Folio instruction

Looking Down

Key: R20090905-172122

I haven’t fallen off a cliff, just swamped at work lately.  But I’ve still been thinking and reading about folios.

Today I ran across these two “visual workshops” (a DVD based instruction guide) offered by Brooks Jensen (who has obviously been thinking about these things for some time now; I’ve mentioned his site before).  The price seems reasonable and I am planning to order at least one of them:

  1. The Folios Workshop: How to design and produce “folios” of your work.
  2. PDF Publishing: From a pile of prints or digital files to a finished PDF publication.

I’m pretty happy with the approach that I’ve taken to create PDFs, so I’m less inclined to buy the PDF publishing one, but I still may just for curiosity’s sake.

Two other links I’ll throw out today are:

Renaldi seems to make use of PDFs for quite a number of things photographic, and Ilachinski seems to make portfolios via Blurb books.  Both are interesting sites to browse for inspiration.

I was not really as impressed with Blurb for folio-level photo quality, but perhaps it makes sense as a lower cost folio option.

5 thoughts on “Folio instruction

  1. Eric, Thanks for sharing the links.

    I was blown away by some of Richard Renaldi’s photographs in his PDF “5 days in Namibia.” My only complaint with this publishing format is the PDF files can become rather large (in this case 6.5mb) and loading time on a browser can become an issue. I have high speed Internet access but it still took this PDF a couple minutes to load–it might have been Richard’s host server. I could imagine that someone with lower speed access might give up and move on. I however, am going to spend more time viewing Richards other PDF documents. 🙂

  2. I have been interested in Brook Jensen’s “Folio” approach, small groups of prints contained in a folder.
    I have tried this approach, and received a few positive comments. Currently I do the whole production/publishing by myself since I have not yet found a printer in my area that will do small print runs on high quality paper. I may end up just doing single one of kind folios. I like the PDF idea, but that opens up another bag of worms, since one does not have control over how a person will view the file. In addition there is that perennial problem with PDF file size.

  3. @Earl,
    I think this is one of the strengths of the PDF for a folio. Because the viewer actually has to commit a little more effort to viewing it, they might linger a little longer over the images. i.e. you get a little more of the viewer’s time than the cursory web glance. Of course I have no evidence to make this claim, it’s merely conjecture, but your comments hint that I might not be too far off the mark: you took the time to download one of Renaldi’s PDFs, and having had to wait a couple of minutes, perhaps decided that you would give it a decent look before you moved on to the next thing. And you liked it enough to view some more PDFs!

    What do you do for an enclosure for the prints? Do you cut your own? I’m at that stage where I want to make a nice enclosure. It looks like Jensen covers that quite nicely in his Folios video.

    As to PDF file size, see the comment above. PDFs give much more control over the layout of the material (photo size, text positioning, etc.). In addition, most people will be using the Adobe reader to view it, which does the proper thing with color profiles (of course, if they don’t have a decent monitor profile it can only assume sRGB). I agree that you don’t have much control over ambient lighting, etc., but then again, if they are viewing a print folio you don’t have much control over that either.

  4. I was trolling the web and found folio covers here:
    I am also considering fabricating my own enclosures, especially since I am now leaning more towards creating single one of kind “Folios”.

    More about PDF’s – Seems to me that to do it right one has to prepare two sets of files, one for print on paper, and another set of files for PDF screen display – I found what looks great on screen looks quite awful on paper (e.g. font size). So I need to think about this some more.

    • Peter,
      It’s pretty clear that you do need to create two different PDFs for print and screen, since the different resolution requirements alone are so different. My print PDF are in the 70Mb range and up–not something anyone would want to download. My PDF workflow creates two different PDFs from the same master images. Since it is based on TeX it’s a pretty arcane workflow to some, but if you are interested check out this set of posts working backward.

      For aesthetic and practical reasons also one may want to have a different presentation feel to the online version, but that’s simply a matter of setting up the templates a little differently.

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