Book Design and Imaging

Got my first book back, and seem to be having callibration issues

Overall, the results were just OK. The dust jacket looked great on thick, glossy paper, but the inner pages were a little grainy on full-bleed and bigger, lighter photos, and I got quite a bit of shadowing from the reverse side of the page (used a black background throughout). Any suggestions to alleviate the graininess would be appreciated; I realize a white background will help with the shadowing somewhat, but not entirely.

Here’s my bigger problem:  on my camera monitor (a big, clear Nikon D80), my pictures look fantastic, and details, even in low light shots, are sharp. On my laptop screen and docking station monitor, they also look and print great, though maybe a touch (5-10%) darker. Unfortunately, most of my pictures published about 50% darker than I expected. Since this first project was a series of sunsets, capturing the beach detail wasn’t all that important, but I’m concerned about future projects.

Anybody else experience this? And any rule-of-thumb Blurb settings I should be using to adjust my pictures before publishing?

Thanks!

Par4K8

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Posted by
Par4K8
Apr 8, 2008 12:17pm PDT
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Par4K8
 

Hello Par4K8;

First off your camera LCD screen is not really a good indicator of quality – it’s very low resolution… All you can really do with that is assess the image for composition and exposure using the histogram output…

Next, you say yourself that your images on your PC screen already look darker than on your camera – so that would be a probable indicator that your monitor needs some calibration. There are plenty of tools to do that, and a forum search here for "calibration" will reveal plenty of threads…

Moving on, there is indeed a general tendancy for BookSmart to darken images, specially in shadows and blues, but there is no overall setting to use as an adjusting medium… The main reason for this is because during the upload process your sRGB images are converted to CMYK, and in general Blurb’s algorithms don’t handle the reduction in colour range terribly well… so…

If you want to do the job properly, research "ICC Profile" and download the soft-proofing profile to adjust your images BEFORE you load them into BookSmart.

Hope that helps, and points you in the right directions…

Cheers;

Lee

Posted by
lkb-28
Apr 10, 2008 1:25am PDT
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lkb-28
 

Great starting point, Lee! Thanks for the info!

Par4K8

Posted by
Par4K8
Apr 10, 2008 8:48am PDT
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Par4K8
 

This is an interesting thread.  Would it not be best to edit pictures in CYMK in Photoshop at the outset, or is it best to leave this to Blurb?

Posted by
islander1
Apr 30, 2008 5:27am PDT
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islander1
 

Par4K8 –

 I’m a photographer and also shoot with D80’s. Forget the camera LCD – it is brighter than normal. You need to be using a calibrated computer monitor for the best results and all photo files need to be processed as sRGB for the best results. Blurb does seem to be printing just a tad darker than I expect – so on photos that will lose detail in the dark – I tend to lighten them just a little bit. The most important thing is to calibrate your monitor – then you should be just fine.

Posted by
CWN
Apr 30, 2008 8:03am PDT
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CWN
 

Lee (or anyone),

I know this is in response to an old thread, but on April 10 you wrote:

”...during the upload process your sRGB images are converted to CMYK, and in general Blurb’s algorithms don’t handle the reduction in colour range terribly well.”

I am confused. Blurb advises us to set Image / Mode for our images to RGB before loading them into BookSmart. But if the images are converted to CMYK, shouldn’t we just set our images to CMYK? Put another way, if BookSmart converts images to CMYK, why does Blurb advise users to set the mode to RGB?

Posted by
geolvis
Sep 3, 2008 3:00am PDT
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geolvis
 

geolvis,

Only if you conduct search query such as phrase keywords such as “convert sRGB” in Search FAQ, this comes up with the link below as follows:

Search FAQ title “What type of images worth with BookSmart”

http://blurb.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/blurb.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=27&p_created=1160772099&p_sid=eLhn2Zcj&p_accessibility=&p_redirect=&p_lva=&p_sp=cF9zcmNoPTEmcF9zb3J0X2J5PSZwX2dyaWRzb3J0PSZwX3Jvd19jbnQ9Nyw3JnBfcHJvZHM9JnBfY2F0cz0mcF9wdj0mcF9jdj0mcF9wYWdlPTEmcF9zZWFyY2hfdGV4dD1jb252ZXJ0IHNSR0I*&p_li=&p_topview=1

In the case of all photos, you need to convert your images to sRGB color profile before importing them into BookSmart.

Also, there are many discussion on the forum discussion related to this topic, also try to conduct search queries on forum search and/or Search FAQ for an answer.

Hope that helps, no?
Brian, a passionate Blurbarian

Posted by
brianbonitz
Sep 3, 2008 2:34pm PDT
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brianbonitz
 

geolvis,

Also, I forgot to mention this link in Blurberati Blog article, have a look as follow;

Color Profile for Blurb Book
http://blog.blurb.com/index.php/2007/02/13/color-profile-for-blurb-books/#comment-6204

Through the link, there are a couple of few links to address this issue. Very good source of information.

Hope that helps. If you need some further assistance or something, just let us know right here on the forum.

Cheers,
Brian, a passionate Blurbarian

Posted by
brianbonitz
Sep 3, 2008 2:38pm PDT
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brianbonitz