Recently, I was in New York’s Central Bar, where I noticed wonderful old-timey photographs of well-known authors with some of their most famous quotes superimposed in the background. It looked adorable in the bar – giving it a real quirky feel. I thought about how cute it could be in the home – for example, how fun to have some photos of your favorite authors over your bookshelf? Or in a more unexpected place, like the bathroom or office?
Then, the lightbulb: you can do this using Picasa! I recently discovered this great, simple photo editing program from Google. Picasa is great for people who want to eventually learn to use Photoshop but can only find the patience to learn it in little bits. After the jump, a short tutorial for the above project!
Step 1: The first step is the hardest one- the selection of just one image and just one quote! I highly recommend staying away from highly quotable authors like Twain, particularly if you love just about everything that particular author has said. But once you get your picture selected, save it to your desktop and open it in Picasa. Here is the one I chose, found using a Google image search.
Step 2: Open the image in Picasa. Get yourself to the editing screen. There you should see three tabs – Basic Fixes, Tuning and Effects. First, we’re going to go to Effects.
Now, you should see several ways to edit the photo, one of which includes coloring it in Sepia. Simply hit Sepia and wham, bam, thank you ma’am – an old timey photo has appeared. Your image should now look like this:
Step 3: Now it’s time to add your quote. On the editing tabs, click the first one – Basic Fixes. Click on the icon that has ABC on it – you’ll see a box automatically pops up for text – type or paste the quote of your choice there. Here, you can play with everything including the text size and color, its placement, even its angle. When you are done, make sure to hit apply to save your changes.
I chose something a little inspirational, turned it brown to match the sepia tones, and placed it in the lower-right hand corner of of the photo.
Step 3: Now, it’s time for fun. Add any additional effects you want. I like photos that appear distressed and old. And Picasa has some great tricks for achieving that effect. For this example, I warmed up and played down some of the colors by going to the Tuning tab and fiddling a little with the light ratios. Then, I clicked back on effects and hit film grain a few times to get that real filmy look. Here’s how it turned out:
And that’s it! The last step would be to print out your final photo on a nice thick cardstock or laminate (should be less than $2 at a copy shop or print it at home), frame it and hang it in the place of your choice! I think I’d like this either near my bed to see when I get up in the morning or near the front door as I head out.