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10 Tips help you Preserve the Happy Memories of your 2011 Holiday



 Hiliday PictureIt's holiday time - and you will be taking a lot of pictures.  These pictures are cherished memories.

What then?
- load them on your computer
- go through and select those you want to keep?
- edit the best ones in Photoshop - or whatever editor you use?
- view them on your screen?
- maybe catalogue them with ACDSee (now available on Mac) or whatever organiser you use?
- maybe make a DVD or upload them to a photo sharing site.

But chances are that if you don't print them they will NEVER get looked at again.

And ultimately they will be lost..  (Read our article - "Are your Photos Invisible?"

So what we recommend is that you make up an album - quick and easy, compact.  Make an extra copy for Mum too!

Start thinking of the Output Before You Go!.

OPUSalbums album collectionNow create your album and story and print on your own inkjet printer.  Quick, easy and fantastic quality.

The events of a holiday form a story.  Whether it is a three week adventure or a three-day short break, there is plenty of material to put it into a form that you will remember – and can look back on after years. 

  Our recommendation - use OPUS Albums 

(of course we are biased!)  

For a simple solution use the Print&Bind album – quick, easy and economical;  functional and, above all good looking – even beautiful. -  15 single sided pages of quality photo-glossy paper, neatly bound into an elegant compact plastic cover.  Pages can be added or removed at will  That's why we recommend a pack - you will be making more and more albums and giving them away as presents.  

Or if you prefer a permanently bound book – just like one you would get from an outside service – but with the added pleasure that it is your own layout – and printed in your own inkjet printer (far more vivid than laser printing), but still one where you need no special tools other than a good stapler – then go for Pics Book Jr – OPUSalbums special based on the Unibind MyBook staple binding system - and you can use the paper of your choice.

 Using Dg Foto Art Essentia or Gold – or the simpler Fotoslate4 your favourite album design program, make up one or more pages for each event – print and add to your expanding record.  Add your story line too.  Whenever you have something more then get the camera out – shoot, edit print and add a few pages.  It’s so easy, enjoyable – and gives such.

Other offerings such as Fotoslate4 make for good holiday albums.  I used it before I got involved with PXLSoft.  Alternatively if you prefer the scrapbooking look then a product like Nova Scrapbook Factory is probably best for you.

If you can choose the paper – as you can with Pics Book Jr or OPUS Flexalbum use a good quality double sided papers.  My favourite is Innova Smooth Cotton double sided (IFA-05), the new Innova Décor double sided matte paper (IFA-25) is also good.  For photo books I think matte is better than gloss – but if you want gloss then Olmec Double Sided 250gsm Gloss is ideal.  It is not to heavily gloss for the pages to hold together and turn. 

Don't leave those precious photos on your computer disk.  (1) You'll never look at them (2) you could lose them through hardware/service failure or technological obsolescence. 



Ten Tips to make a turn a Vacation to a life time Memory



OPUS Album Tip 1

Print your own holiday albumsDo your album whilst your memory is fresh.   I’ve put things off and guess what – they never get done.  And your friends never get the chance to enjoy re-living those memories of YOUR vacation.  S

So - why not buy the supplies BEFORE you go away? - then you will have no excuse to delay - indeed you will have given yourself an incentive.

OPUS Albums Tip 2

 Feature people.  People make a vacation – and you will want to remember them.  Note down their names, home town, e-mail address etc, a bit about them, and add it to the file record (and when you print the album put it in the title or text box).  Add them to your Christmas card list – which you will probably print yourself anyway with OPUSalbums greeting cards!

OPUS Albums Tip 3

Have your own viewpoints. Get the views that the guide books don’t have

  • That particular sunset that only you saw
  • The local fête that you stumbled upon
  • The sea/beach as it was
  • The lines and reflections in the sand
  • The meals you enjoyed (my wife photographs every meal – it adds to the record)
  • Nature in action
  • The unusual viewpoint/perspective
  • You/your partner (or both) in the picture
  • The wide view (use wide-angle) – and print extra prints on OPUSalbums Olmec Panoramic Paper
  • The detail (use telephoto or macro) – but remember that you can always crop later.
  • The particular surroundings
  • Your hotel/villa room and garden
  • Pictures from the web  

Take plenty of pictures so don’t be short of memory capacity  - 512GB disk is a worthwhile investment, especially if you take your laptop with you.  Otherwise invest in a disk viewer.  If you take a lot of high-res/RAW pictures even an 32GB card won’t be enough!

OPUS Albums Tip 4

Great holiday pictures for photobookThink before taking  Don’t make picture taking a burden – but ensure that:-

  • The flash settings are right,
  • There isn’t anything to distract (unwanted people, vehicles)
  • You have something for the foreground (take a red bag or jersey with you)
  • That you have something to rest on (especially if light is poor, or you are taking long distance.
  • Of course a lot can be changed later.  Thank God for Photoshop!  Cropping – deleting unwanted detail, changing the light etc – but a little thought will save a lot of work.  

Jot down the notes for a story –  You should have a story behind the album so whilst you are going along jot down the happenings – and the places (as well as the people – see above”.  Otherwise you will be saying “Was that Mt Forbes or Mt Lyall?” afterwards. 

Be in the picture.  If somebody offers to take a picture of both of you – accept – but think “Does this person know how to take a photo”.  If in doubt get close together otherwise the picture will be focussed on the background between the two of you. 

OPUS Albums Tip 5

Sort, organise and edit the photos carefully when you get home.  If you use Dg Foto Art there are quite a few editing features – but don’t hesitate to use Photoshop where necessary 

OPUS Albums Tip 6

Rough out the album or photo book pages – you need to make each double page spread if you are printing on two sides a subject in its own right.  Think about what the pages might look like, using the templates from Dg Foto Art or whatever program you use.  Thin about the size of the pictures -  I like to go with one dominant picture on a page and several smaller ones.  Of course the dominant one needs to be well edited, the smaller ones less so – but they must balance in colouring and mood.

Layout the album by subject – Make it flow – keep the material together – whilst chronology is important, the subject matter is more so, especially if you spent several days in the same place.    Make sure that it is balanced – not too much on one aspect – but not too little.  If the subject matter requires a second page spread do one – but ensure that the record of the holiday remains interesting.

Indeed if you are on a ‘big’ vacation make up several separate photobooks -.  When my wife and I had a holiday-in-a-lifetime month in Australia and New Zealand we made 6 Pics Book photobooks.   They are still some of our favourites.

OPUS Albums Tip 7

 Add other textural or graphic material   - The airline tickets, menus, guide book and website pictures, historical or interesting facts (from the web), postcards etc.  Some of the pictures will be those that you could not get (the landscape on a perfect day, when for you it was raining, inside a castle where photography was prohibited etc). Don’t forget to add a map or two – or the area using Google Earth. Album layout using Fotoslate 4


OPUS Albums Tip 8

Album layout using dg foto artNow lay out and edit your album pages.  If you are using a top end program like Dg Foto Art Gold you have so many possibilities.   But with the others you have good flexibility to drag-and-drop and re-arrange.  Just make sure that the pages are not too cluttered and provide for a visual consistency.

I prefer to make my own backgrounds.  You take a picture that provides the mood for the vacation or the section of the vacation.  Take one of your photos without too much detail in it, lighten it, put in a Gaussian blur and you have an ideal background.  If you were using a more limited program like Fotoslate4 you wopuld have to prepare this in Photoshop first.

Make sure that subject matter is not lost in the binding areas of the album.  I prefer to make up the albums borderless – so run into the binding area with material that is of little consequence.  Remember to allow for the binding area when making up the pages.  Photos on the right hand pages may need to go a bit to the right; objects on the left hand pages to the left.

Re-crop pictures if needed. Add a mask if you think this would help – ideal to get rid of unwanted distractions near the edge of a picture too!   Embellish the book but don’t over do it.

OPUS Albums Tip 9

Write a good story.  Have a balance of textual and photographic material – and make the story interesting.  Add facts, anecdotes etc.  Not too much or you will never read the story. It might be a good idea to use the reverse side of the album page for the story and low quality pictures (e.g. from the web).  Warning – not all reverse sides of photo paper are suitable. Finally - Enjoy yourself

– don’t make heavy weather of the album.   After all you are doing it for your own pleasure too!  

OPUS Albums Tip 10

Finally take a lot of care when printing.  This is particularly true when printing double sided.  Since the reverse sides are of totally different subject matter from one another it is not easy to tell one from another.  Do each page individually if you can.

You may infer from bitter experience that I’ve made up a really nice book only to find after printing that pages are out of sequence – or even up-side own!

Enjoy your Books and Keep them for Years  

Show off your photo albumWhen the guests come; when you go out to visit others, when you go to your camera, travel or social club show your books.  They make excellent conversation pieces and they help cement relationships.

 PS – And don’t forget to tell your friends how you made such excellent products – and direct them to the OPUSalbums.com website.

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