Luminar Neo cropping tutorial | Your ultimate guide



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In this Luminar Neo tutorial, you’ll discover how to get the most out of the crop AI tool to, well, crop your images like a pro. If you are ready, let’s do it.

One of the first things that I like to do before I adjust the tonal values in my image is to crop the image to give it a stronger composition.

And there are four ways we can do this in Luminar Neo via the crop AI tool. And we can either select a preexisting aspect ratio.

We can type in a custom aspect ratio.

We can also use the composition AI tool that will use artificial intelligence to auto automatically compose your image to be a stronger image, or you can manually adjust your composition.

Let’s look at each one of these options in more detail. So the aspect ratio original is based on an eight by 12 aspect ratio or four by six.

If you need to switch from vertical to horizontal, click on this little button to do that.

Now, if you need a different aspect ratio, let’s say you want to do an eight by 10.

You can select four by five to get that aspect ratio. Now, I just mentioned that the original is eight by 12 or four by six.

That means when you select four by five or eight by 10, if you want to do an eight by 10 print, you’re going to lose two inches of your image.

It won’t delete those pixels permanently, so it’s non-destructive.

If I go ahead and apply this and then come back into the crop tool, you’ll see that those pixels are still there in case you need to readjust the composition.

So don’t worry about seeing this darker area outside of this grid. It’s not going to remove or crop those pixels permanently. So again, you can select the aspect ratio you need for your specific intended output.

For example, you may need a size for Instagram. That would either be four by five or square. So you can select those aspect ratios from here.

If you want a five-by-seven print or 11 by 14, you would select a five-by-seven aspect ratio From here, two by three would be four by six, eight by 12, et cetera.

And then we have some other options here as well. Now they also have a Facebook feed and cover aspect ratio so that it fits into that size for your Facebook cover.

If you need a specific size, let’s say maybe for your website, you can type in that aspect ratio from here.

I’m going to put this back to the original. And Ashley, if we go in here and select free it’s not going to confine it to a specific aspect ratio.

If we click on a side or a corner, it’s free. You can create any aspect ratio size that you want.

It’s going to be different from these specific aspect ratios here. So I’m going to go back to our original.

And as I mentioned, if you want to adjust this manually, you can grab a corner or a side and then drag in or out to resize that composition or crop it even more.

Then you can click on the inside and drag around the image to place that composition exactly where you want it.

And you can also rotate if you place your cursor on the outside here; you’re going to see these double arrows.

And then, you can click and drag around to rotate the image as needed and to reset it. If you need to reset and return to the original, just click on this arrow right here.

All right, composition AI will use artificial intelligence to auto automatically compose your image to be stronger than it currently is, at least in theory. Sometimes it works well; sometimes, it doesn’t.

This is a starting point to see if it will give you a composition that works well for that particular image.

And I say in theory because it will base its decision on what is known as the rule of thirds, which is a composition technique.

Now, this is not how it was programmed to do, but that’s the sense I get when I apply the composition AI button to images.

It gives me that rule of thirds, which means your subject should be placed in these four quadrants where these grids intersect.

And when your subject is on one of those, it makes for a stronger composition.

Again, this is a compositional rule. Rules are meant to be broken, which doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for every image.

If I click the Composition AI button here, it will try to compose that image based on that rule of thirds, placing the subject in this bottom quadrant right here.

This particular edit or this crop needs to be revised for this image. There’s too much empty space up in here.

I would rather see this downy woodpecker that I captured at Point Pey National Park more in this quadrant up here. So let’s go ahead and move them. So that’s a little bit better.

I like to have a little space between objects along the edge here, but this is a stronger composition than the composition AI gave me.

I’ll use it as a starting point and then adjust as needed.

I’m going to go ahead and undo that, and I’m going to go in and select a different image here with the horizon because there’s a cool little tool in here, horizon

Alignment that will auto-align your horizon to make it straight. So now it’s not crooked. It wasn’t that crooked before, but it does a good job of fixing that alignment for you.

Now if you need to flip your image, you can do that with these buttons here.

You can also rotate as well.

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