Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Kodak Gallery: Making my own personal photo-filled cookbook { plus, a 40% discount for my readers!}

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My 20 page collection of recipes sampled from this blog made possible with Kodak Gallery's Photo Books software came in the mail today and I was so excited to see the printed results. I was not disappointed in the quality one bit!
I close my eyes and see myself walking through a bookstore, perusing the cookbook section and stopping when I find this: Confessions of a Foodie: A Latina in the Kitchen. The book is slickly designed and filled with gorgeous photos of dishes inspired from my childhood styled and shot in my vibrant palate with short stories paraphrased from this very blog introducing each recipe.

Then I wake up and realize it's only a dream … well, a dream for now anyway.

Until then, I'll have fun sharing my trial run "cookbook" that I had the pleasure to produce last week courtesy of FoodBuzz's Tastemakers Program and Kodak Gallery's Photo Books software.

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The photo book comes with a slipcover, making it feel all the more special.
I've made photo books before and this Kodak interface is just as easy to use as what I've used previously. Easier, in fact, because while I was laying out the book, I realized I needed a vertical instead of a horizontal for this page or that page and it was a cinch to add more photos from within the page layout window even after I started the design process. They automatically loaded into the photo tray at the bottom of the design interface. The software also alerted me when a photo I was using was too small for proper reproduction. Since I keep all of my full-size photos on a separate backup drive, it wasn't a big deal to go back and switch out the lower resolution file for a better quality one. If all your files are optimized for web, you might want to go back and locate your original files before uploading the photos you want to use.

Here's a peak at what the interface looks like:

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Considering that this is Kodak, I really shouldn't have been surprised at the quality of the book itself. It's quite lovely. I picked a high-gloss black cover and the pages themselves feature a thick satin finish paper. Color is spot on (I uploaded files with an sRGB color space) with only a little gain in the darks. 

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This is the opening spread. While designing, you can change easily between a photo page, a text page or a combination of both. Also, the page templates allow for multi-photo options though aligning multiple photos is a bit of a crap shoot. You can see from this shot that the right-hand photo of the upside down margarita glass doesn't line up with the larger photo on the left. I finally gave up trying to get them right.
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My only complaint – and it should be noted that the average user will most likely not be bothered by this – is the inability to manipulate character styles. What I mean by this is that I did not have the ability to italicize or bold individual words or change headline size. Any changes I made to the text affected the entire text block. Considering that I am a professional graphic designer, not being able to off-set my recipes from their introductions was a real frustration. But like I noted earlier, the average user familiar with basic word processing will not note this as a problem. And it defnitely won't be one if your book is primarily photos with captions or short introductions.

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Ready to make a book of your work?
Here's a discount Offer from Kodak thru August 31, 2011!

I would definitely recommend this service if you're looking to put together a collection of recipes, document a family vacation or special occasion. It makes a lovely gift, too. And what's really awesome is that Kodak is offering all of my readers 40% off on a medium or large hardback photo book creation of their very own from now until August 31, 2011. 

40% off! Yay! 

Use this link, www.kodakgallery.com/creativity, to redeem your discount.

Go. Create. Enjoy! And share here with me if you take advantage of this awesome opportunity. 

Until next time, 
Ani

* THE FINE PRINT: I received a discount for the creation of this book as part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker program with Kodak Gallery.

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