Create: Notes on Layouts, Episode 002

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For the life of me, I can’t figure out why my exposure changes when the camera is set to manual. Yes, I am technologically challenged, but no matter. You will get the point. Notes on Layouts, Episode 002.

I am working on a new project, one that I feel has the potential of being very solid. Perhaps as good as anything I’ve ever done. The IDEA is solid. My work, well, that remains to be seen. I’m two years in but have very little to show for my efforts. Such is life as a documentary person.

But, it’s time to begin laying things out utilizing what little work I have. Doing so will work as a roadmap of sorts. What do I actually have? What am I missing? What needs to be better? All of which are VERY easy to see when you begin to design and go to print. This ain’t Instagram.

But what does someone like me do when it comes to page design? Someone like myself with virtually no training in his discipline. Well, you start practicing. And you start learning from your mistakes.

Using Blurb Bookwright as a “graveyard of ideas,” is one of the best uses of the software, at least in my opinion. Test, take chances, and see what looks and feels right. What are you waiting for?

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  1. Can’t wait to watch this. Lots of reasons I’m grateful for finding your site, but one of the biggest reasons – the virtual shoebox is a graveyard. I am terrible at a lot of things, one of them is making a place a home by getting prints and art on the walls. Mine (prints only, none of my stuff is close to art) or others’. So the photos stay in literal shoeboxes or virtual ones. One of the many things I love about the photobooks is that it gives you a chance to (paraphrasing Dan M) ruthlessly edit and sequence. And then you’ve got something lasting that is easy to view. As long as you have that book and as long as Blurb (or any place you choose) stays in business, you can tinker with that work. It also helps alleviate my concerns about digital archiving, which is a house of cards for most of us.

    It’s a struggle, though. I’m working on getting four years’ worth of music photos I’ve shot in the Pacific Northwest into a book for me. I’ll give a couple of copies to some local musicians who told an introverted photographer to go ahead and do his thing – access granted and appreciated. Retroactively settling on a project is a grind. I try to use keywords and rankings in my catalog, but I’m not a robot – there’s not one keyword search that I would trust to return all the possible photos, so through the hard drive I go. I’d love to hear how other Shifter readers tackle that.

    1. Just finished watching. Definitely helpful. Do you feel the full screen preview gives you a good sense of what the book will look like? I ask because the few projects I’ve printed, when I’ve received the product, I almost always have instances of “yea, I should have gone with a different font or layout”. That’s fine, the process is fun, and I print a test. But I haven’t made use of that preview – would be great to know if that gives you a pretty good WYSIWYG feel.

      (I’m not asking for links – but do you know if the Blurb blog pages have some lessons learned features from you and others who have made books? Nothing that seeks to stifle creativity but some hard learned thoughts on design? For example, in general, these sorts of fonts rate highly for readability…drop below this font size and people will be pulling out a magnifying lens to read it, etc.)

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      Yes, preview is very helpful. As is the “manage pages” tab inside Bookwright. I did a film on that actually. I use it NONSTOP. Blurb blog in 2021 is going to be hugely expanded, so stay tuned.

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      Play. Try new things. Think about creating a conceptual piece. Then work backwards by elimination.

  2. Thanks Scott!. I appreciate you checking it out.I can not take credit for the writing. That’s all my wife’s doing.

    Our blog has taken a backseat these last few years. Hopefully we will get after it again soon.

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