Friday, January 4, 2013

Don't be afraid to crop!

I posted this layout earlier this week:

and I confessed that I was nervous to try this pattern from the Make it From Your Heart book because of the five cropped photos. I am not skittish about cropping my photos, but I was nervous about this pattern for two reasons. First, the images looked small. I wasn't sure I would be able to crop my 4X6 photos and still keep enough of the image to tell a story. Second, this pattern doesn't allow for changing the sizes of the photos without some other changes that I didn't want to calculate.

I had many photos of my daughter opening gifts on this birthday so I decided to brave it. If it didn't work, I could always use other photos from the same day.

I am not a person who measures everything to a T. In fact, I often "measure" based on photo and paper sizes and mark mostly with my fingernails. Here is my non-scientific, minimal measuring way to crop photos to this size.

Here is my original 4X6 photo. My daughter opening the gift is the focal point, but there are may extraneous details in the image - especially on the right side.

To make this photo fit in the pattern I need to take off 2 inches from one dimension and 1 1/2 inches from the other.

 When cropping to a specific size, I start with the side with the most "extra" space - in this photo the right hand side. I crop off whatever I think is the extra space without getting too close to my focal image. I can always come back and trim more closely later.

Here is my photo after my first cut. I have preserved the image of my daughter and she is now centered on the photo.

Next, I turned the photo in my trimmer and cropped off as much as I was willing to from the opposite side. Notice, so far there has been no measuring! I have been using the photo image as my guide.

After making these two cuts, I measured my photo and realized that I needed to trim a bit more so that it would fit the pattern. I decided I could take a bit more off of the right side of the photo more easily than the left. I measured the 2 1/2 inches and trimmed.

I followed the same process for the vertical dimensions of the photo. I started by trimming off the bottom with the chair legs and the bag. Then I measured and trimmed the photo to 4 inches.

And here it is. The final cropped photo. The photo now fits in the pattern. Also, because I cropped it to this size, there is nothing to distract from the focal point - my daughter and her gift.
And here is the cropped photo in the layout.

Are you timid about cropping? Try it  - I think you may like the results! Do you have other tricks to make cropping easier? I would love to hear them - especially if they don't involve much measuring.

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