Since I carried all of my worldly possessions day-to-day on the Camino de Santiago, I picked up very few souvenirs. I came home the usual artifacts, the Compostela, distance certificate, and the Cotolaya – the document given to pilgrims receiving the Compostela in 2014 to celebrate the 800th anniversary of St. Francis of Assisi’s pilgrimage from Italy to Santiago.
Like every peregrino, my credencial is the most unique souvenir from the journey. Every stop, Dublin to Barcelona to Leon to Santiago de Compostela to Finisterre and Muxia, every sello a noteworthy stop with fond memories of café con leches and friends along the way. I got home and flipped through my credencial, again and again, I decided I wanted to look at it every day, somehow. So I fired up my computer and got to work.
It took some trial and error to get to this end result. If you’d like to make your own, a bit of Photoshop handiness will make this project a breeze. (Or keep reading for information about ordering one!)
- Start with high quality scans of the credencial. 600 dpi JPG images worked best for me, but, generally, the better image quality for a starting point, the better overall outcome.
- Cut up the sellos into individual images.
- Clean up the images by removing any stray lines, darken the sellos, boost the colour, and fill in blank spaces where possible.
- Determine the project size. I based my image on the size of the finished project. One draft was 16″ x 20″, but I eventually settled on an 18″ x 24″ poster print.
- Open a new blank high resolution file in an image editor – I use Adobe Photoshop Elements. For this project, I set an image of 24″ wide by 18″ high with a resolution of 240 pixels/inch (PPI).
- Arrange the images, using separate layers for each item for ease of adding, removing, or moving around.
- For fun, I added images from my own pictures of particularly memorable things along the way – the Camino trail sign, Cruz de Ferro, crossing into Galicia, and a particularly good bottle of Peregrina beer on a very hot day.
- Finally, add headings, save, and upload for printing at your photo printer of choice. For my poster, it was an 18″ x 24″ poster print on photo paper from a national printing company.
My Camino de Santiago credencial poster
Et voilà! My masterpiece turned out even better than I hoped. Since it wasn’t a standard frame size, I hung it using a poster hanger – I used the one from posterhanger.com which had been laying around for another project never completed. However, it’s pretty easy to set up an image that’s a standard frame size, for enlargements, just use the highest possible resolution for crisp images and maximum enlargement potential.
For more posts about my Camino de Santiago, check out my dedicated Camino page. If you enjoyed this post, please take a moment to leave some feedback in the comment section. If you really, really enjoyed this post, you can subscribe to the blog to receive notifications for new content or follow my blog with Bloglovin. I share travel news on Twitter at @bitesizedtravel, pictures of travel, food, craft beer, and cats on Instagram, and I hide from Facebook.