Hallelujah, it’s finally Week 4 of the One Room Challenge. And this week, we are sharing how to create artwork or a gallery wall using royalty-free photos.
Easy Artwork or Gallery Wall Using Free Photos
In this day and age, have cell phone, will travel. And while traveling, don’t cha know we are snapping a few thousand photos along the way? And with all of these photos, you’d think it’d be super easy to find just the right photo to print.
Well, turns out, it’s not always so easy.
Case in point.
For the artwork in the bathroom makeover, I started with an amazing photo of a highrise building under construction in Atlanta’s Buckhead area. When my son was in high school, we set up shop around midnight at a construction site (yes! I must have been crazy) and he caught this photo using about a 10-12 minute exposure…. well…..after about a gazillion false starts. Because, you know what lights (headlights, flashlights from the night guards, etc) do to long exposures.
Well anyway, this photo inspired the general feel for the rest of the photos in the bathroom. The problem is that I don’t have enough small prints to complete a gallery wall.
Yes, a gallery wall…in this tiny bathroom. #trustme
Enter royalty-free photos.
These include just about every kind of image you can imagine and are allowed for personal use. Yes! For free.
Here’s how it works.
How to Create Artwork or Gallery Wall Using Free Photos
Step One – Choose a Royalty-Free Website
As an example, to find more highrises under construction, I googled something like “highrise buildings construction free printable.” And several sites offering royalty-free images popped up: iStockPhoto.com , Pixabay.com , and Unsplash.com
Trust me, there are a boatload of sites. Just keep surfing around until you find a site with your perfect image subject. It’s a little time-consuming, but totally worth the effort.
Step Two – Choose a Printing Service
Most printing services offer standard sizes so it’s best to evaluate the prints and buy frames with any printing limitations from the printer in mind.
Also check to see how the service prefers photos to be saved after resizing. I usually save in PNG.
Step Three – Determine Frame and Matte Sizes
Set up the framing system. I always set up the size and shapes of frames before committing the photos to prints. This allows for adjusting how the photos work together so that images are maximized for composition.
Step Four – Resize Photos
Resize the downloaded images using free software, like befunky.com, before sending them to print.
Check with your printing service before resizing. Remember, most services provide prints for standard sizes so your frames/mattes’ sizes will need to coordinate with the printing service offered sizes.
As photos are manipulated to lighten, enlarge, or change the photo size, do think about how this could impact the printed copy. Some photos distort or the image becomes grainy when radically resized.
Photos will resize better if photos shot in landscape are kept landscape and photos shot in portrait are kept portrait. This definitely minimizes distortion, but please continue to be cautious as resizing the image to very large or small can certainly distort.
Step Five – Send to Printer
Email the photos to a trusted printing service. I usually use Costco, but there are many.
The key is to carefully read through the website’s directions and MAKE SURE to click for the photo to be printed “AS IS.”
There may also be an option for the printing service to “auto-correct.” If so, MAKE SURE to click it OFF.
If not, the printing machine may resize or even mess with the color of the image.
At the same time, you may opt to pickup or have the prints shipped to your home.
If you’d like a photo printed on canvas, most printing services offer this, too. But do take time to compare prices because they will vary vendor to vendor.
Or you may opt to print photos on the super-hip printing on glass.
Technology has advanced to the point where just about any vendor can produce a good product as long as they are provided a good image.
Also be mindful that most images on the internet have 72 pixels per inch. For print, the image needs to be at least 300 px. When downloading an image, check this number. If it’s higher than 300, that’s even better.
And remember, it’s VERY important that the adjustment to the pixels (upping them from 72) happens BEFORE the image is sent to the printing service.
And that’s all there is to it.
I do hope you will join me in Week 6 (the reveal) when all of these empty frames will be filled and the photos in the blog post become light and bright. As of this posting, the space is still pretty much covered in tarps and filled with ladders. I’m crawling around the construction just to grab a few shots.
After the reveal, I’ll circle back to this post and add some good photos. But until Week 6, I’m trying to keep the tiny space under wraps.
If you have any questions or comments, please leave a message in the comment section (below).
In the meantime, if you’d like to share this post or keep it for later, please pin this image.
To visit Fall 2018 ORC posts:
Week 1 – The Modern Traditional Bathroom Plan, please click here
Week 2 – How to Stain and Protect a Wood Vanity, please click here
Week 3 – Barn Doors: Tips, Tricks and Options, please click here
Week 4 – You are Here #artwork #gallerywall
Week 5 – Coming Soon
Week 6 – The Big Reveal
To visit Previous Challenges :
And don’t forget to stop by and say hello to our gracious hosts, Calling It Home , One Room Challenge and Better Homes and Gardens. You can also visit over 200 bloggers by clicking Designer Challenge and/or clicking Blogger Challenge. #oneroomchallenge #ORC #betterhomesandgardens #bhgorc #homelovenetwork
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