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It is indeed a really exciting time for digital photography. And Blurb, and other bookmaking companies like Blurb, have all of a sudden given photographers this whole new way to assemble and create and print their own books. There's something special about binding images together inside of a book. It somehow creates a more cohesive set. You can tell a distinct story. If you haven't ever created a book, now is the time. So here, what I want to do in the beginning is talk about how we can first select our photographs that we want to use in a book project, and then take a look at how we can export those images in order to prepare those properly to print well inside of a Blurb book. All right! Well, first things first.
Here I am, inside of this costa_rica folder. You'll notice that I have DNG files here. You want to start with your high-res files, your RAW files, your DNG files-- whatever those are, so that you make sure you have file sizes that are big enough to be printed at whatever size book you want to make. All right! The next thing we want to do is go through our photographs and somehow label or rank or rate those images. I'm going to do this pretty quickly. So I'll go ahead and start over at the beginning of the set and click on one image. Then I'll press my Arrow key to move through my photographs.
When I see a photograph that I like, I'm going to add a star rating. I'll press the 1 key to add a 1-star rating. I'm going to be pretty quick about this, just simply choosing some images that I think might be fun to include, or to print inside of a book project. So far, so good. Just making my way through here, and I'll select these guys as well. Now, when you're making your selections, you do want to think a little bit about narrative and about thread and what you're trying to communicate with a book. We'll talk a little bit more about that later.
I'll give you a resource to dig deeper into that topic. Here though, I want to focus in on the mechanics. I've selected my images. I'll go ahead and press the Backslash key in the Library module go to Attribute, and then say, just show me the images that have a one-star rating. Well, here they are. Looks like I have a duplicate, so I'll select one of those, and I'm going to remove that rating by pressing the 0 key. Okay, I have a nice little set of photos. Next thing I'm going to do is press Command+A on a Mac--Ctrl+A on Windows--to select all of those images, and then I'll create a collection.
Collections are a really nice way to group images together in a way that isn't contingent upon file or hard drive or a folder location. So here, we'll go to our Collections panel. We'll click the Plus icon, and then we'll choose Create Collection. We'll name this one "Costa Rica - Book." I want to include the selected photos in this collection, and here I will click Create. Now, I'm aware that I'm going a little bit quickly here, but I'm assuming that you already know how to add labels and stars and all of those things.
Also, I'm assuming you know a bit about collections. Well, now that we have this collection, what we need to do next is we need to export these 18 photographs. So here, we'll go into our collection, and we'll select all by pressing Command+A on a Mac--Ctrl+A on Windows. The next thing we need to do is to go to our File pulldown menu and then choose Export. Whenever you see "..." that tells you that if you click now, it will open a dialog. All right, well, what we want to do is we want to export to our hard drive.
Then we want to walk through our different settings here, and just dial these in so that they will work well for a Blurb book. First thing we want to do is select a folder. I've already created one on my Desktop, so I'm going to go ahead and choose that folder. It's called costa_rica. And then I'll click Choose. I'm going to go down File Naming. We'll go ahead and leave their names as is. That's fine. Next, for File Settings, this is actually where it gets pretty important. What we want to do is choose a JPEG format. That's a format that works really well with Blurb. And then for Color Space, we need to choose sRGB.
Now, I know a lot of people are thinking, "sRGB? Why is that? That's such a small color space." Well, that's the color space that Blurb uses, so we need to convert our images to sRGB, so that they look good when we start to assemble and build this book. We're going to check off this box. We don't want video files, of course. Our quality, crank that all the way up. We want full size JPEGs. Now making our way down, we don't need to do any image sizing. What about output sharpening? Now, this is actually a little bit debated.
There are those who say, you know what, you should do your input sharpening in Lightroom, make your images look good, and because you've done that, you don't need to do any more output sharpening, especially for Blurb type of books. Then I have a few other colleagues that say, well, you know what, I do both. I do some input sharpening in Lightroom. In the Develop module, I sharpen so it looks good to my eye. But then, I've found that Sharpen For, a Matte Paper, with Standard Amount looks well on Blurb. What you're going to have to do is experiment a little bit.
I think part of this has to do with the lenses that you use, how you shoot, whether you're shooting in a studio, or outdoors, or if it's journalistic, or what the exposure is like, and how your lenses and camera works together. So, for starters, what I would encourage is to actually leave your Output Sharpening off and to create your first book without that, and then go ahead and create a second version of your book. Now, I know that that will cost you something, but what you're going to need to do in order to create a good book is actually do a couple of tests, and see how it renders color, see how it deals with contrast, see how Blurb prints images in regards to sharpness. All right! Well, I'll go ahead and turn this one off, because we'll say this is my first book. These images are already sharp.
Then I'll scroll down. Metadata, don't need any of that. Watermarking, nothing. Post-Processing, again, I'll just have it do nothing there. Well, now that I've dialed in all of those settings, what I'm going to do is create a new preset for myself, and I'll go ahead and just call this one "Blurb." And I'll put it in my User Presets folder and click Create. Well, that way, whenever I want to access that, all that I need to do is to click on this Blurb preset, and then the one variable that I'll want to change will be the folder location where I'll save my files, so that each book project has its different and distinct folder, yet it will remember my file settings here, and it will speed up my overall process.
All right! Well, now that we've dialed in these different settings, we're ready to export. The next step is to simply click Export. Lightroom will now go through these files, and it will create these full-res JPEG sRGB files, and once this export is complete, I'll then be ready to start to assemble and to build my book. We'll talk about how we can do that in the next two movies.
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