Don't Like Your Crop? Here are Three Ways to Expand Photos in Photoshop

Have you ever taken an image and wished you'd taken a step farther back or used a slightly wider lens? Well, there may be hope yet.

I have an addiction to longer prime lenses, anything north of 90mm. While this often gives me the look I enjoy in my images, it can give you very little room to play with, in post, particularly if you see the opportunity to crop the image differently. This can happen if you missed a compositional trick at the time of shooting, but now is obvious. So, you usually just have to chalk it up as a loss and settle for the less imaginative composition. However, there are often times where the surroundings of your subject aren't so intricate that you could take that desired step back, digitally.

For this to work, you have to take your image and increase the canvas size in the direction you wish to have more room to crop. Once you have that daunting white space, you need to populate it with what would (or could) have been there, without breaking the realism of the image. Content Aware Fill is a tool that has been in Adobe Photoshop for a while now and has great success in simple pattern and texture replication, but struggles with intricacies and sporadic details. You can of course fix the odd anomalies manually, but in this video, PiXimperfect walks you through three different ways to get the best results every time.

Robert K Baggs's picture

Robert K Baggs is a professional portrait and commercial photographer, educator, and consultant from England. Robert has a First-Class degree in Philosophy and a Master's by Research. In 2015 Robert's work on plagiarism in photography was published as part of several universities' photography degree syllabuses.

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I'm starting to like this guy. He knows his stuff.