Last week, I mentioned my yearbook. Today, I want to tell you, how to create one 🙂
Each December, I copy all my edited / developed images from the past 12 months into one folder of my hard-disk and rename them to have a naming schema YYYYMMDD-HHmmss- in front of the original file name. Next, I remove all tags and stars from them by using a light-table software to have no filtering at all. Now, I can flip though all of my images and give them stars again. Starting with 1 star for the outstanding images. After that, I can filter again and select all images with 1 star and start again flipping though the already marked images and give a second star to the outstanding images. Repeating this three times I got the top images marked with 5 stars.
You can also ask someone for help: a friend or a family member. But, what are the quality characteristics? An images must be sharp (expect, you’re looking for a kind of abstract images), well exposed (having details in the highlights as well as in the dark shadows), a balances horizon and have a good composition. Although, inexperienced people can’t name, why an image is better than another image, they are often able to rank them.
What does good composition mean? It’s not that easy. You can study for years to try to learn what composition mean. Different teachers stress different aspects. But, there are a few basic rules. Instead of writing my own thesis on this, I have a link to Wikipedia for you as an entry point.
Now, that you have a selection of your images taken during the last 12 months, you can start composing the book.
Here you have several options as well. I’d recommend, first finding a print shop and use their software for composing the book instead of creating a pdf and upload the final pdf. Try to tell a story in your book and align the images along that story. You could i.e. order the images chronologically (like a trip through the year), by topic (flowers, animals, landscapes, people, still-lifes, macro, …. ) or by the main color of the images (reds, yellows, greens, blues, monochromes and in-between the mixed colors like purple, orange, turquoise and so on to describe the whole rainbow in your book).
Don’t put too many images on one pages. Keep it simple. Your yearbook is the gallery of the best images of the year. Thus, put only one image in landscape format or max two images in portrait format on one page. Or one image in landscape mode on the left page and 4 complementary images in landscape mode on the right page. (i.e. a big landscape and 4 details in that certain landscape). Pay attention to have the images of the same size throughout the whole book. That makes the book look more even. Look for matching or complementary images on the two pages laying side-by-side. Choose a neutral background color for the pages like white, black or a grey tone and keep this color for the whole book. Don’t use cliparts and big texts. When necessary use a simple and neutral font like Helvetica, Times or Courier in sizes up to 10 point for regular text and 12 point for headlines (that’s bigger than in your newspaper! – try it with your home printer for a single page).
When you need an advice for a certain kind of software for any of the above tasks, drop me a note and I’m going a bit more in detail and name the software I’m using.