This past weekend I went to Arlington National Cemetery with my son to lay a few wreaths for the Wreaths Across America campaign. We were especially happy that we were able to lay a wreath on my Father-in-Law’s grave site. I also went there to take some photos and I let my son use my NEX-7 so he could grab some of his own shots as well. I was sorting through his images this morning and I found this one shot that, at first, doesn’t look all that good.
There is a lot of distracting road in the foreground and a little too much sky above. The thing is though that I like the scene of the tombstones with the wreaths in the center of the image. I opened it up in the Develop module of Lightroom and pressed the R key to open the crop tool. I could have cropped in using the same aspect ratio but then I would have lost a lot of the tombstones on the edges. To remedy this I clicked on the padlock icon to remove the aspect ratio lock and then just pulled in the crop edges on the bottom and top.
This is an easy way to make a fake pano and in this instance, it really transformed the shot. After a couple of other tweaks in Lightroom and Photoshop, I have a nice little pano shot that would look great as a gallery print or canvas on the wall. So next time you are sorting through your photos, don’t be so quick to dismiss a bad shot. THere could be a hidden gem just waiting for the crop tool to uncover.