Posts Tagged australia

Dunalley Fires

Last weekend we took a trip to Hobart in Southern Tasmania to visit some friends.  We took a day trip and headed for Port Arthur.  As we approached Dunalley, which you have to drive through to get to Port Arthur, the scene was eerie.

We first started seeing telephone poles and cables lying on the ground, fences down and paddocks and bushland burnt.  I could only imagine what it would have been like for those living there.  Absolutely terrifying.

Then we came to Dunalley itself.  There was not much left.  Amazingly there was houses destroyed but then a weatherboard home next to it still standing untouched.

I took a few pictures from inside the car with my iPhone as I didn’t feel It would be respectful to get out with the big SLR and lens on.
Dunally Fires
Dunally Fires

Dunally Fires

Dunally Fires

Dunally Fires

The Gorge in Flood

In the middle of the city of Launceston, Tasmania is a place called the Cataract Gorge.  It is the best part of Launceston.  It is a fantastic place to go in the summer, beautiful cliff faces, swimming pools, bbq’s, a chairlift that goes across the gorge, and of course peakocks!

This time of year though, it is even more spectacular.  With all the rain we have been having, the Gorge is in flood.

I was sick of being at home in the house on Saturday so I suggested we get out and have a look at all the water.  Here are some photos of our day.
Gorge In Flood

Gorge In Flood

Gorge In Flood

Gorge In Flood

Gorge In Flood

Gorge In Flood

It was rather loud

Gorge In Flood

Gorge In Flood

Gorge In Flood

Gorge In Flood

Gorge In Flood

Gorge In Flood

Gorge In Flood

Gorge In Flood

Gorge In Flood

Gorge In Flood

This is where the swimming pools and park are meant to be, in front of that building.
Gorge In Flood

Best job or worst? Guarding the bridge.
Gorge In Flood

Accidental pic…I don’t know why but I love it
Gorge In Flood

Gorge In Flood

Gorge In Flood

Blurb Photo Book Review

So as part of my (slow) venture into going into business with my photography I have started looking at products.

Photobooks/magazines, printing, framing, business cards there is so much to think about. Do I want an album I can slip the photos in, do I want one printed?

I like the idea of a printed album so I thought I would try out Blurb for some photo books.

Firstly I had to download the software Booksmart, which is free to download and use, there is an online version of the software available, but I thought as I get interrupted so often I needed something I can go back to if I get distracted.

I found Booksmart very easy to use. It also has tutorial videos and tips, which I ignored and jumped straight into making. When you first select your book, it has various layouts you can choose from, or you can start from scratch and create your own.

I like very simplistic books so I just selected the “photobook” option. You can grab photos directly from your computer or from Flickr and several other online photo storage sites. This was fantastic for me as I have all my photos stored on Flickr.

It is a simple click and drag to put your photos into the page, and you can individually change each layout, add or delete pages, change backgrounds and edit text.

The one thing that bugged me a bit was the layout added the book title to some of the pages and I didn’t notice, I had to go in and erase the title from the pages.

There are 4 choices for the cover of the book, Softcover, Hardcover with dust jacket, Hardcover Imagewrap, and Hardcover, Dust Jacket, and ProLine Linen, which gradually go up in price. There is also 3 types of paper, standard, premium and pro-line, I went with the Lustre in the premium range.

80 pages later, and making sure I had put equal amount of photos in for each child I clicked the order button!

The order total came to $50.54 AUD with $10.99 for shipping. So far the most expensive photobook I have made but I haven’t made many yet!

I didn’t have to wait long, shipping was really fast and soon it arrived on my doorstep! I love getting things in the mail.

I opened it up and admired the lovely shiny dust jacket, with my image on the front. It looks like a professionally made book. Great quality there.

Blurb Photo Book

Blurb Photo Book

Love how this page came out:

Blurb Photo Book

As I looked through I was a bit disappointed in myself. I had failed to notice that if you put an enlarged picture of your child’s head across two pages, it will look odd when it is bound in the middle. This was completely my fault and I will remember that for next time.

Don’t do this:

Blurb Photo Book

Do this:

Blurb Photo Book

I am very picky about how my photos come out when printed, if it doesn’t look like what I see on my screen I get mad. The colours from my photos are pretty much spot on. They look like what I see on the screen and the black and white’s are rich.

Blurb Photo Book

The other thing I am a bit picky about is being able to see the printing dots. Unfortunately in some of the images, I really notice them, probably because the image is quite enlarged.

Close up of a page:

Blurb Photo Book

I had one page that looks as if it hasn’t printed correctly, I am not sure why. It just looks really grainy, not like the image I had on my screen.

Blurb Photo Book

Also about halfway through the book every second page seems to have a line running through the top half of the page, I may need to contact blurb about this. If this were for a client, it would not be acceptable.

The paper is lovely, it is quite thick and has a nice shine to it, and overall the collection of images looks great together.

Blurb Photo Book

Blurb Photo Book

Blurb Photo Book

So how did the blurb book rate overall?

Ease of use: Loved the fact I could download the program and go back to it later, I also found it very easy to use with lots of options to make it the way I wanted.

First impressions: Love the shiny dust jacked and the book looks well made, the paper is shiny and thick.

Picture quality: Comparable to other services I have used, but the dots are slightly more noticeable, but only by the tiniest bit.

Price: Very good price. I looked online at comparable services for Australia, and Blurb wins hands down for the price and what you get for it.

Service: I ordered the book and received it very quickly. No problems there. I will write a follow up after I speak to them about the line issue.

Would I use the service again? Yes for sure, It was so easy and quick to make the book and I am really impressed with how it looks. Would I sell it to a client? That one I can’t answer yet…I will have to test out a few more products first.

Back Cover:

Blurb Photo Book

Disclaimer I received a coupon to the value of $40 which I used to try the service. All opinions expressed are my own.

UPDATE: I went on the website to report my problem and couldn’t get the site to work. I don’t know what the problem was but I couldn’t submit my issue. I sent a tweet to @blurboz and quickly received a reply with an email address to contact. I sent off an email with photos of my problems.

I received a reply from the Australian contact saying she would forward my issues onto Blurb.

For weeks I heard nothing so I sent a follow up email, after the second email I finally got a response. I was offered a reprint of the book or a code to submit my book for printing again. I chose the second offer as I wanted to swap out the photo that looked grainy.

Had the online problem reporting been working I think I would have had a faster response. I tried duplicating the problem but this time it was working.

I am now waiting for my replacement book to arrive, should be soon!