This is from an article I wrote for PhotographyBB magazine – the best photography magazine on the web! It’s a technique you can use to gather together a number of your shots with a common theme and present them in a nice grid format. The idea is to do some close cropping on the images so they are all the same shape.
1. The first thing you need to do is to sort through your photographs and choose nine images that you want to use in your poster. It doesn’t matter if the pictures are in Portrait or Landscape orientation because you will be cropping them into squares.
2. In Photoshop, choose File > New. From the Preset dropdown box, choose International Paper and from the Size dialog box, choose A4. We want to create a poster for printing leave the Resolution at 300 pixels. Click OK.
3. Open up your nine images (ideally related to each other in some way). I’m using nine pictures I took of my friends’ beautiful daughter in her cot. They’re not brilliant pictures by any means but by putting them together as a group on a grid they make a nice impact.
4. Click back on your main document to make it active. Choose View > Show, and choose Grid. An alignment grid will appear over your blank document. The grid consists of “big” boxes with 16 smaller boxes inside them. You’ll use this to line up your nine images but it will be removed before printing out your poster.
5. Switch to the first photo you want to place on your grid. You can use the Rectangular Marquee tool (M) to make a selection in each of your photographs. When you’ve selected the Rectangular Marquee tool, hold down the Shift key and drag out a perfectly square selection of the part of the image that you want to appear on your poster.
6. Press V to select the Move tool and drag your photo onto your grid document. Depending on the size of your original, you might find that when you drag it over, it may appear really large or really small. You’ll need to scale it to fit on the grid with your eight other photos.
7. Press Ctrl + T (windows) or Cmd + T (Mac) to bring up Free Transform. Hold down the Shift key then grab the bottom-right corner point and drag inward to scale your photo in size. Drag the handles until your photo is three big squares high and three big squares wide. With the transform handles still in place, put the cursor inside the handles and drag the photo so it is two small squares from the left and one big square from the top. Press Enter/Return to commit the transformation.
8. Choose the second photo you want to appear on the grid from the Window menu and with the Rectangular Marquee tool selected, press-and-hold the Shift key, and drag a perfectly square selection around the focal point of your image. Switch to the Move tool again, click within the selected area, and drag-and-drop it onto your grid document.
9. Now here’s a small time-saving tip. Since you’ve already used Free Transform to scale the first photo, you can now take advantage of “Transform Again.” Just press Shift + Ctrl + T (windows) or Shift + Cmd + T (Mac) and the exact same resizing that was applied to the previous photo will be applied to this one. Press Enter/Return to commit your transformation. Use the Move tool to position this photo to the right of your first photo, with just one small grid square separating them.
10. Repeat the process with the remaining seven photos, lining them up as you go. Separate each row of images by one small box.
11. You can get rid of the grid now that all the images are lined up. Choose View > Show > Grid.
12. Now to add some text to your poster at the bottom. I used a sans-serif font called Century Gothic.
And that completes the poster.
An optional step you might like to take is to convert all the images to black and white.
In the Layers palette, select the top layer (not the text layer) then click on the Create New Adjustment Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers palette. Choose Channel Mixer from the drop down menu. Make sure the Preview check box is checked, then when the dialog appears, turn on the Monochrome checkbox.
Use the Red, Green and Blue sliders to change how the images look. When you get the black and white effect you like, click OK.
That completes the black and white poster.