My family history research has discovered some amazing stories, but it takes more that good writing to get most of my family’s attention. I have learned that a great photo can be an eye-catcher if the viewer knows who is in the picture. Few in my family would recognize the people in this photo, but a bit of graphic design turned a beautiful photograph into the bait that makes them want to learn “the rest of the story”.
This graphic was created on my iPad using the Keynote presentation app. Keynote is also a great scrapbooking/graphic design app and works wonders for creating graphics like these. The background of my graphic was a scan of an aged piece of paper I found in my grandmother’s things. The map of “old” Savannah came from an old Savannah history book found at the Internet Archive. I took a screenshot of the map page in the book and saved it to the Photos app. I then used Photos photo-editing tools to crop the map to the area I wanted. Once I had edited the map graphic, I copy/pasted it on top of the background on the slide. The graphic element under the bottom left corner of the photo came from a book of old graphics and illustrations. The fonts were the only things that cost me money. (I’m a font fanatic and look for any excuse to add to my collection.)
One I had all the components added, arranged and ready to go, I exported my one slide presentation to a JPG format. If my presentation has multiple slides, this export feature will export each slide as a jpg photo file.
The resulting graphic is now ready to become an eye-catching intro to the actual story. Yes, it’s that easy!
Thanks to the mobile phone, we will leave behind many more photographs than our ancestors could ever image. Not only that, but our photos will automatically include date and place information in the file. With little effort on our part, we can also add even more descriptive information – all embedded in the photo file. There’s one problem. Since this information is embedded in the file, the…
Thanks to the mobile phone, we will leave behind many more photographs than our ancestors could ever image. Not only that, but our photos will automatically include date and place information in the file. With little effort on our part, we can also add even more descriptive information – all embedded in the photo file.
There’s one problem. Since this information is embedded in the file, the viewer won’t see it until they open the image file in a program that will display it. Fortunately there are some fun and creative apps so you can display your story with the photo. One Australian company, The Lens Lab, has created a series of iPhone apps to punch up your photos. These apps are easy and fun to use and the results are eye-catching.
I talked about Supermatic [iPhone & iPad – $1.99] last month. Use it to combine photos and text with design elements and templates into a quick, easy and fun digital scrapbook. You’ll find tools to crop, straighten and adjust brightness, contrast and saturation on your photo. From there you can experiment with a number of filters, add text, graphic elements and frames. When ready, your masterpiece can be saved on the phone and sent to your favorite social network. The More button takes you to your phone’s Share Sheet giving you even more options. Supermatic has a Premium upgrade ($1.99) that makes it possible for you to install your own fonts, use your own PNG files, save your own favorite templates, use all their premium fonts and their custom color picker tool – very useful to pull a color from your photo.
LetterGlow [iPhone – $2.99] turns your iPhone into a graphics studio. If you like Canva, you’ll love LetterGlow. Begin by selecting one of the included templates or use the blank “new project” template to build your own. There are preset sizes to choose from making it easy to create a graphic for use on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. As you add and manipulate your photos, text and design elements, the tool options adjust to each element. It will take a bit of experimenting to get used to all the options available, but it won’t be long before you are creating some very impressive graphics. LetterGlow offers a creative bundle that includes “loving sentiments”, artistic splatter, paint streaks, textures, fonts and more for $3.99.
With Collect [iPhone – $1.99] you can maintain a journal containing photos, date/time, tags and your own comments. Keep them organized in albums and even create video slideshows from selected entries. The Creative update pack ($1.99) makes it possible to bulk export your collected entries to Dropbox and Flickr, create additional albums and high-resolution monthly collages. The Video pack ($2.99) creates beautiful video slideshows complete with music from your iTunes library. You can format them for showing on Instagram, YouTube and other video platforms. If you are using Collect on both your iPhone and iPad – or multiple iPhones within the family – the Keep Safe ($2.99) pack will automate iCloud backups and keep your journals synched between devices.
We’ve got some big family events coming up in the next few months. My phone and these apps will get a good workout and, with luck, I’ll wind up with a beautiful photo journal/scrapbook that can be passed on to future generations.
Mac users now have some very impressive – and affordable – alternatives to Adobe’s creative software thanks to Serif Labs. Their Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo apps provide professional quality software at a price we all can afford. The regular price for these apps are $49.99 but right now they are on sale for $39.99 each until July 23rd.