Photo Cropping Tips

Cropping a photo is deciding which part of the picture you want reproduced in your yearbook and marking that part for the plant.

Cropping images can be a challenging process requiring trial and error to get the proportions and size just right. Whether you are using Photoshop or doing it the old–fashioned way, here are some great tips to help get your crop together.

  • Photos may be enlarged and reduced by the plant, but you must crop the photo to the same proportions as the photo block on the layout.
  • Don’t crop small areas and enlarge to grainy proportions.
  • Crop for a center of interest, usually a facial expression or point of action.
  • Remember the rule of thirds; keep the subject somewhat off-centered, allowing space for movement.
  • Crop at the waist or leave the subject full figure; DO NOT amputate hands, arms or legs.
  • For quote photos, be sure to show the chest and shoulders – not just the head.
  • A great photo may be enlarged, but less-than-great photos should be reduced.

1. In InDesign, click on a photo box to determine the size to crop in Photoshop.

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2. Open the image you want to crop in Photoshop. Select the Crop tool. In the Control palette, enter the width and the height of the photo box that the cropped image must fit.

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3. Set the image resolution to 300 pixels/inch.

4. Click and drag the mouse cursor over the desired area of photo, making sure all four corners of the selector box are visible on the photo. The selection box can be repositioned or resized to achieve the desired photo. Press Enter/Return. Save the photo and you’re done!

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The Scaleograph

The Scaleograph is the photo cropper of choice for yearbook staffers. This cropping tool is sturdy and has easy-to-read pica and inch measurements.

Grease Pencils

Grease pencils are used to crop photos. These marks can be rubbed off by the plant so they will not show up on the final printed image. Be sure to mark visibly but lightly and not damage the emulsion (finish) of the photo.

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Contributed by:
Jimmie Johnson, yearbook adviser
Beech Grove High School, IN
Yearbook Discoveries Volume 11 Issue 1