Thursday, October 20, 2005

Choosing Photographs to Scrapbook

By Christina VanGinkel

Choosing photographs for a scrapbook layout is not always as easy as it seems. With digital photography now taking hold in many households, it is easy to have fifty pictures of a single event, in comparison to when you once might have only snapped two or three, with hopes that at least one or two would turn out. We also have more events photographed for the same reason. With the ease of both taking, and only printing, those you want, we are much more open to taking pictures of more common, everyday happenings. In the last week alone, I have snapped photographs of my oldest sons, girlfriend's children, a buck, and doe that chose to walk through our yard and numerous shots of the trees in and around our yard as the leaves change their colors for fall. I have also photographed a grouping of mushrooms that sprouted up in front of our giant pine (I thought they would make an ideal background print for some of my other outdoor pictures), and several pictures of items I want to list on Ebay, this all in the matter of a few days with nothing very significant happening.

When we actually have an event, such as my grandson's second birthday, it is nothing for me to snap fifty or more pictures. I end up with what I refer to as 'running' sots. Those taken one right after the previous, with just minute changes from one shot to the next. If you page through them fast enough, some of them almost appear to make the subject look as if they are running, hence my nickname for them. With Halloween and Christmas arriving in the coming months, I can guarantee you that I will easily add several more folders to My Pictures file on my computer. Where I will start to separate the pictures worthy of a page in one of my scrapbooks, and those that are good, but not quite right for one reason or another, I myself am unsure. One way I have begun to deal with this though is to create mini collages of those 'running' shots. I pick out one or two feature photos to headline my layouts, and then pick out all the other pictures I deem worthy. The more I choose, the smaller they will be as the collage accommodates each one the same amount of space, so I still try to choose these wisely. In the end though, I am capable of using more of my photographs in each layout that I use this technique.

I also take photographs and lighten them enough to make them work as a background page for one of their accompanying photographs, or lighten one slightly and print it out on vellum for an overlay. Finally, one of my favorites for creating a scrapbook page layout when I have gotten a little snap happy on an occasion, and ended up with numerous good shots, too good to just let lie in a folder on my computer, is to print them out wallet size and create a timeline of the event I am scrapping. I am able to use many more than just one or two this way, and the effect is a nice break from some of my more traditional scrapbook pages.

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