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Tutorials

Poetry Tutorials - Improve your poetry writing skills!

Poems with picture backgrounds

 
 
 
 Poems with picture backgrounds
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magicman
FFP Poet Laureate

Australia
19127 Posts

Posted - 12/30/2011 :  02:40:31 AMmagicman's Poems
Some of the members have commented on my poems and would like to know how to add a background picture to their poem. I like adding pictures that help express the poem or story subject within the poem. An example is my Animal Court poem. http://forums.familyfriendpoems.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=28350

I generally use Adobe Photoshop but there are other free programs you can try, just search for Photoshop alternatives on the web.

You should try some online photo editors. PixLR is excellent as you can save layer information when you save in their own format. You can of course save in Jpeg etc.
Try out PixLR here http://pixlr.com/editor/
The main problem with PixLr is that it does not have a text centering feature. All text is left justified. You could of course add spaces manually to make the text look centred.
There is a good tutorial on Pixlr you can read here http://schools.evergreenps.org/cms/lib5/WA01001177/Centricity/Domain/1336/Pixlr_Photo_Editing_Handout.pdf


I use a A4 setting with 72 pixels per inch. This works out to approx 8" by 11" or 210mm x 297mm or 595 pixels by 842 pixels. Have a white background, not transparent. I scale or crop the picture to fit and then change the opacity to about 35% but it depends on the darkness/colours of the picture. If the picture is very light to start with, you could have a higher value for opacity. We need contrast between the picture and the text. I generally use black text but if the picture is dark, you can use white or a light colour for the text.

I generally type my text in a word document and when it is correct, I copy the text, go to the Photoshop program, click the insert text option and paste the text. Just make sure the text layer is a above the picture layer. Select the font and size to suit. You can move the text about and add more text.

Save your work and then save it as a jpeg. Play with the quality setting so its size is below 200k so you can post/upload it on this site. In photoshop i use "Save For Web" which allows me to optimise for small file size.

That is about it. Have a play and enjoy adding a new dimension to your poems.

Here is a step by step using PixLr. I used the following image. If you right click on the image you can then save it to you computer so you can follow the tutorial.




1) To start up PixLr, click this link http://pixlr.com/editor/
This should bring up this



2) Select Open image From Computer
3) Once you have selected the image to work on, the program should display the image.




4) First we will resize the image so it is landscape A4 size. This is 840 pixels wide and 600 high.



5) Use the slider or enter the value. The slider will come up when you click on the blue down arrow box.



5a) If the Constrain proportions is ticked, then the height is automatically adjusted as you adjust the width.



5b) If you untick the Constrain proportions, you can enter the height but it might make the picture out of proportion (look too squished or squat).



6) We are going to move the image to the left to make room for a poem on the right. We use the marquee tool to select an area we want to move.



6a) We select the area.



7) We then use the move tool



7a) And we move the area to the left.



8) We use the paint bucket to fill the white area left by the move.



8a)The colour of the paintbucket can be changed by clicking on the rectangle (black rectangle with eyedropper in the picture). A color selector window will come up. There are a number of tabs to allow to specify colours in different ways.(web is shown)




9) Now comes the part of putting on the text. This is done with the text tool (see the A box ) as highlighted in the picture. You want to select white colour for the text. You can copy the text from here and then paste it in the text box.
If you want the title to be bigger and the Author to be smaller, then you need to do it in three parts. The title will be one block of text say at 34 size, the body of the poem in 24 size and the author in 18 size. Each block of text is put on a different layer.

The Magic Moon

Like candles sitting upon the moon,
Their glow falls down to Earth,
Nature's night light when its dark,
Travelling round its girth.

Moonlight baths romantic strolls,
As it shimmers on the lake.
A smiling moon with a child,
As children try to stay awake.

By Bill Hoeneveld 29 Jan 2012

**Note** When you paste into the text box, it may not show up on the picture until you press the enter key. Also make sure the text color is not the same as the background or you wont see it.





Here the title text is bigger than the poem body as it is on another layer. You can change the font style. I used a font of Monotype Corsiva. http://fontzone.net/font-details/Monotype+Corsiva/





9b) The PixLr only does left justify text format. If you want to have centre text, then you manually insert spaces.

Layers are shown on the right. The background is on a layer and the title is on another as are the poem body author. To delete a layer right click on it and a menu will popup to allow you to delete it. You can also duplicate a layer which makes a copy of it.

To edit text, just make sure you select the layer you want to work first and then select the Text tool (the A box). Then when you click on the text, a popup will appear to allow you to make changes in that popup and that will reflect on the picture. The move tool allows you to move the text.

10) Now we are going to have the text on the left of the moon and the moon facing the other way. We select the background layer.
Then we select Image - Flip Canvas Horizontal





Now the image is flipped and the text is on the left which looks better.




Now save the file with all the layer information so that if you want to change the text at a later date, you dont have to re-enter it. Save it in the format of PXD.



You will then be prompted to put it on you computer.




Now you can save it in Jpeg format so you can later post on the FFP site. The file size needs to be less than 200kb.
Adjust the quality slider until the size is just under 200kb.




This is now the final picture




Hope this was helpful. Have a play. You can play with layer styles for text to have outer glow and bevel. Most of the tools you need to right click to bring up more options. Just play and soon you will be picture poeming. If you get stuck, send me a PM or a comment on here .

Edited by - magicman on 01/24/2015 12:50:52 AM

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Ronnie Doe
FFP Moderator

USA
21316 Posts

Posted - 01/02/2012 :  12:43:18 AMPoems by Ronnie Doe
Bill, I downloaded this and still do not understand this. I am hoping on of my computer illiterate kids or friends can help me out with it. It really makes a poem very impressive. Thanks for sharing it again. Ronnie
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Alice Mae
FFP Poet Laureate

USA
14593 Posts

Posted - 01/22/2012 :  09:57:52 AMPoems by Alice Mae
I downloaded it, but still have problems with pixels, and size of print. I am learning, though. Thank you so much for all your help. It is hard to understand, but I keep trying. God Bless, Sis Mae
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iLoveaSoldier1823
FFP Poet Master

USA
683 Posts

Posted - 01/23/2012 :  10:10:23 PMPoems by iLoveaSoldier1823
i tried it too lol thanks for sharinggg :)
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PrinceCharles
FFP Moderator

United Kingdom
19974 Posts

Posted - 01/25/2012 :  07:48:23 AMPoems by PrinceCharles
I haven't a clue i will have to seek help, still there is only one magic man lol.
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PrinceCharles
FFP Moderator

United Kingdom
19974 Posts

Posted - 01/30/2012 :  07:23:35 AMPoems by PrinceCharles
I have down loaded it, but if i can get it to work that`s another story, there`s only one magicman.x
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magicman
FFP Poet Laureate

Australia
19127 Posts

Posted - 01/30/2012 :  07:45:36 AMPoems by magicman
Hi Prince Charles, you should not have to download PIXLR as it is an online program. You just go to the site http://pixlr.com/editor/ and use it online.
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PrinceCharles
FFP Moderator

United Kingdom
19974 Posts

Posted - 01/30/2012 :  12:06:44 PMPoems by PrinceCharles
Thanks bill i will wait till my daughter calls round , then we will try it god bless.
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gyanroshni
FFP Veteran Poet

India
194 Posts

Posted - 11/25/2012 :  3:24:20 PMPoems by gyanroshni
I tried this today, though the image selected isn't apt but m happy i finally learnt the procedure... thanku... :)
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sarah0217
FFP Veteran Poet

USA
287 Posts

Posted - 07/19/2013 :  12:03:25 PMPoems by sarah0217
if you like pictures that look like watermarks just go to Microsoft work put a picture the size of the page format the picture to watermark and sned it backward and the type your text. much easier
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magicman
FFP Poet Laureate

Australia
19127 Posts

Posted - 07/19/2013 :  7:30:03 PMPoems by magicman
Thanks so much for the tip.
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Kath Richards
FFP Veteran Poet

United Kingdom
445 Posts

Posted - 06/09/2014 :  10:06:29 PMPoems by Kath Richards
Hi Magic, when I do picture backgrounds I use layers, when I first upload a picture I use magnetic lasso to cut out picture, then paste it on my layer, then I resize the picture, drag it to placement where I want it to be, use the opacity to watermark it, then add my text layer. However, as you know, the text does not spell check, so most times I do my text in word.
Sometimes I do it like Sarah0217 suggested for adding watermark picture only.

Regards Kath x
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trams3
FFP Veteran Poet

USA
486 Posts

Posted - 04/02/2015 :  03:08:44 AMPoems by trams3
I'll do it and thank you .
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