The Crop Tool is something that most photographers use at some point or another. Some use it all the time while others use it only occasionally. If you would like to crop non-destructively so that you can modify the Crop at a later time and are cropping a background layer, you must first unlock it by double-clicking on the background layer in the Layer Panel. You can see that it has a little lock on it right now. I'll double-click and then click OK in the New dialog box. The background layer is renamed Layer 0 now. Next select the Crop Tool in the Tool Panel. If you want to crop to a specific Aspect Ratio then fill in the Width and Height. For example, right now my Width and Height are set to a 7 by 5. I can clear that out and say to Crop to an 8 by 10. I can also fill in a specific resolution if I'm printing then the image may be resized accordingly using the method that you've chosen in Preferences. Most of the time I prefer to crop an image based on what esthetically looks pleasing to me, so I'm going to clear out these options so that I can make a Free Crop based on what looks good for this specific image. If you make prints though you might prefer to crop your image to a standard size in order to take advantage of pre-cut mats and frames. Keep in mind that if you crop aggressively you'll be left with a file that's much smaller and depending how large it was initially may or may not be able to be printed at the size you want. It's always best to come as close as possible to the desired final composition when you compose the image in camera. That said, sometimes circumstances prevent you from being able to get as close to your subject as you'd like. For example, when I saw this little boy I was sitting inside a cafe. Had I tried to run outside to photograph him the moment would have been long gone. So I'm going to crop out the distracting elements in this image. I initially click and drag to define a Crop Area, but then I use the handles to further modify the area that I'm going to have remaining. I can try it at Larger, Smaller, I can also click and drag the Crop Area trying out slightly different compositions. When I have one I think I like then I can click on the checkmark to Apply it, or I can click Return. However, before I do so there's one more option to check, and that is Cropped Area, Delete or Hide. If I want to crop non-destructively I must choose Hide. And now when I Apply the Crop the image will be cropped the way I drew the Crop Box but if I come up to Image, Reveal All, I immediately see the entire image again. Being able to crop non-destructively can be very, very handy. One other thing to keep in mind when using the Crop Tool, and I'm going to draw the Crop Box again, is that you can actually extend your Crop outside of the limits of the image. For example, I can crop a little bit farther down, and I'll move this over, and now when I apply the Crop extra canvas is added to the image. Obviously I'm going to have to fill in that extra canvas using the Clone Tool, Healing Brushes, or Patch Tool, but that way I can preserve parts of my image that I can't do when using the Crop Tool in Adobe Camera Raw. The Crop Tool in Photoshop allows you a little bit more flexibility.
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