Sometimes you have an iPhoneography app and you use it time and again for the same thing. Learning about an existing function within an app you already own is like a free present. Magic Crop in Handy Photo is just such a feature.

A little while ago I got asked to create an image by someone. My style(s) are quite defined so I am told and so in general people know what to expect. Almost without exception my images are square. That is probably a result of iPhone photography apps like Instagram and online browsing in general not treating portrait ratio images very favorably. In my defence my compositions and subject matter tend to lend themselves to a square format and it is a ‘shape’ I enjoy hanging on my wall. My motivations are led by the image and not by publishing platforms.

I sent a draft version through to my friend and the request came back that they really like the image but would like it converting to a square format. Given what I’ve just said about my known iPhone photography style, that didn’t to me seem like an unreasonable request at all. It is fair to say that with this piece my initial choice of portrait ratio was led by the image subject but possibly, like me, they like the square format for wall hanging. I was happy to rework the image.

My challenge though was to change the ratio in the most sympathetic way possible – using only iPhone photography apps of course, without compromising composition or the subject itself. In an ideal world my cropping and re-sizing is all done at stage one of the process but this is close to the finished image and I needed to find a new way. Allow me to introduce the Handy Photo iPhoneography app Magic Crop feature.

iPhone photography apps used:

iPhone photography tip - Magic crop

{ iPhone photography tip – magic crop }

This iPhone photography tip focuses on the Magic Crop feature in Handy Photo as applied to this image. It is not an end to end iPhoneography tutorial of the creation of this image.

Narrated video – Handy Photo magic crop iPhone photography tip

Around 2 minutes long including introductions:

If Handy Photo would be a welcome addition to your iPhone photography app library, It can be downloaded from the iTunes App Store.




Handy Photo iPhone Photograpy app – Magic Clone – video summary:

Handy Photo ~ open the image in Handy Photo and tap the hand in the upper right corner:

Handy Photo ~ the ‘wheel’ can be spun by dragging to reveal additional options (including some great textures). The option I need is immediately visible though. Tap the scissors to open magic crop:

Handy Photo ~ a set of options appears in the bottom left corner. Again if there are more than the space will allow the ‘wheel’ can be spun to reveal additional options. I tap free and select the 1:1 ratio:

Handy Photo ~ A magic crop box appears over the iPhoneography image. The box can be re-positioned and re-sized even outside of the image. Here I have dragged the bottom right corner outside of the image. It has hidden some of the top of the image but is automatically filling in the new canvas I have created:

Handy Photo ~ I repeat the process by dragging the top left corner of the magic crop box up and outside of the image to regain the original height of the image. Handy Photo repeats the process of automatically filling in the canvas I have added:

Handy Photo ~ Tap the arrow to the bottom right to accept the magic crop edits Handy Photo has made:

Handy Photo ~ Tap the hand at the top right corner to reveal the main menu again. Tap the floppy disk and select where you would lile to save your iphone photography edit:


Handy Photo magic crop - before and after

I hope you enjoyed this walk through of the Handy Photo magic crop feature. If you are not familiar with Handy Photo it can be purchased via the iTunes app store.


Related Articles


  1. Geri says:

    Fab tutorial and Handy Photo works better (in my opinion) than AntiCrop, so I’ll be using this instead!

  2. Elaine Taylor says:

    Only just discovered this little gem Paul. Thanks!

Leave a Comment