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Combining 4 photographs into a postcard

martnal
Newbie
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎21-08-2007

Combining 4 photographs into a postcard

I sometimes take digital photos on high zoom, low resolution, making them unsuitable for printing at 6x4".  I'd like to combine 4 such shots into one, like a 4-image postcard.  Does anyone know of any free software that will let me do this, fairly automated?  Picasa creates collages of 4 pictures, but they end up square rather than 6x4".  Most graphics packages would let me cut and paste, but I want something more automatic.

Best wishes,
Martin
http://www.martinhwatson.co.uk/puzzle_news.html
Martin H. Watson
6 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 7,364
Thanks: 82
Fixes: 2
Registered: ‎30-08-2007

Re: Combining 4 photographs into a postcard

Think you're asking quite a lot to get this facility in a free programme, they're usually cut down versions, this being just the kind of thing that will be missing, you might be lucky to get something bundled with some other goodie.
I know it could be done in Roxio 5 Photosuite, which wasn't as expensive as some software, but even then couldn't really be described as automatic, and might in the end be what your printer will do as much as the software. I haven't tried to do it in the photo section which is embedded in the current Roxio Creator 9, but I expect it might. Or you might just if you only wanted to do a very limited number find something to download which has a free trial period, but you're most likely to eventually have to pay for it.
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
Community Veteran
Posts: 7,364
Thanks: 82
Fixes: 2
Registered: ‎30-08-2007

Re: Combining 4 photographs into a postcard

Further to this, if you have a copy of, or can borrow a copy of the Microsoft Xp Plus! disk, I believe there is MS's own "Picture It" on it, but don't know if it'll do what you're asking. It may have been on the MS Win98 Plus! disk as well.
However, it might be as well to remember that, all those twee post cards you buy at the seaside with multi views on them, were generally taken by professional photographers using very specialized and very expensive kit with view or very wide angle lenses, and this is important, cropped to fit. To get 4 mini sized 6x4 shape photos onto a 6x4 card, they will almost certainly have to be stretched in landscape view, and compressed in portrait view. Having gone to all this trouble, you may well not like the distorted results you end up with.
Try using 6 square you're already getting, and overlap them montage style. 
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
Denzil
Grafter
Posts: 1,733
Registered: ‎31-07-2007

Re: Combining 4 photographs into a postcard

The best free photo editing software is The GIMP www.gimp.org
It is very similar to Photoshop, and is very full featured. It is not exactly easy to use, but if you have used something like Photoshop before you will soon learn.
You could also paste the images into a vector drawing package such as the one bundled with OpenOffice www.openoffice.org, also free. You would have to set the paper size to 6x4 when you start the new document. This will not be automatic, but is fairly easy and you can move the images around, crop them to fit and so on. 
martnal
Newbie
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎21-08-2007

Re: Combining 4 photographs into a postcard

Thanks for all the advice so far.  It's all been helpful, but I welcome more ideas.

Best wishes,
Martin
http://www.martinhwatson.co.uk/puzzle_news.html
Removed email address
Martin H. Watson
Moderators note by James_H. I have removed your email address from this post, as the content of posts on these forums is publically viewable. I guessed you may prefer to not have your email address visible to everybody on the net in this way. Do feel free to add it again if you desire, and accept my apologies for removing it.
Midnight_Caller
Rising Star
Posts: 4,143
Thanks: 7
Fixes: 1
Registered: ‎15-04-2007

Re: Combining 4 photographs into a postcard

I wouldn't put your eMail on the Forum, you will be spamed doing that don't do it!  Wink
kryten1st
Grafter
Posts: 92
Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: Combining 4 photographs into a postcard

This would be simple in most desktop publishing progs, select paper size and insert your 4 images drag to size and print. Wink