Beginner's Luck: Customized Postcards On-the-Go with Lightroom

by Colleen Wheeler

Despite the raised eyebrows, I insisted on taking my portable 4 x 6 dye-sub printer on my trip to Ireland. You know, I never missed that fourth pair of shoes, especially when I was having fun making personalized postcards with a little help from Lightroom. The paper that I ordered for the printer came with postcard markings pre-printed on the back, and it was easy to create a customized image for the front using Lightroom's Print module features.

Yes, you can print to these fun little printers (only slightly larger than a thick paperback novel or the roughly the same room in the suitcase as the aforementioned shoes) directly with any pict-bridge enabled camera, but using Lightroom allows for arranging multiple images and including a customized caption. Lightroom had no difficulty communicating with my 2-year-old Canon Selphy 400 printer. I picked four images from my Ireland catalog, arranged them appropriately, used the Page Setup command to choose a 4x6 paper size, and tweaked the settings in the Overlays pane to make the caption.


In the Identity Plate section of the Overlays panel, you can set the angle, text color, opacity, scale and message of the text that appears in the window. If you click the down arrow at the bottom of the text window, you can choose Edit and type your greeting of choice. Although this element shares its name with the Identity Plate proper that sits in the upper left of the interface, don't worry, changing the Identity Plate text here does not (even quasi-permanently) stick "Greetings from Ireland" at the top of your workspace.

The result was a personal, "How did you do that?" montage-type postcard with both family shots and notable Irish landmarks, suitable for impressing the folks back home with my far less interesting fourth pair of shoes.


Geoff Wilson
2007-08-16 01:13:15
Cool! I've found my little Selphy printer great for giving people snapshots and for cheap prints, but this is something I hadn't thought of. Thank you!
Barbara Kalman
2007-08-20 11:35:19
My Selphy came with a thick manual re printing, but no info re installing paper to print. Please help. Thanks in advance.
Colleen Wheeler
2007-08-24 12:53:22
Which model do you have, Barbara? My instructions for paper in Step 2 of the Quick Start part of the manual. The trick seems to be opening both the top cover and what Canon calls the "middle cover," loading the paper, then putting only the middle cover back in place. Then you open the cover on the printer, and slide the paper cassette in with the top cover still open (in the back position). Hope that helps!