I am thinking of doing a book which will consist of entirely scanned photos. The pictures were originally taken on 35mm film, using a compact camera, and printed at 6" x 4". I have already scanned a number in for my Flickr website, and they look quite good. The original image, when scanned in, is quite large, but Flickr reduces them back to more or less 6" x 4" size again in the photostream, so any imperfections are not noticeable because the photo has not been "blown up" for use on the site.
The plan will be to use some of these images, and I am thinking of saving the image as it appears on Flickr to upload for my book on my hard drive, as this is just the right size for what I want. But two other things are bugging me:
1) anything that is not on Flickr, to be scanned from scratch, will be quite big, so would it be good to resize them so they are saved on my hard drive in more or less the size I want them to be in the book?
2) the FAQs mentions how pictures will usually appear darker in print than on screen. Now, given that these photos will be scanned, which I think makes them a bit lighter than the original print, does this simply mean that they will appear at the same contrast as my original print, or could they be even darker??
You are asking a question that appears to be simple…however the answer can be complicated. What is important for successful images in Blurb books is that the images be properly sized, optimized, and in the correct color space.
Regarding your question 1: Yes, images should be scanned and properly sized for your book. A side comment here would be that the Flickr images are being display at or near 72ppi, not enough resolution for your book. The images that I post to my Blurb books are always 300ppi.
Regarding your question 2; Scanning does not darken or lighten images (although either may happen). In my opinion you should always optimize images between the scan and inclusion into your book. The optimization workflow should include at least a) proper sizing, b) levels, c) curves, d) hue/saturation, e) removal of blemishes such as dust specks, f) proper sharpening, and g) saving in the correct color space.
Not to scare you, but just a hint that unless you are working in a color corrected environment (a color corrected monitor at least) it is possible that you will submit your images all wrong. For example, if your monitor is showing too much yellow, you will correct your images to show less yellow. Then when Blurb prints the images the colors will be skewed because you submitted ‘yellow deficient’ images. I suspect that most people are not working in a color corrected environment…and that usually things turn out OK.
A very reasonable suggestion is that you submit and order a test book. Include your cover, a page or two of print, and at least several pages that include images. Examine the test book carefully, learn from it, and then create your full book.
Have fun. We are living in exciting times.
Thanks Jim. New to all this, but Blurb is obviously there for other people to be able to buy the book you have created, so if I do a test book, and decide it doesn’t look good, will it still be on the site for people to try and buy it, or could I delete it from the site?