Design How-To: Working with Photos

This story is taken from “Before & After” Magazine. readers can subscribe to “Before & After” at a discount. Click here to learn more.

The popularity of digital cameras, coupled with their relative ease of use, makes it easier than ever to incorporate images into documents. But unless you’ve spent some time developing a photographer’s eye, chances are the snapshots you take are general scenes filled with lots of unnecessary background and filler. The central focus — and message — of the image is diffused.

But you can add impact to even the most mundane image by judicious cropping and placement in your page layout.

In this feature from “Before & After Magazine,” learn how to crop images for focus and position them for unity in a page layout.

We’ve posted this story as a PDF file. All you do is click this link “How to Say What the Camera Can’t” to open the PDF file in your Web browser.

If you have difficulties reading this story via your Web browser, we suggest the following:

  1. Right+Click (Control+Click on Macintosh) and choose “Save Target As” (“Save Link As” on Macintosh) from the resulting menu.
  2. Name the PDF file something you’ll know for later reference. Choose the destination on your hard disk for this file.
  3. Click Save.

To open the PDF, you’ll need Adobe Acrobat (5 or higher) or the free Adobe Reader.

To learn how to configure your browser for viewing PDF files, see the Adobe Reader tech support page.


Posted on: October 29, 2004

John McWade

Designer, teacher, and author John McWade has been at the forefront of the graphic design and desktop publishing worlds since 1985. The very first beta user of the desktop publishing program Aldus PageMaker, he went on to found the first desktop publishing company, PageLab, to take advantage of the new tools. With his wife Gaye McWade, he founded the acclaimed Before & After magazine, long a favorite resource for graphic designers.

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