Cropping in Lightroom is the easiest and best

How to use crop tool in Lightroom’s Develop module

The crop tool is essential when there are unnecessary elements in the sides of the photograph. This tool can also be used to correct horizon and to change aspect ratios as well.

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1) Fixing Horizon

Press ‘R’ to enable the crop tool. Fix tilted horizons by clicking on the Straighten tool. Draw a line on the horizon and Lightroom will automatically fix the horizon.

2) Aspect Ratio

Check the aspect ratio by clicking on the ‘aspect ratio dropdown menu’ you can access all the aspect ratio. You can have your own custom aspect ratios as well. Just drag the corner so that you can get most out of the photograph.

3) PadLock

The icon on the right side is called the ‘Padlock’ icon. Once you click on it and open it up, there won’t be any constraints. You can drag any side of the crop tool and have your own aspect ratio. It is preferable to keep it locked so that all the standard aspect ratios are maintained over the image.

4) Constrains To Image

‘Constraints to image’ is connected with the lens correction panel. The moment you enable it, constrain crop is also enabled and the moment you disable it, constrain crop is also disabled.

5) Compositional Rules

There are some very helpful options as a part of  crop tool which are very helpful in composition. Press the key, ‘O’ to see the compositional rules. Press ‘O’ again to go to next compositional rule. To see the other side of any compositional rule press ‘Shift +O’. This works in a cyclic manner.


Few compositional rules:

  • Rule of thirds

  • Rule of triangles

  • Golden spiral

  • Rule of diagonals etc.

Crop tool is your second opportunity to compose a photograph. For many reasons, there would have been some kind of compromises you might have made while taking the photograph. Crop tool will help you in fixing those mistakes or even removing any distractions on the sides while post processing and help you make a photograph, what was earlier would have been a snapshot.


You will learn a lot about compositional rules and how it affects a photograph very soon. Keep checking our website.


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