Saturday, July 12, 2008

an easy way to get lots of photos on your page!

Do you ever find yourself wanting to include lots of photos on a page, but not sure how to make it work? I recently did this page with the fun Cosmo Cricket Get Happy line, also featuring American Crafts Sprinkles Thickers in blue, and stamps by Kelly Panacci and Maya Road.

Since the page is about my experience at a monster truck jam with hubby and my boys, I wanted to include lots of photos of the trucks on my page. To make this easier to accomplish, I did some of my work in my photo editing software (in this case, PSE 6 - but similar techniques could be used in many other photo editing programs as well).

The horizontal and vertical "strips" that you see include eleven 2x2 photos, but were printed as just four 4x6 photos. If you print your photos at home, you can easily accomplish this result by placing and sizing the photos side-by-side in a Word document, and printing on 8.5x11 photo paper. But if you are like me and prefer to have your photos commercially printed, with just a little bit of prep work prior to uploading your photos, this is still easy to do!

1. For each grouping of photos, open the 3 photos in PSE. Starting with the photo that you want in the center of your strip, crop the photo to the desired size - mine are all 2x2. When you crop, be sure that the "resolution" option box at the top is set to 300.

2. Go to image -> resize -> canvas size, and expand the canvas to 6x4. Change the "anchor" from the default center of the image, to the center-top row of the image. This will make it easier to align the photos in step 5 below.

3. Now go to the photo that you want to place to the left of the center photo (for a horizontal strip). Again, crop the photo to the desired size. making sure that the resolution is set to 300.

4. Select the "move" tool, and drag the cropped photo onto the first image (the one for which you resized the canvas in step 2 above). This will also make that 6x4 photo the active image.

5. Select both layers of the image (the background layer, which is your 6x4 canvas; and also the layer that contains the new 2x2 image). Make sure that the move tool is selected, and go to align and align left edges, and then again go to align and align top edges. Your left-most image is now snugly nestled into position in the left-top corner of the image.

6. Repeat this process with the third image, except in step 5 you will align right edges and top edges.

When you are finished, you have a 6x4 image that looks like this:

Once printed, this is easily cropped into the 6x2 strip of 3 photos for use on the page! Now, if this process seems like more trouble than it's worth - believe me, once you walk through it a time or two, you will see that it's really very easy to do. And, not only does it streamline the task of putting together your page, since the photos are already cropped and can be positioned as a group (rather than trying to line up 11 individually cropped photos on the page), but it also saves money! Instead of paying to have 3 photos printed, I got a 3-for-1 deal. You'll notice also, I could have added a second strip to the lower part of the photo, and thus gotten a 6-for-1 deal! Now who doesn't love that??... more money to spend on scrappy stuff!

I often use these techniques to add 2 or more smaller images to a 6x4 canvas for commercial printing, even when they will be placed separately on the page, just to save on printing costs. I hope you find these tips useful and will try them out - I would love to see the page you produce using them!

- Debbie


Morag Cutts said...

You are so great with multiple photos - you chose the colours perfectly. TFS!

Arlene Camacho said...

wow, awesome tip!!!!

I love how you got so many photos in!