of my family. No joke. It’s one of the reasons that I love this time of year, because I get to combine two things that I adore: my family and photography. I will post many of these photographs on my Instagram page … so I decided to teach some really basic Lightroom tutorials. This tutorial is a Lightroom cropping and rotating tutorial, which comes in handy when editing all my Insta-photos!

Lightroom Cropping and Rotating Tutorial

I once read a photography article that there are only two things that you can’t fix with Lightroom: out-of-focus (blurry) photographs (unless, of course, you want to create a blurry bokeh effect) and high ISO (pixelated) photographs. How true that is!! Lightroom is like magic. It makes everyone think that they are a smashing photographer — I know that it makes me feel like a superstar! With a little bit of cropping and rotating magic, and some Lightroom presets, you can make almost any photograph look like one taken by a pro.

Let’s start with a photograph. Here’s one of #JoePaw, rolling in the grass on the hills near my house. I want to make this photo into an Insta-photo, so I want it to be square. I like this photograph as-is, because I like view in the background. But, it’s not square. Damn you, Instagram, and your square-ness! Okay, I take that back. I love you, Instagram.

Well, we first have to select the crop tool. You can access this tool from the right-hand panel, as shown below. Alternatively, you can use the letter “R” as a keyboard shortcut.

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Use the keyboard shortcut “O” to rotate through the different grids. Here, I have the small box grid lines shown.

You can use the aspect ratio to make it a 1×1, which is a square. I rotated my gridlines to the large boxes, so it will naturally fit into thirds. I think the grid lines are a bit hard to see in this picture, but they break the square into 9 different boxes. This makes it super easy to use your Rule of Thirds.

If you instead use a different aspect ratio, you can use the keyboard shortcut “X” to flip from portrait to landscape really quickly.

Now you can rotate the photo. Move your mouse near one of the edges (in this case, near the right-upper-corner). The pointer will change to an icon that looks like two arrows in opposite directions. Sorry, but I wasn’t able to screen capture it!

I’m going to rotate my picture just slightly so that the hill is flat. It’s not a drastic change, but since I do not have the entire background view, I thought it might look better.

Add some Lightroom presets to this bad boy. And here is #JoePaw!

How easy did you find the Lightroom cropping and rotating tools?

5 thoughts on “Basic Lightroom Cropping Tutorial for Enhanced Photographs”

  1. This is a really good tutorial! I use Illustrator for most of my graphics work, but have recently purchased Lightroom and looking forward to upping my photography game. Thanks!

    Reply
  2. This is a really good tutorial! I use Illustrator for most of my graphics work, but have recently purchased Lightroom and looking forward to upping my photography game. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Thanks so much for stopping by!! I’m so happy that readers like my LIghtroom tutorials — I’m planning on many more in 2018. 🙂

      Reply
    • Thanks so much for stopping by!! I’m so happy that readers like my LIghtroom tutorials — I’m planning on many more in 2018. 🙂

      Reply

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