Bookmarks As Unique As You
Racks and racks of bookmarks ranging from funny to inspirational are available in most bookstores. But for a truly unique bookmark, make your own from a treasured digital photo.
This idea came from my wife, who wanted to give something meaningful to the ladies in her group she met with regularly. She and her friends love reading books, so the bookmark idea sprung in her mind. After a few minutes of searching our digital photo database, we found the perfect image from a rare Valentine's Day snowfall in Dallas.
Tools you will need
If you have a digital camera then you are half way there to having all the tools you need to create your very own bookmarks. The other half is a digital photo editing software such as Adobe Photoshop Elements 3.0.
More specifically, here are the tools you need, some of them optional:
Selecting the image
This step is completely up to your own taste. Select a photo and perform any necessary editing to your satisfaction. My wife selected the photo below and requested that I add a Bible verse for inspiration.
In the original picture she was walking our dog, which I removed with the "stamp" feature in PhotoShop Elements. I also converted the photo to black and white. Your photo may be fine as is, so don't feel like you have to do any modifications.
Preparing the image
Now for the trickiest part of the procedure. Don't be intimidated-it only seems tricky the first time.
The goal is to select a narrow portion of the original image so that two will fit on a single 4" x 6" print, including borders. Ours looked like this:
I will give you the general steps and you can apply them to your specific photo editing software.
OK, so there is a little bit of math involved. If that completely turns you off, you may still achieve good results eyeballing your project, but the numbers below will give you an exact fit.
For example, if you intend to print at 300 ppi (pixels per inch), then the dimensions of the new image needs to be 1200 x 1800 pixels. I arrived at these number by multiplying 4" by 300 and 6" by 300.
Using my numbers above, that would give us 600 pixels.
Be sure to leave a generous border to mask slight imperfections in your final cut. We used 30 pixels all around.
This gives us a total of 60 pixels for the borders for one of the bookmarks.
In my case that leaves 600 - 60 = 540 pixels.
The same math for the height gives us 1800 - 60 = 1740 pixels.
My bookmark proportions are 540 pixels wide by 1740 pixels tall.
The result is a single 4" x 6" vertical image containing two bookmarks. For larger bookmarks, you can print on 5" x 7" photo paper and re-calculate the dimensions using the technique above.
Print the image
Now that the image has been prepared, you can do one of two things. If you have your own digital photo printer, just print, wait for the ink to dry, and cut.
If you do not have a printer, save the image in JPEG format and take or upload to a photo lab. When you get your order back, cut it in half and you are done.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Charles Kerekes is an amateur photographer and maintains the Flying Sam Digital Photo Guide (FlyingSamPhoto.com) web site to help others find fun and unique digital photo finishing products and services.
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