bc3550's Posts

Print Preview= Real Deal?
Book Design and Imaging

My pages print out just fine on my photo printer, unless I deliberately change the setting to make it go faster for the proof.  Every photo that I have put in a book has printed exactly as the original so far.  I don’t calibrate my screen, I don’t try to adjust to any kind of print profile, and even those with the yellow warning light have been just fine (of course, there is a limit to how much you can stretch that, but I haven’t seen a problem yet).  This stuff about "disservice to book designers" seems a little strange to me.  Why would a book designer need the Blurb page layout to get it printed somewhere else?   If you’re a book designer then you certainly have the tools and the skills to do page layouts that can be printed elsewhere.   

Allison, as long as you don’t expect your photos to come out better than your originals you should be fine.  

Posted by
bc3550
Feb 8, 2008 7:44am PDT
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bc3550
 
Picture problems
Tips and Tricks

3STIPES,

I have done two books and have never "resized" any of the photos.  This includes old, scanned pictures, new digital originals, and every level of quality possible.  I do adjust some of them to bring them closer in on the page layout.  Every picture that I have printed looks exactly like the original (both bad and good quality).  Also, I have mostly ignored the yellow warning about the size and quality—those have all printed just as good, or bad, as the original.  If you’re printing a portfolio of professional photos, then you need to know about the technical details of resizing.  If you’re doing a book for family or friends or personal use, I would say don’t worry about al the resizing issues until you see your first book. 

Posted by
bc3550
Jan 11, 2008 7:50am PDT
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bc3550
 
Family History Template
Book Design and Imaging

This is an issue for me too, as I am planning my next book to be a combination of family history and genealogy and photos.  I have used FamilyTree Maker software for years, but I’m a little hestiate to try to do the book in the Ancestry Press program—it seems very awkward to me, although I haven’t actually tried it.  I’m caught between one program that contains all of the data, reports and trees (Family Tree Maker) ,and one that is great for design of text and photos (Blurb), but neither fits exactly what I’d like to have.   Also, from what I understand the 2008 version of Family Tree Maker has become a disaster for users, so I am unlikely to become more dependent on that software.  Anyway, I sent a request to Blurb this week requesting that they figure out a way to at least import GEDCOM files.   The problem for me with tree templates is that when you get ready to print it out, you are limited to 5 or 6 generations, and it gets complicated to display when you have 18 generations over multiple pages.  

Posted by
bc3550
Jan 10, 2008 8:22am PDT
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bc3550
 
Photoshop
Tips and Tricks

norstar,

I taught myself photo editing and restoration, because I ended up with hundreds of old family pictures going back as far as 100 years (I am not a professional photographer).  Fortunately, an old software program called MGI PhotoSuite was far less intimidating than PhotoShop, and very easy to use, so I had a chance to see results fairly quickly.  If I had it to do over again, I would start with the most simple version of Photoshop available, because initially learning on a non-technical program is still causing me to struggle with PhotoShop.  I have done restoration and editing on hundreds of pictures that suffer from decades of hot attics, shoe boxes, sticky photo albums from 1970, and bad photography.  The sheer number of photos that needed to be archived  and preserved is what drove me to do it myself, since it was not feasible to pay for that much work.  The biggest problem is the time involved, because it does take so much trial and error.  Also, there is constantly a need to upgrade or expand hardware and software, so it is not a cheap hobby by any means.  I can’t do very well with critical repairs to faces and hair, or replacing arms that are torn off the picture.  Other than that, I’ve learned how to do things that I could never have imagined, from giving new life to damaged photos, to putting people and things in pictures that were not there (or taking people out in some cases!).  You can do it yourself if you can give it many hours of work and patience, and if you like detail work—sometimes down to the pixel.   Speaking from the experience of one who dived in too deep before realizing that I was getting in over my head: 

1) It will take much more of your time than you can imagine; 

2) You will spnd more money than you think; 

3)  If you have more than a handful of pictures, file management and organization will make you crazy if you don’t set up a system and use it (how many versions of one photo can possibly exist?).  Actally, it will make you crazy even if you do set up a good system. 

4)  You may be getting into something you really enjoy that could open up creative possibilities that you never thought about—which of course justifies the time, money, etc.

Posted by
bc3550
Jan 2, 2008 10:56am PDT
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bc3550
 
First book received
Ordering and Shipping

I decided at the last minute to do a photo book for a relative as a Christmas gift.  The book arrived today, only one day past the original estimated date, and I have to say that it exceeds my expectations.  The print quality is good, ad even those, scanned 1960s snapshots printed as well as the originals.  There are several books that I have wanted to do that will be far more complicated than this one, so I decided something short and simple would be the best route to take on the first time around.  The color matches what I saw on screen, both in the pictures and the background templates.  I will be starting on a larger book next week.  Just for information to Blurb, it was the phone/video training session that helped me take the step to doing the book.  If I had not participated in that, I would not have this special little Christmas gift for my favrite neice. 

Posted by
bc3550
Dec 19, 2007 9:25am PDT
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bc3550