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Crop & Transform a Photo

Directly out of a camera, your digital photos will likely not be sized to the exact dimensions you need. Between different shaped screens, web pages, social networks, and prints its often common to change the shape and size of an image. Inside of Luminar you have two options, cropping which changes the shape of a photo and transforming which scales the image inside the canvas. You can use these choices individually or in combination to achieve the desired results.


Cropping a Photo

1. Open an image that needs cropping or straightening.

2. Switch to Crop Tool by clicking the Tools menu or press the C key.   After pressing this button, the application enters Crop Tool Mode.

3. Examine the top Info Bar which displays all functions for cropping an image. The image is displayed with a grid that represents the ratio chosen in the Ratio dropdown menu.


4. Choose a Ratio from the Aspect dropdown menu.

  • Free – Create a custom shape by dragging to taste.
  • Original – Preserves the original shape of the photo but allows you to crop more tightly to remove details from the edges
  • Transposed – The original dimensions are reversed for the crop.
  • 16:10 – A ratio that matches many computer displays.
  • 16:9 – A ratio used by televisions, many electronic devices and presentations
  • 11:8.5 – A common size for documents.
  • 7:5 — A rectangular image that’s common for many photo sizes
  • 5:4 – A near-square image that’s common for many photo sizes
  • 4:3 – A rectangular image that’s common for many photo sizes
  • 3:2 – A rectangular image that’s common for many photo sizes
  • 1:1 – A square shaped image is created
  • 2:3, 3:4, 4:4 5:7, 8.5:11, 9X16, and 10:16 – Presets that match the standard print and screen ratios, but with their values transposed.
  • Facebook Cover – A useful size for a page banner on Facebook.
  • Facebook Feed – A common size for an image post to Facebook.
  • Enter Custom... – Offers the ability to choose a specific aspect ratio.

5. Choose a ratio overlay to help with cropping.

  • Rule of Thirds – This is a standard overly used to help cropping. The four intersecting points are considered the best place to put a subject. Many feel that following these guides makes an image appear better.
  • Phi Grid — The phi grid is similar to the rule-of-thirds grid. The difference is that the parallel lines are closer to each other and to the center of the frame, and the nine boxes are not all the same size. This grid can better accommodate the Golden Ratio. Many landscape photographers feel that this is a better guide for composition rather than the rule of thirds. 



The Rule of Thirds overlay on the left is the default overlay when cropping. The Phi Grid on the right is an alternative overlay to help when cropping.

6. Drag any of the corners or resize handles to modify the cropping rectangle.

7. To Move the image inside the crop, just click inside the image crop area and drag to reposition the image “behind” the cropping rectangle.

8. To Rotate an image you can click on the Angle readout to reveal a drop-down slider for adjusting the angle of the image up to 45 degrees in either direction. You can also click and drag just outside a corner to rotate. A grid overlay appears to help you with accurate cropping.


9. When happy with the cropping, click the Crop button. To cancel this action click Cancel.  

If you do not like the result, you can easily undo the cropping by pressing the Undo button. Hence cropping is a safe operation that can be easily undone.


Transforming a Layer

Once you’ve added a new layer to a document, it’s easy to transform it to a new size. The Free Transform tool works similarly to the Crop Tool.

1. Click the + symbol at the top of the Layers panel and choose Add Image....

2. Navigate to a logo, watermark , or layer on your hard drive and click the Open button to add the file to your document. The layer is automatically named with the filename of the selected file.

3. To scale the texture, right-click on its thumbnail and choose Texture Mapping.

4. To prevent unwanted distortion of the watermark or logo, choose Fit.


5. To scale the layer, click the Transform Tool or press Cmd+T.

6. If you want the layer to not distort, click the Lock icon in the Info Bar to prevent unwanted distortion.

7. Drag a corner handle to resize the layer. Drag in the center to position. Resize and position

the logo to taste.


8. To Move the image, just click inside the image area and drag to reposition the image.

9. To Rotate an image you can click on the Angle readout to reveal a drop-down slider for adjusting the angle of the image up to 45 degrees in either direction. You can also click and drag just outside a corner to rotate. A grid overlay appears to help you with accurate cropping.


10. When happy with the position of the new layer, click the Done button. To cancel this action click the Reset button than click Done.  


Download the full Luminar 2018 User Guide for Mac in PDF Format


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