Some of the coolest gifts are personal. So looking for good Photobooks and there are billion providers it seems. A quick google found a great review and for quality (and price) they like adoramapix.com. I love Adorama as a general photo site and mpix.com is the other site I've meaning to try. Both are targeted at higher end folks so this is for high quality stuff 🙂
Spent time hacking away at Adoramapix.com and I'm impressed. It is a flash application and never crashed. Built a whole photo book and never felt like I needed a client application. Very fast (I do have an iMac Core i5 though ;-). Here are the tricks if you are doing this:
- Be careful how you create the gallery, it has a very strange idea about sorting. The photos came from many different sources, so EXIF information was bad. I finally figured out I had to hand copy into the "book" area. The distinction between gallery and the book itself is a little wierd. Also it loses its sense of "custom" sort very quickly so work fast. I think there is a bug where it scrambles things. Anyway easiest way is to hand insert and then "autofill" to get all the photos in there.
- I like chronological photo books, so worked from the front adding photos and creating little themes and then from the back. The 38 page book needs 78 or so photos, so I loaded 108 or so and that meant lots of the new photos were left over, so I started from the front and then from the back. This worked pretty well.
- The ordering process is a nightmare. Got a Server 500 error from Chrome and from Firefox, but worked fine on Safari. Think the .net framework they use is quite sensitive on their commerce software, unlike their photo editing stuff.
- The sharing stuff is also completely broken. The artificial URL stuff seems broken and you get 500 errors as well
- Anyway I order the book and they claim it will come by Christmas 🙂 Unfortunately, it still hasn't arrived. Sad, they sent me a note saying they just couldn't make Christmas work. Too many orders, so make sure you have plenty of time
- For color correction and so forth, they actually look at each photo in turn an tune them, if you have a color corrected monitor, you can use their color profiles. They use Fuji Color for their books with a good tutorial on ICC profiles at Dry Creek Photos. But basically you choose Print Preview and give the printer ICC as the Fuji Archive Color and then the preview will be WYSIWYG. Make sure to turn on black point compensation and usually Relative Colormetric is correct unless you have a lot out of gamut colors in which case Perceptual can be better.