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How to Crop Photographs

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How to Crop Photographs

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Once you have your layout planned and have decided on the photos you are going to use in your scrapbook, it is time to crop.Crop your photos to capture the best of the subject in each photo. There may be a lot of background images that aren't essential to the memory you were trying to capture, so you can remove them from the photo.

If the background is essential, you can leave it as is, or crop the photo partially using the blades in combination with the oval or circle cutting templates. You can also use the corner rounder or leave the corners square depending on the content of the photo and how you want it to look.

Use the oval and circle sizing templates to make sure you are combining the right size cutting template with the correct accompanying blade to crop your photos. The colored lines provide a clear guideline to help you decide the size to crop your photos to get only what you want from them. The sizing templates also contain a legend of the colored lines to help you match the size you want to crop your photo or paper with the appropriate blade.

When you begin using the sizing templates and blades it is a good idea to first practice on extra copies of photos or paper other than your scrapbooking papers so you don't waste any. Lay the photo or paper you are using on your self-healing mat to protect your work surface. Arrange the cutting template over the photo or paper and hold it in place firmly with one hand and hold the blade in the other hand. When you are cropping a photo or cutting papers you need to make sure you run the blade in the track all the way around the cutting template, pressing down firmly. Before you lift the cutting template from the photo or paper you are cropping, try to move the portion you have cut from the rest of the photo or paper to see if it has separated completely. If it has, remove the cutting template, if it hasn't, run the blade around again until the cropped portion has separated. It will be harder to line the cutting template up again if you remove it then discover the photo or paper wasn't completely cut.

Scissors vs. personal trimmers vs. blades vs. corner rounder (see Scrapbook Cropping Tools for pictures and definitions of each).

• Scissors are less neat and accurate while the personal trimmer gives you a straight line you can count on as long as you use the tool properly.
• Blades in combination with the round and oval shapes give you a wider range of shapes and sizes you can cut your photos and papers into to create a dynamic page layout that does your photos justice.
• The corner rounder adds a familiar dimension to photos as well as complimenting the content of the photo (if you have mainly round images in a photo, use the corner rounder, if you have mainly square images in a photo, use the personal trimmer to make it the size you desire but leave the corners as is).

Use Fiskars scissors to accentuate the edges of your photo even further if you think it necessary. Wavy lines could be used to enhance a beach picture while a jagged, mechanical line could spice up a picture of a car or an individual portrait. There are many possibilities here because of the variety of edges these scissors offer you. They give you the opportunity to get creative with the photos and papers you are using on each page. Simply cutting out a photo or the paper backing the photo with these scissors can add new dimension to a page and make the subject of the page stand out like you want it to.

Cropping old family photos

It is best to plan your pages well before you do anything permanent you can't undo. These photos may be all that remains of your family history and they are something you can't afford to lose!

If you are cropping old black and white photos for a Heritage album, you may find that some are ripped, stained or damaged in some other way. You have a couple of options if you want to repair the photo before putting it in your Scrapbook album. You can always take it to a photo shop where they restore old photos if the damage is fairly extensive, or if not, you can repair it yourself. In the case of a small tear, use one of your adhesive strips to hold it together, making sure it looks okay at the front of the photo before applying the adhesive and attaching the photo to the page.

If you decide not to repair your photos, remember damaged photos will stand out on a scrapbook page. You will do more justice to the subject of the photos if you remove the damaged portions unless it requires cutting out an essential portion of the photo, such as a person, a building, or the subject of the photo that you want to remember. This is probably the hardest decision you have to make when you are preparing your photos to use in an album.

Once you are a bit more experienced, cropping your photos beforehand is an important time saver especially if you are working through boxes of existing photos. It gives you more time to work on your layouts if the pictures are already prepared to go on the page. If you are working with pictures as you take (in the case of digital cameras) or develop them, think about your pictures before you take them to make sure you have what you want for the scrapbook you want to create.

Safety Tips

When using any of the blades for cutting photos or papers to the size and shape you want, handle them carefully because they are very sharp.

Use a self-healing mat when cutting photos or papers with any of your blades to protect your work surface.


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