By Charlie Kerekes, 10/20/2005
Try this as a fun family project—collect your favorite digital photos from your most recent vacation or family gathering and create a photo collage. You can print your composition on 8.5x11" photo paper to put into an album, or have it developed into an over-sized poster. Can print here no bigger than 22 inch on one side.
In this short article I will tell you about the basic tools you need to create a collage and the general steps to follow. The list of tools is fairly short:
What should a collage include? Anything you want. Vacations, family events, birthdays, and even a photographic family tree.
To keep it simple while learning, start a collage that looks like a traditional photo album page with a white background and pictures placed in various locations with margins around them. If you are an advanced user of your editing software, you can move on to more advanced collage making by adding fancy borders around the photos, blending the edges with the "feather" feature, or adding creative text styles.
A note about the Photo Album Pages wizard
If you are an Adobe Photoshop Elements 3 or 4 user, you may have seen the Photo Album Pages creation wizard. This feature is an easy way to create a collage of images for an album page, but you are limited to the styles offered by the software. With the steps below, you are limited only by your imagination and skills.
I have created a basic collage as an example to use in this article. As you can see below, I started with four scenic photos from a recent vacation and placed them on a single page. All of the original photos were the same size and shape. In the collage I sized some smaller than others and cropped the top right into a narrow panoramic view.
Here are the steps for creating the collage using Adobe Photoshop Elements 4.0 or 3.0. If you have a different editing software, you can still follow along because the concepts will be applicable.
If you saved your collage as a JPEG file in step 18, be sure to always go back to your Photoshop (*.PSD) file any time you want to make changes. After making changes to the Photoshop file, repeat step 18 to re-save as JPEG.
With practice, you will be able to create collages at increasing speed and complexity.