Musings on Photography


Posted in Adobe InDesign, book design, PDF, software by Paul Butzi on August 21, 2009


Today I finally got my template thing in a state where I could give it a test drive.

I started from the template, with the goal of creating a portfolio from 22 images I’d made in one particular theatre. As a bit of a test, I timed the process. From the time I opened the template to the time I had generated a PDF and saved the InDesign file for the portfolio, it took me about 10 minutes.

In the process, I managed to find two different problems with the template itself – one with the way I was handling vertical images, and one problem I haven’t quite figured out with margins, the gutter, and left and right hand versions of master pages. I will have to go back and fiddle with that some.

The margin problem is forcing my hand, and I guess I will have to make some decisions about whether portfolios intended solely for web viewing should have spreads, or just single pages. I am leaning very slightly toward spreads, but it’s awfully close. Part of my reason for this slight leaning is that in terms of presenting images, it’s useful to have spreads. You can put text on one side and an image on the other, or two related images side by side. Thoughts on this?

The bottom line, here is that although I might not be able to get as much book/portfolio or print/online fusion as I had hoped, the process of having a template all set and ready for you to drop images into it to set up a publication can really, really cut the time it takes to go from a set of images in a directory all the way to the final PDF.

3 Responses

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  1. Anita Jesse said, on August 21, 2009 at 5:08 pm

    That ten minutes sounds swell. No doubt you will work out the rest of the bugs in the current template.

    I have been back and forth on the single page versus spread. I definitely lean toward the spread, but admit that I am not firmly convinced one way or the other. Single page feels like a slideshow to me and, so far, that doesn’t feel right.

    It’s exciting to follow your progress on this. I am grateful that you are sharing your thoughts.

  2. Ove said, on August 22, 2009 at 11:24 am

    Your spread is restricted to have only two related images. I have not tried it, but wouldn’t it be possible to create a one-pager, with either the width or the height of the page equalling of all images together. Well, you could lay out them as a matrix too, compared to the linear approach I proposed first. Linear suits some portfolios, matrix others, it depends how the images are related to each other.

  3. Lois Elling said, on August 24, 2009 at 8:40 am

    10 minutes sounds very impressive to me. I am enjoying and interested in reading about your progress. I hope to turn my SoFoBoMo online book into a printed one, but have to make some layout changes to it to do so. You’ve offered up several things to think about (such as the difference between a portfolio and a book). Thanks for sharing!

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