What No Photo

Dear Reader,

As some of you know, I enjoy making photo-books.  Typically, each book contains 70-90 photos on 50 – 60 pages.  The first book was done in 2013, and had a scrapbook feel to it. Last year I began again.  Initially I had envisaged 1 book to record our trip to Venice, Zagreb, and London.  When I sat down to create that book I resolved the resulting cacophony of ideas by dividing the project into 7 smaller projects.  Those 7 smaller projects and their status are as follows.

  • A Tale of Three Cities – London (envisaged)
  • A Tale of Three Cities – Venice (completed 2016-11)
  • A Tale of Three Cities – Zagreb (completed 2016-06)
  • The Little Book of Venice (completed 2016-06)
  • The Street Book (completed 2016-05)
  • The Design Book (envisaged)

But you only count 6.  The 7th on the list is the Book of Skies and that is today’s topic.  As I mentioned earlier this month, I also recently completed a book for my family, Kawagama.  So, of the six books so far, 2 were particularly successful.  The Street Book and Kawagama.  I attribute their success in part to my own clarity of heart and purpose.  Therein lies the photographic problem of the month.  Where’s the clarity of heart, when it comes to sky.  Looking at photos on the screen only takes me so far.  The Book of Skies may contain only 30 photos, and  I would like all approximately 150 candidate photos strewn across the floor.

This is where Costco comes in, and a problem of machine processing.  How do I get 150 photos mostly with a 3:2 aspect ratio machine printed on 5 x 7 paper without having the image cropped?  Read on.

Summary for Machine Printing on 5 x 7 Paper

  1. Collect your photos of interest
  2. Export photos as  jpgs sized to 6.5 “
  3. Change the canvas size for all the jpgs to 1400 x 1000 pixels
  4. Send to Lab

Detailed Instructions for Machine Printing on 5 x 7 Paper

I know you are a clever reader and don’t need to be told all required mouse clicks.

  1. Using Lightroom create the collection of candidates
  2. Within the collection, rotate all vertical photos so that every photo in the collection now appears horizontal
  3. Assume the photos will be printed at 200 dpi and there will be ¼ inch border around the photo. Each photo will be printed 1300 pixels wide (6.5 x 200)
  4. Select all photos in the collection and export to the working directory of your choice. The key export settings for this exercise are under “Image Sizing”.  Check Resize to Fit; Choose Long Edge; Leave Don’t Enlarge unchecked; Choose 6.5 in; Set Resolution to 200 pixels per inch
  5. Click Export

Aside: PC users, you will need a copy of Irfanview (www.irfanview.com).  If you don’t have a copy of it already, please explain why.  Sorry Mac Users, I don’t know the iOS equivalent.

Now we get clever or at least mildly entertaining

  1. Open Irfanview and click on the menu item under File labeled Batch Conversion / Rename
  2. Add all the files you exported, which are now in the working directory (step 4), to the “Input Files” area
  3. Near the top right of your Irfanview screen, check “Use Advanced Options“ and click the “Advanced” button
  4. Somewhere near the bottom of the middle column, check “Canvas Size” and click the “Settings” button
  5. Set the canvas size to 1400 pixels wide and 1000 pixels high
  6. Click the “Center” radio button.
  7. Click Ok to return to the batch processing screen and click OK again to return to the main screen
  8. Click the “Start Batch” button
  9. You now have all your photos sized for printing on 5 x 7 paper in a way that the printing machine won’t mess with your carefully considered original framing
  10. I will be going with Costco, because at ca 0.39 / photo I can’t print that cheap
  11. Strew photos across the floor while listening to Coltrane, possibly “Kind of Blue”

I will let you know when I get the photos back

Cheers, Sean

2 Replies to “What No Photo”

  1. This is very interesting on two fronts.
    One: The display of photos, which coincides with some philosophical reading I’ve been doing lately. They are mainly coming from the film compared to digital world, and discussing what is a photography. As in, is a digital file a photograph? (I happen to think yes.) But where it went was the life of photography, compared to the life of the photographer, and what happens to most photographs. Consider a loose leaf or even a framed photo, perhaps even with a name and a date on the back. Those are of meaning only to relatives or historians. Now consider a framed art photograph hanging on the wall, such as I have at home. If my heirs like one, it will live in a new home. If not it will be destroyed. Consider a hard drive containing the instructions to display a great many photos. My heirs will not open that drive, unless I’ve become famous. It will be scrapped. Now consider a book of photos. Ah! People understand books, and typically don’t mind another on their book shelf, if they have a book shelf in the first place. I will have to consider books.
    Which leads me to,
    Two. The ‘strew photos across the floor’ implies you routinely print images. Are these done at Costco as well, or do you have a home printer? If you don’t mind saying, what is the all up cost per book? I admit that process to discover the desired printing process appears to rank up there with the discovery of the New World.

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