A practical note for those who can count their megapixels.
During my practice, I printed about 500 different photo books. To create a photo book should prepare a layout. Photobooks come in different formats.
Most often I use the formats:
- 20 x 30 - rectangle, portrait / vertical orientation
- 30 x 20 - rectangle, landscape / horizontal orientation)
- 20 x 20 - square
- 30 x 30 - square
Most publishers print photobooks with a maximum size of 30 cm x 30 cm (in my practice I have not printed large format photo books).
The greatest demands on the size of photographs appear just in books 30 x 30.
Take a concrete example: a photobook 30 x 30 (took from here) To print, you need a prepared spread of the photo book. Typically, all photo labs require a resolution of 300 pixels per inch. In this case, the final image should have a size of 6614 x 3425 pixels, which is approximately equal to only 23 MP.
If we talk about photography, then 23 MP is an extreme case when the photo is printed on the whole spread. In reality, only 1 photo is rarely placed on a spread. Usually in my photo books I make 2-3 full large spreads from 1 photo to the whole spread. In all other cases, the spread contains many photos, and their size should be much less than 23 megapixels.
Important feature: a photobook 30 cm x 30 cm with a full spread creates an image size of 60 cm x 30 cm. As a result, the aspect ratio of the frame is 1: 2. Most modern digital cameras take pictures with an aspect ratio of 2: 3. To place such a photo on a 60 cm x 30 cm spread, you will have to crop part of the photo. As a result, there should be a margin of the image for cropping, and the original image for cropping should have at least 6614 pixels along the long side. In the aspect ratio of 2: 3, we get that a picture of 6614 x 4401 pixels is required, which is approximately equal to 29 MP.
A spread based on the original snapshot will look like this:
Considering that there will still be a bend in the center of the book, which should not 'cut' people's faces too much, then a small margin of the original photo is required to move the photo left / right / up / down. As a result, about 30-40 MP images are required for convenient operation. Now the presence of modern cameras with 36, 42 and 50 MP is fully justified.
I repeat, above I considered the extreme case of printing 1 photograph for the entire spread. Such a reversal for the client can make a wow effect. In general, the turns of a photo book are mounted from several photos, such as this:
In the example above, a photobook can be easily compiled with 6 MP shots.
Below I will show the ratio of the size of the spread 30 x 30 to megapixels (with the classic aspect ratio of the frame 2: 3):
24 MP (image height above template height):
I have long noticed that to create a photo book you can easily enlarge photographs and at the same time not really lose as a visual perception of the final product. Printing is not always as demanding on detail and sharpness as a computer monitor. A printed photo book does not have the function of viewing photos in 1: 1 mode, as is done on a computer. The visual perception of a photobook is different from that to which amateur photographers are accustomed at their computers. If you exaggerate, then I have never had any difficulties in creating a photo book, even if I made it from 2 megapixel photos (there were cases, it was necessary to make a photo book from client photos to the phone).
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- If the camera has more than 30 MP, you can easily print almost any photo book, even 30 x 30 with full spreads
- If you approach the book wisely, then you can get by with 6 MP
- For printing, you can use upscale (program image enlargement) without much loss in the visual perception of printing
- I can mount photo books without any problems from any cameras of any size, the size of the source images very rarely prevents me from achieving the desired result
On the topic, you can also look at the section 'Photo Tricks: A Quick Way to Create U-Turn Photobooks'.