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LR Photo books are great!

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by WT21, Jan 8, 2013.

  1. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    I started out years ago in iPhoto (actually Picasa on Windows, then iPhoto when I moved to Mac in 2007). But I just got my first photobook that I built in LR, published by Blurb. That's the end of iPhoto!

    I have liked iPhoto, but it's a resource pig, and bogs down my Mac far more than LR. Additionally, the database it creates is really huge, and the adjustments are far more limited. For the last couple of years (maybe the last 2?) I've been managing both a LR and an iPhoto db. Adjustments and jpg output from LR, stored in iPhoto. From iPhoto, I could create books, cards, etc. and also keyword in iPhoto and share the photos with my wife, who preferred the iPhoto interface.

    But keywording and publishing have gotten far easier in LR, and I have to say the book quality from Blurb is every bit as good as what Apple produces. Plus, I can keep the files in an external file structure (rather than iPhotos proprietary db) and it simplifies my workflow, and I feel more secure in being more platform independent. I'm going to dump my iPhoto library (to the tune of 30GB of saved space) and move my wife over to LR, too.

    Just thought I'd share, but the real change has been the first book I did in LR has shown me there is no reason left to keep iPhoto around.
  2. scarbrd

    scarbrd Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 1, 2011
    Houston, TX
    Did you compare LR to Aperture?

    I don't consider iPhoto a professional level image/workflow management tool.

    Aperture has worked well for me and performs better than Lightroom in several areas, particularly with large libraries.
  3. Joe777

    Joe777 Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 11, 2012
    Aperture is far better than Lightroom for me, plus the interface with the latest iPhoto is great. Guess it's whatever floats ones boat.
    One nice feature of iPhoto is being able to quickly send images to various other sites, such as Facebook, Twitter or Flickr etc.
  4. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    Sorry, wasn't compare to Aperture. I'm not going to bounce my library between LR and Aperture, and lose all my adjustments. When I moved to LR, Ap didn't have the local brush, so it was a no-brainer. Also, Aperture is platform locked, so not interested.

    I guess I was trying to say (and perhaps failed) that the book pub module in LR is up to par, and was the final piece that let me get off iPhoto.
  5. sammykhalifa

    sammykhalifa Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 22, 2012
    Pittsburgh PA
    Just curious . . . what are your uses for the book module? It's a very large section of LR that I just haven't worked with very much.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Aegon

    Aegon Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 3, 2011
    Portland, OR
    My flow uses both LR and iPhoto.

    I import into LR.
    I select the best photos in LR using "add to Quick Collection" (B on the keyboard).
    I edit the Quick Collection in LR.
    I export the edited photos to iPhoto.

    iPhoto is where I go to look through my "keepers". LR is where I go to process.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    I shoot mainly pics of my family and kids, so rather than printing out a bunch of pictures, I just make a massive photo book at the end of the year. The family loves looking back on it, and it's a nice way to archive.
  8. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    That is exactly what I was doing. In iPhoto, I would print, order books, look through keeps and publish up to cloud options. I used .mac, until they killed it, and that got me looking at a new workflow.

    LR has a great smart folder option. Now I flag as keepers photos from the LR set, and then create smart folders that sort on flag (and other keywords) and I no longer need to export to iPhoto.

    The upside:
    • Save much more disk space
    • No interim step
    • No doubling of pics

    • with the iPhoto workflow, I would produce a jpg with final edits. Without that step, I only have a RAW photo (or original jpg) and a database of edits. If anything happens to the LR database, I'd have to re-build the pp edits I already applied.
  9. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    I've not disliked a photo program as much as I dislike iPhoto. Any program that ingests images into a huge database that doesn't allow me to find an individual image through the OS's file browser throws up hug red flags for me. At least in the LR, C1, Aperture databases, if the database does go down (I have backups anyway) the actual images are un affected. If an iPhoto database corrupts........

    I have been meaning to play with the books module, in LR but haven't got round to it yet.

  10. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    Actually, you can access photos in iPhoto easily. Just open the package. All the photos are there, but maybe not in a folder structure that is that useful. But the photos are not lost.
  11. Aegon

    Aegon Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 3, 2011
    Portland, OR
    The iPhoto "database" is just a folder in the package. Right-click, show contents. iPhoto keeps originals in the "Originals" folder and modifieds in the "Modified" folder.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. kwalsh

    kwalsh Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Mar 3, 2012
    Baltimore, MD
    Back on topic...

    I recently did a Blurb book via LR. Came out really nice, reasonable pricing. The LR book module is in its first iteration so occasionally you have to do things a bit of the "hard way" to get what you want working within the constraints of the page templates. Still it works quite well for what I wanted to do.

    One oddity - one of the text fields on the cover of my book disappeared on the way to Blurb. Visible in LR, both before and after the upload to Blurb, but didn't appear on the book cover itself nor is it on the cover online in the Blurb preview. In hindsight it was a happy accident as the cover was better without that particular text, but has left me a bit concerned. I really wouldn't want to have to verify every text and layout through the Blurb preview...

    • Like Like x 1
  13. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    Yes, I agree. The LR book module did take a little bit of a learning curve. At first, I couldn't even figure out how to apply templates. I think iPhoto's books were easier, but LR was more responsive (iPhoto tends to creep along sometimes, quite painfully). The other thing was, LR had more layout template options, but I generally liked the iPhoto ones a bit better. But making picture adjustments specifically just for the book was easier in LR than iPhoto. So, on balance, I think the learning curve was worth it. I got two books because I think the first book was something like $120 and the second only cost $40 more (or something like that) so I did two, just in case. These were 100+ pages (I maxed out the size of the book).
  14. fin azvandi

    fin azvandi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 12, 2011
    South Bend, IN
    FYI, although Blurb doesn't offer their own plugin you can use the Aperture (and I assume iPhoto) book tools for your layout, then export it as a PDF and upload to Blurb with their "PDF to Book" option. I just got my 2012 photobook in the mail today and it's pretty decent for the price. You have to set up a custom book with the proper dimensions/margins, but it's pretty straightforward.
  15. newbert

    newbert Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 22, 2012
    Glens Falls, NY
    For those who like the Blurb book module in Lightroom - You should try Blurb's native software, BookSmart. (Downloadable at blurb.com) It's much easier to use and provides the same great results.

    After creating a number of Blurb books over the years, I tried Lightroom's module a few months ago and found it unrefined. For example I couldn't even get a dropdown list of font samples to choose from, while in Blurb's software I can.

    I agree that Blurb's photobooks are top quality.
    • Like Like x 1
  16. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    Question on the Blurb book, though -- wouldn't you have to select which pics you want, then export them to jpg from LR, then import them into the Blurb book software?
  17. cherrywood

    cherrywood Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 17, 2010
    Good thread, as I just purchased Lightroom for my mac and have not processed any raw photos yet, so will have a large learning curve to overcome and this forum is great to learn from. Thanks to all
  18. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    I just received my first LightRoom/Blurb book last night and I'm pretty happy with the results as well.

    The only thing that drove me crazy with the process is that if you realize after the Preview step that you need to change something (say, swap a photo or change some text) there doesn't appear to be any way to update your book. It has to create a whole new project, finalize and export it and upload the whole thing to Blurb all over again. Positively painful, especially as I ended up making changes and re-uploading the whole thing at least 4 times before I finally had everything satisfactorily set up. To be perfectly honest that alone is probably enough to keep me from using this regularly as it was very cumbersome.
  19. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    jloden, so you mean you uploaded, then previewing on their website, you decided on a change? Yeah, that would be painful as the upload is slow (I was doing the max sized book, though, so I'm not sure my experience is typical). But, you get a pretty good "preview" view in LR if you stay on "multi page view"
  20. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    One negative I need to say, to balance my overall positive experience. I chose a black background paper, instead of white (white is what I did previously on my Apple books). I prefer the white it turns out, but more to the point, there were two smudge/issues on the black background on one of my books. It's kind of a mottled gray/white/black smear about the size of a US nickle. All the pics are fine. This just happened in some of the solid black area. The book is for personal use, so I don't care, but it's not 100% without issue. Perhaps Blurb would reprint, but I'm not going to ask because, again, it's a non-issue for me. Thought I should mention it for full disclosure.
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