Saturday, October 24, 2009

Photo Cropping Made Easy

I love creating "Gratitude" layouts. Even though the things I'm grateful for stay pretty constant from year to year, I think it's fun coming up with new ways to express them.

This layout was inspired by the phrase "Counting my Blessings." I thought it would be fun to substitute falling leaves with numbers to symbolize the abundance of blessings we receive each year. I also wanted a way to include lots of pictures on the page but keep the layout linear. My solution came in the form of 2" x 6" photos. This way I was able to add 7 photos without overwhelming the overall feel of the layout. I left one photo in color, because I wanted to showcase the beautiful autumn colors as well as the temple, and changed all the rest to black and white.

Papers: Pebbles; Dies: QuicKutz; Stamps: American Crafts, Hampton Art; Border Punch: Fiskars; Cork: QuicKutz; Other: felt, buttons, pins, ribbon.

While reading through the September 2009 issue of Creating Keepsakes, I ran across an article by Jessica Sprague about a cool technique for getting multiple photos on one 4x6 print. She taught how to create six 2x2 photos on one print and I used the same technique to get two 2x6 photos on one print. I have looked all over the internet for a link to this and haven't been able to find one. So I will share with you how it's done. Please keep in mind that I am NOT a Photoshop expert at all, but this is what worked for me. (This tutorial came straight from the Creating Keepsakes magazine...I have just changed the dimensions to create the photos for this particular layout).

1. Open two photos. Go to File>New>Blank File to create a new document. Set it to 4" wide, 6" tall and 300 pixels per inch. Click OK.
2. Double-click on your first photo in the Project Bin to switch to it. Select the Crop Tool. In the Options bar at the top of your screen, type 2" for the width, 6" for the height and 300 pixels/inch for the resolution. Click and drag over your photo to select a crop area. Double-click inside the selection to commit.
3. Select the Move Tool. Click and drag the cropped photo down onto the thumbnail of your new document in the Project Bin at the bottom of your screen. When Photoshop Elements switches over to your blank document, click and drag your photo to position it as desired. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for each photo.

This is what your 4x6 print will look like when you are done. Simply cut them apart to attach the photos to your layout.

I love using this technique for printing wallet-sized photos as well. It's a real money saver and takes the guess work out of cropping manually. Give it a try!

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