Resizing vs Cropping Images: What’s The Difference?
How To
Jun 10

Resizing vs Cropping Images: What’s The Difference?

For aspiring photographers, distinguishing between resizing and cropping can be challenging, yet these are two fundamental aspects of post-production. Failure to grasp the difference can lead to issues such as blurry digital prints or unnecessarily large file sizes, which can negatively affect loading times even with a fast internet connection.

Acquiring a comprehensive understanding of cropping and resizing is crucial for image editing. When executed properly, these two processes can greatly enhance the quality of an image. In the following sections, we will delve deeper into the concepts of cropping and resizing, highlighting their significance as essential steps in image manipulation.

Basic Terminology to Keep in Mind

To understand the required dimensions of an image on a web page, it is important to grasp two concepts: pixels and dimensions. Dimensions refer to the width and height measurements that an image needs to fit into for proper presentation. These specifications establish the minimum requirements for the original image to display correctly within a website.

Monitors consist of small dots called pixels (px), which combine to form an image on the screen. Depending on the monitor, it can have thousands or even millions of pixels, enabling you to view images with exceptional clarity.

Each pixel on a display is tiny and can only display a single color, but when many pixels come together, they produce a variety of shades and tones, ultimately creating a complete image. It is possible to have fewer pixels, but it is not possible to add more pixels to an image design.


Cropping is a valuable technique for adjusting a picture and removing unwanted elements. It allows you to customize the image to fit your desired dimensions, composition, subject matter, and aspect ratio. With cropping, you have the opportunity to highlight exactly what you want to emphasize in your picture.

By cropping your photos, you can manipulate attention and alter perspectives. This digital process involves reducing the total number of pixels in an image, resulting in a smaller file size. Furthermore, cropping helps to enhance the visual impact of your photos, making them more appealing.

What are the Reasons to Crop an Image?

Cropping your image is a fundamental technique for removing unwanted elements, and it can also be useful in specific scenarios.

Crafting Images with Print

MyCropImage’s online photo cropper offers a convenient solution for achieving the perfect crop for all your printing needs. It provides pre-set templates tailored to common aspect ratios, including:

  • Square 1:1
  • Landscape 3:2
  • Slide 4:3
  • Widescreen 16:9
  • Portrait 2:3, 9:16
  • Banner 3:1
  • Tall 1:2

In addition, if you aim for the most visually engaging crop, MyCropImage provides Instagram, Meta, and custom crop presets to assist you.

Social Media Cover Images

Maximizing the aesthetic appeal of your image is made simple with the assistance of an image cropper tool. By utilizing the available presets, you can swiftly adjust your graphics to meet the size requirements of all major social media networks, alleviating concerns about distorting your visuals.

When placing overlaid buttons on your image, it is crucial to consider their positioning in order to avoid blocking important elements. Take into account any text or faces that may be obscured by a Follow or Subscribe button, and make adjustments to the crop to ensure a perfect composition.

Refocusing Hierarchy

When you want to draw focus to a specific part of your photo, cropping can be an advantageous tool. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the resolution of the photo should not be compromised.

By strategically cropping your image, you can enhance your visual storytelling and effectively engage your viewers. By isolating and emphasizing certain elements or statements within the photo, you can guide your audience’s gaze and ensure that they observe exactly what you want them to see.

Product Photos for eCommerce

Presenting your best offerings is essential for achieving success, particularly when selling products or advertising rental properties online. High-quality images play a significant role in creating an eye-catching presentation, with sharpness and clarity being vital factors.

To ensure the best visual impact, it’s important to tailor product images to the desired size before resizing them. This two-step process ensures that the images are optimized for maximum visual potential on any platform, regardless of their specific aspect ratio or dimension requirements.

Other Reasons to Consider

Furthermore, there are other situations where cropping becomes necessary. For instance, when the focal length of the lens is not sufficient to capture a subject in its entirety, sports and wildlife photographers may resort to cropping to bring the subject closer and fill the frame completely.

Cropping can also be useful when transforming a landscape-oriented composition into a portrait-oriented one, or vice versa. By employing advanced cropping techniques, you can achieve the desired aesthetic without compromising the integrity of the shot. Fortunately, most modern editing programs offer features that allow you to straighten angled horizons while preserving important details to a great extent.


Now, let’s shift our focus to resizing, which is a distinct process from cropping. Resizing involves changing the dimensions of a picture, which in turn affects the file size and quality. The most common reason for resizing is to decrease the size of large files, making it easier to send or share them online. It is important to understand the procedure for resizing photos to achieve the desired results.

When resizing an image, the first step is to discard unwanted pixels, which reduces the file size. It is also possible to increase the size of an image, but this comes at the cost of image quality. Upsizing involves adding more pixels to fill in the image, but it leads to a decrease in resolution and can result in a blurry, pixelated appearance.

What are the Reasons to Resize an Image?

Resizing images has become essential for various reasons, with some of the most common being:

Decreasing File Size

To maximize storage space on your device, reducing the size and resolution of images is an effective approach. By compressing images, you can save storage capacity for other media and files.

When sending images via email, it’s important to consider the file size. Large image files can take a long time to download, causing inconvenience for the recipient. Resizing images to a smaller file size ensures faster and smoother email transmission.

It’s important to differentiate between resizing and cropping. Resizing an image adjusts its overall dimensions while maintaining its original aspect ratio. On the other hand, cropping involves removing specific parts of the image to achieve a desired composition or aspect ratio.

Blurry Pictures

Working with small images can indeed pose challenges when it comes to enlarging them. When a small image is increased in size, the limited number of pixels it contains is stretched, resulting in a loss of detail and sharpness. Colors may appear less vibrant, and the overall quality of the image can be compromised.

Increasing the size of an image leads to pixelation and blurring because the existing pixels are being stretched to fill a larger area. This can result in a grainy and distorted appearance. It’s important to note that enlarging an image does not add additional pixels or enhance its original quality. Instead, it amplifies the existing pixels, which can lead to a decrease in overall image quality.

In summary, resizing an image can involve either shrinking or enlarging it. Shrinking reduces the image size by discarding pixels, while enlarging increases the resolution, but at the risk of diminishing the quality of the image.

When Should You Use Both?

To achieve a seamless display of images on a website, it is crucial to resize them and, if necessary, adjust them through cropping. It is recommended to resize the image before cropping, as resizing reduces the overall size of the image, making it easier to handle during further editing. On the other hand, cropping allows you to ensure that the image fits perfectly into its designated spot.

For optimal results, it is advisable to start with the largest size of the image. Having larger dimensions provides more flexibility in terms of scaling and trimming the image to fit your website’s requirements.

When deciding whether to upsize or downsize an image, the success of the process depends on the quality of the original image. The file format in which the image is stored can also impact its size in storage and the time it takes to send it as an email attachment. It’s important to consider these factors to optimize the file size, transmission speed, and overall image quality.

A Final Word

Indeed, having a solid understanding of cropping and resizing techniques is essential for producing high-quality images and prints. By applying the pointers and insights provided in this article, you can ensure that you have the necessary knowledge and skills to avoid blurry shots and slow-loading web images. Armed with this information, you can confidently determine when and how to utilize cropping and resizing techniques to achieve the desired results. Remember, mastering these techniques will greatly contribute to your overall success in photography and image editing.