George Pappas Photography: Blog en-us (C) George Pappas Photography (George Pappas Photography) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 06:29:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 06:29:00 GMT George Pappas Photography: Blog 90 120 My Blurb Book Arrives
All-in-All, the quality of the book's construction could hold its own in a bookstore. A very impressive feat indeed given the ease and low startup costs involved.

I chose the 10x8 landscape format. It is a little small for my liking. Many of the images would be better at larger sizes. The issue is unit cost and price. The blurb price for the 10x8 book is $40.00; with a small markup, I can sell the book for $49.95 and have the price be reasonable. Blurb's 13X11 landscape book cost is $74.95. The same $10.00 markup makes the per copy price $85.00. The price feels too high.

I have spoken with a couple of other commercial printers and I can produce 25 copies of the book at a 12x9 size for $42.00 each. the only problem is that I have to commit up front......It is amazing the number of options we have today that were unavailable only a few years ago....

]]> (George Pappas Photography) blurb SRGB JPEG Fri, 17 Jul 2009 12:30:00 GMT
Sofobomo Project Now Available on Blurb

I used Blurb's PDF to book process which involved setting up a new template in InDesign and re-assembling the book. A couple of important changes from the online sofobomo version included: The layout size was slightly smaller (I will see what impact it has when I receive the printed copy) to fit Blurb's standard landscape size. I also regenerated the JPEG files from Lightroom with different sharpening settings for print vs. screen output. Finally, I used Blurb's pre-set export options for PDF generation which expanded the output resolution to 300dpi.

According to Blurb's literature, their printing system automatically converts SRGB files into the CMYK profile for their HP Indigo printer. Because Lightroom does not handle CMYK profiles directly, I stayed with my standard workflow and exported the JPEG files in SRGB for use in InDesign. I will see how good the color and tone reproduction is with this workflow. If I am unsatisfied with the color, I may run a small test book by exporting the raw image files from from Photoshop as TIFF's using the HP Indigo CMYK output profile on Blurb's site. This may provide better image quality; it all depends how how good Blurb's SRGB to CMYK conversion is. I'll keep you posted on the image quality results.

Another variable that I want to get a handle on is InDesign vs. Booksmart. While they are vastly different layout environments, I do not know if there is an image or typeface quality difference in using them. As my current book is done with InDesign, I'll try a small test with booksmart to see if there is a meaningful difference.
]]> (George Pappas Photography) booksmart indesign blurb SRGB Indigo CMYK Sat, 11 Jul 2009 09:47:00 GMT
Revised Book Posted
I removed several images, re-arranged some sequences, and cleaned up the text. I also was able to improve the image quality of the finished PDF while still keeping under the 15mb limit. After several tests, I found that having the maximum quality setting on JPEG export from LR and the maximum quality setting and 100dpi on the PDF generate setting in InDesign gave me the best tradeoff of tonality and resolution in the finished PDF.

The link is here for ISSUU reading:
]]> (George Pappas Photography) Mon, 06 Jul 2009 07:03:00 GMT
It is Done.

I feel great about the book. I'm sure I'll start finding things to improve once I look at it in a few days...let the revision process begin.

Thanks to everyone who gave me advice yesterday with was very helpful down the stretch....
]]> (George Pappas Photography) done Tue, 30 Jun 2009 21:32:00 GMT
A Late Night Learning InDesign
I am impressed with InDesign; it has an elegant interface and seems to be extremely capable. I plan to do more publishing so will save up and buy a copy when the 30 day trial runs out. Good sales technique Adobe!

I am still struggling with a couple of issues:
- JPEG quality. I tried to shrink the JPEG's from LR before I pasted them into ID and tried a variety of settings. So far, 100 dpi at an expected image size and 50% compression seems OK. The images still do not look as good as they do in Lightroom. Natt responsed to my post last night and suggested that I paste full rez/quality JPEG's into ID and let ID do the downsampling when the PDF is exported. I'll give this a quick test tonight to see if it merits re-pasting my 50 images (I know to do this now so it will be fast).

- Picture captions. I don't yet know if there is a function to do this other than having to manually insert a text frame with caption under each image. Any ideas or suggestions here?

The best part is looking at my book in full pasteboard view and scrolling through it. I can see the story and sequence emerge - it is exciting. I will finish tonight and upload to Issuu and the SFB website. After today, I will revise the book layout using Blurb's new InDesign template and test print a physical book.
]]> (George Pappas Photography) indesign lightroom blurb JPEG Tue, 30 Jun 2009 06:39:00 GMT
Jpeg Generation for InDesign Help....
My book dimensions are 8.5 X11, landscape format. Can anyone share what settings and dimensions have worked for them? I am using Adobe InDesign if that makes any difference.

Thanks in advance for your help.
]]> (George Pappas Photography) Mon, 29 Jun 2009 19:21:00 GMT
Abe Williams - Dignity in Motion I met Mr. Williams at the Smithsburg Volunteer Fire Department Carnival. He was manning the raffle booth where five bucks gets you a chance at a gas barbecue (I haven't received my call yet telling me I can come pick it up). Abe was the founder of the original EMS service in Smithsburg.

He is an honored leader in the community - his booth mate told me of his lengthy service to the town and its people.

We had a nice chat and he watched my cameras while I hit the striker with a big hammer for $2.00 and won a prize for my stepdaughter. I returned home with two inflatable bats for my trouble.

I am knee-deep in editing and have the organization and sequencing for the book almost complete. I will sleep on the current order and organization and review them tomorrow. My crash course in Adobe InDesign is progressing - I have watched videos, read help text, and have a default book layout with text styles and sections ready to go. I will have the book complete by July 1st.......

]]> (George Pappas Photography) indesign organization editing Sun, 28 Jun 2009 20:09:00 GMT
A Final Day of Photography I spent 11 hours making images yesterday from Point-of-Rocks to Smithsburg. The image you see here is from the Smithsburg Volunteer Fire Department Carnival - taken at 9:30pm.

It was a very productive day; I feel very good that I will have enough quality to choose from in completing my book by Tuesday evening. I have spent most of today in the role of (hopefully) ruthless editor and sequencer in Lightroom. My book now has some organization and form. I need to complete my crash course in Adobe InDesign to finish the layout and start inserting the images and text. I have already decided that I am going to continue revising this project past Wednesday with the aim of producing and expanded version of book by the end of the summer.

This image, like several from the Carnival sequence, was made with my Canon 5D and the 24mm TSE lens. I love looking for the patterns in the light and sky. This image turned out better than I expected when I saw the preview on the back of my camera. There is something beyond the contents that I really like. More to come as I make my final editing/layout push.....
]]> (George Pappas Photography) Sun, 28 Jun 2009 14:31:00 GMT
Henry and his 1940 Willy Pickup One of the great parts of doing a project like this is meeting new people who each have own their story to tell.....

I was driving by Henry's Garage in Brunswick, MD yesterday and saw his racing pickup truck peeking out of the open door. Henry was just finishing his Saturday lawn mowing as I approached him. We struck up a conversation and he proceeded to tell me that he had purchased this 1940 Willy over 25 years ago and had lovingly restored it. The disks you see on the windshield are certifications of races he has finished in his truck. Taped to the refrigerator in his garage were old racing schedules, notices, and a picture or two. He has rebuilt this vehicle and maintained it for years. He races it every chance he gets. He told me "there isn't money in this, you do it for other reasons."

We had a great talk and I went on my way. You will have to look at my finished book to see the vehicle in all of its glory; it is quite a site...
]]> (George Pappas Photography) Sun, 14 Jun 2009 14:50:00 GMT
Commitment and Reward I am now 11 days into my project with one and a half good sessions of photography under my belt.

This post is about the half session I had yesterday morning (early morning). I knew that I wanted to photograph parts of the region in the early morning light. The hills, mountains, trees, and natural features face East and West so I wanted different lighting and different ambience to choose from. Because I am doing this project between working hours and we have had a lot of rain lately, this meant that I would need to get up and get out before work one morning when the weather broke.

That morning was yesterday. My alarm went off at 4:15am. As I lay bleary-eyed in bed, I thought "well, the light will probably not be very good anyway, I guess I should go back to sleep and try again some other morning". I was millimeters away from convincing myself that I really needed to go back to sleep. When I took a look out the window, I saw a clear sky and a full moon. Holy Cow! Now my commitment was being put to the test. If I wanted to really put forward a quality effort in the spirit of Sofobomo, now was the time to put up or shut up.

One hot shower and a thermos of coffee later, I was on the road. I reached the Point-of-Rocks bridge at precisely 6am. I would shoot until 8:30am and then head into the office with the rest of rush hour.

I have been studying maps of the region and making sure I get off of the main road and wander as much as possible. I made several exposures at the bridge in the beautiful morning light and headed north. I took a small road off of Route 15 and headed towards Adamstown. On the outskirts of the village, I saw the scene pictured above. Halt! Find a place to park the car!

Camera on tripod, 45mm TS/E Lens already in place, mirror-lockup enabled. A couple of degrees of tilt to keep the near and far in focus, and a small amount of shift for better framing while keeping the camera back level - this image is the result. Because I have photographed so long with a view camera, I tend to see and line up landscapes and architectural images with camera movements already in place. This was no exception.

My morning outing was a success. I had several keepers that are now swirling in the mix to be part of the final 35. Life is good. I didn't even notice the rush-hour traffic into the office or the fact that I was a little tired yesterday evening............In my opinion, this is what it is all about.

One technical note, the standard Canon 45mm TSE lens will not allow you to have shift and tilt movements on the same axis. This is contrary to the way I work with a view camera. I had Canon Technical Support modify all of my tilt/shift lenses to put the tilt and shift controls on the same axis. Canon's newest 24mm TSE lens has the ability to rotate the axis already built-in eliminating the need for a custom modification. Progress comes in small doses.......
]]> (George Pappas Photography) TSE early morning tenacity commitment Adamstown Thu, 11 Jun 2009 17:04:00 GMT
Some Photography Logistics Like Many, I have been struggling with the migration from film to digital.  Prior to the digital revolution, I was an affirmed view camera (5x7) and 6x7 photographer.  I preferred the smooth, descriptive tonality that larger formats could deliver compared to 35mm.  Furthermore, I loved the ground glass of the view camera - what a great way to see!

Of course, it had its drawbacks.  it was slow (maybe not a drawback if it promoted careful seeing); it was less portable; less flexible; took more time in the darkroom, etc.......

Now with the digital age, I am using a Canon 5D.  I use tilt-shift lenses (24/45/90) and enjoy reasonable control over the image with tilts and shifts.  The 5D is a remarkable camera with "medium format film" image quality...from what I have read, the 5DMKII is yet again better...

I love the camera, but I still struggle with the viewfinder; especially when the camera is on a tripod with a tilt-shift lens.  The image is simply too small and not bright enough for my taste.  I have added the "high precision" focusing screen which gives me more manual focusing feedback at the expense of some brightness - it is a worthwhile tradeoff.  As we all know by now, the productivity and control of digital is off the charts.....the real reason to use this camera.

I am also trying something different for this project.  I am using my terrific Canon EOS 1-V with SPUR DSX film and developer.  This film/developer combination is the latest in a long line of "ultra fine grain" continuous tone films from Germany.  Erwin Puts reviewed the film on his site and stated that it had an enormous exposure range (14 stops) with exceptional grain and sharpness.  The main reason to try this is to be able to use the EOS 1V's wonderful viewfinder.  It is night and day compared to the 5D; I can actually see "into" the image with the 1V whereas I have to look hard to try to see the same thing with the 5D.  If the film/developer combination delivers good scannable (and printable "I still print") negatives this will be a great adjunct for Black & White landscape work.  I'll let you know how it turns out.

My guess is that Canon's current 1 series digital bodies have the same wonderful viewfinder, but they are out of my price range (and the are very heavy).  The evolution/revolution will have to wait until product/pricing/innovation cycles run their course.

]]> (George Pappas Photography) TSE view camera 5D tilt-shift film Mon, 08 Jun 2009 18:54:00 GMT
First Good Day of Shooting
It was beautiful today and I had the opportunity take "a good ride" and make some images for my project.  I did a survey of the region starting at point-of-rocks in Maryland, and driving up to Emmitsburg  just south of the Pennsylvania border.  The region has all of the "feel" that I hoped when I decided to do my book project of it.  There is enough variety, humanity, nature, and Americana to go find.  I had a pretty successful day - I will write more on the logistics.

Here is an image I made in Brunswick..

]]> (George Pappas Photography) catoctin TSE Sun, 07 Jun 2009 18:41:00 GMT
Sofobomo project begins!
Update on Blurb/Booksmart use. I spoke with the nice folks at Blurb, they will not have the unlimited PDF version available for our use this time around......they are working on it.

I will have to use a simple layout systsem and output to PDF....anyway, for now it is about getting enough quality images to edit from....

Will start posting as I accumulate.
]]> (George Pappas Photography) Mon, 01 Jun 2009 20:49:00 GMT
Happy Mother's Day
Where would we all be without the love and support of our Mothers?


My start date is still one to two weeks away.  I have planned my route and am working on my shooting times.  Because Route 15 is 40+ minutes from my  house, I will have to make several trips on weekends and early/late during the week.  I will start before work to get some early morning light time and leave at the end of the day for some late-afternoon light time.
At this point I will probably start my book in two weeks and take some more time planning the book layout/planning end of things.  I don't want to get hung up on publishing issues and have t them squeeze the time for effective book layout and editing.  To create 35 quality images, there will have to be enough decent images to edit from..........

Blurb or?  I reached out to Blurb management this week and hope to have a conversation this coming week.  If they would agree to let sofobomo project participants create a book and preview all of the pages, I think it could be a winner for sofobomo and Blurb.  I'll keep everyone posted on my progress.

Happy shooting this week to all.............................
]]> (George Pappas Photography) book publishing blurb planning Sun, 10 May 2009 17:49:00 GMT
More Book Publishing Logistics
Lulu looks like a good service.  Unfortunately it's book formats are pretty simplistic/album looking and the regular book templates are not very photo-friendly.  Issuu looks like a very classy site but then I would be on my own for publishing/layout software.  I am tackling enough in one month to attempt top-quality work without having to learn a full-featured layout program.  If anyone has any ideas, I am all ears........................
]]> (George Pappas Photography) lulu blurg issuu Thu, 30 Apr 2009 18:34:00 GMT
Start Date and Project Thoughts and book publishing options
I am starting my project on May 15th. I am going to use the extra time to finish my planning for this project. I tried to make a very fast book in blurb two nights ago..when I saved it as a PDF, it was unusable with watermarks, etc. so I am not sure how this will work. I will mess with it more this weekend and see how it goes. My goal is to make a seamless book that I can have available POD and PDF for the site and my family/friends and people who I photograph on Route 15 as part of the project.

The project...why/how/what? I feel that the best part of committing to sofobomo is that it forces you to put aside all of the reasons why you inevitably delay (life gets in the way) and forces you to push ahead. I know what a genuine photograph of mine looks like, feels like, but it takes repeated effort to weed out the merely good and produce enough work for 35 quality images that hang together.

I chose this section of Route 15 between Leesburg and Gettysburg because I love driving it so is quiet, scenic beauty, some small towns, some important history. this will be good fodder for the way I photograph the world. I try to capture the "otherness" that see when I am out there (though I am not successful often enough). my website is

The other important aspect of Route 15 is that I have to get out there often enough during the month to say and capture what I want to will take repeated trips, different times of the day, etc. By pushing, we grow and learn.

I took this image of my daughter this past weekend. While a "family" image, it is also about the light/mood and much more. As I was walking down the hallway, I saw her there and the light and arrangement just screamed at me ..PHOTOGRAPH THIS NOW. so I did.

. In the end, light giveth and light taketh away....
]]> (George Pappas Photography) book publishing blurb sofobomo Wed, 29 Apr 2009 19:37:00 GMT
Some Production Logistics
I have spent some time this weekend working with some alternative methods of B&W conversion and image management.  I am trying to get and simplify a small list of techniques to produce the kind of images that I want for the book.  The power of digital is its extreme flexibility and productivity - the challenge of digital is its extreme flexibility - too many choices. 

Below is an image converted to B&W using Nik Silver EFX pro.  The original image was taken in color - I like this conversion; it maintains the airy feeling of the day and the crispness of the sea air.  This dune was on a lovely stretch of Rehoboth beach..

]]> (George Pappas Photography) Nik Silver EFX Pro lightroom Sun, 19 Apr 2009 18:09:00 GMT
The Planning continues
First, because I tend to make landscapes, and images, that are about people, not of people, I
will force myself to be more engaged with the people I meet during this project and do more portraits. I have always tried to meet, not be bashful, bring back prints, etc. but I want to take this to a newer level for this effort. Second, I will have to be my own best ruthless editor to produce 35+ quality images for this book.

Here is an image from one of my reconnaissance trips made last weekend. A somewhat mediocre, but competent image of a nice house bursting at the seams with springtime....
]]> (George Pappas Photography) photographic style aesthetics themes Tue, 14 Apr 2009 19:32:00 GMT
The Book Project Begins!
Since I will be shooting and producing the book in a month, it is important that the subject be accessible enough so that I can make many trips to shoot enough and go back enough to produce good work.  this is my first blog on this kind of project.  We'll see how it goes.

I plan to use blurb to produce the book layout and have the book available for on-demand printing.....

According to the rules and intent of Sofobomo, I have to do all photography, editing, writing, and layout for my book in one calendar month.  Pre-planning is encourged.  I am planning right now and will try for a May 15th start date.
]]> (George Pappas Photography) sofobomo publishing book Mon, 13 Apr 2009 19:52:00 GMT