Jul 11, 2012

Create passport size photos at home

If you go to a studio in India to get a Passport size photo clicked, it will easily cost you Rs. 100 for 8 photos (that's $2). I made it at home using MS PowerPoint and got 6 photos for Rs. 8 (14.55 cents). This blog post will tell you how.

There are four steps involved.

  1. Taking your photograph
  2. Improving the photograph (adjust contrast/brightness)
  3. Setting it up in PowerPoint
  4. Getting the print
Step - 1 Taking the photograph
Take any digital camera and get a close-up picture of yours taken. Transfer the image onto your computer. For the purpose of this blog post we will use Sachin Tendulkar's photo.

Step - 2 Improving the photograph (Optional)
When you take a photograph with a digital camera, you might need to touch up your photo. If the original image you have taken is looking good to you then you can skip this step.

For editing follow the instructions. Open MS PowerPoint 2010. Insert the image on an empty slide. Insert -> Picture -> Select your photo from your hard disk (Short-cut: Press ALT and N together. Then press P)

Left click on the photo to select it. Go to Picture Tools Format on the top panel. Under Corrections chose the option which improves the photo.

In MS PowerPoint 2007 you can right click on the photo and choose Properties. Now you can manually increase or decrease the brightness and contrast.

Step - 3 Setting it up in PowerPoint
I paid Rs. 8 because I gave only one photograph to my local studio. It was a 4 inches x 6 inches photograph which contained 6 passport size photos. If we take these prints separately we will end up paying Rs. 48. So in this step you need to arrange 6 of your photos into one rectangle of size 4 inches x 6 inches.

Open a new slide. We need to make the slide blank. No header and body place holders. Right click on the slide and choose Layout and choose Blank.

Now go to Insert and choose a rectangle from Shapes. Draw a rectangle. Now click on the rectangle. In PowerPoint 2010, go to Drawing Tools Format. On the extreme right you have an option called Size. Enter height as 4" and width has 6".

Now fill the rectangle with white colour and give a border. For white colour, right click on the rectangle and choose Format Shape. Under Fill choose Solid Fill and choose the colour white. Transparency will be 0%. Click okay. For black border, open Format Shape again and go to Line Color and choose Solid Line and select black (you can choose any other colour as well).

We now need to create layout of one passport photo. I chose the size 4.5 cm height x 3.5 cm width.

Insert another small rectangle and adjust its size to 1.77 inches height x 1.38 inches width. 1.77 inches = 4.5 cm. PowerPoint does not allow us to enter sizes in cm. Our slide now looks like this now.

Now place your photo over the smaller rectangle. The photo might not fit exactly. Keep the photo slightly bigger than the smaller rectangle. Crop the photo and make it the same size as the small rectangle. To crop, select the photo. Under Picture Tools Format at the top choose Crop. Keep the cursor on the -- marks on the sides of the photo and cut the photo to the same size as the small rectangle.

You can now delete the rectangle. Cannot see your rectangle? Your rectangle is behind the photo. Right click on the photo and choose Send to back. Now click on the rectangle and delete it.

We just need to copy and paste the photo five times and arrange the photos nicely on the 4" x 6" layout. Remember after printing, we need to cut out the photos with a scissor.

Now select all the six photos and the rectangle in the background. You can press CTRL+A or manually drag your cursor over the bigger rectangle to select everything. Now right click (while your cursor is on the items selected) and choose Save as Picture... and save it as PNG or JPEG.

Step - 4 Getting the print
You can now take this file, give it to your local studio and ask for just one print. Take the print and using a scissor make 6 photos from it. If you have a good printer at home, you need to buy professional photo quality paper and print at home. Simple!

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