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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

iphoto books anyone?
Robert Seale, Photographer
Houston | TX | USA | Posted: 11:40 AM on 07.27.05
->> Has anyone made use of printing an album book in iphoto?

How bad are the color and density shifts? What color profile do you need to use - Adobe RGB 1998 or sRGB? Any thoughts on how much sharpening to use?

Any hints or tricks on making one of these would be very appreciated.

Thanks,

Robert
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Michael R. Sisak, Student/Intern, Photographer
Commack | NY | USA | Posted: 11:59 AM on 07.27.05
->> I used iPhoto to print up a book for the seniors on the softball team at my high school -- something for them to look back at and cherish 40 years from now. It turned out well. Obviously, the lack of control afforded by iPhoto can result in some slight color mismatches and a softening effect on images when viewed real close in the printed books.

To prepare my book, I imported my images from the files I had edited for the paper - JPEGs in Adobe RGB with the usual unsharp mask routine of (75-100%, 1 pixel radius, 0-1 threshold). To include more photos on a page (I believe iPhoto limits this to 3 or 4) I created full-page montages in Photoshop and imported those into the book layout as a single image. Overall, everything held up well and the girls loved the books.

For ease of use, lack of major set-up cost and expedience (I sent my order in on a Friday and had books in time for senior day on the following Tuesday) the service is great. From that, however, there are the inevitable aforementioned setbacks that only the photogs will really notice.

Sincerely,
Mike Sisak
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Mike Brice, Photographer
Northwood | OH | USA | Posted: 12:04 PM on 07.27.05
->> I have used the iPhoto books, but I found that Shutterfly's interface for making books was easier to use and control, faster and turned out just as nice if not nicer.

I used sRGB with normal sharpening, and for the most part the colors were fine. I have used them for my brother's wedding as gift books, for vacation books, and I think they are great for the money.

I think Shutterfly is like a $1 more than iPhoto, but the user interface makes it worth it.
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James Smith, Photographer
Dallas | TX | USA | Posted: 2:01 PM on 07.27.05
->> Robert, I've used the books printed by MyPublisher.com. They are the ones that actually print the iPhoto books, I believe. Download the software from their web site, they have 20 page books in a 6x9 size (paperback) for $10, 12x9 size in a hardback for $30, 16x12 hardback size for $60. The big one looks really nice with full-page bleeds. I've used Adobe RGB 1998. Just normal sharpening done in Photoshop first.
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Harrison Shull, Photographer
Asheville | NC | USA | Posted: 2:12 PM on 07.27.05
->> I just recently used the mypublisher service that James refers to for a gift book for a friend's 40th birthday. I figured that this would be a great opportunity to "test" their quality in situation that was not as demanding of spot-on results.

I followed their guidelines regarding color (they recommend Adobe RGB 1998 as the closest match to their press) and was shocked by how close they came to the vast majority of the images. I was expecting a very poor result and was pleasantly surprised.

I made a pocket book that was 20 pages printed front and back with 56 images for about $24. I would not hesitate to use them again.

Harrison Shull
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Michael Clark, Photographer
Santa Fe | NM | USA | Posted: 2:20 PM on 07.27.05
->> I have found Asuka Books to be top notch quality at decent prices - they are a little more expensive than iphoto and the others mentioned but you can design the book yourself and basically create a custom portfolio. Check it out at asukabook.com.

Harrison - how was the quality of the mypublisher book you made? Huge dot gain or decent print quality?

The one thing I will say for Asuka is that the paper they print on is the best I have seen from any of these do it yourself publishers and the books look like you had 1000's printed not just one - meaning they look like real bound books.

Cheers, Michael
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Damon Moritz, Photographer, Photo Editor
Woodbridge | Va. | USA | Posted: 6:00 PM on 07.27.05
->> I conducted a test with mypublisher.com and iphoto's book services.

In the test I printed the same set of files in each book

Without a doubt, mypublisher won. The book had better color, contrast and was actually salable. The iphoto book was thrown away as useless.

I understand that they are printed by the same company. That doesn't mean they come off the same press or are printed by the same foreman.

I'm a Mac user, but I really think mypublisher makes owning an old PC worth it if for only this one application.
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Harrison Shull, Photographer
Asheville | NC | USA | Posted: 6:49 PM on 07.27.05
->> Michael-

If you rated mypublisher on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being an absolute color match and outstanding print quality - I would say that they were in the 8 range but that I was fully expecting down near 5 or so. I was very leery of getting a good color match, but was pleasantly surprised. A few of the colors were off, but that very well could have been my fault.

One thing about mtypublisher is that the covers are lackluster at best and the bindings are kinda cheapo. But if you are looking to throw together a quick photo album of some pics that are not gonig to be a portfolio piece, you cannot beat mypublisher's combo of price, quality, and speed.

I did not register at AsukaBooks to see their prices, but they look like they'd be more expensive while providing a better quality product.

Your mileage may vary....

Harrison
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Kelley Nelson, Photographer
Fords | NJ | USA | Posted: 10:55 PM on 07.27.05
->> I've heard favorable reviews of the SharedInk and Asuka books over the Mypublisher/iPhoto books.

Asuka has nice cover options, but the books come with a certain number of pages in them, and the turnaround is something like 3 weeks.
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Paul Montague, Photographer
Swisher | IA | USA | Posted: 3:02 PM on 07.28.05
->> I've used MyPublisher several times, mostly as "concept" presentations. With only one exception, I've had a good color match from them using sRGB space. They reprinted the bad one without question.

They had a professional division (MyPublisherPro) which offered a discount and they didn't run their advertising on the back page. They've dropped the Pro line. Bummer.

They had solid covers on which they would paste the first photo of your book. You could eliminate that page & produce a plain hard cover that was presentable. They've recently dumped the solid hard covers and gone to a really bad looking plastic-lined "reveal" in the front cover. Bummer again.

They recently raised the price from $.99 per page to $1.49 per page (presumably to cover the cost of the new, ultra-crappy covers). Big Bummer.

Soooo.... From my perspective, they do a reliable job on the printing, the covers have gone from bad to worse, and the price increase coupled with the decline in cover quality makes them a marginal value.

I used to be able to hand one of these to a client. Can't really do that any more. (The biggest bummer of all)

Will try some of the others suggested on this thread!

PRM
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William Jurasz, Photographer, Assistant
Cedar Park | TX | USA | Posted: 11:45 AM on 07.29.05
->> Robert, I've been pleasantly surprised with the quality of iPhoto books, both in terms of the images and in the binding. I only wish it had a leather option.

As per color spaces, when in doubt, use sRGB. Most commercial printers expect sRGB, and many will ignore any embedded color profiles and use sRGB anyway.
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Michael Hickey, Photographer
Kokomo | IN | United States | Posted: 1:02 PM on 07.29.05
->> Robert,
Me and my business partner have a lot of experience with iPhoto books. We produce books and sell them to wedding clients, I happen to be working on one now. I've done a lot of testing, especially on color management issues and when I was unable to get a definitive answer from Apple, I printed a test book just for color management. I produced pages with the same photo sent as an sRGB file and Adobe 1998, I did this with black and white and color photos. The conclusion I came to, was they don't recognize ANY profiles. The sRGB and Adobe files looked exactly alike. Where you might run into problems is with black and white. Sometimes they come back with a color cast, I've not found anything on my end to control that, you may have to a new book printed. I'm pretty sure it's operator error because we've seen some books look beautiful and some look like crap.
The new iPhoto 5 is a vast improvement over version 4, book layout is far easier.
Although I occasionally use their layout designs, I've now gone to building the pages in Photoshop where I can do unique designs, and add text where and how I want it. Yes, it nearly doubles or triples the amount of time involved on the computer, but we charge a lot of money for it and the clients are so happy.
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David Higginbotham, Photographer
Decatur | AL | USA | Posted: 2:37 PM on 07.29.05
->> I've been playing with the iPhoto book feature and I was wondering how you set it up where you can create your own pages in Photoshop like several of you have suggested. Dropping an 8.5x11 jpeg onto a page set up for one large image is the easy part...but how do I deal with a page that, for instance, has two photo frames instead of one large one?
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Bob Ford, Photographer
Lehighton | Pa | USA | Posted: 2:43 PM on 07.29.05
->> David, just change the layout in iPhoto from 2 images to one. You find that setting on the bottom under "Page design". It gives you options like, cover, one, two...

Good luck.
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Jean Finley, Student/Intern, Photographer
Iowa City | IA | USA | Posted: 5:16 PM on 07.29.05
->> I must be nutty today. I can't find a site for Asuka. Can anyone help?
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Jean Finley, Student/Intern, Photographer
Iowa City | IA | USA | Posted: 5:19 PM on 07.29.05
->> Got it. Nevermind.
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Melissa Miller, Student/Intern, Photographer
Columbus | OH | USA | Posted: 1:26 PM on 07.30.05
->> Michael -
Have you been happy with the text output when you added it in photoshop? What settings did you use? Did you have to process the image for GCR (or UCR can't remeber which they call it in photoshop) so black text didn't print 4 color? Or were you able to use a layered psd file and keep text as solid rather than halftoned with the image?

And for anyone else who has used iPhoto to add their text, how did that come out for you?

thanks.
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Mike McLaughlin, Photographer
Neptune City | NJ | USA | Posted: 2:01 PM on 07.30.05
->> Jean - Help me out. I can't find a site for Asuka books. Only ones I find are in Japanese.
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Jean Finley, Student/Intern, Photographer
Iowa City | IA | USA | Posted: 2:30 PM on 07.30.05
->> http://www.asukabook.com

:)
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Robert McClory, Photographer
Orlando | FL | USA | Posted: 3:44 PM on 07.30.05
->> Hey Robert, check out this thread:

http://www.sportsshooter.com/message_display.html?tid=15900

Awhile back I found out that many people were seeing dramatic color shift and a general lack of quality with the Iphoto books, especially using iLife 5. My post (4 down) details what I found to correct this issue.
I have since done several iPhoto books using this method and they look great.
Hope this helps.

Robert
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Robert McClory, Photographer
Orlando | FL | USA | Posted: 9:46 PM on 07.30.05
->> UPDATE!!!

Sorry all. It seems like my post on how to fix some of the issues with the iPhoto books is outdated.
I got an email from someone who tried to edit their .plist file in Textedit and they could not find where to change the DPI numbers. I tried the same thing and I could not either.
What seems to be the case is that with Tiger, Apple changed the way the .plist files are saved, and how they can be edited. Whereas before you could just open them in any text editing program, now they are compressed binaries (I think) and you need to open them with a special software tool. I did a quick search and I found a shareware program called Plist-edit Pro (just google it).
I downloaded it and it does give me access to all the numbers and such. Right now, when you open in Text Edit it only gives you the fields, not the variables. I did not save out of this program, so if you are going to try it, make sure you save a copy of the .plist file before you do anything. Apple supposedly has a plist editor as well, but I could not find it on their site. Maybe it is for developers only.
In any event, from what I have been able to gather reading tons of forum posts and articles on the subject, leaving the DPI settings the way they are will result in very crappy results.
Feel free to contact me via email if you need more specific help, or any more info.

RM
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Tony Donaldson, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | USA | Posted: 8:27 AM on 07.31.05
->> How do you submit to mypublisher from the Mac? Using iPhoto to produce .pdf files?
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Steven Bridges, Photographer
Knoxville | TN | United States | Posted: 9:15 AM on 07.31.05
->> from the mypublisher.com website.

Compatible with Windows XP, ME, 2000, 98SE and IE 5.0 or later. Mac Users: Sorry BookMakerâ„¢ will not run on Macs
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Melissa Miller, Student/Intern, Photographer
Columbus | OH | USA | Posted: 1:07 PM on 08.04.05
->> Can anyone tell me their experiences with text output in an iphoto book? Especially text applied in photoshop.

thanks.
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Michael Hickey, Photographer
Kokomo | IN | United States | Posted: 1:37 PM on 08.04.05
->> Excellent!
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Rachael Golden, Photographer
Rockville | MD | USA | Posted: 3:47 PM on 08.16.05
->> Does anyone know how to submit to mypublisher from a Mac?
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Bob Ford, Photographer
Lehighton | Pa | USA | Posted: 3:54 PM on 08.16.05
->> You can't....from Steven Bridges' post three posts up, "Compatible with Windows XP, ME, 2000, 98SE and IE 5.0 or later. Mac Users: Sorry BookMakerâ„¢ will not run on Macs"
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Jenn Jedynak, Photographer
Toronto | ON | | Posted: 11:45 AM on 06.06.06
->> Just thought I'd update this thread as Mac users are now able to order books created in iPhoto from MyPublisher.

http://www.mypublisher.com/iphoto_plugin.php
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Thread Title: iphoto books anyone?
Thread Started By: Robert Seale
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