Cropping to a fixed size in Lightroom

bfluegiebfluegie Big grinsIndianaPosts: 116Registered Users Major grins

While I was photographing the eclipse, I didn’t really work too hard to keep the sun centered in the frame. I was using a 300 mm lens on a crop sensor and the sun's image wasn’t so large that I had to be too picky about it, at least in the partial phases where everything else was black. Now that I am working with the photos in Lightroom, I would like to get the sun pretty much in the center and crop so that the sun is the same size in all frames. That way it won’t be jumping all over the place if I do a slideshow. I am not seeing a way to crop to the same number of pixels. I am also not sure how to center the sun, although if I can set a crop frame size I could use the 1/3 lines in that frame. Does anyone have any ideas of how to crop to a fixed size? I mostly use Lightroom, but I do have CS6 as well if that is the best way to go. I just haven’t used it very much so I would have a larger learning curve.

I would probably fix the size based on the location of the sun in the frame where it is closest to the edge. I would want to keep an aspect ratio similar to the camera output, or to a standard print size—I haven’t decided which. My photos aren’t really print-worthy, but they are what I have and I do want to put a little effort into making a nice collection to show family and friends who didn’t go to see the full show.

I also promised to send some photos to a few people who asked while we were watching the eclipse. I will want to make sure I include copyright info (again, not the best photos but I still want them identified as mine). I may also send smaller images. That I do know how to do in several programs.

Anyway, I would appreciate any suggestions about cropping. Any other comments are welcome as well.




  • ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovin Posts: 19,008Super Moderators moderator
    edited September 1, 2017

    I recommend using Photoshop CS6, if that's what you referred to. (I believe that Lightroom also had a CS6 version IIRC.)

    Start with your base/starting image and add a second image on top (as the top layer). Set the top image temporarily to "Difference" Blend and use the "Move" mode and mouse to move the image until perfectly aligned with the base image. Switch the top image back to "Normal" Blend and then turn visibility off of the layer. Add another image to the stack and repeat the process until all images are aligned.

    Turn visibility back on to all images, Select all layers, switch to "Crop" mode and set your desired crop ratio. Draw your crop on the top layer and double-mouse-click the cropped portion to crop all layers identically. Now save the file as a Photoshop file with layers intact (just in case) and proceed with either saving each layer to a separate file or create a composite image or whatever you planned for your output image(s).

    That's the way I learned to do it and it works in PS CS4 (just now tried it).

    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • bfluegiebfluegie Big grins IndianaPosts: 116Registered Users Major grins

    Thanks Ziggy. I was referring to Photoshop CS6. I have tried this for a few of the photos so far and it will do what I want. Thanks for the quick help.

  • pegellipegelli Major grins BelgiumPosts: 2,794Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 23, 2017

    I think Ziggy's advice is good, but in lightroom it's also easy to crop to the same size. No need to go to photoshop to achieve that.

    • crop your first picture
    • press "Crtl-Shift-C"
    • select only "crop" from the many options you can check,
    • press "copy"
    • go to the next picture that needs to be cropped
    • press "Crtl-Shift-V"
    • move your crop so the sun is centered again
      (there are several grid overlays in the crop tool to help you with that, you can cycle through all options by pressing "o")

    Probably too late now, but this might be useful for other lightroom users as well :)

    Pieter, aka pegelli
    My SmugMug
  • ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovin Posts: 19,008Super Moderators moderator

    Very helpful information. Thanks, Pieter!

    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
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