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Old 11-26-2013, 09:22 PM
winger's Avatar
winger winger is offline

Join Date: May 2004
Location: southwest PA
Posts: 4,250
Default Making a book from scanned negs

I inherited a box of old family negatives and have scanned most of them. I'd sorta like to make a book through Blurb (or such) with a number of the ones from my great-grandparents' honeymoon through Europe in 1912. I haven't edited the scans at all, yet. I have CS5, PSE11, Lightroom5 (and iPhoto, if that counts). I think there's a way to get a Blurb book ready right from Lightroom as well as something through iPhoto (though I don't know where iPhoto ones get printed and I doubt it's Blurb).
What's the "best" way to edit the images and create the book? If there is one. The 1912 folder has about 96 shots in it - some of which may not make the cut. I tried to get decent detail in the scans, but they probably all stand some improving and not the same in each. The negs are (all?) 3 1/4 inches by 5 1/2 inches and a mix of vertical and horizontal.
I haven't used LR at all, yet, but I know I should learn how to use it sometime. Do I need to just bite the bullet and set aside a bunch of time to do each one by itself? I think most of them will just need levels adjustments. I haven't used curves much, so if that's easier, I'd love pointers.
Any thoughts on whether Blurb's software or LR is easier and will allow me to keep the whole image without cropping?
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Old 11-27-2013, 12:34 AM
davidb davidb is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 773

My wife recently bought a 20 page book for me (MyPublisher) and I have until the end of December to finish. Don't use the same software as you so I can't help there. It appears with mine I have to download an app that I put my pictures in and then upload it to their site (I think).

One of the most important things aside from getting the photos ready is being organized. For what it's worth here's how I plan to go about it. It's the approach I've taken in the past when creating CDs or movies with 100 or more pictures to keep track of things. If you don't have a method and you have to go back and forth between the project and your file folder to see which has been used, it can really get bad.

If I put two picture on each page (I won't) and one on front and back of both covers then I'd need a max of 44 pictures. I'm going to find 44 candidates and put them in a separate folder called Origs. I'm going to batch process my .tif files (they are anywhere from 10-40MB) converting them to high quality 5MB jpgs and put them in a separate sub-folder called 5MB. When I place them in the book I don't know yet if they are copied in or cut and past. If they are copied I'll have another sub folder called Used and cut and paste placed pictures here to keep track of what is left. Now, if I can just find the time to start doing this.

Good luck with your project!
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Old 11-27-2013, 03:12 AM
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Jim Jones Jim Jones is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Chillicothe, Missouri
Posts: 4,962

Doing a photo book is on my bucket list, but I haven't really begun to research what is involved yet. I bought a small Blurb photo book by Gandolfi, a regular contributor on, and found the quality of the printed images superior to the ones he had posted online. A book of snapshots a friend printed through, I believe, Shutterfly or wasn't nearly as good, despite being printed on a more glossy paper.

The best way to ready images for printing might well be to resize them to the desired size at the DPI the printer will use, and perhaps apply some sharpening. This eliminates the need for resizing by the printer. Expand the tonal range to range from nearly white to nearly black, just as one should do for posting online. Curve adjustments might compensate for original overexposure or underexposure. Adding a very light grey background that bleeds off the page makes the lightest areas of a print stand out better than using a pure white background. If you do this yourself, you can add captions and page numbers, and see exactly how they should appear in the book. Another way to keep the pure white of the sky in hundred-year-old photos from blending in with a white background is to run a narrow line around all the image edges. For Epson 3800 prints at 360 dpi I use a 50% grey 1 pixel line. There have been threads on quality photo books on both and
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