Monday, February 03, 2014

Epson PictureMate Polaroid Prints

Why Hello There!
Long time, no blog ;)
Yes, I have been especially slack and haven't posted for almost a whole year (gasp!).  Alot has happened in that year, but that very long story I'll save for another day. (You may breathe a sigh of relief ;)

So, I have finally had a chance to play around with my beloved Epson PictureMate and let me tell you - the more I play, the more I love it! How did I ever survive without this cute little gem?  If you are the sort to be organized and on the ball every week (I'm looking at you, Sharlene ;) then maybe you don't need this, but me - I get distracted easily, I resent the time I have to sit at those little photo computer things at Kmart or wherever or even the time going through uploading them to do an online order of prints,  I have tried a few stores and I must say, I'm almost always disappointed in either the quality or the size.  (they often seem to crop bits off  when I have created a file that is 6x4" for printing, could just be me.
 When I want a photo printed, I can just turn that sucker on and print, instant gratification right there ladies ;) Anyhoo, love the PM.  I also love everything Retro, and this of course includes Polaroids.  Some of the PLAUST ladies out there have shown me how easy it is to use the Collect App to create a polaroid style pic per day and that seems to work for them.  My trouble?  I have an Android phone and that App isn't available for Android.  Bummer.  So I decided that there has to be a way to not only print my Instagram pics easily, but also to turn them into polaroid style prints.  I played around and this is what I came up with:

Please note that I fumbled around until I came up with this - if you know of an easier way, please don't hesitate to let me know, but I figured there had to be at least a couple of ladies (or gents ;) out there that are just as technologically clueless as me ;)  Also, I know that you can achieve similar results using Photoshop, but I'm impatient, so I wanted a way to do this just using the PictureMate software - just choosing photos, adjusting a few things and printing. Done.

Step 1.

So, first things first - open up the Epson Easy Photo Print software and select which photos you want to use.  I'm making mine 3x4" size so I'm choosing 2 at a time, but this technique can easily be adapted for single 4x6" prints. Once you've chosen your two (or more) press 'Next Step'.

Step 2.

Next you want to choose the settings of your paper etc.  I have tried with borders and with out and I think it's a  bit easier on the borderless setting.  Because I was doing the two 3x4" prints on the one sheet I chose 2-up. Once you choose 2-up it will automatically choose the first 2 in line and put them side by side.

Step 3.
Now if you left it there - the software will simply blow up the pic to fill the amount of space (ie the whole 3x4 inches).  But we don't want that.  Not only does it cut off some of the pic, it doesn't create the polaroid effect. So, go into Positioning, click 'Rotate all Photos' (this just means that it will do both at once and you don't have to do them one at a time) and click on the arrow shown.  (or whichever one points the photo in the direction you want - remember - for a polaroid we want the empty space under the bottom of the pic).

Now we need to shrink down our pics so that all of the image is showing, plus allowing a border around the top and sides. Using the 'Magnification' slider I found that reducing them each down to approx.  69-71% looks good - but feel free to play around until you are happy with the look.  You will need to click on each image and do this separately.

 Lastly you will need to reposition both pics slightly so that they have that classic polaroid look - equal-ish border around each side and top and extra down the bottom.  You can do this with the Positioning arrows as shown or by clicking on each and moving them.

Now all you have to do is select print, cut them in half and you are done!!

Don't be overwhelmed if it sounds a bit complicated at first (or underwhelmed if it sounds too easy ;)  It really only take a couple of minutes at the most and you are done.

So, hopefully that wasn't too painful for you.  I'm a very visual person so I love a good diagram or photo example so I hope this helps. I'm still playing so if you have any hints or tips I'd be glad to hear them!
Thanks for checking in!