User Tag List

Thanks useful information Thanks useful information:  12
Results 1 to 16 of 16

Thread: Photobooks

  1. #1
    Ausphotography Veteran bobt's Avatar
    Join Date
    22 Jun 2009
    Location
    Blackburn
    Posts
    2,236
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Photobooks

    I've tried a number of photo book companies over the years, and there seems to be a problem across the board with printed images coming out rather on the dark side. They always look fine on my PC, but the Photo book results have been less than consistent (and yes, my screen is calibrated.)

    I've been told that it is due to the conversion between RBG and CMYK, and one person suggested increasing the brightness of my images by 5% before uploading.

    Has anyone else experienced this issue? Have you found a Photo book printer who strikes the right balance between a good product and a reasonable price ?


    "If you want to be a better photographer, stand in front of more interesting stuff.” — Jim Richardson

  2. #2
    Ausphotography Addict Geoff79's Avatar
    Join Date
    23 Mar 2011
    Location
    Umina Beach
    Posts
    6,062
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I exclusively do all my photobooks through Big W because they offer 60-100 page books at excellent prices (when on sale, with moderate frequency) and they allow you to do your own layout completely manually.

    The picture quality is never perfect to me but I never know if I’m the cause or they are. My issue is generally the colours don’t come out as I see them on the screen, but not to a degree that really bothers me.

    I have had issues with darkness (and again colours) but that was more prevalent in the canvas prints rather than photobooks. Also with Big W.

    Anyway, end of the day, the price and options keep me coming back, and like I say, I’m definitely not convinced that it’s not actually myself “at fault.”

  3. #3
    Ausphotography Veteran
    Threadstarter
    bobt's Avatar
    Join Date
    22 Jun 2009
    Location
    Blackburn
    Posts
    2,236
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff79 View Post
    I exclusively do all my photobooks through Big W because they offer 60-100 page books at excellent prices (when on sale, with moderate frequency) and they allow you to do your own layout completely manually.
    Most of them seem to let you design your own layout - so that's never been an issue, and obviously a backlit screen will look better - but I do think that photo quality is a bit random. I'll try making them brighter on my screen before uploading.

  4. #4
    Ausphotography Regular Bensch's Avatar
    Join Date
    13 Jan 2017
    Location
    Adelaide
    Posts
    823
    Mentioned
    9 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    FWIW, I do the majority of my printing at Officeworks (haven't tried a photobook yet...but soon) and have found that if I increase my exposure by 2/3rds of a stop before printing, they come out perfectly.

    I remember watching a YT video some time ago (can't remember which one, unfortunately) and they said that the difference was caused by the fact that monitors are backlit and they show everything brighter, compared to a print, which has no form of backlighting.
    -Andy
    ___________________________
    D90/D7200 | OM-D E-M1/E-M10 Mark II |

    All CC is greatly appreciated, the only way to learn is if we share our ideas. I can't be offended, so feel free to share your ideas for improvement.


  5. #5
    Ausphotography Veteran
    Threadstarter
    bobt's Avatar
    Join Date
    22 Jun 2009
    Location
    Blackburn
    Posts
    2,236
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Bensch View Post
    FWIW, I do the majority of my printing at Officeworks (haven't tried a photobook yet...but soon) and have found that if I increase my exposure by 2/3rds of a stop before printing, they come out perfectly.

    I remember watching a YT video some time ago (can't remember which one, unfortunately) and they said that the difference was caused by the fact that monitors are backlit and they show everything brighter, compared to a print, which has no form of backlighting.
    That does seem to fit with what someone else told me - I'm just doing one now, so I'll try that and see what happens. It's a pity they don't make this more obvious so that customers don't get disappointed.

  6. #6
    Ausphotography Regular Bensch's Avatar
    Join Date
    13 Jan 2017
    Location
    Adelaide
    Posts
    823
    Mentioned
    9 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by bobt View Post
    That does seem to fit with what someone else told me - I'm just doing one now, so I'll try that and see what happens. It's a pity they don't make this more obvious so that customers don't get disappointed.
    So true, I wasted many prints before I managed to work that one out.

  7. #7
    Ausphotography Addict Geoff79's Avatar
    Join Date
    23 Mar 2011
    Location
    Umina Beach
    Posts
    6,062
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by bobt View Post
    Most of them seem to let you design your own layout - so that's never been an issue, and obviously a backlit screen will look better - but I do think that photo quality is a bit random. I'll try making them brighter on my screen before uploading.
    Interesting. I thought that was a point of interest as Snapfish (K-Mart) don’t seem to allow a manual layout, and if I remember correctly (and I may not) Harvey Norman and Officeworks also had predetermined layouts?

    As for the rest of the thread, interesting info. Surely it’s not feasible for anyone to process all their photos one way, and then reprocess them all just for printing? Keeping in mind my photobooks feature hundreds of photos.

  8. #8
    Ausphotography Regular Bensch's Avatar
    Join Date
    13 Jan 2017
    Location
    Adelaide
    Posts
    823
    Mentioned
    9 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff79 View Post
    ...

    As for the rest of the thread, interesting info. Surely it’s not feasible for anyone to process all their photos one way, and then reprocess them all just for printing? Keeping in mind my photobooks feature hundreds of photos.
    I keep all my photos in Lightroom, this is the process I normally follow when I'm ready to print them;

    I select the ones I want, increase the exposure by 2/3rds of a stop (via the quick develop tab) and it syncs the changes to all the selected photos.
    Just a matter of right-click export and then with all the photos still selected, decrease by 2/3rds of a stop.

    Takes longer to export them all, compared to a couple of seconds to change the exposure there and back.

    FWIW, just my process

  9. #9
    Member formerly known as : Lplates Glenda's Avatar
    Join Date
    09 Sep 2011
    Location
    Gladstone
    Posts
    13,680
    Mentioned
    29 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Yes, a few years ago I did a photobook through Blurb (not my first) and it was too dark. They reprinted the book at no charge. I've recently tried a few different brands as I was doing a photobook as a gift. I tried Snapfish - binding was terrible, Advent - reasonable, Mixbook - good quality and reasonably accurate colours but my favourite was Mimeo. I did prefer the choice of layouts with Mixbook but the quality and accuracy of colours was best with Mimeo. I believe Momento are excellent but their price is quite expensive.
    Glenda



  10. #10
    Ausphotography Addict Geoff79's Avatar
    Join Date
    23 Mar 2011
    Location
    Umina Beach
    Posts
    6,062
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Bensch View Post
    I keep all my photos in Lightroom, this is the process I normally follow when I'm ready to print them;

    I select the ones I want, increase the exposure by 2/3rds of a stop (via the quick develop tab) and it syncs the changes to all the selected photos.
    Just a matter of right-click export and then with all the photos still selected, decrease by 2/3rds of a stop.

    Takes longer to export them all, compared to a couple of seconds to change the exposure there and back.

    FWIW, just my process
    Haha. I knew there had to be an easy way but I legitimately couldn’t think of it when I made that last post.

    I is nott thee smarttestt.

  11. #11
    Ausphotography Veteran
    Threadstarter
    bobt's Avatar
    Join Date
    22 Jun 2009
    Location
    Blackburn
    Posts
    2,236
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I haven't actually tried the department store approach - I've mainly used places like Photobook and Photobookshop (a very confusing similarity in company names.). Both have been darkish, and this time around I'm going to try lightening them a bit. Their website tells us to use an auto adjustment feature on their site, but I'm wary of auto adjustments when I've gone to so much trouble to process the images in the first place. I'll have around 400 images, so individual adjustment will be slow .... it's a bit of a problem. There are so many alternative places, but many are prohibitively expensive.

    Bot the those companies use downloadable software which allows you to format the book any way you like. I generally just go for a black or charcoal background and then arrange the photos to get the best structure.

  12. #12
    Member I Like to Watch's Avatar
    Join Date
    14 Oct 2019
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    54
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I've made a few over the years. My last one was through 'Albumworks' , chosen because I wanted nice glossy prints of a trip to the US I did with my Wife. I would definitely use them again.

  13. #13
    Ausphotography Veteran Boo53's Avatar
    Join Date
    09 Mar 2010
    Location
    Seymour
    Posts
    2,094
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I've only done one book, and that was 8 years ago, but it was through Blurb and I was quite happy with the quality.

    When printing for framing or the local camera club I use the soft proof option in Lightroom for the appropriate paper and I find that LR seems to darken the image for any paper I choose such that I have to lighten the proof copy about .2 - .3 on the LR exposure slider

  14. #14
    I like my computer more than my camera farmmax's Avatar
    Join Date
    28 Mar 2010
    Location
    Central West
    Posts
    2,532
    Mentioned
    5 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I haven't done a photo book for a couple of years. I use thephotobookclub I buy a cheap voucher when they run them (which is regularly). I was very pleased with the quality, considering how cheap they are. Don't know if they still do the same quality. The photos may have been a fraction darker than on my screen, but I habitually slightly lighten any images being sent off for printing.

    Don't forget your screen may be calibrated for colours but not necessarily brightness. My calibrator has a gadget which plugs into the computer and checks every 10 minutes and automatically adjusts the screen brightness according to the light in my room. I unplugged it, because the screen would flicker every 10 minutes, and it was driving me bonkers. Now I just set my screen brightness to a very low setting. Most people would find it very dull, but it stops a lot of eye strain. Many people seem to run their monitors so brightly the glare hurts the eyes after a few minutes.

  15. #15
    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
    Join Date
    24 Jun 2007
    Location
    Hobart
    Posts
    16,305
    Mentioned
    11 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    The discussion on light is an interesting one.

    Somethings to consider. Screens etc are what is considered transmitted light, and prints are reflected light.

    If you combine Red Green Blue on a print, you get black. If you combine Red Green Blue on a screen you get white. You will often hear screen manufacturers (especially tv's) talking about the quality of black in their screens. Simply because black is generally seen as pixels turned off, and any underlying tint to a turned off pixel will show through. Making true blacks hard to achieve on a screen. Also most screens have a blue tinge (which is now being associated with human sleep patterns)

    When you have transmitted light (from a screen) if it is dark, it is easy to adjust the brightness level to compensate. A print however is reliant on the light in the environment around it to allow its colours to pop. A print will also take on the tint of any light used to view it. It would be unusual for a home to have metal halide lighting (very close to sunlight), thus your prints are going to appear different depending on the light source that they are viewed under

    Just these simply variances in how the light is produced will always make your prints look different to what you saw on screen.

    Adjusting the brightness up of an image file before printing is one way to try and give it a POP, but through trial and error you will find how much to brighten by to get the result you want in your print, under the lighting conditions you have to view your prints.

    No easy solutions. Start with a calibrated monitor, and adjust as needed till you find your sweet spot, or hunt out a local lab that understands high quality photographic printing and talk to them directly. Often they may even be able to supply a printer profile that you can load into Photoshop etc to get as good a match as possible. Often these printer profiles even come in packs to deal with different papers. Ah Papers.... Paper stock is rarely pure white too, so you end up with even more variances depending on the paper that is used by your printer. Many have a yellow or blue tinge to the paper stock, which affects how the colours from the printer appear in your end print.

    Finding a good printer, using a calibrated monitor, paper profiles and more will result in a good final print. Printing is a science unto itself.
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

    Constructive Critique of my photographs is always appreciated
    Nikon, etc!

    RICK
    My Photography

  16. #16
    Ausphotography Veteran
    Threadstarter
    bobt's Avatar
    Join Date
    22 Jun 2009
    Location
    Blackburn
    Posts
    2,236
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post
    The discussion on light is an interesting one. Printing is a science unto itself.
    .... and there we have why I never do prints!!!

    Printing is a science, and I'm not a scientist. It's all very much a case of "there be dragons" as far as I'm concerned.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •