Make a Photo Album - Digital Scrapbook - Photo Story Book yourself
We want to improve this guide continuously – please feel free to e-mail me email@example.com with any comments, suggestions or added material such as the review of other software, graphics etc. – May 2007
Part 7 - Finishing and Printing your Album
Your album looks as if it is taking shape. Now is the time to print a draft. Set the paper as if you were going to run the final versions (some printers will not accept no-margin printing on plain paper). Then run off a print.
Does it look OK? Of course, by printing on plain paper, you are losing the detail and it is flat-looking – but is the layout and general feel fine?
Are the photos in the correct sequence? Does the story line flow?
Are the pages interesting?
Is the visual balance right?
Is the subject matter balance right?
Can you improve on the pictures? Just try changing the lighting levels and the gamma function. The pictures may then blend in better. Often a gamma of 1.4 or 1.5 produces a more pleasing result.
Of course you may wish to use all of the facilities of your photo editor – Adobe Photoshop, Corel Paintshop or whatever. As you get more experience you will want to experiment with more creative techniques. These are of course outside the scope of this guide.
Check the titles and the text. It’s so easy to make spelling, grammatical and minor factual errors (date wrong?) - errors you make whilst concentrating on the pictures and the layout. Get a friend to look at it too. He or she will see things that you missed.
Don’t be afraid to change a page or two radically – discarding even a ‘good’ picture if it doesn’t fit. Look back over your material. Maybe a picture from a guide book is better than the picture you took yourself – but see balance above.
Changes are easy. But check your work whilst you do it. If necessary run another draft.
Your album is almost there. But you may wish to add some interest.
You will probably want to change the background. I generally do so as follows.
I find a picture that evokes the atmosphere – with some detail which can be understood even if washed out. I take the photo and lighten it by using the brightness control (to +60%). Then introduce a blur. I’m afraid the blur in FotoSlate is not strong enough. In Photoshop Elements (and other packages) there is the Gaussian blur (select filter > blur > Gaussian) function. Use this setting the radius at 12-15 pixels.
Alternatively find a good ‘wallpaper’ design. There are hundreds.
Add some stars or clipart. Don’t detract from the picture though.
This is an advanced subject and will be added in the next version of the guide. Unless you are familiar with ICC profiling use the manufacturers settings. Do not tick the box ‘use colour controls’!
For Photo Art - Archival matte paper
For Print & Bind - best photo and premium quality inkjet paper.
The OPUS website has a guide here, and offers a number of sources for ICC profiles for use with archival giclée papers.
Printing your own inkjet photo album
You are now ready to roll!
Be careful how you set the paper. You don’t want to spend all of this effort and produce a duff album because you left it set at ‘plain paper’. The settings will vary according to the paper and printer that you are using.
Set the paper as landscape.
Set the computer to produce a preview.
Just put one sheet in the printer. If you have made a serious mistake then only one sheet is wasted.
Then roll. Print, bind and admire your album.
You are now ready to share the results. It takes so little time to run off extra copies.
Mum and Dad can have pictures of their grandchildren – giving them an album is so much nicer than giving a CD – and there is a story behind it too.
Great Aunt Mabel can have one too – even though she does not even own a computer. She will marvel at how you did it. In fact she will think you’re a genius!