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Lightroom 3: crop landscape to portrait

David Littleboy (Tokyo, Japan) , Aug 07, 2010; 06:24 a.m.

I have a photo I took in landscape orientation, knowing that I need to crop a portrait orientation image out of it with a specific aspect ratio. So I enter the custom aspect ratio (35 x 45), and try cropping and the crop remains a landscape one. OK, so I enter (45 x 35) as another custom aspect ratio and try again.
And find I've been outsmarted.
Lightroom knows that my image is a landscape one, and uses a wider than high crop for both aspect ratios.
Is there a way to persuade Lightroom 3 to crop a landscape shot to a portrait orientation with a specific aspect ratio?


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Howard M , Aug 07, 2010; 07:30 a.m.

have you tried something simple like rotating the image first. perhaps LR is locking onto the orientation metadata and you can fool it by rotating it.

David Littleboy (Tokyo, Japan) , Aug 07, 2010; 08:08 a.m.

Hmm. I don't see an obvious way to rotate 90 degrees (other than in the print module). But that would leave my subject rotated 90 degrees and me cropping a portrait to portrait (since it won't allow me to crop a landscape out of a portrait (just tried that)). I could do this with a free-hand crop no problem, but then I'd have difficulties getting the size exactly right.

(I've solved the immediate problem by reshooting the image, which is just a mug shot for an ID card, so (this being Japan) it has to be exactly the right size with my nose exactly in the middle and with exactly the right amount of space above my head.)

michael cytrynowicz , Aug 07, 2010; 08:25 a.m.

This is gotta be one of the most puzzling behaviors in Lightroom, but I figured it out (by chance). Select a corner of your crop frame, drag to make it smaller and smaller. At some point it will just flip from landscape to portrait, and _then_ you can drag again to enlarge the crop frame _in portrait mode-.

try it...


Tony Bynum , Aug 07, 2010; 08:27 a.m.

just grab the corner of the crop mark, shorten it in lock crop mode (locks the aspect ratio) and as you drag the corner crop mark toward the center of the image it will flip 90 degrees and retain the crop aspect ration you set . . .

Kevin Foster , Aug 07, 2010; 08:32 a.m.


In lightroom 3 under the settings tab at the top of your screen, you will find "rotate crop aspect". Simply click on that and your crop will flip flop to portrait from landscape.

If you have a mac simply hit the x key while in crop mode.


Juergen Sattleru , Aug 07, 2010; 08:34 a.m.

Thank you for that solution - that was one thing I could never figure out in LR.

David Littleboy (Tokyo, Japan) , Aug 07, 2010; 08:40 a.m.

Thanks, Kevin. You're flipping brilliant! (Pun intended, of course.) And x works on peecees, too.

Kevin Foster , Aug 07, 2010; 08:45 a.m.

Glad to help. I spent an hour messing with it the other night, and boy did I feel stupid when I found it.

barry goldberg , Aug 07, 2010; 09:13 a.m.

In LR3, while in crop mode, you could press the "X" key to change the orientation. This works on both PCs and Macs. (an earlier poster said that this was Mac-only).

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