Six Rules of Thumb for Good Photo Cropping

Written by Idea File Staff

  1. Perhaps the most common reason to crop a photo is to get it to fit a layout. This is fine if the photo has some areas that can be removed without ruining it. However, when cropping to fit lessens the visual effectiveness of a good photo, it is time to change the layout or select another image.
  2. A better reason for cropping is to eliminate some distracting visual element from the print. Cropping out a distracting foreground, side or background element, will help the reader quickly find and stay focused on the story-telling center of interest.
  3. Another good reason for cropping is to improve the composition of the photo. Knowledge of the principles of photo composition, combined with careful cropping, can create a rule-of-thirds position for the center of interest.
  4. In sports action photos, tight cropping on the center of interest creates visual impact. It does this by heightening the feeling of intensity and action.
  5. Cropping people in photos poses some interesting challenges. As a general rule, the crop should eliminate enough of the person so that it does not look like a mistake.
  6. Perhaps the best advice on cropping is to eliminate any elements in the photo that do not contribute to the story it is telling.
  • brandy

    A picture is a worth a thousand words. I’m always amazed at photography and art sites that contain only words and no images of the principals they hope to illustrate. I think some images would spruce up this piece just finely.

Idea File Staff

Idea File Staff reports are posts compiled by the Walsworth Yearbooks Marketing Department, covering a wide range of yearbook topics.