General, photography, technical

Throwback Thursday: Yearbook

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.

Take care!


culture, landscape, nature, review, seasons, travel, world

2016 – A review in images

dsc_6129-e_wToday, we have the first day of 2017. 2016 is definitely over. 2016 has had 366 days, because it was a leap year. What happened during these days?

First of all, I’m alive, healthy and full of plans for the future. Although, there are a few little things, where I’m able to feel, I’m not 20 anymore 🙂 On the other hand, I was very, very busy for the last 2 months. A bit more than usual. I miss the time to be able to have a look at my friends blogs. I hope, this will change soon in January.

Since this late spring, I’m posting more often on Instagram and I also reactivated my accounts at 500px and Viewbug. Up to now, there is nearly no overlapping with this blog. But, I reduced my activity at G+, because of the huge changes in how to create posts and upload images. In my opinion, it’s way to complicate now, to publish at G+.

In 2016 the weather has had big impact on the country. In late spring and early summer we have had more than 4 weeks of very hard rain. Many region were over-flooded for some time. Houses, cars, streets, acres and lives were destroyed. Later, in summer, the rain was missed were hard in some regions and the lack of rain endangered the harvest. Fortunately, the weather conditions changed to the better. So, the harvest in sum wasn’t thus bad. Although, some farmers have had a very, very bad year.

Over the year I was on several trips. I assembled the best images in a short movie (30 MB), just like I did in the last two years. I put it on my other webspace, to save the available room here on WordPress. Just follow the link. It will open in a separate window of your web-browser

  • In January, I was on Helgoland for seeing the seals.
  • In February / March I was in northern Norway for the Aurora Borealis
  • In May I was in East-Frisia at the Germany North sea coast
  • In August / September I was in Brittany for the summer holidays
  • In November / December I was in the Erzgebirge

The image above is a symbol. Assume, each foot print as a station, a mark or an event of the past year. Assume also, the sand is your life. So, everything happens during a year leaves a mark on your life. Although, you’ll forget several things which happened, many of them stay in your memory and will change you forever. I’m collecting these memories with my images. This blog helps me to remember as well as the photo-books I create after an important trip or at least the yearly review book containing about 50 – 70 image from the whole year.

I encourage you to review your images from the past year. How to do so, I described in one of my tech-posts: “how to select your best photo from the bulk“. Now, take the best of your images and put them together in a folder on your disc. Copying them instead of moving. Now bring them in an order you like: i.e. oder them by theme (landscapes, people, animals, ….) or order them by date. Do so, by renaming them! That’s important to ease the handling in the next step. Give them a numeral prefix 000, 010, 020, and leave room between the prefixes to insert further images between them later.

Now, when having your images sorted properly, go and find a company making a book from your images. I guess, there are some where you live. Usually the companies printing your images are also able to produce books. They will offer either a web form or a dedicated software to be installed on your computer (or even on your mobile / cell phone). Now, follow the advice given by that kind of software to upload your images and distribute them in your book-to-be-created. I’m usually creating landscape shaped books, because the majority of my images is taken in landscape mode. I almost always put only one image on a page to fill the page. For portrait images I put two of them on a page.

The uploaded images are put in a pool area to be used for the pages. The pool is already sorted because of the work I did before uploading them. All kinds of book creation software I know (web-apps as well as installable software), have an option to hide already used images from the pool of unused images. So, I can simply fill one page after another and the book creating process does not last unnecessary long 🙂

The last step is to review and proof the created book. Usually the automated process does some quality checks and maybe even with some basic spell checking. The results of these check are warnings i.e. images are placed out of a page or the image resolution is too low for a selected size. Try hard to eliminate all of the warnings before finishing the book design and placing the order. Don’t forget, to give the book an appropriate name on the cover and the spine (i.e. “My Year 2016”). Below, you can see my yearbook 🙂

In case, you need some more details, help or examples, drop me a note.

Starting this week, I’m changing my schedule a bit. Instead of 3-4 posts a week, I’m trying to publish 4-5 times a week from now on. And I changed the order a bit, too.

  • Monochrome Monday (until now on Tuesdays)
  • Travel Tuesday (an in detail post from a current trip – until now on Thursdays)
  • Wordless Wednesday (simply an image; regardless of current or from the past – unchanged)
  • Throwback Thursday (something from the past; maybe a reminder – new)
  • My Friday post is following the theme “Weekly Photo Challenge” by “The Daily Post”, as far as I have the time for this post. (as before)
    I usually write my posts on Saturdays in advance and schedule them for the proposed time. But, the Fridays post is always ‘live’. So, when I don’t have the time for the post on Friday evening, I’m skipping it.


Take care!