Flowers, hipstamatic, Instagram, iPhone, Lens Artists Photo Challenge, Luminar, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, What I Am Working On

What I Am Working On: Cropping and Layers

The file I was working with this morning illustrates how edits can really change a photo, and one of the most powerful tools is the cropping tool:

ISO 25 f/2.2 1/377sec 4.2mm

This first edit was created in the app Hipstamatic using the randomize feature which means that the filters were chosen for me. The second edit was also created in Hipstamatic, but I chose the various filters and it was the version that I added to my Instagram feed:

View this post on Instagram

Busy. #bee #flowers #thingsiseeonmywalks

A post shared by Amy Maranto (@marantophotography) on

I go back and forth between these two and I think there are elements to both that I like but that neither is exactly right. This morning’s edit which I created using the original file in Luminar 3 is this one:

ISO 25 f/2.2 1/377sec 4.2mm

This edit keeps the original ratio of the photograph and is more top-heavy than the square version. When I was working on this edit, the crop was the second edit in my workflow. I started with basic edits like luminosity and adjusting the blacks and whites. Then on a separate layer, I did the crop. Then on an additional layer, I added then tweaked a custom Luminar look that I have saved as a preset. It turned out that when I got to that point, I wasn’t completely satisfied with the crop. Because the crop was on its own layer, it was easy to click on and edit just that layer.

So, there are two important points here I think, first is that the crop set to different ratios can really change the photo’s story and second that putting the crop on its own layer can make your editing process much easier.

Your thoughts on cropping in general or in this specific case are welcome below. This post was inspired by the Lens Artist Challenge, One Single Flower.



14 thoughts on “What I Am Working On: Cropping and Layers

  1. What fun photo you took. I like your post-processing as well. Cropping is a tool I constantly use. Thanks so much for playing along in the Lens-Artist challenge this week. 😀


  2. Hi, Amy. I agree. Your 3rd shot has more intensity in terms of color and impact on the viewer. The third is also a more effective crop. The color of this flower is marvelous.


  3. I think the result has added strength to the image. It’s a lovely photo. As one who has photographed and seen the world in a 3:2 ration most of my grown life, I have over the last couple of years started to enjoy the square format. However, each subject and each composition requires its own crop.


    • Yes, I’m pretty new to actually enjoying the square crop. It’s kind of funny because it’s just as arbitrary of a ratio as any of the other commonly used ones. For myself, I think I avoided it for a while just because the 3:2 ratio was what I learned first.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.