In Photography

How to Use the Cropping Tools in Lightroom (Video)

One of my favorite tools in lightroom is the crop tool. I crop almost every single photo or use it to make my horizons perfectly, well, horizontal. It may be more of a type A thing than each image actually needing cropped, but….that’s another subject. Not only does the crop tool crop, it has few other really cool features that make life for type A-ish people easier. Let’s dive in.

The Straightening Tool

This tool helps you get those horizons perfect every time. I don’t know about you, but I’m a habitual tilter. It doesn’t matter how conscious I am of the horizon, it is never perfect unless I shoot the same scene 4-5 times. So, more times than not, I need a little help in post processing. Thank goodness there’s a tool for that!


If you aren’t a fan of the straightening tool, the grid overlay works great too at helping your straighten a horizon. Grab a corner and move it around until the all of your lines line up.

Composition Overlays

Have you heard of the golden ratio? The golden triangle? Well, Lightroom has a bunch of crop overlays that can help you make the best choice when cropping. Take a look at these overlays and look for the shapes and patterns in the environment. Triangles, circles, and lines that intersect in patterns all occur naturally in the world and can make your compositions more interesting.

Cropping Tools in Lightroom

Aspect Ratios

This tool is great if you are considering printing your images. You can use the overlay to decide if anything important will be cropped off in print. I leave my images as 2:3 or 4:6 ratio and adjust in the printing program, I mean who has time for cropping every image for every ratio? Not me. So its easy to see how cropping will affect your composition before printing.

I hope you have a better understanding of the cropping tool in Lightroom and have maybe learned a little something new about composition too 🙂 The video little on the long side, sorry! I’m a talker!







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