Any UK photobook publisher that will allow freeform page layout so Ican have panoramics too?

Discussion in 'UK Photography' started by digitaltoast, Jan 22, 2008.

  1. digitaltoast

    digitaltoast Guest

    I came back from holiday with some great pics, and a LOT of 3 pic
    panoramics from my Kodak Z712IS.
    I thought a photobook would be a great idea, so I looked at Snapfish,
    Kodak, Boots, Trurpint, Tescophoto, Myphotobook, and the cheapest,
    Asda. Even tried iPhoto08 on a friend's Mac.
    5 hours later, and each one seems to have the same problem - it wants
    to crop my panoramics - I had this idea that I could maybe have a
    panoramic along the top or bottom, and thee portraits below/above
    that, or maybe a "throw" of photos. Plus I have a couple of "tall"
    pictures, which would look great down one side. But alas, no.
    I also looked into the upload options from Picasa - Bonusprint,
    Photobox, Klick, Extrafilm, Foto.com, mypix, snapfish and pixu. I only
    got as far as Bonusprint and Mypix from the list when I thought that
    surely someone else has wanted to include Panoramics in a photobook?!
    Or is the only way to print them myself, and stick them in a normal
    album? If so, there's a gap in the market here!

    Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
     
    digitaltoast, Jan 22, 2008
    #1
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  2. digitaltoast

    John Navas Guest

    The simple solution is to compose the image just the way you want it so
    that no cropping is necessary before submitting the image for printing.
    I routinely do that with standard images even with standard print sizes.
     
    John Navas, Jan 22, 2008
    #2
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  3. digitaltoast

    digitaltoast Guest

    But, er...doesn't that turn a panoramic into a non-panoramic,
    defeating the whole object?!
     
    digitaltoast, Jan 22, 2008
    #3
  4. digitaltoast

    -hh Guest


    Within iPhoto (and probably most of the others), there's the option to
    completely fill an entire page with one image. You can use this
    option to "cheat":

    Step 1: In the template software, look at how the template software
    creates its background, including white edged frames, shadows from
    lifted corners, etc. Your plan is to copy this stuff, so do some
    screen captures, take a flatbed scan of a page from a previously
    printed book, etc.

    Step 2: Go into Photoshop (or equivalent) and create a (large) blank
    canvas. You're going to be using this to design-your-own "big photo"
    that consists of your desired compositional layout of one, two (or
    several) of your non-standard panoramas or whatever.

    Step 3: Populate the blank canvas from Step 2. Don't worry about the
    background yet. FYI, it is best to work in layers. Also note that
    you can also mix in some standard ratio stuff too, if you wish. For
    example, you could take two of your horizontal panoramics and copy/
    paste them into your "big photo" with a gap separating them.

    Step 4: Using what you picked up in Step 1, go fill in the background
    of your "big photo" from Step 3 with the same sort of background that
    the template software uses. Similarly, copy any white pictureframe
    edges, etc. Whatever you want.

    At this point, you should have a saved image that looks like an entire
    completed page out of the template software, with the exception being
    whatever you chose to do layout-wise that is beyond what the template
    software supports.

    Step 5: When you're satisfied with the results, save the image, then
    flatten the image and use "Save As" to create a JPG (or whatever the
    template software will support) for the next step.

    Step 6: Import your image from Step 5 into whatever template software
    you're using.

    Step 7: Within the template software, go to the desired insertion
    location, and choose the relevant "fill entire page with one picture"
    template option.

    Step 8: Drag-n-Drop or otherwise insert the Step 5 completed image
    into the book location identified in Step 7.

    Step 9. Observe results & refine as necessary until you're done.

    Overall, this sidesteps the template software's intended goal of
    "trying to make things easier", but it is a viable work-around and is
    reasonable to do when you only have a few special pages. You'll want
    to see the final results in a printed hardcopy before you know you'll
    be fully satisfied with it.


    -hh
     
    -hh, Jan 22, 2008
    #4
  5. digitaltoast

    John Navas Guest

    No. At most it wastes paper, but it can be possible to use the excess
    paper productively by adding other smaller images. Case in point:
    <http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=296c3fo&s=3>
    8x12 paper: 4x12 panorama plus two 4x6 images.
     
    John Navas, Jan 22, 2008
    #5
  6. digitaltoast

    -hh Guest

    A quick PS:

    The "fill entire page with one photo" option I was referring to in
    iPhoto produces a borderless whole page image fill. Key
    clarification is on it being borderless.

    For example, see page 6, 7, 12 (sort of), 16, 20, 31, 36, etc. in this
    URL:

    http://www.huntzinger.com/photo/2006/Tanzania_album-2006s.pdf



    -hh
     
    -hh, Jan 22, 2008
    #6
  7. digitaltoast

    -hh Guest

    For your application, yes.

    John's suggestion was merely to merge photos to create a 'standard'
    size to prevent wasting paper when *printing* a hardcopy. Since you
    weren't asking anything about printing, it has no relevance to the
    question you asked.


    -hh
     
    -hh, Jan 23, 2008
    #7
  8. digitaltoast

    John Navas Guest

    "Or is the only way to print them myself"

    Apology accepted.
     
    John Navas, Jan 23, 2008
    #8
  9. I'm making a book right now with MPix.com--I don't know if they ship to
    the UK or not.

    You can place any size or shape frame or photo on a page, and make it as
    large or small or oblong or square as you like.

    Chris
     
    Chris Pisarra, Jan 23, 2008
    #9
  10. digitaltoast

    -hh Guest

    Only as an utterly absolute last resort, twit.


    -hh
     
    -hh, Jan 23, 2008
    #10
  11. digitaltoast

    John Navas Guest

    I'm pleased to inform you that you're earned a coveted place in my twit
    filter. It's a difficult honor -- all posts have to be pretty much
    devoid of any real content -- but you passed easily.
     
    John Navas, Jan 23, 2008
    #11
  12. digitaltoast

    -hh Guest

    It is about time!

    Now when it is appropriate to correct yet another one of John's
    irrelevant "recommendations", the world doesn't have to then tolerate
    Mr. Navas's lame attempts to deny that he screwed up so as to try to
    save face.


    -hh
     
    -hh, Jan 23, 2008
    #12
  13. digitaltoast

    digitaltoast Guest

    [snip]

    Thanks for that suggestion - I'd thought of it before, but hadn't
    really thought out just how complicated it might be!
    But I've saved that tip, because you have detailed it really well!
    In the end, I found one - Tescophoto.com. When I first read about it,
    I didn't see that it could do it, but having downloaded the software,
    I see now that it can be totally freeform.
    I didn't want to be downloading every single 20mb page designer from
    every single printer!
    However, it's one of the more expensive book printers, so I might wait
    for another promotion (I just missed one!)
    So that answers my own question (but it's probably UK only, which is
    OK for me).
     
    digitaltoast, Jan 24, 2008
    #13
  14. digitaltoast

    -hh Guest

    My pleasure.

    It can be a bit of a nuisance at first, but once you've made up the
    basic template, populating it with the same 'unusual' form (eg, your
    panoramics) is pretty straightforward ... overall, this is one of
    those circumstances where basic human laziness prompts us to minimize
    our choices down to fewer custom templates :)

    FWIW, something that I've not yet tried is to set up a two page
    spread, where the intent is to is to take a panoramic (or other stuff)
    and span it aross two pages. Allignment at the seam is a managed
    risk, but I don't see any reason why it shouldn't work.

    My thoughts here would be to:
    - start with a "two page" sized canvas
    - create the entire "two page" spread
    - save
    - open original
    - crop out the right half & save as new name ("Left Page")
    - open original
    - crop out the left half & save as new name ("Right Page")
    - insert Left & Right pages into template software (as per prior).

    While working with such a large canvas might really be slow on one's
    PC, I see the approach as probably the most foolproof way to minimize
    any page-to-page seam misallignments.


    -hh
     
    -hh, Jan 24, 2008
    #14
  15. digitaltoast

    digitaltoast Guest

    digitaltoast, Jan 29, 2008
    #15
  16. digitaltoast

    ongar_route Guest

    Foto.com also allow free-form layout, if you download their photo book
    editor software.

    Pretty good service too, not the fastest, but OK.
     
    ongar_route, Jan 31, 2008
    #16
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