Thursday, April 09, 2009

Testing the Waters - SoFoBoMo

This week I tested the waters and put together a test book in Adobe Photoshop CS3. First I made a template, sized the images and saved them as JPGs, dropped them into the template, saved the individual files as PDFs and then assembled all the PDFs into one document using Cute PDF. After I got all the individual images into the one document it was easy to rearrange the pages but I still haven't figured out how to number the pages inside Cute PDF which is really the place to do it so that if you rearrange the page order it will also re-number.

I was thinking that I would upload the test book to Issuu but I saved all the PDFs in CS3 as high-quality instead of a lower resolution for the web and the 20 page book is about 50MBs. I'm still not sure that I totally understand all the PDF options for saving but I do know now that high-quality is for printing and the lower quality is for the web. Actually I assumed that I would be able to change the resolution in Cute PDF to a lower quality but after the fact, I could not find a way to do that. In Cute PDF's FAQ, there is a link to a ghostscript that I think would do the reduction but it looks too complicated. At least I don't want to tackle it when with the next book, I can change how I save the file.

Also, I don't know that I want this test book going public on Issuu. I kind of like the concept and I might want to actually use it later. This week I just gathered up some of my holga images and dropped them in the template I made. Not all the images were ready for primetime and I didn't give any thought to sequencing. So all you are going to see is the front cover. But let me tell you I learned a lot.

Now my worrying is shifting to what the heck am I going to photograph to get 35 useable images.

11 comments:

rgl said...

Hi Billie, did you put the PDF anyplace where it can be viewed by others? I am curious as to see what your test experience looks like. Like yourself, I have been wondering what I will be taking photos of for the 35 photos book. Oh well, I have a month and a half to decide then not much time after that to get with the program and build the book.

Billie said...

Rgl, Mexican Squares is not available for public viewing. Sorry. I'm with you, the fotoing part is beginning to loom large.

Islagringo said...

If we can't see it, can we at least hear how you came up with the name? Will the pictures all be square?

Billie said...

Islagringo, Yes all the images are squares. The modified holga camera shoots square images. There use to be a number of film cameras that shot square exposures on 120 film. I don't want the book to be about the HOLGA, I want people to see that it is about Mexico. There isn't a clearly defined theme or project...it is just a collection of square images shot in Mexico. Hence Mexican Squares.

Joan said...

Billie, I have no idea what you said because I am not into photography or computers but it sounds like you have jumped several big hurdles now. From my perspective, with my head spinning after reading about jpgs, cute pdfs, cs3 and issuu, the taking of 35 photos seems like the easy part. It is really fun to follow you in this project. Just think how easy it will be next time!--lol!

Babs said...

Aren't you supposed to be doing this for the "fun" of it? Just a reminder from a friend who loves you........
All I'm reading is "stress".

Billie said...

Joan, The shooting of many images to finally get 35 that I'm willing to put in the book is the biggest hurdle but it is one that I can't do anything about until I start my 31 day timeframe. So I'm trying not to clutter my mind with that problem until I can do something about it. In the meantime I'm trying to get through some stuff on the learning curve.

Babs, Yes, I guess this can be called stress but I think it is a good stress. I'm learning something new and challenging myself. It is something I have wanted to do but have been lazy so setting some deadlines has me moving in the direction I want to go. At first I was scared but now I'm feeling pretty good about it. I think I can complete the book but I'm not going to put the bad stress on myself of having to have a "perfect" book. Just a book will do this time.

1st Mate said...

Billie - I didn't get a lot of the phraseology you used either, but it's interesting to follow along. I guess I can google the phrases I don't understand. What I'm curious about: are you going for a hardbound edition, is this going to be strictly an e-book, how are you going to market it? I'm editing books now as a sideline and so I'm curious about how others go from the idea stage to the finished book.

Billie said...

1st Mate, Actually I want a hardbound book for a lot of reasons. I'm working on a blog post about why I think the hardbound book is the right way for me. But for this project that must be completed in 31 days, I'll just make an e-book more to get some knowledge under my belt than really having a book that is acceptable for a hardbound book. At this point, I haven't even thought of marketing a book....that is another whole learning curve. The more I've thought about the Mexican Squares book the more I like that idea but I can't use that for SoFoBoMo because the images have already been shot. So I am probably going back to the Squares Idea later.

Erick said...

Hi Billie,

I left an answer to one of your comments on Suzanne's blog, but maybe you haven't seen it yet.

It was just to tell you that there's a much simpler way to export a multi-page PDF straight from CS3, without the need of CutePDF and with more options. You may try the "File > Automate > PDF presentation" feature (not sure about the exact menu name as I use a french version of PS) which allows you to export several files (any format, psd, jpg,...) to a PDF file, with the option to asjust the output resolution and many more.

Hope it helps
Erick

Billie said...

Erick, I didn't realize that the PDF export feature was in Automate. I'm going to explore this feature some more. Thanks.