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The "A.B." in ABCreations stands for Anmarie Bowden, that's me! My favorite ice cream is Mississippi Mud from Baskin Robbins, altho I'm partial to Oreos crumbled on top of Vanilla Bean ice cream too! I was born on Super Bowl Sunday. I have been digiscraping since 2000. I live in beautiful sunny California. I am married to my soul mate and we have two gorgeous children. My favorite saying is, “If you think my hands are full, you should see my heart!”


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Tuesday's Tip: Cropping Photographs

My friends always tell me I have a "good eye." I was never really sure what that meant until I was helping someone hang a framed photo on the wall and told her it needed to go a bit more left. She moved it a bit left and then her husband came by with a level. To all our surprise, the frame was perfectly straight on the wall. This is how cropping photos works for me, I can just tell what needs to happen. This can often get me into trouble, as my 'eye' doesn't see in standard photo dimensions, so sometimes my crops aren't 4x6 or 5x7 or 8x10. Thankfully, this doesn't matter on a scrapbook page, lol!

So in order to help explain how to properly crop photos, I went back through my photos and tried to understand what my 'eye' sees when its telling me to crop this or that. When I crop photos for a layout, I look at the photo and determine what the main action of the photo is. Many times there is too much background or foreground and it can be trimmed off. If you choose to crop your photos (you don't have to!) it will make the subjects appear closer by trimming off some of the foreground. Also, this will allow you to place more photos on the page to tell the story (i like a lot of photos on my pages). If you choose to crop your photos, make certain to use a paper trimmer to ensure straight lines (my 'eye' NEEDS straight lines). If you need to crop an irreplaceable, one-of-a-kind photograph,  PLEASE have a copy made and crop that. Also, instant photos should not be cropped because of the chemicals inside them (don't crop old polaroids or the new ones either, they consists of several layers with chemicals sealed inside, you'll ruin the photo and the chemicals inside will ruin anything they touch).

Now, I know there are people out there who are going to cringe as they read what I write next, so hold on... Photographs can be cropped into any shape from a template. Yes, it is ok to crop your photos into shapes! However, it is NOT a requirement! You don't have to crop anything, ever! However, if you get the urge, or someone has photobombed you and you are ready to crop them out, a soft art pencil can be used to trace the shape onto your photograph. Once the photograph has been cut into the traced shape, the excess pencil can usually be wiped away with a soft cloth without damaging the photograph. Templates are available in hundreds of designs and themes. Keep in mind that cookie cutters make great templates! Circle and oval cutters are also available (my circle cutter means I never have to trace and cut, it does the job for me). If you choose to crop several of your photographs into circles or ovals, these tools will save you a lot of time. Check out my layout below. See? The circle thing isn't all that bad! ;)

If you cringed at the photo cutting, don't read this part... Silhouetting a photograph is another option. This simply means trimming around the subject in a photograph, following its contours. This technique is not for every page or photograph, but sometimes it enhances the page and/or the photograph as well as enables you to place more photographs on a page. When silhouetting a photograph, use a small pair of scissors so you can cut around corners and delicate areas. Take extra care when cutting around hair to ensure that heads are not misshapen! Here is one of my silhouetted photos on a scrapbook layout, its not a technique I use often, but... well, let me know what you think.

Be sure to leave a comment below telling me how you have cropped your photos or why you don't crop or if you like my silhouetting, you know I love hearing from you!

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