A simple crop of an image in Photoshop can make or break a photo. Crop it the right way and you’ll draw more attention to your subject, so it stands out. Crop it the wrong way and it will throw the perspective off, making your subject look out of proportion to the surroundings.
In the below tutorial, photographer Glyn Dewis shows you three effective ways to crop your portraits “bigger” in Photoshop so they jump off the screen (or page). Dewis also shares one wrong way to do it, which you should avoid.
“Composition is so incredibly important; it can make or break a photograph,” Dewis says. “Here are three ways that we can alter the composition and make images bigger using the Crop Tool in Photoshop to show our pictures off at their very best for screen, print or social media.”
We’ve included timestamps where you can find Dewis’ demonstrations of his Photoshop cropping methods in the video below. As you’ll see in the clip, he uses these simple techniques on actual portraits he shot to give them more visual power.
#1 Crop + Content-Aware Fill (0:40)
Use this method if your original portrait is tight on the sides and you want to fill in those areas after your crop. To do this, Dewis’ harnesses the power of Content-Aware Fill, which is a Photoshop tool we discussed in a tutorial last week.
#2 Crop + Content Aware Scale (3:21)
This method is effective if you don’t want to dramatically alter the proportions of your portrait after your crop. It uses the Content-Aware Scale tool, which is an offshoot of Content-Aware Fill. In this tip, Dewis’ also shows you the wrong way to use this tool, which results in his subject looking abnormally bloated.
#3 Merge to Panorama (7:12)
This technique is helpful when you have multiple similar portraits you want to blend together. Content-Aware Fill, in this case, helps to realistically fill in the gaps between the different portraits.