How to Improve your Images by Cropping in Photoshop


10/01/21 – This post has been updated:


So you’ve been out taking pictures and you’ve captured the killer image: Your exposure is spot-on, your lighting is right, but it’s missing something. How can you easily focus more on the main subject of your shot and eliminate unwanted objects? The answer is to experiment with cropping.


In Photoshop, cropping is accomplished with the Crop Tool. You can find it in the Toolbox. In the Options Bar, you can select your desired width, height, and DPI. To start, put your mouse cursor in the upper left portion of your image, hold down the left mouse button, and drag down to the bottom right area of your image. This creates a Crop Marquee.


Don’t worry about being too precise. You can fine-tune your crop by:

  1. Resizing – put your cursor on one of the boxes in the corners and change the size of the crop marquee.
  2. Moving – put your cursor inside the crop marquee, hold down the left mouse button, and drag the crop area.
  3. Moving minutely – by using your arrow keys.
  4. Rotating – put the cursor near one of the boxes in the corner until a curved arrow shows up, hold down the left mouse button, and move clockwise or counterclockwise as desired.


You can visually double-check your crop by putting a “Shield” around the area to be cropped out. Just check the “Shield” box in the Options Bar. You can also change the color and opacity of your shield – – double-click on the box with the color in it, and the Color Picker pops up.


Once you’ve got your desired crop, click on the “check” button in the Options Bar to commit your crop.


Now you can experiment with the “rule of thirds”, horizontal vs. vertical cropping, and multiple crops from the same image – The possibilities are endless, so have fun!


How about you? Got some cropping tips to share? Let’s hear them!



Updated 10/01/21


•  Want to see cropping in action?  Check out “Class 4” of my “Photoshop 101” series of FREE online & live Photoshop Meetups – available nationwide:


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•  By the way, this is just one chapter from my Photoshop book designed for photographers, “Not just another Photoshop Book”, available exclusively on Amazon:


Questions? Please contact me – also, feel free to comment and tell your photography friends!


Thx again, and cheers,


John Watts ?




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