Today’s Question: I am unable to pull the corners of a crop outside of the image canvas in Lightroom Classic, yet it is easy to do in Photoshop. When straightening an image this is especially applicable because I want to keep all that I have in the frame. I can use content aware or clone the blank spots later. Is there a way to enable this?
Tim’s Quick Answer: You can enable the option to crop beyond the image area in Lightroom Classic by reducing the value for the Scale slider in the Transform section of the right panel in the Develop module. However, you can’t alter the pixels beyond the image area in Lightroom Classic, so you would need Photoshop or other software for that purpose.
More Detail: By default, Lightroom Classic does not enable you to extend the crop box outside the actual image area. This is aimed at preventing you from having empty areas around the outer edges of the photo, but of course considering you can use image-cleanup techniques to fill in those areas, it would be reasonable to be able to extend the crop beyond the image area.
Fortunately, you can work around this limitation by reducing the value for the Scale slider found in the Transform section of the right panel in the Develop module. Reducing the value for Scale will effectively zoom the image out a little bit. You can then go back to the Crop tool and make sure the “Constrain to Image” checkbox is turned off. At that point you’ll be able to move the crop box beyond the edge of the image.
However, you still can’t alter the pixels that were created beyond the crop box in this scenario. Therefore, to perform image cleanup work to fill in those pixels, or otherwise alter the appearance of that area, you would need to send the image to Photoshop or another external editor. For this reason, there isn’t much advantage of using the above workaround to be able to extend the canvas area for an image within Lightroom Classic.