How to Get the Perfect Crop Ratio in Lightroom

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Are you struggling to crop your pictures so that they look their best and fit into one of the standard crop ratios? When cropping a picture, be sure to eliminate distractions and keep the subject exactly where you want it.

We all prefer to use one of the standard crop ratios when cropping for printing. This ensures that the resulting picture fits in a standard frame. Looking at the picture in the Lightroom crop tool, we are often clueless about which crop ratio fits best.

Lightroom offers a simple solution for this problem. The first step is to make sure you can visualize the targeted crop ratios while cropping.  To do so, follow these simple steps:

  1. Chose the target picture and activate the crop mode by hitting the lowercase letter r or select the crop tool in the Develop module.
  2. While in crop mode and from the Tools menu, select Crop Guide Overlay > Choose Aspect Ratios.
    Set Crop Ratio in Lightroom for perfect crop ratio
    Select to see Targeted Aspect Ratios
  3. Select the desired potential aspect ratios and click OK.
    When you move one of the sidebars or corners of the crop tool, guides now appear for each of the crop ratios that you selected.
  4. When your crop is near a desired crop ratio that suits your image, release the mouse pointer.
Standard Crop Ratio are now Visible

Targeted Crop Ratios are now overlayed

You can now use the crop ratio selector on the right to ensure that your crop is exactly the desired ratio.

You are now able to get a perfect crop that make your picture shine in the best possible way before heading to printing. This can be useful in additional ways such as creating specific crop ratio images for your social media heading or for creating a wallpaper.

Square Crop Ratio

I selected a Square Crop Ratio to show the Big Island shape in this Silhouette.

Using this tool, I selected a 1:1 crop ratio for this picture taken on Big Island, Hawaii. I really like how the sun is framed by the tortuous tree branches in such a way that the Big Island shape surrounds the sun which acts as the Kilauea Volcano in the middle. Silhouette pictures are easily done when shooting into the sun. Just underexpose by one stop to achieve this effect.

How do you crop your images in Lightroom?  I would love to read your comments on this.


About Author Denis Grenier

I really love being outdoor hiking and taking pictures. I care about our planet and would like my picture to help influence others to take care of it. My passion in photography is showing its beauty to the largest audience possible.