art, Computer, photography, postprocessing, software, technical

Creating a photo collage the easy way

cubacars2Earlier this week I published a collage containing my top 10 images from last years Monochrome Madness, an open competition with only monochrome images. I got a few questions, how I was able to create it.

As usual, there are several options to create such collages. Some of the options might be Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign, GIMP* or  Scribus*. (* these apps are open source and available for free legally!) I uses something completely different: Collage Factory Free. This is the light version of a software specialized for creating collages. The light version does not have all features of the complete version. Thus you might call it CrippleWare! Despite this, it has enough features for me.

First of all, you select a template. You can always modify the collage by adding further images, delete place holder or re-arrange them. You can also change the size and the angel simply by clicking on one of the blue dots in the edges of a frame and pull it or click on the red dot above the frame and spin it around as long as you like it.

Next, you select your images and pull them in the free space on the left. From here, you distribute them manually with your mouse or click on one of the automatic buttons in the upper left area (“fill random” and so on) I usually distribute them on my own.

Now, you can add a text box, if you want to. You can use every installed font. The software goes you some effects to add, like shadow, border or fillings.

Not everyone like the default background. That’s ok! You can change it. the app comes with many different option for the background: simple colors, color gradients, patterns and background images. You can even chose your own image for the background.

The last step is choosing the image size for the final image ind jpg format. Here we have the strongest restrictions in the software. There are only very few sizes available in the free version. For me, it’s enough. But, decide on you own. Don’t forget to save the creation in the edible format of the app, too. So you can change parts later, if you don’t like your original creation. The file format is a structure, that contains even the selected image. So, you can even move the edible file i.e. to an external storage and won’t loose one of the used images.

I attached screenshots from the app of a complete workflow. I created a collage from my Cuba images.

If you try the software on your own, please let me know, if you like it and, maybe, you can publish your creations somewhere and leave me a link to it. I’d like to see your creations!

Enjoy!

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culture, history, photography, technical, travel, world

More on taxis

600_4026-e_wIn case, you get lost in Havana, you might take a ride at a taxi. They have government operated cabs / taxis with a fixed tariff and a taximeter, private taxis without taximeter and tariff but a wonderful old car, tuktuks (cuba taxi), motorbikes and bike taxis.

The government taxis are cars build in the 1970s or (a bit) younger. Most of them were built in (former) Eastern bloc countries, i.e. Czech Republic or Soviet Union. The really young cars are of chinese production.

The private cabs are private owned vintage cars, build in the USA in the 1950s or earlier, as I mentioned in my last posts on cuban cars. Yellow eggs on 3 wheels and even regular motorbikes are used as a taxi.

Parts of the old town of Havana (and other cities, too) are closed for cars and only pedestrians and bikes are allowed here. So, bike taxis are cruising in these areas and offering their service for the people. Here, you also have to negotiate the price with the driver. In case, you got lost or running out of time, they will be happy to bring you to any place you want: back to your hotel or to a restaurant or any other place.

Even the locals use such vehicles. I saw i.e. private taxis with up to 10 people inside (I noticed them entering the car). It was really enormously, how many people were sitting in such a car without thinking about safety, although they also have busses as a kind of public transportation.

Take care.

And, while waiting for my next post, you might have a look on my previous posts on Cuba!

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art, culture, General, history, photography, technic, travel, world

Rolling, rolling, rolling

600_4069-sc2_w

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I saw many vintages cars over there, for which Cuba is famous for. You know, when the Cuban Revolution took place in the late 1950s, they created a new government model following communistic ideas. As a result, Cuba was isolated and had serious problems getting modern technical equipment. So, the people took serious care i.e. for their cars. As a matter of fact, today still hundred-thousands of cars build back in the 1950s and earlier are still in use. So, they are more the 60 years old and are still rolling. OK, here we also have such old cars on the streets, but they aren’t in daily business anymore. Instead, they are pampered and well-tended, but used only for rare showcase events, because they are so precious (because they are so rare).

In Cuba, I saw many of them in the street, operating as private cars or as private taxis. Yes, although Cuba is a communistic country, they allow private businesses. Most of the cars, I’ve seen, were in perfect optical shape. Well-kept. But, according to our guide, the engines aren’t. They were replaced by Diesel engines by i.e. Toyota  back in the 1970s.

If you want to take a ride, you can hire a car for a certain destination or for a certain time. You only have to negotiate the price with the driver,  who usually is the owner of the car. There are also government operated taxis in the streets working on a fixed tariff and having a taxi-meter.

There are also other kinds of taxis in the streets, but I’ll show them in my next post.

So, enjoy some of the wonderful, old cars, I attached here.

While waiting for my next post, you might have a look on some past post.

A few days ago a photo calendar was publish, containing some of my photos. Currently you can order a german, an US and an UK version of the calendar. An austrian and a swiss version are on their way and need a few more days. I’d also put up a french and a spanish version, but I’m unable to write the  marketing texts in that languages 😦

In case, you’re interested, here are the ISBN numbers for the calendars and a link to a special partner shop at Amazon:

Cuba Cars 2014 (DE)

  • A5 = 978-3-660-220005-6
  • A4 = 978-3-660-220007-0
  • A3 = 978-3-660-220006-3
  • A2 = 978-3-660-220004-9

Cuba Cars 2014 (US)

  • A5 = 978-3-660-220010-0
  • A4 = 978-3-660-220011-7
  • A3 = 978-3-660-220008-7
  • A2 = 978-3-660-220009-4

Cuba Cars 2014 (UK)

  • A5 = 978-3-660-23196-0
  • A4 = 978-3-660-23194-6
  • A3 = 978-3-660-23193-9
  • A2 = 978-3-660-23195-3

Update:

Cuba cars (CH Version)

  • A5 = 978-3-660-23280-6
  • A4 = 978-3-660-23278-3
  • A3 = 978-3-660-23277-6
  • A2 = 978-3-660-23279-0

Cuba cars (A Version)

  • A5 = 978-3-660-23276-9
  • A4 = 978-3-660-23274-5
  • A3 = 978-3-660-23273-8
  • A2 = 978-3-660-23275-2

According to the publishing house, the ISBN numbers are internationally valid, and you should be able to get your copy where you’re living.

Take care.

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architecture, art, culture, history, landscape, people, photography, travel, world

Visiting Cementerio Cristóbal Colón

600_3874-sc_wWhy to visit a cemetery during a vacation, I already wrote about last year. So, I don’t want to repeat it here.

On Cuba we also visited a cemetery: the cemetery of Habana. It’s really huge: 56 hectare with more than 20 kilometres of streets  and more than a million funerals the biggest cemetery in whole America. According to Wikipedia you can find more than 53,000 family graves, mausoleums and chapels in the necropolis.

Even the cemetery is that big, that you usually need a map to find a certain grave,  I was able to find a celebrity: the grave of Ibrahim Ferrer Planas (20.02.1927 – 06.08.2005), the voice of Buena Vista Social Club.

Here you can find a huge variety of graves and mausoleums. I was kind of surprised of the elaborated construction of the graves and the lack of poverty graves (at least, I didn’t find one). Most of them were in very good shape and rich decorated. My expectation was much different, regarding the cultural state of Cuba.

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