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Lightroom 5: 07 Making Photo Books

with Tim Grey

Video: Basic book options

Design your own photo book in Lightroom, and then have that book printed by Blurb or exported as a PDF.
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Lightroom 5: 07 Making Photo Books
Video duration: 0s 51m 6s Beginner


Photo books give friends, family, and clients mementos they can hold in their hand, and remember from vacations, gatherings, or even photo sessions. In this course, you'll learn how you can design your own photo book in Lightroom, and then have that book printed by Blurb. Tim Grey shows you how to create a layout from scratch or have Lightroom automate the process for you. The course also covers adding text, changing page backgrounds, and exporting the book to share electronically as a PDF or print with Blurb.

More courses in this series can be found here.


Basic book options

Digital technology has obviously had a tremendous impact on photography in a wide variety of ways. And one of the areas where digital tools have impacted photography is in book publishing. It wasn't that long ago that the prospect of publishing a photo book was a very expensive prospect. Today, with print on demand services and various digital advantages in the print workflow. It's actually not terribly difficult to produce your own photo book and actually not all that expensive.

Lightroom includes access to the Blurb book printing service. And that is accessed via the book module. And, in fact, we can take advantage of all of the features of Blurb directly within Lightroom, using Lightroom in order to create our book layout. And then uploading our files automatically to the Blurb servers. So that our book can be produced. Let's take a look at the basic process of producing our book layout within Lightroom. I'll start off in the library module because that's typically where I would get started with my images.

Sorting and organizing them so that I can filter my images down to just those I want to include in my book. In this case, for example, I've navigated to a particular folder containing images I would like to assemble into a book. That could have just as easily been a collection, of course. And I've also applied a filter, in this case, so that I can only see images with a one star or greater rating. The idea is that I want to have the film strip populated only with images that I want to consider for my book layout.

Once that's accomplished, I can switch to the book module, using the module picker, up on the top panel in Lightroom. And that will take me to the book module, and enable me to start working on my book layout. And as you can see, Lightroom has started off by giving me a basic automatic layout for my book. All of the images on the film strip are included with a very basic layout. In this case, a layout that includes just one image per page, with that image filling the entire page. Of course, that layout is based on a specific book size, as well as some additional settings.

Let's take a look at those options. First, in the book settings section of the right panel in the book module. We have the book option, and there you'll find the option to print using the blurb online service, to print to a PDF, or to print to a .jpeg. In this case, I'm producing a book that I'd like to print, so I'll use the blurb option. Next we can take a look at the size option, and we have several different sizes to choose from. There's a small square, which is seven by seven inches. A standard portrait layout, which is eight inches by ten inches.

A standard landscape option which is likewise, eight by ten, just in a horizontal orientation. And then we have large landscape which is 13 by 11. And finally, large square which is 12 inches square. I'll go ahead and opt for the large landscape option for example. And because the dimensions and, in fact, the aspect ratio for that particular layout are different. Lightroom lets me know that I'm changing the overall size and layout for the book, and asks for a confirmation. So I'll go ahead and click the change size and re-layout button.

And that will cause the overall appearance of the book to change based on the changes I've made. I'll then go ahead and take a look at the additional options, and you can see that I have two hardcover options. An image wrap versus a dust jacket. So I can choose which of those two options I prefer. A dust jacket features essentially an additional print that's wrapped around the book as opposed to a simple image wrap on the hardcover book itself... I'll go ahead and choose that image wrap option. We can also choose the paper type that we'd like to use.

That includes premium luster, premium matte, pro line uncoated, pro line pearl photo, and standard. In terms of quality the pro line options are the best options. And the premium options are very good with standard being a more basic, and therefore more affordable option. So, to some extent, you're making a decision between quality versus price. I'll go ahead and choose the Pro Photo option here. And, you may notice that the price of that book goes up somewhat significantly.

Now, keep in mind, in this case, I have 50 pages thus far in this book layout. So, it's a reasonably sized book. But I can reduce the cost for that book by choosing, for example, premium luster or even opting for the standard option, which takes that price down a bit further. And, of course, we could also lower the price by choosing a smaller size option. Bear in mind that the price shown is just an estimated price. There are volume discounts. There may be shipping and tax charges, as well. So this is just to give you a rough sense of what you can expect the price for your current book layout to be based on the options you've selected here in the book's settings section.

As well as, of course, the total number of pages included in the book. Once you've established those basic settings though, you're ready to get to work customizing your overall book layout so that you can finalize that layout and then have your book published.

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