Al Campbell, Field Editor

February 10th, 2003

Digital Imaging Part 6
Another Program With a Different Style
By Al Campbell

I'll start by telling you it's time to start sending your contest entries in if you're ready. This is part six of a ten part series, and I must have all the entries e-mailed to me by the time part nine goes up. You still have a couple of weeks, but it's time to start those projects and create something new. Only one entry per person, so send me your best stuff.

Another imaging program I use fairly often is Broderbund's Printmaster Gold version 10. This program doesn't have all the creative effects available in Photo Impact and the Adobe products, but it does a few things very well. If you want to make a specialty card for a birthday or any other special occasion, this is the easiest program I've used for that task. It also creates some cool photo albums. This program excels in the area of pre-planned projects.

The way I use this program the most is like a scrapbook for pictures. When someone in the family has a birthday, I take a lot of pictures and put all the best shots on one sheet, which I print out as an 8x10 photo. I also do that after special fishing trips or other special events. That way I have my favorite shots on one picture that shows the flavor of the day.

At least one of the prize pictures for the contest will be created in this article. In other words, one winner will get one of the pictures created today. Keep in mind, other brands of software can do these same tasks, but I find this program a little bit easier to use for this specific purpose. If you want to do the same thing with the software you have on your computer, give it a shot. One of my goals is to introduce you to different types of software and highlight the strong points of that software.

I think it's time to get started with our project. Like I mentioned earlier, this program is loaded with ready-made projects that you can customize with your own text, pictures and graphics.

If you don't have many of your own pictures and graphics, you can choose from several thousand picture and graphics options included with the software.

Cards, posters, banners and certificates are just a few options you can choose from. I'm going to start with a blank page and add my own photos.

First, I start adding pictures to the blank page.

I can choose any picture I have placed on that page at any time and adjust its size, position, brightness and contrast any time I want to.

I can fix flaws like red eye, scratches and dust at will, any time and to any picture I have on the page.

I can apply special artistic effects, view them and if I don't like the result, I can cancel that action and try another one.

I can crop pictures in special shapes, move them over parts of other pictures I don't really want in the final picture, and change the layers by moving any photo to the top of any layer in the final picture.

I can keep adding photos to the page in any order I want and move them anywhere I want them.

Until I finally achieve the final image I want. Then I can save it in Printmaster's native format so I can work on it later, or export it to file in any of the common image formats. When I'm finally finished with my project I can print it with a photo quality printer on photo paper and frame it. I titled this one "Why Fish 1".

And, I titled this one "Why Fish 2." Can you identify all the different species of fish in this picture?

Either of these pictures will be available as prizes for the contest winners. Of course, the winner might want one of the other projects we have worked on instead.

Would you like to create a special picture of your child or grandchild? If so, this next project might be right up your creative alley.

I start with a colorful background.

Then open a photo of a child (in a fishing situation, of course).

Crop the child's photo in a pre-designed shape.

Adjust the size and position over the background.

And print a picture of that child with a background that gives the viewer a flavor of the season we were fishing in.

We'll play with more special effects next week. Work on your contest entries and practice what you've learned. It gets more creative in the weeks ahead. ~ AC

Previous Al Campell Columns

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