Chapter 6. Cropping, Resizing, and Rotating

Cropping and resizing images are among the most basic edits you’ll ever make, but they’re also among the most important. A bad crop—or no crop—can ruin an image, while a good crop can improve it tenfold by snipping away useless or distracting material. And knowing how to resize an image—by changing either its file size or its overall dimensions—can be crucial when it’s time to email an image, print it, or post it on a website. Cropping is pretty straightforward (though the process changed drastically in CS6); resizing, not so much. To resize an image correctly, you first need to understand the relationship between pixels and resolution—and how they affect image quality. (That can of worms gets opened on Pixels and Resolution.) Rotating images, on the other hand, is just plain fun.

In this chapter, you’ll learn more than you ever wanted to know about cropping, from general guidelines to the many ways of cropping in both Photoshop and Camera Raw (a powerful photo-correcting application that comes with Photoshop—see Chapter 9). You’ll also discover how to resize images without—and this is crucial—losing image quality. Perhaps most important, you’ll understand once and for all what resolution really is, when it matters, and how to change it without trashing your image. Finally, you’ll spend some quality playtime with the various Transform commands.

Cropping Images

There’s a reason professional photos look so darn good. Besides being shot with ...

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