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Photography Question 
stacey c. damon
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/12/2004

The Best Way to Collage Pictures in Elements

I have seen beautiful collages using images and am wondering your best approach on sizing the pictures and using layers etc...also where can I find more info. I have a few books for Elements 4 that just touch on the subject. One image I have seen that I would like to learn about is using a few headshot images each one with different expressions on a white background with a black line "frame" around each image and the child's name on it too.

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12/6/2006 8:04:39 AM

Richard Lynch
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/12/2005
  Layers are definitely the way to go when making any type of composite or collage. The example you are talking about seems simple enough if you can crop all three images to exactly the same size.

1. Crop the 3 images
2. Create a new image that is the same height as the images you cropped, but three times as wide.
3. Copy the 3 images to the new image. You can do this by click-and-drag if the images are flattened, or you can create a new layer at the top of your layer stack in the cropped images and stamp visible to it: Ctrl+Shift+Alt+E / Command+Shift+Option+E [PC / Mac]. Once you have that, click-and-drag, or duplicate the layer (Layer>Duplicate Layer). This will create a new layer for each of the cropped images in the new image.
4. Position your images using the Move tool. If you have Snap To on, you will be able to align them perfectly with some ease.
5. To create a white frame, you can use the Stroke layer effect (Layer>Layer Style>Stroke). You can adjust color and width. You'll want to set the Position to Inside.

After doing that, you can even out the framing all around by changing the background swatch color on the toolbar to the frame color you used in step 5, and then expand the canvas size (Image>Canvas Size) two times the Stroke size.

My Layers course here on actually goes through many more uses for layers as a means of controlling and organizing image development. We actually do a collage as a final project!

Does that help?

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12/6/2006 9:05:29 AM

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