My Blurb Photo Book

March 16th, 2009

Thanks to the wonderful Annie Mole from the Going Underground blog, I won a voucher to make my own book from Blurb. Blurb is a publishing company providing a print-on-demand book publishing service for the public. In other words: you can create your own books! Blurb offers a free downloadable book layout software client, BookSmart, with which you can create your own books with your own text and images. The completed book can then be uploaded to Blurb, and you can order any amount of copies. 

I decided on a photo book collecting all the photos I made in 2008. I first thought I wouldn’t have enough photos, but it’s amazing how many photos I actually made last year. I only went with the photos I thought were ‘worthy’ to be in such a book, but even then there were a fair amount. Later on I even realized I forgot to add all my photos from my Stonehenge trip; bit of a pity, cause there were some great ones in between them. Here’s how it turned out:

Blurb Photo Book 

I tried Blurb about one and a half year ago to create a photo book of my family’s summer holiday. It turned out to be a great book, but at the time I had a lot of trouble with Blurb’s BookSmart software for the Mac. It was just so slow, it wasn’t nice to use at all. Those are all problems of the past though, cause now BookSmart works like a charm. Plus not only was I able to import iPhoto albums, but also Flickr sets.

Unlike a lot of other photobook ‘makers’, Blurb’s BookSmart has a great selection of layouts and options. You can really play around with each page, choosing different types of layouts to suit the photos. I’m still missing certain layouts though (like one single vertical photo centered), which don’t seem to difficult to add. 

Blurb Photo Book

The only problem I had with Blurb this time was the delivery. You pay about £4 for the cheapest delivery option, with no tracking and 10-15 day delivery estimate. I ordered my book on January the 31st and it arrived on February 23rd: that’s more than 3 weeks! (to be fair though: it was 16 working days, so it’s not too bad, but I remember last time it was way quicker than that)

I’m really happy with the way this book turned out and I’m going to try to make one every year for all that year’s photos. I’d love to make some other type of books though, like a cook book with recipes from my Mum, or a book with all my blog posts. Those will take much more time to create though, but Blurb offers great tools to make them!

Last Saturday I went to the London Transport Museum Flickr Scavenger Hunt (now that’s a mouthful) at the Museum Depot in Acton. We got 20 cryptic clues to find certain “objects” and make photos of them. I think our team became 2nd, with solving 17 of the 20 clues. 

Some of the clues were pretty tricky, but it was great fun trying to figure them all out. Here are two examples:

Clue: A literal 2CV model that doesn’t run on petrol.
Explanation: 2CV = deux chevaux = 2 horsies!

Clue 3

Clue: This caged wonder checks coins rather than defrosts ice.
Explanation: I’m really proud of solving this one! For starters, I noticed the “cages” and told my team the object should be somewhere in this area. Then we figured out that “defrosts ice” probably means “salt”. Finally after checking out most of the objects here, we found this:

Clue 16

If you look closely the brand is “Salter”. 

Besides those 20 clues, there were also photo clues, where we got a photo of something and had to find the exact same thing. I love this LOOtube photo (from an old Bakerloo line sign):

Photo Clue

To check out all the photos, have a look at my Flickr set.

52 Themes: Water

March 2nd, 2009

Water. Such a simple theme, but with so many different ways to capture it.

Week 6: Water

52 Themes: Abstracts

February 19th, 2009

My 5th submission to 52 Themes. I got creative this week, and made a lot of photos of some not that normal objects. This is an upside-down photo of a decorative fake plant that was in our new apartment.

Week 5: Abstracts

From 10 to 60

February 16th, 2009

These photos are from an amazing photo shoot. The editorial is a collection of 6 photos, each of the same model at ages 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 and 60. All the effects are done through make-up and lighting, no photoshop at all.

Check out all the photos at Miss at la Playa; here’s a sneak peak of ages 10 and 60:

52 Themes: Natural World

February 12th, 2009

I’m still a bit behind with uploading photos, cause of the move to the new apartment, but we now have a proper internet connection. Yay!

This photo was taken at night; I had forgotten to take a photo for this week and on the last day I sneaked outside to make some late-minute shots. It’s not really one of my favourites, but it does fit with the theme.

Week 4: Natural World

But this photo below I took one day before the 52 Themes “Natural World” week began. I was meaning to go back to the spot and take the photo again, so that it would be valid for 52 Themes, but I’ve been so busy I just couldn’t find the time. Still I love how it turned out: the detail of the green moss and the colours!


52 Themes: Rule of Thirds

January 22nd, 2009

From Wikipedia: “The rule of thirds is a compositional rule of thumb in visual arts such as painting, photography and design. The rule states that an image should be imagined as divided into nine equal parts by two equally-spaced horizontal lines and two equally-spaced vertical lines, and that important compositional elements should be placed along these lines or their intersections. Proponents of the technique claim that aligning a subject with these points creates more tension, energy and interest in the composition than simply centering the subject would.”

So does my photo contain tension, energy and interest?

Week 3: Rule of Thirds

52 Themes: Creative Colour

January 15th, 2009

This is my second submission to the 52 Themes challenge. The assignment this week was “Creative Colour”. The creativity of this photo? I don’t own a pair of tights with legs in two different colours…

Week 2: Creative Colour

To celebrate the healthiness of carrots, and the evilness of bunnies.

Happy Carrot Day!

Note: there’s no such thing as “Carrot Day”… unless you want there to be 🙂

52 Themes: New Beginnings

January 7th, 2009

As I said in my previous post, for 2009 I’ll be participating in 52 Themes, a photo every week each with a different theme. This week was the first one with as theme “New Beginnings”.

Cristiano and I got this little statuette from Cristiano’s parents as a sort of anniversary present (we’ve been together for over 5 years now). It seemed like a nice way to portray “New Beginnings”, cause I do feel as if 2009 will be a new and fresh year for both of us. This will (hopefully and finally) be the year where we both start working and get our own apartment.

Week 1: New Beginnings