As you may be aware, I quite enjoy tinkering with photos, both in terms of taking them (I used to do a lot of photography once upon a time) and also tinkering with exposure, colour balance and effects to create, well, something that makes me smile 😀 All of these things used to be a case of getting the photo itself absolutely right and praying that the D&P shop wouldn’t mess it up, or dicking about in the darkroom creating print after print for hours on end, but have been made so much easier (and more fun) but today’s digital tools.* I love being able to try things out and revert instantly before trying something else until I am satisfied. So imagine my delight at discovering another little time-saving bit of software for
messing about with making photo collages in the form of CollageIt.
*For the record, I don’t manipulate the content of the images, only the development paramaters – no airbrushing here.
Admittedly, collage is not something I do, or need to do, very often, but I found myself wanting to make a display of some photos of my work for an advertising postcard I am designing. A quick interweb search led me to CollageIt, which not only claimed to be free, but also offered a Mac version, I wasted no time in downloading it and having a tinker. I have to say that I am impressed with what I have seen so far. I specifically wanted the effect of a random looking pile of photos, which it does with ease, allowing drag and drop addition of images and offering various parameters for the number of photos, the spacing and size, as well as margins. The really neat thing is that you can swap the images around on the collage simply by dragging and dropping them to an alternative location, (the locations are fixed and you are simply swapping the image displayed there), though if you then change the parameters, you will probably need to rearrange the pictures again, but this is so simple, it’s hardly onerous. Here’s what I came up with in just a few minutes.
There are also several more ordered layouts available including permutations of a centre image surrounded by smaller ones, mosaics and grids. Here’s the same set of photos in mosaic layout, which only took a matter of seconds to create. (I didn’t rearrange the images on this one, but just left them as generated)
What do you think? Which do you prefer?
All in all, hours of fun to be had finding ways to display your photos. I can see myself using collage more for family photos, as well as a method of displaying my work.
The free version obviously has limitations: the size/resolution of the collage and a watermark in the corner, but at only $19.90 (or less than £12.50 in real money) for the “Pro” version, it seems to me a very worthwhile investment if you want to save time laying out your pictures.