General Interest

Smudged colour on photos

Just received my first book (large format, 112 pages). The quality is barely acceptable. The text is OK but most photos are too dark and the colours are very smudgy, giving a feeling of unsharpness. I can have a much better print quality from a $100 inkjet printer.  The claim that Blurb can provide bookshop quality is not supported by evidence, in my case.

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Posted by
domenich
Sep 10, 2007 1:21pm PDT
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domenich
 

Hi domenich. Something doesn’t seem right if your book’s quality is barely acceptable. Please let our Customer Service team know about your book’s smudges. If there’s a problem on our end, they’ll work with you to fix it. -Allison

Posted by
allibehr
Sep 10, 2007 4:31pm PDT
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allibehr
 

As I said to the Order people, "barely acceptable" quality is too harsh, I wrote that following the initial disappointment that the book was far from perfect as I would have hoped.

Nevertheless the photos look more blurred than they do in 10×15 prints with the same enlargement and all colours look darker and with less contrast. It would be very important to know, when preparing the photos for a book, if I need to compensate for this problem by oversharpening, overcontrasting and oversaturating the colours (by how much is the problem).

Posted by
domenich
Sep 11, 2007 2:33pm PDT
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domenich
 

Hello again, domenich. Here’s a Forums post under our Tips and Tricks category that provides great insight into color prep for your books. And here’s a blog post titled "Power users and pro photographers: Get more out of BookSmart" for information on prepping your photos.

I hope this helps. I also encourage you to post questions about photo adjustments under Tips and Tricks. I think that the community will chime in with some good answers.

Cheers,

Allison

Posted by
allibehr
Sep 11, 2007 2:50pm PDT
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allibehr
 

Hello Domenich, I experienced the same thing. Print quality of the book I received two weeks ago was magazine-like. Low in contrast, dull colors, lack of fine detail and printed too dark. I use a good 8 mp camera and know my way in Photoshop. All original pics look excellent when printed  on photo paper. I’m really disappointed. Nice to show your holiday pics but by no means bookshop quality.

Posted by
erwin4088
Sep 12, 2007 10:41am PDT
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erwin4088
 

I submitted three photos to Jeremy from Order Support day before yesterday but so far no reply.

The photos show the image on the book  together with a 10×15 copy of the same image to be able to have a comparison. Now the issue is: is there a printing problem with my book (and with erwin4088’s as well) or this is the best you can do? A straight answer would be appreciated.

Allison, thanks for the hints, although the issue is more with the blur and lack of contrast and brightness than with how the colours are rendered.

 

Posted by
domenich
Sep 12, 2007 2:10pm PDT
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domenich
 

OK, Jeremy came back with feedback on my photos and the answer is ….

... no printing problem, Jeremy admitted that a quality home inkjet printer can produce output better than Blurb on glossy paper and that Blurb’s solution is a compromise between quality and cost.

Suggestions for new books:

1) overexpose, oversharp, overcontrast and oversaturate to compensate for the semimatt paper and the printing process.

2) print examples of the photos at the actual enlargement on normal paper; this is a good indication of what the final result will be: if you do not like it, discard the photo.

 

 

Posted by
domenich
Sep 13, 2007 2:31pm PDT
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domenich
 

Hello Domenich and erwin,

 I also experienced the same thing. It’s a pitty. I wonder if there is any quality control after the book is ready?

Greetings,

Bart

 

Posted by
Stopper
Sep 14, 2007 2:41pm PDT
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Stopper
 

Hi domenich,

I looked over the original reply that Jeremy had sent you and I think you may have misunderstood what he wrote.

Indeed, certain high-end inkjet printers can print some images more sharply. But printing a book in that fashion and at home, would cost several times as much, and the end result would be a stack of pages without a cover or binding. Believe me, we’re not compromising print quality for cost. On the contrary, we are using the latest hardware and technology to create the greatest print-on-demand books possible.

– Kathy 

 

Posted by
kathybad
Sep 14, 2007 3:53pm PDT
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kathybad
 

Hi Kathy! No I do not think I misunderstood Jeremy, he was very clear.

There is a constant stream of disappointed blurb customers on this forum (together with many satisfied ones). The main reason for this I think is that you have set up way too high expectations.

You cannot claim "bookshop quality", it is misleading. In your message above you state that blurb achieves "the greatest print-on-demand books possible" which is probably a fair claim. But on booshops you do not find print-on-demand books, you find photographic books with a much higher reproduction quality than blurb can offer.

Having said this, I like blurb and I am planning to use it again. I am sure that, with experience, I can tweek my photos so that the final result on blurb will be better than with my first book. And now that my expectations have been reset to more realistic levels, I will not be disappointed.

Best Regards, Ruggero. 

Posted by
domenich
Sep 16, 2007 2:02pm PDT
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domenich