The Lightroom Print module is a great tool for creating print layouts, but one thing it is not designed to do is make calendars (hopefully Adobe will introduce this feature in future versions of Lightroom). Luckily, in spite of that it is not too difficult to create a calendar once you know how, and you are prepared to put the work in to create the month and day parts of the calendar.
Or – you can let someone else do all the hard work. That somebody is photographer Ed Weaver, who has created some Print module calendar templates that anybody can download from his website for free.
Ed updates the templates every year, and has recently added templates for 2015. There are two versions, one with the week starting on Sunday, and the other with it starting on Monday. Just select the one that is appropriate for your part of the world (the links are at the bottom of the web page) and download the files.
The download includes a set of calendar graphics and Lightroom Print Templates, along with instructions. All you have to do is import the calendar images into the Lightroom Catalog and add the Print Templates to the Print module. It only takes a few minutes and you’re ready to go.
Creating a calendar
Follow these instructions to make your first calendar using Ed’s templates.
1. Open the folder containing the templates you want to use. Import the JPEGs into Lightroom. There are two JPEGs for every month in 2015, one with large numbers, the other with small numbers (see below), giving 24 in total.
2. Go to the Library module and create a Collection for the calendar. Add both the calendar JPEGs you just imported plus any photos you may wish to use in the calendar.
3. Go to Lightroom’s Print module, then select Print > New Template Folder from the menu. Give the folder an appropriate name (i.e. 2015 Calendar). Right-click on the folder name and select Import. Navigate to the folder where Ed’s calendar templates are stored, select them all and click the Import button.
4. Open the Template Folder you just created. There are ten templates to choose from. When you click on a template, Lightroom displays it in the Content window (see below). The templates use the Custom Package layout style, which means that Lightroom doesn’t add photos to the layout automatically. Instead, you have to do it yourself by dragging the photos from the Filmstrip.
5. Drag photos and calendar templates as needed from the Filmstrip to create your calendar. With this template, you need just one of each.
6. Click the Create Saved Print button in the top right corner of the Content window (see below). Give the print a name in the Create Print window and click the Create button. Lightroom creates a Print Collection (marked by a printer icon in the Collections panel) containing only the images used in the print. Now you can leave the Print module and return to your print at any time without losing any changes.
7. Repeat for the rest of the months in the year, and you have a complete calendar.
Here are some examples using some of the other templates:
Modifying template files
Ed’s templates are great, but there is no easy way to change the colours, fonts, or any other aspect of the design of the JPEG files, at least not in Lightroom. If you want to change the style, you should open the files in Photoshop or Photoshop Elements. Using layers, it is relatively straightforward to replace the font Ed used with that of your own choice, or change the colours. Of course, you could also start completely from scratch and create your calendar files to use with Ed’s templates.
Changing background colour
You can change the background colour of the calendar from its default white by going to the Page panel and ticking the Page Background Color box. Click the swatch on the right to choose a colour. Just bear in mind that adding a background colour uses more ink if you print the calendar on an inkjet printer.
Mastering Lightroom: Book Five – The Other Modules
My new ebook Mastering Lightroom: Book Five – The Other Modules shows you how to use Lightroom’s powerful features to create fun and interesting projects using the Map, Book, Slide show, Print and Web modules. Whether it’s geotagging, putting together a photo book, printing your best photos or creating web galleries all the information (and inspiration) you require is right here.