Beginners Guide to Digital Scrapbooking

Here I will provide an understanding for beginners of what digital scrapbooking is all about, identify some of the most popular software programs and links to some information about free digital scrapbooking kits and layouts.
This form of scrapbooking can be a great way for you to create eye catching layouts very cheaply and with only the click of a mouse.
Digital scrapbooking is unlikely to replace traditional scrapbooking altogether due to the tactile attraction most scrapbookers like. The need to touch ‘real’ photographs and to manually cut, glue arrange actual objects is something most scrapbookers will not want to give up.
However, digital scrapbooking is something that has seen tremendous growth over recent years and it might well be something you’d like to have a go at.

Digital scrapbooking firstly allows you to digitally enhance and in fact quite radically change your photos before you present them on a digital scrapbook layout.
Of course you have always been able to remove red eye, crop your photos down and change contrast and some colouring with the basic software. But good digital photo software allows you to change colouring completely to say sepia or black and white.
This allows you to get many different effects from just one photo. You could for example have the picture black and white with just one area of it in colour to draw a particular emphasis to that part of the photo.

You can add embellishments, text and graphics to your pictures without having to go anywhere near your paper trimmer or photo splits. This makes it very simple and incredibly cost effective to produce a layout.

You can take old photos that do not look their best and digitally restore them on your own without having to take them in to a specialist. You can even remove an unwanted background or foreground. In the past these sorts of things could only be done by photo restoration experts but now anyone can do a pretty good job at home after a bit of practice.
Digital scrapbooking also makes it even easier to send your layouts to friends or post on a web page or social networking site etc.

What do I need

The basic tool of any digital scrapbooking enthusiast is a digital software program and although there are many in the marketplace including a number of free ones, you might as well download a free trial of one of the more respected ones to begin with and use that.

Two programs stand out in the field for the great effects they can achieve and also the relatively easy learning curve involved. They both cost around US$100 but you may be able to get them a bit cheaper in academic versions if that fits your circumstances.

1. Paint Shop Pro
Free trial here

2. Adobe Photoshop Elements
A free trial is available here. (Photoshop Elements is a cut down version of the more expensive Photoshop).

Both of the above programs offer an array of tutorials on the web to help you get up to speed quickly.

Once you have your software it is just a matter of importing your photos from your computer and downloading one of the many digital scrapbooking kits.
These are just like normal scrapbooking kits and include background colours, embellishments etc. You can buy them themed e.g. wedding, outdoors, baby, sports etc.

In the same way that you use many different products in traditional scrapbooking, digital scrapbooking is no different. There is a vast arrange of digital scrapbooking kits available which of course once purchased you can use as many times as you want for no additional cost.
Better still, sign up here and receive some digital scrapbooking goodies FREE.

If you would like an even briefer introduction to digital scrapbooking without the need to download software, have a look at this great little web based product called Fotoflexer. It’s quite a lot of fun and you can access it and produce a finished product very quickly. However, long term if you want to have a serious attack at digital scrapbooking, download one of the free trials mentioned above
When it comes time for printing your masterpiece, you may want to get a large format printer to allow you to handle 12x12 printing.
While it is nice to have the entire scrapbook in digital format for emailing to friends, I think a lot of people will still want to have a hard copy to put into an album.

Another issue you will need to consider is the quality of paper you are printing on and the ink you are using. Manufacturers of these products produce specific archival quality inks and papers, so you will need to ask specifically for these. Hewlett Packard is one company that produces a range of these products.

Are You Already a Digital Scrapbooker

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Start digitally scrapbooking today - FAST!
Software Scrapbook Secrets Revealed will let you start creating layouts within 60 to 90 minutes by watching these easy to use movie tutorials.
Available for Paint Shop Pro, Photoshop Elements, and Photoshop.

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