When starting out in photography, one of the first things we hear about is the rule of thirds. We then venture out into the world, lining up our subjects onto imaginary intersecting lines. When we get home, we open our images into Lightroom and find that the crop tool is already set up to help us maintain this rule. But as we advance in our photography careers, we start to find that there are a lot more ways to compose an image. Luckily for us, there is a somewhat hidden option to change the overlay of the crop tool within Lightroom.
After watching a video I recently shared about the art of composition, I have been looking for options to help change the way I compose an image. While searching, I found that there was an easy shortcut within Lightroom that could change the overlay that is displayed when inside of the crop tool. By simply pressing the “O” button, you can cycle through all of the available overlay options. You can also access this function by going Tools > Crop Guide Overlay. This function gives you the option to select between grid, thirds, diagonal, triangle, golden ratio, golden spiral, and aspect ratio.
When you have an overlay that is not symmetrical, such as the golden spiral, you can then press Shift+O in order to rotate the overlay.
If you find that there is an overlay that you do not want to show up when cycling through the options with the “O” shortcut, you have the option the remove it from the available option. To do this, simply go Tools > Crop Guide Overlay > Choose Overlays to Cycle.
The aspect ratio overlay also has the additional option to choose which ratios are displayed on the overlay. To access this, go Tools > Crop Guide Overlay > Choose Aspect Ratios.