TIPS FOR FOCUSING ON
CROPPING PHOTOGRAPHS FOR SCRAPBOOK PAGES AND ALBUMS
The purpose of cropping is to create or enhance the theme or focus of your page–to direct the eye to the focal point, and to help save precious space on your page.
You have a bundle of photographs you want to use in your scrapbook/album page(s). Many of these pictures have unwanted elements in them. Not all of them are perfect. You can use them if you crop–cut out–the unwanted parts. You may, however, have been handed down to you from family members “heritage” snapshots. Because these pictures are usually old, and have many historical elements to them, you may prefer not to crop them.
Here are some DO’s and DONT’s of cropping:
- NEVER cut Polaroid photographs. The chemicals used to develop them will leak out. These chemicals can or will destroy the page–and others that may come in contact with it.
- You should not cut off or crop anything in your pictures that has historical significance.
- Choose those photographs that support or focus on your page or album’s theme or focal point. (See article on “Design Focal Point“)
- Select from these pictures those that can or should be cropped to help emphasize your theme or focal point.
- Identify what of the photograph is necessary to crate, enhance and/or unify your page or album’s theme. Try to remove elements that are not wanted: i.e., too much sky, a tree, an unwanted person who may have accidentally stepped into the picture’s scene, etc.
- You have to be the judge of what is not wanted. (See article on “Be Your Own Judge”)
- Consider cropping your photo(s) using a shape other than the typical rectangle used by photograph developers and printers. (See article on “Design Shape”)
- Crop or cut the photo using a paper trimmer for a straight edge look; a circle or oval cutter; or create a shape of your own to fit the photo.
- Trace your shape on the photograph and cut it out free-hand using scissors, or use a template.
- When using scissors you may choose ones with designs: scallop, deckle edge, etc.
- A corner punch will soften the right corner edges or cut them on 45° angles.
There you have it. You’re ready to design your page with special photographs. You may also want to look at the article on “Matting Scrapbook Photos.”
See “Basic Cropping Picture Tools” for information on scrapbook tools that will help you in cropping your projects.
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