One of the things I like the most about Lightroom is the non-destructive nature of editing, of course sometimes that can come back to bite you, but most of the time it is the best thing since sliced bread.
Cropping is another place where I really love the non-destructive nature of Lightroom. Some might argue that the work-flow is a little strange, where they wish the crops would apply to the original, but lets not get into a discussion about the merits of this.
So we all have used the crop tool, it looks like this [insert crop tool image], it sits in the top right or Lightroom, pretty easy, by default gives us a grid view, the ‘thirds rule’ [check this]. If you are an infrequent user like me, who never really explored the documentation, or read any books about Lightroom, you may not know this, but you can change the grid to other overlays.
|O||Cycle through the overlays (O not zero)|
|Shift + O||Change the orientation.|
|Menu Location||Tools -> Crop Overlay Guide|
The supported overlays are:
Really this one is most useful for getting things straight. Does not really (that I know of) have any magical compositional properties, and is the default overlay. Looks a little something like this.
The remainder of overlay modes are intended to aid you with your compositional cropping. For a great blog about these ratios see here : http://aphotocontributor.typepad.com/aphotocontributor/2008/10/the-golden-ratio.html
Unless you have had your head in the sand, you will have heard about the ‘Rule Of Thirds‘. If not, you soon will.
For an image, such as these dolphins that were shot at my first trip to SeaWold Australia, using the crop tool, we might (and I say might) be able to turn an average looking image into a more compelling composition. While we could argue about the best way I could crop these images, for the sake of this I will just pick a couple that to me stood out.