This information is only intended to be used as
a quick tutorial for photo editing for photo transfer arts.
If you have any experience with photo editing software, you may still
grab a couple tips in relationship to your photo transfer projects.
Photo editors can range from very simple products that are often included
free with your photo scanner, digital camera and even your new computer.
These are often very basic without advanced features but they are easy to
use and provide good help files and use tutorials. You do not need to
be a Photo Shop expert to perform fast and easy photo enhancements, collage
composites and image manipulations.
The best way to learn photo editing is to play with it. For the
most part you cannot hurt your saved pictures. To insure that you
protect your original files, be absolutely sure to do the following when
saving your edited photos:
Choose 'Save As' from the FILE menu. Most likely you
will next see the file folder that your original photo is stored.
Change the name in a way that you can reference it quickly. For
example, a file named "Susies baptism" could be saved as "Susies baptism A"
Do this if you want to be certain to protect your original photo.
NEVER simply choose "SAVE". You will overwrite your original.
Sometimes your software will ask you if you want to 'overwrite' the original
file. Don't take this chance. Always choose "SAVE AS" and
re-name your photo.
Most basic photo editors will have basic functions like 'remove red eye',
'fix scratches', 'lighten or darken'. With practice, you can
take a bad exposure and make it good. If you learn how to do nothing
else, learn to 'fix red eye'. Nothing looks worse on a photo
purse or quilt than an image with glowing red eyes.
Composites & Collages:
This is a good thing to learn if you want to include several photos on
your photo purse or in one patch of your photo quilt. A composite or
collage is a group of photos grouped together on one background (or canvas).
Look in your photo editor software for exact directions. Most will
allow you to set up a canvas, add a background from clip art or your photos,
and then simply click and drag your photos into a grouping.
Your instructions or help menu will tell you how to set the canvas to the
proper size. If you want your composite to be 8" x 10" then set these
parameters at the beginning. Clicking 'view ruler' will help you make
sure everything is the right size.
Save your work frequently and in different 'versions' if you want to
experiment more with the images in your collage.
You may want to crop your photos to square, circle, ellipse or other
shape. Your photo editor will likely have some options for this
function. The more background and excess photo you crop away, the
better your collage will look in your quilt.
Click and drag your photos around your composite/canvas until you have a
nice visual. How many photos can you put in an 8" x 10" composite?
As many as are easily viewed. you can have several SINGLE subjects in
Large groups like family or reunion photos are better to 'stand alone' or
with only one or two accent photos. A good test for visibility of your
composites is to print out the page onto your chosen size high quality photo
paper. Use photo paper settings on your printer. If it looks
good to your eye after printing, it will look good on your photo purse or
Your photo editor may allow you to add colorful backgrounds to your
collage/composites. You may choose from clip art, textures (fabric,
wood, stone etc). It is wonderful to use your own photos as background for
your composites. A blue sky, beautiful landscape or seascape, garden,
flowers and more of your own images can work.
Layering: At some level your digital editor should have instructions for
sending images to the back of the group and bring others to the front.
This is called layering. Sometimes you can even right click on your
background photo and choose 'send to back'. It is that easy. Be
sure to size your background to the appropriate measurements of your
To be sure you are getting everything at the right size for printing; from the command
menu, choose 'view ruler'. This will give you a good idea about how
large each photo is within your composite.
Use a Collage/Composite to conserve expensive printer fabric or paper: The best way to
explain this is via a scenario. If your photo quilt calls for 4"
square photo patches, you can get four imprints onto one sheet of photo
transfer paper. Use the same collage/composite function as described
above but instead of creating one large collage, you will have four separate
images on the printer fabric or transfer paper.