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  #161  
Old 08-06-2011, 05:29 PM
yannakm
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Join Date: Jun 2011
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Talking Good news.

Received the photobook from MyPublisher yesterday. I would say that I am very satisfied with the result.

There where no printing problems, dots or scratches like on my first photobook.

I will second Jason's opinion that the supergloss paper is a must if you want to get the best print quality from them. There are still some downside to it as it's a real fingerprint magnet and you can still see that the pages are printed as opposed to being processed as when you look at the pages closely, you see lines and dots. It's more subtle than on the 182 pounds paper but still visible. Also, the pages seems fragile, prone to dent and feel thinner than the 182 pounds.

Apart from that, I have absolutely no complains about the photobook and think that for the price I paid, I don't think I could have gotten a better product.

Too bad I didn't try Adoramapix using their ICC profile and doing the color correction myself to really compare the products equally. The problem is that I tend to like the paper and the process way more from AdoramaPix, but I like the color a lot more from MyPublisher. For my next photobook, I think I will order from AdoramaPix and color correct the pictures using their ICC profile to give a fair comparison.

To sum it up, my wedding album finally reflect the time and effort I've put into it.

Big thanks from myself and the lady to Jason as I doubt I would have made the same choices without his review.
 
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  #162  
Old 08-14-2011, 06:58 PM
Newbie99
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 1
Thumbs down Picaboo Ranch vs Classic

Jason - thanks for the great review. I have question about your Picaboo reviews as I have a gift certificate from them so I'm kinda locked in. I was wondering if the print quality of the Ranch book was that much superior to the Classic book.

Specifically, did you have to brighten the photos for the Ranch book as you did for the Classic reprint? Also do you think you would have changed your Poor Rating of the Classic's print quality if you were able to brighten the photos in LR or was there another problem with the Classic photos?

Thanks
Al
 
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  #163  
Old 08-15-2011, 09:40 PM
bRIZZAd
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 6

Thanks for the great Photo Book reviews! Quite the breakdown - I only wish I had found it a year ago. My wife & I put together photo books as center pieces for our wedding reception (by PhotoInPress.ca), for guests to flip through (instead of the all too typical projected slideshow). It was a lot of fun to do, and helped build some confidence that we could do our own photo book when it came time for the wedding photos.

We ended up using Smilebooks out of the USA. Their cost when compared to anyone else for lay-flat pages, coupled with their frequently offered coupon codes made them an extremely affordable option when compared to Adoramapix & Picaboo at the time I was looking around. I simply had a colleague out of the USA ship them to me (I too, am in Calgary). Thanks for your previous mention of BorderLinx.com! Luckily, Smilebook will soon be shipping to Canada (or at least parnering with a Canadian printer... I am not sure which is the case) as they have launched a Canadian website (http://www.smilebooks.ca). Their support people have told me they are hoping to launch this month in August, 2011 though it could be later.

Thank you for mentioning LumaPix FotoFusion as well! I have already created our Egyptian Honeymoon photo album natively in Smilebooks' software, though may look into FotoFusion for subsequent projects. I did a travel blog/journal and used this in the photo book - so layouts had become a bit more complex and cumbersome. Their software held up fine, though I like the idea of exporting single JPEG's to use as full page bleeds, as the majority of my book involves plenty of stitched panoramic landscapes.

A technical question for you regarding photo books & vignettes. Although you have done full page bleeds for everything... I have done a few photos as vignette's (either fade edges to white, or fade to black). Having a background color on the Photo Book page of either Black or White, do you believe this is too risky to assume the Black from the photo will be printed seamlessly to the Black of their background color? Same situation for fade-to-white images & white backgrounds Should I instead, create a page layout in Photoshop instead and not risk this?
 
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  #164  
Old 08-17-2011, 12:32 AM
Jason Dunn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Newbie99 View Post
I was wondering if the print quality of the Ranch book was that much superior to the Classic book. Specifically, did you have to brighten the photos for the Ranch book as you did for the Classic reprint? Also do you think you would have changed your Poor Rating of the Classic's print quality if you were able to brighten the photos in LR or was there another problem with the Classic photos?
I'm looking again at the little Picaboo baby book I did, and if you ignore the fact that the prints are dark and therefore muddy-looking, the print quality is decent. I don't have the Ranch book in front of me to compare it with, but the paper is so different the print quality would be hard to compare apples to apples.

The real problem with the Picaboo book was that the photos were already fairly bright; I'd be blowing the highlights if I boosted them much more. Maybe Picaboo's process is better now and I just had bad luck. I do know their customer service is excellent, so my advice for you is to make your photos as bright as you can (without blowing the highlights), and hope for the best.
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  #165  
Old 08-17-2011, 12:41 AM
Jason Dunn
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Glad you liked the review. Neat idea with the wedding centre pieces...

Quote:
Originally Posted by bRIZZAd View Post
Having a background color on the Photo Book page of either Black or White, do you believe this is too risky to assume the Black from the photo will be printed seamlessly to the Black of their background color? Same situation for fade-to-white images & white backgrounds Should I instead, create a page layout in Photoshop instead and not risk this?
It would very likely be a mess. I'd strongly encourage you to do create your vignette's in a graphics program, export the whole image, and do it in the book as a full page bleed. Be aware of the aspect ratio of the printed page though, and match it, so you don't get unexpected cropping (and always play it safe by allowing for slightly more cropping that they tell you there will be).
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  #166  
Old 08-17-2011, 01:46 AM
bRIZZAd
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Dunn View Post
It would very likely be a mess. I'd strongly encourage you to do create your vignette's in a graphics program, export the whole image, and do it in the book as a full page bleed. Be aware of the aspect ratio of the printed page though, and match it, so you don't get unexpected cropping (and always play it safe by allowing for slightly more cropping that they tell you there will be).
Thanks for the reply!

Not exactly what I had hoped to hear, but what I expected! I wouldn't have to re-do all pages, but probably half. I can't order yet anyways until SmileBooks officially launches in Canada.

Here is an example page to illustrate what I am talking about as far as using vignettes/fade-to-black. Similar scenarios exist in my photo book that fade to white as well:

HI-RES:http://i.imgur.com/T9ZB6.jpg



The selected image is faded to black on the far left-hand side, with the background color of the pages being black. The clip-art in the corner of the text also has all sides faded to black. All new 'days' in my travel blog photo book have those too.
 
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  #167  
Old 08-17-2011, 04:43 AM
Jason Dunn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bRIZZAd View Post
Here is an example page to illustrate what I am talking about as far as using vignettes/fade-to-black. Similar scenarios exist in my photo book that fade to white as well
That's a really cool effect. I might very well be wrong - I've never attempted anything like that, but the odds of the transition from your image to the effect in the software might be jarring. Maybe if there's text over it, it would be partially hidden and not a big issue. Might be worth ordering a really small/cheap version of your book - even just a handful of pages, the minimum size - and seeing how it looks.
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  #168  
Old 08-18-2011, 07:01 PM
bRIZZAd
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Dunn View Post
That's a really cool effect. I might very well be wrong - I've never attempted anything like that, but the odds of the transition from your image to the effect in the software might be jarring. Maybe if there's text over it, it would be partially hidden and not a big issue. Might be worth ordering a really small/cheap version of your book - even just a handful of pages, the minimum size - and seeing how it looks.
That's a good idea, I may just order a cheap book first with these effects. Currently my book is @ $130 for 82 pages (max) w/ lay-flat pages. Could be an expensive experiment otherwise, even when I apply a % savings coupon code.

I contacted Smilebooks, and they informed me they have some color gradient masks similar to what I've done with that large Abu Simbel photo (fading one side to black). I only had to download those afterwards from within the software. They guarantee no issues using those, so I will use those where possible. I like the transition since my photo book has so much text, it really works nicely with some images.

Though I do have images where multiple sides have been faded, which they don't have image masks for (nor can you can control the intensity using their image masks). They offered to have their color specialists check a couple of my images to verify whether they would be an issue or not - so at least I'll know ahead of time that I absolutely must change what I'm doing.

Might be a couple months, but I'll report back with how things turned out with the final product.
 
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  #169  
Old 12-05-2011, 11:53 PM
bRIZZAd
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bRIZZAd View Post
Might be a couple months, but I'll report back with how things turned out with the final product.
Well, it's been more than a couple months though I've finally ordered my photo book. Things turned out great. I used a combination of their image masks where I am doing simple fades to the page color (black/white). The Abu Simbel page as previously shown turned out like this:



HI-RES (terrible cell-cam photo though): http://i.imgur.com/MCmb1.jpg

They also respect .PNG files that have Alpha-Channel transparencies. This can allow you to create your own ClipArt beyond their own collection. I used this in a few areas of my book (like the ripped ticket in the bottom left of the next photo):



Can't beat the price. 82 lay-flat silver-halide photo pages amounted to ~ $80 USD after applying a 40% discount coupon (they regularly offer 20-50% off every other month or so). Less than $1/pg for this kind of product is hard to beat. Any of the lay-flat photobooks are actually printed in Germany due to their proprietary process I believe.
 
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  #170  
Old 12-06-2011, 03:22 AM
Jason Dunn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bRIZZAd View Post
Well, it's been more than a couple months though I've finally ordered my photo book. Things turned out great. I used a combination of their image masks where I am doing simple fades to the page color (black/white). The Abu Simbel page as previously shown turned out like this.
Wow, that turned out great! Amazing results. So that's a two-page layout of an image with a PNG gradient put on top, then text on top of that? I really like that effect. Thanks for coming back to share.
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