|BINDINGS COMPARISON of Photobooks EXAMPLES - Inspiration? SUGGESTIONS|
|I was inspired to create
a photobook when I saw the exceptional work of a fine local amateur photographer
friend Kim Baggaley on her trip to India. I had the opportunity to do so
having returned from a cruise to South-East Asia on the liner Azamara
Journey. I had seen several photobooks before but was particularly
impressed by Kim's two books, prepared by Momento. Without investigating
any other photobook suppliers, although I knew of several, I decided to
go with Momento for my first efforts. I was not disappointed.
I have created this website with two objectives. Firstly, to keep a record of photobook information that would interest me, and a directory of my own photobooks, twenty to date. Secondly, to document and share a number of perhaps useful techniques in creating a photobook page. I will add techniques and comment as I have time, and will also develop a comparison between other photobook suppliers. At this time I have only used Momento and whereas I have not made a direct comparison with other photobook services, I see not reason to change from Momento. Most of the following comment is relevant to all photobooks anyway.
I must emphasise here that all comments are my own and in no way has Momento any involvement nor influence on the site. You will see below a few comments and suggestions on the use of Momento. Some of these may reflect in the use of other photobook software which, as I have said, I have not used, but still may be relevant to the reader.
Of Momento, I really had no idea what to expect but was delighted both with the ease of creating the photobook and the end result. I don't think I have had so much fun in designing a layout. I have over the past thirty years created and published several traditional print books, some I have authored myself, and others I have designed and published for others. I've had my share of frustrations in using various software for page layout. None have been so simple to use as Momento. The learning curve is steep and within a matter of minutes you are on your way. I went a step further in my layout by utilising many of the facilities available in Adobe Photoshop 5 (an old but still reliable version). The combination of Momento and Adobe resulted in what I hope was an imaginative book. I experimented quite a bit - some ideas worked, others less so. But I emphasise that throughout the creation of my first photobook it was great fun. As a now retired travel photo-journalist, publisher and author I see a delightful future ahead of me as I create many more photobooks to take down memory lane and share with my fellow inmates in the inevitable retirement home. I hope that's a few years off anyway.
Finally, one thing that I found most impressive with Momento is the ability to communicate effectively with the staff. Email replies are always prompt and courteous. Your actions such as downloading (exporting), your layout and ordering always results in an email to say that the action was successful - or otherwise I guess. It takes about 10 days before you see your treasured photobook - you will receive an email when it is despatched - by Australia Post express in a study cardboard container.
Okay, this is what happens in Momento. And it suits me fine. I have no doubt that other photobook suppliers have similar proceedures - I don't know at this stage of my life as a photobook tragic, but I'm staying with Momento.
Peter Stone, Yarram, Victoria, Australia Email firstname.lastname@example.org
|HOW DOES IT WORK
For the uninitiated, Momento
works this way
1. Download photobook software. It is free, absolutely no obligation and no hassles.
2. Prepare a directory (folder) of photographs to use, or at least consider using. You can add or delete from this as you wish. I started with a 'work file' where my original photographs were stored. See Tip 1 right.
As you are working with digital images you will need to convert all print photographs and 35mm slides to digital jpeg format. This can be an arduous task but it is not difficult. You will need a scanner that can scan prints - and if you have 35mm slides these need to be converted with special equipment which may be incorporated in your flat-bed scanner. Take care to scan at an appropriate size, that is to say, scan to provide a jpeg image of an appropriate size. See Tip 2.
3. Call up your photobook software, name your 'project', and make a basic selection of book size and format - for example, A4 size, landscape format (which is the most prefered for a photobook of mainly photographs). You do not have to select the number of pages (maximum 200 for Momento), nor paper stock, at this stage.
4. Start creating. Don't
worry about the cover at this stage. Don't hesitate and get trapped by
the 'where do I start' syndrome. Move a few photographs onto the project
work page. Move then around, resize them, note the excellent cropping feature,
note what happens when you move them closer to the edge of the paper, try
out the span and line-up features - try anything and everything as you
get the hang of it. Momento is so forgiving and anything you do can be
undone. Tryout the various backgrounds. Create your own backgrounds using
a photograph of your own, or create a jpeg 'photo' of just a single colour
that you like using a photoshop program. Try out some of the wide number
of imaginative boarders for your photographs. Experience, fiddle, and have
fun. Once you have the hang of it, start creating a page. You can always
change it later if necessary.
You will note that you have two screen layout options. One is called 'Layout', the other 'Preview'. You design your page in the 'layout' mode. This shows your page - just the one page - on your screen. At any time you can switch to 'Preview' and see the actual two-page layout, without any grids or warning signs - it is exactly as you would see if the book were now printed. You cannot work on the layout in 'preview' mode - and it is a smaller image (if the book is of landscape format), as the two page layout is size by side of course. You can switch between layout and preview and back again very easily.
The file you are working on to create your photobook has an extension of .mbk - you will note that in your directory.
5. After you have finished your layout, you will may create a pdf file. Indeed, you can do this at any time. Go to File, see Quick Preview pdf and click. A pdf file - to be read in Adobe Acrobat - will be created. The pages will have a 'Momento' watermark on each page. I did not find it all that helpful as the preview mode was excellent for seeing the final result.
6. Once you are satisfied with your layout, go to Finish (on the top of page tool bar). You will be given a screen that shows a number of warnings, if applicable. They are self explanatory. You may choose to ignore some, like those refering to photo (image) quality, or an image too close to a page edge. (Trim lines are shown on the layour page to guide you so this should not be a problem in layout unless you want an image to 'bleed to edge'. The screen will also ask what text you want on the spine of your photobook. When satisfied hit the Export button. Momento will now combine your layout design and photographs from your mbk file into an .mbf master file - see it in your directory. This master file is the one you will upload to Momento to create your photobook. Note that up to this stage you still have paid no money. Your .mbf master file sits on the Momento computer until you actually order a copy - when you are ready.
7. When ready, order your copy through the Momento website. You will be guided to the listing of the new book - and any books you have done in the past. These are shown on your My Momento log-in page. You then place an order through the shopping cart where you are given a number of choices - number of copies required, a selection of stock (that is, the paper), and cover material. Include your payment details and that;s it.
I have not mentioned a number of other features of Momento - sorting, templates, photo embelishments, inspiration - you can check these out when you start your design just to see what is available. I used none of these - my choice. Also, you will find a number of useful moves that you can make with Momento - such as lining-up photographs, positioning photographs, swopping the layout horizontally, and even letting Momento layout your images according to your selected basic arrangement.
It's easy - and fun.
1. Using Directories.
2. Image Size.
Tip 3. Save, save, save!!!
Tip 4. Extra downloads.
|Some useful URLs:
Adobe (Photoshop etc): www.adobe.com/au
Last update 17 July 2014.