How to Crop Your Digital Images When Scanning Photos

Posted by ed oboyle on Thu, Jun 27, 2013 @ 09:30 AM

How to Crop Your Digital Images When Scanning PhotosOnce you’ve finished scanning photos, correcting image problems is easy with editing software. Even if you’re not a professional ‘Photoshopper’, cropping images is a technique you can excel at!

Your photo may not be going on the cover of Time magazine, but if you need to make your photo stand out, you can try a few different things, such as sharpening the image. Does the tone seem off? Check the histogram for color concentration. Do you need to straighten a scanned photo? Try cropping the image during the photo scanning process, but don’t go overboard. Minor crops can make a noticeable difference and enhance the overall effect. Minor cropping can be a fine art, depending on the photos, which makes it an important skill to master.

What is Minor Cropping?

You’re already familiar with the idea of cropping to remove extraneous background image. Normally, this takes place during the capture process thanks to the zoom function. Minor cropping occurs after you scan photos, allowing you to square up a picture that was shot slightly off kilter. Do this in your photo editing software, but keep this main tenant in mind: Always crop to the strongest line.

In an image with a single horizon, minor cropping can be easy. Try using the Straighten Tool in your software to create an even cropping line. However, photo shots are as diverse as the images they portray, and rarely can you pinpoint one strong line. Cropping to the wrong line will result in an odd looking image and sometimes, camera distortion will throw the photo horizon off.  So how do you fix this?

How to Crop Images 

When doing some minor cropping to photos, you’ll come across several common issues: 

  • Lens Distortion

    This occurs when the camera lens causes the horizon to look bent or curved at one end of the photo. Make sure the Cropping Tool is selected and pull the image in the necessary direction until the horizon appears straight. Note that you may not always be able to correct the distortion entirely.

  • Multiple Lines

    If you’re scanning photos with multiple lines, it can be hard to pinpoint the strongest line. Examine the photo to see which one is most reliable. This may require crop testing for various lines, and you should be able to tell which line works best for the image. Using the Straighten Tool will prove especially helpful during this test.

  • Creative Twist

    A photographer is an artist, but don’t get carried away or it can seem as if everyone is sliding out of the photo. If a creative twist works, minor cropping may not be necessary, but if there’s a strong horizontal line, the twist should be eliminated.

While subtle changes like this may not be necessary, it’s sometimes the smallest moves that make the biggest difference. Once you’ve finished scanning photos into your computer, complete a first round of large scale editing. Ensure color balance is correct, and get rid of red eye syndrome. Once you’re finished, a second round of editing can take a picture from great to outstanding. The beauty of scanning photos is that your memories are preserved forever, often looking better than the original – something any subject of your photos will appreciate.

Looking to find the right photo scanning service best for your needs? Check out our FREE ebook!


Topics: Crop images, scanning photos, Digital Imaging

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