John Carter to the rescue! After an emailed question about cropping pictures in iPhoto John gives us the step-by-step info we need. The following is straight from him to us.
To crop a picture in iPhoto to send to a print service:
1. In iPhoto, right-click on the photo in the Photos, Event, or Album.
2. Select Edit in iPhoto.
3. Click on the crop tool.
4. Click on Constrain.
5. From the pull-down list of numbers, choose the size of the print you will be ordering. A rectangular box will appear on the photo.
6. Drag the corners or any side to resize the rectangle to include what you want in the photo. Notice that if you attempt to make the box very narrow that it will eventually switch from landscape mode to portrait mode.
7. You can reposition the rectangle by dragging from the inside of the crop box.
8. A Rule Of Thirds grid appears only while you are adjusting the size of the crop box.
9. When you have the desired area selected, click Done.
10. Select File > Export to save the file to a flash drive or thumb drive or on the internal hard drive. Be sure to select Current in the Kind option as this will ensure that you are exporting the edited image.
Now that you have the proper aspect ratio of the photo and supposedly of the desired size, you should also make sure that the dots per inch is set to at least 240dpi. This is done with Preview.
1. Double click on the exported photo from iPhoto to open it in Preview.
2. Select Tools > Adjust Size from the menu.
3. Deselect Resample image (see below). You must do this to before changing the Resolution.
5. Notice that the ratio of width to height is not exactly 6:4, or 0.6667, but it’s close enough (0.6664) - we hope. Change the Resolution to 240 or 300 and select OK to save this setting. This is important! Do not skip this step!
7. Select Tools > Adjust Size from the menu again.
8. Leave Resample image set and change the width or height to the desired final print size.
9. You now have a photo you can send to the printer and get back something to feel good about.
This is rather complex. Is there an application that will give the right aspect ratio, size, and resolution that isn’t so complicated? Yes. Photoshop Elements and Photoshop CS can crop and resize the photo to be exactly the right size, aspect ratio, and desired resolution.
To crop a picture in Photoshop to send to a print service:
1. Open the file with Photoshop Elements or Photoshop CS.
2. Select the Crop tool.
3. In the menu bar, set the aspect ratio, width, height, and resolution.
4. click to enlarge:
5. Crop the image.
6. Save the image.