I am experimenting with some software I came across when checking out a new (to me) blog by Rita Lima. Rita (@awaypa) and I are now hooked up on Twitter. Rita recommends a free Paint program called paint.net which she reckons is a good free alternative to Adobe Photoshop. It's available for download from http://www.getpaint.net. I already use Gimp 2 as a basic graphics tool - I don't need to have much, but will check this new tool out.
However, the coolest thing for me on above site was another free download - Shape Collage. This allows you to create collages of your photos of all shapes and sizes. It's fun and really easy to use - once you have downloaded it you will be able to create collages in only a few seconds. So, naturally the first collage I created was one of pictures of myself. I just dragged and dropped nine portrait style photos into Shape Collage, clicked the Create button, and Hey Presto - a collage is created. You can choose how far apart you want your photos, how many you want, in what order, and the layout - at the click of a button, no special skills required. I love it when people create such wonderful tools that can make amateurs like me create professional looking graphics.
Here is my first effort. Unfortunately it does not improve my looks, but the photos included range from 1974 to 2008. Doing this in Gimp would be difficult for me - I wouldn't even know where to start. The picture here took less than a minute to create. Try it out yourself!