Sunday, March 27, 2011

How To Make A Photo Montage

How I Make Photo Montages (collages)
Several people have commented and emailed about the photo montages I have created and displayed recently on the web. With a little patience photo montages or collages are fairly easy to create.
I use a very simple photo editor that comes as part of MS-Office Pro - Microsoft Photo Editor (they may be including it in some versions of Windows too). I have been using this app for many years because it's simple and easy to use and it's there. You do not need to have this particular application, the procedures should be about the same with any other types of photo editing software.

For this discussion I will use the 3-image montage I created this morning of Loveland Pass in Colorado. This is a seamless collection of three images to create a single image. After covering the basic techniques I will cover another type of montage I like to create.
Outline of steps to create a seamless photo montage:
  1. Select images.
  2. Adjust exposure and contrast of the selected photos.
  3. Re-size photos to fit into montage.
  4. Open a new/blank image.
  5. Copy and position 2 selected photos on the blank new image.
  6. Crop to remove excess margins.
  7. Re-size top image combo.
  8. Open another new/blank image.
  9. Copy new combo top photo, and then bottom photo to blank image.
  10. Crop to remove any excess margins.
  11. Re-size the image combo.
  12. Save it! You just created your first montage!!! first thing to do is look at potential photos you wish to combine to make a montage or collage. Come up with a theme, and select photos you might want to use. Open those photos and review them in your editor window. My editor allows me to easily resize the viewable size of the photos with the scroll wheel on my mouse. I resize and test positions of the photos, and visualize possible croppings of photos to achieve the combinations I want to display in my finished montage. For the Loveland Pass montage I selected just three photos to use in the final image.
Once you think you have the photos you want for your montage, you should edit to adjust exposure and contrast of the selected photos. Then begin resizing the photos to fit into montage.
Open a new/blank image. It should be a little larger than the finished new image and I use a plain white background when creating seamless montages. Keep in mind what size display area your blog or online community, some are full-screen widths while others, particularly at online communities, have limited display areas that may be as narrow as 500 pixels wide. new blank image is the canvas that will become the top image of the finished montage.
Copy and position 2 of your selected photos on the new blank image. After copying the second image, I like to enlarge the "blank" image to 200% so I can position the second image flush with the first image and eliminate any gap or seam between the images.
Crop to remove excess margins.
Then resize your top image combo to match the width of your bottom image, i.e. 600 pixels wide. If you think you want to save this combined image for later use, you should save it now.

Next we begin creating the final montage image using the top-combined image we just created and adding the selected bottom image.
Open another new/blank image. The blank image should be a little larger than the width of the images to be placed in it, and a little larger than the combined height of the combined top image + the bottom image.
Copy the new combo top photo to the blank image. Then as we did before, copy and position bottom photo to blank image so there is no gap or seam between the images.
Crop the new combined image to remove any excess margins.
Re-size the final image combination for display on your blog or favourite web community.
Now Save It!
!!! You just created your
first Photo Montage !!!


April said...

Very cool MrBill =) I love your photos, and do apologize as I've been so in-depth of my writing ventures and have not visited as often as I would like to on redgage, or your blog here! I did pass some links to my blog on OneStop (OneShoot Sunday) some altered images I've done. Really enjoy it a lot! ~ Great highlight you have here, maybe I can attempt some other methods with your cool tips! :) ~April

Claudia said...

that's cool - was always wondering how this works..i was trying to comment on redgage - but did not manage to sign in...but i really liked what you were doing with the eyes - beautiful photo montage