After having had some trouble with uploading my photobook via Lightroom 4.1 to Blurb and solving it by a strange workaround, which I described earlier, my printed photobook has arrived today. I promised to write about this debut experience with Blurb. Here we go.
Four days ago I got the first online notification that Fedex is ready to ship my book from somewhere in Holland to my home. Contiunously they kept me informed about the current state of delivery. Due to the weekend it finally took four days.
The book came extremely well packaged in a sturdy cardboard envelope. Inside of this the book was wrapped in another clear plastic envelope which was closed with two seals.
The book itself impressed me very much. I took the premium quality version on matte paper. The printed cover is made of a really strong cardboard, wrapped with a silky smooth paper which gives it very nice haptics.
The photographs are printed on strong paper which seems to prevent to let black parts on the reverse side shine through the page. Excellent.
The binding seems to be really firm which underlines the sturdy nature of this book.
In addition to that the reproduced colors have a good depth. The raster screen is very smooth. Minor deficiencies in some photographs (grain and noise) are perfectly balanced by the print resolution.
Good job, Blurb so far.
I’ve found three minor downsides with my copy of this book, which are more or less my own fault.
First, because of the firm binding pages seem to loose a lot of space at the gutter side. I didn’t expect this to be that much. For further productions this has to be taken into consideration in the creation process, especially for full page or double spread images.
Second, I feel that colors have lost little saturation. Since I work in a calibrated environment for printing projects, this could happen because I had chosen Blurb’s matte paper or more likely because I had to perform this strange double pdf-conversion from Lightroom to Indesign to Blurb, because Lightroom 4.1 was not able to upload the book properly (one page always flipped).
Third, when I designed the 60 page book in Lightroom it put the logo page on page 60 while Blurb’s Indesign plugin allowed to fill 60 pages with photos and added an extra page with the Blurb logo. Now I have a black spread at the end of the book.
On balance I can say that I am very satisfied with that book in terms of quality and handling. I can’t get rid of the feeling that Lightroom’s 4.1 book module still needs some fine tuning. I am looking forward to updates because I love the idea to send the book straight from the application to the printers.
These are some sample pages, taken from screenshots: