Cropping is the removal of unwanted outer areas from a photographic or illustrated image. The process usually consists of the removal of some of the peripheral areas of an image to remove extraneous trash from the picture, to improve its framing, to change the aspect ratio, or to accentuate or isolate the subject matter from its background. Depending on the application, this can be performed on a physical photograph, artwork, or film footage, or it can be achieved digitally by using image editing software. The process of cropping is common to the photographic, film processing, broadcasting, graphic design, and printing businesses.
In the printing, graphic design and photography industries, cropping is the removal of unwanted areas from the periphery of a photographic or illustrated image. Cropping is one of the most basic photo manipulation processes, and it is carried out to remove an unwanted object or irrelevant noise from the periphery of a photograph, to change its aspect ratio, or to improve the overall composition. In telephoto photography, most commonly in avian and aviation photography, an image is cropped to magnify the primary subject and further reduce the angle of view—when a lens of sufficient focal length to achieve the desired magnification directly was not available. It is considered one of the few editing actions permissible in modern photojournalism along with tonal balance, color correction and sharpening. A cropping made by trimming off the top and bottom margins of a photograph, or a film, produces a view that mimics the panoramic format (in photography) or the widescreen format in cinematography and broadcasting. Neither of these formats is cropped as such, but rather they are products of highly specialized optical configurations and camera designs.