There’s only a little over two weeks until Mother’s Day (for the calendar-impaired, that’s May 11th). While that leaves two Fridays between now and then for me to craft a technology-related Mother’s Day-themed article, I need to get an early start. The particular technology-related Mother’s Day gift I’m going to suggest takes some time to gather, prepare, order, and receive.
My gift idea can be created on any computer. However, me being the “MacMaineiac” and all, I’m only going into detail on the Mac way of doing it. Those of you using Windoze will just have to suffer through tortuous user interfaces, “maybe this will work” software, and Microsoft’s legendary lack of taste. But, I digress.
My gift idea for making this Mother’s Day extra special is a photo book, populated with photos of you, your family, a special occasion or event, whatever. Apple’s iPhoto application, part of the iLife suite that comes as “standard equipment” on all Macs, makes creating gorgeous photo books a snap, as the photo book creation program is built right into iPhoto.
There are basically three steps to creating an awesome photo book in iPhoto. First, you have to choose the photos you want to include and what you want to “say” (as you have plenty of room for captions and comments). I suggest “storyboading” your book by creating an Album and dropping your selected photos into it. You can then arrange the photos in the order you want them to appear in the book.
Next, simply select all the photos in the album, and click the “Book” button in the menu bar at the bottom of the iPhoto window. You’re then asked to choose a book size and theme. Sizes range from large 8.5 by 11 inch hardcover “coffee table”, to large, medium and small softcover, to large and medium wirebound. The hardcover books have a suede-like cover with foil-printed title on the cover and a customizable dust jacket. They’re stunning.
iPhoto offers thirteen beautiful professionally-designed themes to choose from. Select a size and theme, and iPhoto builds an “empty” book. You can then either drag and drop your photos into the “holes” in the book template, or save time and click the “Autoflow” button, where iPhoto drops them in for you, in the order you arranged them in the Album. See, a little prior planning helps.
From this point practically everything is customizable. You can change the order of the pages to better tell your story, move photos around on a given page, or change the style of individual pages. You can adjust the text size and font to fit your message. Photo adjustment tools (cropping, contrast, brightness, etc.) are available within the book template no need to fix a photo externally and hope the changes reflect in the book. iPhoto even alerts you if a particular photo isn’t of a high enough resolution to look good in the space you intend.
Once the book is ready, you simply click the “Buy Book” button. Images are uploaded via your internet connection, and you book arrives (in stylish packaging) in around ten days.
So how much does it cost? The large “coffee table” double-sided hardcover, with 20 pages (10 sheets) cost $29.95, with 99 cents per additional page up to 100. A similar large softcover book is $19.99. Small softcover 20-page snapshot books are only $3.99 each, but must be ordered in groups of three.Between now and May 11th, Apple is offering a 20 percent discount on photo books. You can order as late as May 4th with express shipping and April 30th with standard shipping.
|© 2008 Peter F. Zimowski|