Posts tagged ‘consumer guide’

June 21, 2012

Modern Wedding Book Trends: Vintage Style Photography

Old is new this season. Vintage imitation has been in for Save the Date cards and wedding invitations for quite a while and now the trend seems to be extending to the the wedding albums. You certainly don’t want the whole wedding book to look vintage unless your wedding was staged in a vintage style – Roaring 20s, 30s Hollywood, 70s Disco…

Usually, you would want to have some vintage elements incorporated in the design. This can be sepia-toned photos, artfully grainy or faded photos for the background images of the layouts.

The book cover stylized as an old photo will make for a nice decorative element on your shelf.

Compare to the original photo below. Before converting it into sepia, PhotoHand designer retouched the image by eliminating the “view spoilers” – the pipe and the pigeon at the groom’s chest level. Then the photo was brought to the most fitting lightness and color level to produce a bright picture.

 
MODERN WEDDING BOOK TRENDS:
Vintage Style Photography
Black and White Photography
Vignetting

November 16, 2010

A New Twist on the Season’s Greetings Tradition from PhotoHand.com

Tired of the same cookie-cutter greeting cards? Looking for new gift ideas? This holiday season check out the new generation of highly personalized greeting card design launched by PhotoHand! There are no two cards alike – PhotoHand takes your favorite photo and integrates it with a unique graphic design to create a montage. As an option, have your child’s photo combined with the photo of her drawing as the background.

Orders can be placed online and this will cost you only $11.95 while you get a very special keepsake unlike the mundane prefabricated options offered by other companies. PhotoHand can also facilitate printing at a reasonable cost for you if you don’t have a favorite printer.

PhotoHand photo card offering extends to personal events, like birthdays, bachelorette parties, bar mitzvahs, baby showers… You can order a creative collage of several photos at $5.95 per image. Such gifts are fun, original and as personable as they get.

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August 11, 2010

Point-and-Click Tips: How To Avoid Blurry Pictures

Modern digital cameras equipped with automatic settings make it easy to take beautiful pictures of your family.  Still there are some tips to remember to avoid pretty common photo defects that can not be fixed with photo retouching. We’ll cover them one by one and give you very simple practical tips to avoid these mishaps.

Our first topic is picture blurriness. We, at PhotoHand, quite often get request to sharpen blurry photos. This can be done only to some extent before the image turns pixelated. So how to avoid blurriness?

First of all, use a real camera, not a phone camera. Even if your phone camera takes multi-megapixel shots, there are a lot of other technical parameters that are missing from it to deliver a quality image.

The second common problem is “shaky shots”. A digital camera is very light and there is a big probability that it could be easily shaken or swayed when you take a shot.

We suggest you always hold the camera with both hands.

When taking a shot, assume a steady and stable position to avoid any shaking or wobbling of your camera that will result in blurring in your pictures. If you are standing, make sure that you are on level ground and that your feet are shoulder width apart. If possible, lean against a wall or a tree.

If possible, do not hold your camera at arm’s length as this could cause swaying of your camera. Keep your elbows close to your sides.

When kneeling, rest your elbow(s) on your knee for support.

If you have a DSLR camera, your left hand must be placed around the lens and the bottom edge to support the edge of the camera.

If you are still getting shaky pictures, it is normally recommended to use a tripod or a monopod (a one-legged tripod). We don’t see these as a practical solution for a mom. But there is an easy-to-carry lightweight (4.8 oz) alternative to tripods and monopods – SteadePod. It resembles a stainless-steel tape measure – you attach one end to your camera, pull the retractable 6′ steel cable down to the ground, hold it with your foot, and the slight tension on the cable gives you a steady camera position. This device costs $24.99 at B&H and can be ordered online.

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October 26, 2009

Consumer Guide to Photo Book Printing & Binding

Not all photo books are created equal. When consumers come to PhotoHand to order a wedding or family book, our first question is what kind of printing and binding they prefer. So, how to choose what photo book you want?

Based on the type of paper and binding used in the production, photo books can be of three kinds: Flush Mount Albums, Coffee Table Books, and Lay-Flat Photo Books.

How to choose printing and binding for photo books

Options available for all the types:
custom photo book design or templated design
– custom photo cover or fabric/leather/vinyl cover with a monogram or without
– UV coating

Flush Mount Album
Flush mount albums have thick, unbending pages with printed photos dry-mounted on cardboard. The covers are mostly made of leather, leatherette fabric, or vinyl.
ADVANTAGES: The book opens flat allowing to see the seamless continues design through the page spread.
DISADVANTAGES: The pages are thick as cardboard which makes the book too heavy and difficult to flip through. Also, the most expensive kind of the three.

Coffee Table Book
If printed at a good printing company, the book looks like an art book sold at Barnes and Noble. Coffee Table Books have been successfully replacing Flush Mount Albums in the wedding album, family, maternity and baby book market. The photo paper pages can be reinforced with UV coating that will make them as thick as business cards.
ADVANTAGES: The book definitely looks more contemporary and elegant. Price-wise, the most affordable of the three options.
DISADVANTAGES: Frequent handling can eventually weaken the binding or cause paper cracking leading to tear at the binding.

WARNING! If you opt for a coffee table book, you might decide to use one the online services that lets you drop photos into templates and send the book into print at a click of a button. This is a cheap solution that probably serves some purposes depending on your expectations. We wouldn’t recommend this for a family memories book. The samples that we received from cheap printers invariably had some defects: front and back covers differed in size, the paper was yellowish (probably recycled) which made the photos look dull, and the stitching was sticking out luck a sore thumb when you opened the book. Top-quality printers only work with photographers and designers and avoid taking orders directly from consumers because there are a lot of technicalities involves.

Lay-Flat Photo Book
A relatively new “hinged paper” technology introduced in January 2008. An integrated flexible hinge, allows the book to open flat like a Flush Mount Album though the book still has flexible photo paper pages making the book manageable. The photo paper pages can be reinforced with UV coating that will make them as thick as business cards.
ADVANTAGES: The most durable binding make the book resistant frequent handling. Through slightly more expensive than an average professionally made coffee table book, a lay flat book is still very affordable.
DISADVANTAGES: Compared to Flush Mount Albums, the design spread has a visible separation line at the binding, though with skillful design that keeps this fact in mind, the separation between the pages will not ruin the visual perception of the collage.

As you can see there pluses and minuses in each option, but Whatever type of printing and binding you pick for your photo book, PhotoHand will create page designs to match the requirements of of your chosen technology.

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