Don’t be afraid to crop.

I know a lot of people who don’t edit their images. But I know even more people who would never dare to crop their images even a tiny bit. I’m not one of those people.

Of course it’s better to get your composition right straight away. And I usually strive to do so. But sometimes, when I import my photos into Lightroom, I’m not happy with my chosen composition anymore or I just didn’t get it 100% the way I like it. That’s when I crop my images.

(I cropped this image so that that post is in the middle.)

Most modern cameras have more then enough megapixels to print so huge, no normal person would ever do it. But printing huge is not the only benefit of those sometimes quite ridicoulus pixel counts. The more pixels you have, the more you can crop until your image becomes useless.

*Another cropped image, this time to enhance symmetry.)

Cropping is a valuable tool in modern digital photography. A lot of cameras have a native aspect ratio of 3×2, but Instagram only alllows a 4×5 vertical, so you have to crop your photos already just to match those constraints.

(Symbolized Instagram crop from another post.)

Now I have to admit, I usually never crop past 10-15% myself. And that still results in a 5100×3400 pixel (about 17 MPix) file, Shutterstock for example only requires 4 Mpix. And that’s more enough for any of my purposes. And that still would make a 40+ cm (15.75″) print at 300 dpi, I can print 15 cm wide with my little printer. If you go down to 72 dpi, what is still plenty, you could print up to almost 180cm (70.8″)! ANd that’s only for those who actuallly print.

(Cropping is a good tool to get what you want.)

So don’t be afraid, use that crop feature of your trusty editing software. Just don’t overdo it.