Photo book printing

Note: This article has been, sporadically, updated since it was written. Most of it is still relevant.

I recently photographed a couple of weddings and decided to make photo books, to the happy couples. They where a huge success. Initially I just chose the service that allowed me to pick up the books locally and seemed fair price wise. But then I decided to make a small test to see if I had chosen wisely.

A couple of notes:

  • The is a comparison of consumer services. I’m aware that there are professional services, that will give you a lot more then the consumer service, but also that at a totally different (higher) price.
  • I’m in Denmark, but as far as I can see what I’m writing here will be relevant for most people in Europa, as the service and machines used are probably all the same. It’s probably possible to find what exact machine is being used, but setting may vary, so I’m not sure how useful this information will be.
  • I’m only looking at book printing here.
  • Pricing is current as of December 12th 2008.
  • Both foto.com and digitalshoppen.dk (fujicolor.de) now offeres “photopaper” quality books. I’ve only tested the Digitalshop “Brilliant” print, but haven’t added it yet. The short of it: Better then the good PhotoCare.

Continue reading

New homepage: DejligtVejr.dk

Well, yeah, the domain name is danish, and it translates to “nice weather”. We had a bit of rain yesterday and I got tired of hearing people complain about it, so I decided to do a mini-site with a nice photo slideshow showing some nice weather:

http://dejligtvejr.dk

The site is flash based, which normally goes against my idea on how to make homepages, but this is not really supposed to be browsed. It’s not an information source. It’s just a bunch of pictures. If you can’t see them they are all available on http://gallery.tc.dk

I made the site using the web function in LightRoom, using the AutoViewer from Airtight Interactive. Very easy!

Samsung i780 GPS

I’ve never had a GPS device before,  but one of the place the i780 got points, was on the GPS as I would like to play with one, and especially do geotagging of my photos.

In this blog I run through the software I’ve tested. Please note that my i780 is unlocked and unbranded. Yours may be locked to a specific set of services making impossible to use other GPS software.

My wants and needs are not for navigation – there’s 14 days trail version of Garmin XT included, which I’m still thinking about buying, but there’s also Google Maps which works flawlessly, but needs to download data. So unless you make it cache data before you go or has a “unlimited” dataplan with your provider you are going to pay as you go. And open street map software is getting better…

What I’m looking for is a simple piece of software that will capture my route and allow me to read it into a program that will syncronize it with the photos that I took while walking that route. This blog will mainly concentrate on the logging software. I’ll look at the PC (windows) side later. I’ve limited the search to software that didn’t require payment.

Continue reading

First impressions: Samsung i780

I got my new mobile phone yesterday. A (unlocked) Samsung i780. Not the LG KS20 which was my previous favourite, but thanks to the nice people at clicksalg.dk (I mailed them and asked if they really had it and when it would ship. The reply was “yes. Is today fast enough?”. Cool.), this one became available to me first. It was down to that for me. Which one will become available to me first… :-)

Continue reading

Online back up: Mozy

I’ve about 120GB of photo’s that I backup on DVDs and an external harddrive.

What I’m really bad at, is taking these backups off-site (a.k.a. somewhere else that will not be affected if the house burns down).

I used to copy it all to my own server (it was in a hosting facility), but as I’ve moved everything to a hosting service, that doesn’t make sense any more as they have limited storage.

I looked around a bit and mozy.com, seems to have a good reputation. 5us$ a month for unlimited space, is very cheap for that kind of peace of mind.

I can’t help but thinking that it’s to cheap. But doing the math, it’s rather easy to see that, even with 120GB they will be making money of me within the year:

Back of envelope math: a one TeraByte hard drive is about 300us$, (120/1000)*300=36$. In a raid5 array, every fifth drive (depending on implementation) is for error checking so you need to multiply with 1.25 = 45us$, plus admin and network traffics costs. Probablty still less than 60us$.

The software seems quite okay, and is available for windows and OS X. No linux versions seems to be available, but as I do most of my photo work in LightRoom (and windows), this really is a non-issue for now.

The software has been running for a couple of hours now and is a 0.6% of the total 120GB, it’s not maxing out my upload speed, but it’s doing a good enough job, and it will be done in a week or so…

I’ll let you know what I think of it when I’ve used it a bit more…

p.s. one week later: It’s still uploading. It’s uploaded about a fifth of the 120Gb. I’m not sure how I could mis-calculate that badly, as it’s has been running 15 hours a day all week. As I have 2048Kbit upload the max is closer to 1.5-1.7Mb/s, but I’m unsure if the limit is at Mozy or somewhere between me and Mozy. Actually my theoretical daily upload is 22GB, so my first estimate isn’t that bad and my actual throughput is just really, really bad. My guess is that it’s a lot worse during the work hours, where the nets are a lot more busy.

p.s. One month later: nearly done uploading :-).

p.s.: May 2010: I’ve uploaded a total of 337Gb (uploading is a lot faster now)

Casio Exilim EX-S500 Wheel of Fortune mode…

While hunting for a way to access the service menu on my Casio Exilim EX-S500 pocket camera, I found a wheel of fortune function.

With the camera turned off, hold down [left], and press [Play] (the little arrow in a square), and the camera will randomly flip through all the images on the screen going bip, bip, biiip, biiiip, slower and slower until it stops, displays a random photo and goes “swuuuush”. I’m not sure how drunk you have to be for that to be useful…

I never found the service menu.

Installing Web cam in Asus Eee

My Eee didn’t come with a webcam. I didn’t really think about it and, anyway I just wanted one, and as they are in short supply, I just got what I could get.

Then I found a Eee webcam in ebay. Somebody fried the motherboard of their Eee and was selling of the parts. I end up paying 35au$ including freight. Not cheap, but most of it went to the postal service.

This a picture description of how I installed it – Mostly done as an excuse to do a few macro shots. The shots was prepared for web using gimp on the Eee…

Continue reading

Nokia N810

I held one of these things in my hand the other day. Very beautiful device. A bit heavy, but very sleak and thin. The keyboard seems a lot more usable then I expected.

Didn’t play much with the software but it seems nice.

If it did GSM I would buy one on the spot. As it is now, I’m tempted to get one and a really small G3 phone to pair it with. I wonder what the smalles G3 phone is…

Edit: I’ve read a bit more about and apparently the ever important ability to sync with MS-Outlook is currently missing, making it a non-contender. I guess that the same could be said aboit the FIC Freerunner (previouly FIC1973). Sigh.