I miss photos, sometimes. It’s nice to hold them in your hands, show them to friends, and sometimes use them as bookmarks (for books). Sadly, they require physical maintenance and organization: leave them in the envelope, sort them into albums or slide carousels .. and then forget them.
Digital is great: nearly instant feedback, manipulation and uploading to flickr. Just as easy to forget as prints, but they don’t collect so much dust. I’ve contemplated prints from digital images, but end up contemplating the same problem as prints from film: they’re fun for a while, then just turn into dusty clutter.
A couple of days ago, I decided I wanted to make a photo book. I thought about Apple Aperture and the book feature, though I was told it was expensive. I did some minimal searching and found lulu, but for some reason when I went looking for reviews, I wasn’t impressed. I did find blurb which looks promising, but requires jpegs to be imported (or slurped from flickr).
In the end, having found no decent reviews, I decided just to try them until I found one I liked. First was through aperture. Making the book was strikingly simple: select photos, then create book. Other photos can be added later. I used the masters for the book; I should have perhaps created new versions for book-specific modifications. Next time 😉
Aperture provides several templates for books; I think more can be made, but my needs were simple, so I just used one which was there. Very simple to drag photos into placeholders from the book folder (which was set to show only unplaced photos, eliminating duplication), and do simple resizing/moving. And very easy just to hit H (adjustments HUD) to edit the image full screen on my second monitor… changes were immediately reflected in the book pages as well.
It generates a PDF for review, which is cool all by itself. That looked OK, so I uploaded all 33mb, and now await its delivery in a week or so. Cost was $30 for a large hardcover + $1.50 tax + $8 shipping. Not particularly cheap, but the integration of the book making with the photo editing is impressively helpful. Prices are here (“large” is about a4-sized). I may try blurb next just to see how it stacks up with regards to quality. It’s cheaper, but that’s not always better, is it?