Photo collage make for a wonderful gift. It makes for a good gift since one can include photographs shot across various time-line of a relation which when looked back brings immense satisfaction. Being a photographer, my friends have been receiving such photo collages from me. To make this collage, I use a nifty piece of software known as “FotoWall”.

Fotowall can be found in Fedora repositories & can be installed by a simple command,

# yum install fotowall

Others can download it from here. It available for Windows & Mac too.

Fotowall is designed to do just a single thing i.e. To make a photo collage/mosaic. On loading, you’ll be greeted with a sparse clean interface. On clicking the middle self introductory thumbnail ‘Create’, you’ll be greeted with a blank window with a few icons on top left corner of the screen. Hovering the cursor over these icons, will give you a tool-tip of the functions which they perform.

I often start with a plain non-distracting background on which I lay photo tiles to make the final collage. Click on the first icon, which lets you add a picture & point it to the picture. Your picture will be loaded as a thumbnail in the center. Now since you want this to be your background, double click & the picture will stretch to cover the entire canvas. Similarly, you can repeat the process to add pictures. Once added, stretch the pictures as per your taste by clicking & dragging the thumbnail corners. As your are dragging, you can even change their orientation(tilt). In a similar manner, you can add text, word cloud & canvas to your photo collage.

Once you’re ready with a rough sketch, you can further customize the collage by selecting the individual picture/text & clicking on the small spanner icon. This will open a new floating window holding preferences like border, basic photo edits etc. In case you need to do major edits, clicking on GIMP icon in top menu-bar will load the image in GIMP for you to edit. Once you’re done with your collage, its time to export it. Click on ‘Export’ button in top right corner. Here you’ll be presented with choice to import the photo collage as wallpaper, image, poster, print or SVG vector image. Choose the appropriate option & follow the on-screen prompts. That’s it, your photo collage is ready. In case you want to print this collage, select the export option as Wallpaper/Image & check the parameters(especially resolution & proportion) before you give this file to the photo lab.

Overall, I like the simplicity of Fotowall. Its a great software to create seriously good photo collages in minimal amount of time. Its easy to use & gets the work done without fuss. In upcoming versions though, I would like to see more options when it comes to customizing. Some pre-included backgrounds, better frames would certainly help during time when you don’t have the internet at your disposal to search for media.

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