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iLife '04: The Missing Manual by David Pogue

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Cropping

iPhoto’s cropping tool is a digital paper cutter. It neatly shaves off unnecessary portions of a photo, leaving behind only the part of the picture you really want.

You’d be surprised at how many photographs can benefit from selective cropping. For example:

  • Eliminate parts of a photo you just don’t want. This is a great way to chop your brother’s ex-girlfriend out of an otherwise perfect family portrait, for example (provided she was standing at the end of the lineup).

  • Improve a photo’s composition. Trimming a photo allows you to adjust where your subject matter appears within the frame of the picture. If you inspect the professionally shot photos in magazines or books, for example, you’ll discover that many pros get more impact from a picture by cropping tightly around the subject, especially in portraits.

  • Get rid of wasted space. Huge expanses of background sky that add nothing to a photo can be eliminated, keeping the focus on your subject.

  • Fit a photo to specific proportions. If you’re going to place your photos in a book layout or turn them into standard size prints (Chapter 10), you may need to adjust their proportions. That’s because there’s a substantial discrepancy between the aspect ratio (length-to-width proportions) of your digital camera’s photos and those of film cameras—a difference that will come back to haunt you if you order prints. The following discussion covers all the details.

How to Crop a Photo

Here are the steps for cropping a photo:

  1. Open the photo ...

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