Wednesday, July 30, 2014

PhotoProject :: Creating a “Joiner” collage in picasa

This is another Picture Collage view called Contact Sheet
ne thing I probably have included enough of in this blog is how I do stuff. This is not really as a step my step recipe because I’d rather inspire you to follow the approach than copy what I have done. This should just be something that opens the possibilities not a set of fixed steps. Picasa is being side stepped in preference to google+ photos (ie the on-line service) but it is still available for download for free (as at the time of this blog post at least). One feature it does have that hasn’t (yet) made it onto the on-line side is a wonderful collage maker set of tools. Here is one way you can use them to make a David Hockney style joiner.
The first step is to take a series of slightly overlapping photos. In this case I’m talking a set of the south east horizon at the southern end of Jells park and I’ve taken them with the camera turn into a portrait aspect, to let me have more photos across the vista. Once they are loaded onto Picasa I selected the ones I want (notice they are in reverse order (ie I was moving anticlockwise, but it doesn’t matter for this process) and open the Create/Picture Collage item from the menu (or just click on the collage button if you have that showing). In this example I’m using the Picture Pile setting (on the upper left)
Manipulating the Overlapping Photos  in the Picture Pile
Once you have the pile of pictures on the screen you can move them roughly into order and there will be overlap. Rather than try and match everything up (which you can do) I want to give that joiner style look so I am deliberately rotating some images a little (To do this click on a photo and a scaling and orientation scale appears if you grab the “handle” with the mouse and rotate it the photo rotate of move it in and out to scale the photo). You can do this individually or select a few or all the photos, and scale or rotate them in unison.If you want to change the order of the pile, right click on the photo you want, which brings up a submenu and you can Move to to Bottom or Bring to the Top.  I have left a lot of overlap in my photo set, probably more than I need, so I am taking some images out of the foreground making them a fraction large and putting them at the back to emphasis the overlapping nature.
Using Eyedropper to pick backgroung colour
You can shuffle around the set however you want. I’m not looking for such a regular appearance and don’t mind a bend of two in the horizon, as I feel this emphasise the fact that this is a set of images. You can select them all and scale them to best fit your frame (I’m using a special 2:1 landscape shape I have created in the printout options in Picasa). Then to finish off I use the eye dropper to pick a blue shade from the sky (you have to click in the colour swatch to get the eye dropper icon then just select a suitable point in the image or colour from the pop up colour menu). I have also choosen to use a drop shadow to further emphasise the overlapping photo feel. That’s it just click on create collage to save you creation. You can always come back and edit the collage, if you leave it in the special collage album.
Finished "joiner" style collage
My joiner is only a single layer and you can easily use this approach to assemble a large matrix of photos, All that is required are more photos and a bit time for the fun shuffling them around (and/or patience).
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