Digital SLR Photography - - Contents -

Cre­ate a stylish multi- im­age col­lage in Pho­to­shop in min­utes with our easy- to- fol­low guide

THERE ARE A hand­ful of third- party soft­wares out there that make it easy for you to cre­ate col­lages us­ing a drag-' n- drop in­ter­face – the likes of Blogstomp or the Tych Panel Pho­to­shop plug- in, for ex­am­ple. These are handy if you’re mak­ing col­lages reg­u­larly, but if you just fancy cre­at­ing a one- off col­lec­tion of im­ages, then you can do this in Pho­to­shop or El­e­ments quickly and eas­ily with­out ad­di­tional soft­ware or ex­pense. Here’s how… 1 CRE ATE

A NEW DOC­U­MENT Go to File> New and choose a blank file size and res­o­lu­tion depend­ing on your in­tended out­put. As I’m print­ing to roughly A4 at 300dpi, I’ve used one of Pho­to­shop’s pre­set sizes. Next, with the blank doc­u­ment open, click on the doc­u­ment ti­tle tab in the main Pho­to­shop win­dow and drag it into the workspace so it dis­plays as a float­ing win­dow, as shown.


ALL OF YOUR IM­AGES Re­peat Step 2 for your other im­ages, open­ing, drag­ging and drop­ping, then re­name the lay­ers un­til you think you have enough im­ages for your col­lage. Hide all of the lay­ers ex­cept one by us­ing the eye icon in the Lay­ers pal­ette. Go to View> Show and en­sure Grid is ticked – this will help you line up the im­ages so they’re equally spaced and look vis­ually ap­peal­ing. 5 REPE AT

FOR ALL IM­AGES I find it eas­i­est to line up im­ages later by us­ing whole or half grid squares as a border. Here, I’ve used a full square as an edge border, and al­lowed for a half a grid be­tween im­ages. Re­peat this process for each layer in your col­lage, re­siz­ing and po­si­tion­ing as you see fit. If you’ve not al­lowed for enough im­ages, or you’ve gaps, you can open more im­ages by re­peat­ing Step 2.


THE EDGES If you’ve planned the lay­out well enough that your col­lage fills the page neatly then you can fin­ish things here, but more often than not I find there are small over­laps where im­ages don’t quite line up. To fix this, with the of­fend­ing layer ac­tive, select the Rec­tan­gu­lar Marquee tool and drag it across where you want to trim. Then sim­ply press the Backspace key to delete this part.


YOUR FIRST IM­AGE Go to File> Open and choose an im­age. Use a va­ri­ety of land­scape and por­trait- ori­en­tated im­ages – you can even use square crops to fill gaps. Drag the file into the workspace, as be­fore, so it be­comes a float­ing win­dow. Then, use the Move tool to drag the im­age across to the blank doc­u­ment. Re­name this new layer so you can iden­tify it, and close the orig­i­nal im­age.


YOUR FIRST IM­AGE With your first im­age ac­tive in the Lay­ers pal­ette, go to Edit> Free Trans­form ( or press cmd + T on Mac, or ctrl + T on Win­dows). Hold down the Shift key, and use the cor­ner an­chors to resize your im­age to suit the doc­u­ment. Once done, press the En­ter key. En­sure View> Snap is ticked and that View> Snap To> Grid is se­lected too – this makes it eas­ier to place im­ages.


IF NEEDED You might have some un­con­ven­tional- sized holes to fill. The quick­est way to do this is to crop your im­ages to shape be­fore drag­ging them onto the doc­u­ment. I’ve got a small square gap in my col­lage, so I open a new im­age, select the Crop tool and set a ra­tio of 1: 1 in the top menu bar to crop the im­age square be­fore drag­ging it over and plac­ing it, as per Step 2.


A TI­TLE Any spare space at the bot­tom of the doc­u­ment can be cropped by us­ing the Crop tool, or you can fill it with a ti­tle or cap­tion. To do the lat­ter, select the Text tool and click on the im­age. Then type out your cap­tion or ti­tle, first choos­ing your font, size and colour. You can use the Free Trans­form func­tion, as per Step 4, to resize and re­po­si­tion the text too. There – all done!

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