301 Inkjet Tips and Techniques

A great book for photographers and digital artists about inkjet printing and printers.
301 Inkjet Tips and Techniques
An Essential Printing Resource for Photographers
By Andrew Darlow
Thomson Course Technology PTR, 2008
ISBN-10: 1-59863-204-3
ISBM-13: 978-1-59863-204-0

This amazing book is aimed squarely at helping photographers with all those issues we have with inkjet printers and getting the results we want.

Divided into sixteen chapters, the first eight contain tips by Andrew and guest artists and photographers write the second eight chapters. Each chapter has a short introduction before getting into the tips. Some chapters are broken up into sections with their own introductions.

Andrew Darlow inkjet printing book review

Contents are:

  • Getting Started
    • Decide Whether Inkjet Is Right For You
    • Using Outside Print Companies
  • File Preparation: An Overview
  • Choosing an Inkjet Printer
  • Color Management
  • Black and White
  • Inkjet Paper, Canvas and Coating
  • Portfolio and Presentation
  • Specific Printer Tips and More
  • Inkjet Paper Tips
    • Using Hahnemuhle’s Photo Rag and Other Coated Watercolor Papers
    • Using Crane’s Museo Silver Rag
    • Printing on Uncoated Fine Art Papers
    • Displaying Work Using Posterhangers
    • Achieving Saturated Color on Art Papers
  • Art Reproduction, Canvas and Finishing
    • Art Reproduction: Image Capture and Color Management
    • Printing on and Coating Canvas
    • Choosing and Coating Inkjet-Compatible Materials
    • Techniques for Hand Coating Canvas
  • Portfolio and Marketing Tips
    • Web Site, Portfolio and Marketing Tips
    • Creating a Commercial Portfolio with Inkjet Prints
    • Making Innovative Promos and Portfolios
    • Making an Advertising Portfolio with Double-Sided Inkjet Paper
  • RIPs, B&W and Color Management
    • Using Qimage for Standard ad Panoramic Printing
    • Printing with the ColorBurst RIP
    • Printing with the ImagePrint RIP
    • Printing with the StudioPrint RIP
    • Using Inkjet Printers as CMYK Proofers
  • Exhibitions, Editioning and Image Tracking
    • Exhibition Tips and Techniques
    • Organizing, Tracking and Documenting Limited Editions
    • File Naming, Image Tracking and Backup
  • Packing, Lighting and Framing
    • Lighting for Exhibitions and Proofing
    • Protecting, Framing and Packing Your Work
    • Lighting a Space Effectively and Efficiently
  • Unique Art Applications
    • Using inkAID to Precoat Nonporous Surfaces for Printing
    • Making 3D Stereo Cards with an Inkjet Printer
    • Creating and Hanging Irregularly Shaped Art Pieces
    • A Close-up Look at Lenticular Imaging
    • Printing on Uncoated Papers Using inkAID Coatings
    • How to Print Over Deckled Edges
  • Additional Tips and Print Permanence
    • Creating an Exhibition Scale Model
    • Creating a Digital Composite
    • Creating a Magnetic Wall for Print Viewing
    • Windows Printing and the Epson Stylus Photo R1800
    • Printing on CDs and DVDs
    • Better Printmaking
    • Doing Your Own Print Permanence Testing
    • “Alphabet Soup” and Standard Cut Paper Sizes

This is a darn good book, with a couple of small issues. The range of coverage is excellent, being both broad enough and yet having enough depth to solve real issues. The way the book is organized makes it easy to either read it from start to finish or dive into it on demand when an issue needs a solution. This later would be my way of using this book.

Andrew’s tips in the first half of the book demonstrate true wisdom and nicely share his experience of printing photography. The section on printer choice will help many people, though the information is of necessity fairly brief and will date quickly (providing a good excuse for a new edition, I guess).

The second half of the book brings in other expertise and nicely extends and rounds out the first section. Andrew has done a good job choosing people for this section who not only know their stuff but also know how to communicate what they know.

There is some really great stuff in this book. I really liked the coverage on portfolios and other promotion items, coverage of coatings and coating techniques and paper and canvas choice. Others will undoubtedly have their own favorite sections based on their own interests.

I do have a few small issues with the book. Many of the tips are very brief and actually form a sequence covering one topic, so I would sometimes count five or six tips in some parts of the book as really only one tip. Because of the two sections, there is some duplication. It is not that big an issue and is, in some ways, an advantage since it extends the perspective. There are also a few tips that could probably have been left out of this book because they are off topic, such as the one on creating a website. But these are all pretty minor. My only significant complaint is that the resource information has to be found on the companion website. Call me old fashioned but I tend to think that at least website addresses and phone numbers should be in the book for the references within tips, with additional information off on the website. Now I can understand why this is an attractive approach and it is probably in practice not that big an issue because you will mostly use this info to go to a company’s website and this way does save you typing. But it means some of the value of the book is lost without the website and it will limit some people.

Despite the above minor issues, this is a great book. The information is appropriate, I’ve noticed no errors of fact and it is beautifully illustrated. The companion website extends the book nicely. Andrew has done a great job choosing the people for the second half of the book and their contributions are great too. The early sections will greatly help people looking to buy their first decent printer or upgrade, while later in the book their printer use is nicely extended with great options and ideas. Obviously it doesn’t cover everything (no book can), but it is a very useful addition to the literature covering this area.

This is a great book to keep near your computer and printer. Highly recommended.

Podcasting Pocket Guide

If you are thinking about podcasting and want to read a small, yet authorative book, this is the one.
Podcasting Pocket Guide

Podcasting Pocket Guide
By Kirk McElhearn, Richard Giles & Jack D. Herrington
O’Reilly Media, 2006
ISBN: 0-596-10230-5

Tempted by podcasting but don’t know what you need to know to do it? Not ready to dive into a heavy but fantastic book, like Podcast Solutions, then this could be the book for you. Truly pocket sized and all of 100 pages in size, it manages to be authoritative and yet concise.

Chapters include:
*    Finding, Subscribing to and Listening to Podcasts
*    Starting Out in Podcasting
*    Formats for Your Podcast
*    Editing Your Podcast
*    30 Great Podcasts

Don’t expect all the answers in such a small book, for example there is no coverage of the hardware side of things. But there is enough in this book to get you thinking properly about whether to podcast or not, or whether to dive in deeper before making the decision. You’ll find coverage of software, planning a show, listening critically to other podcasts to learn, getting your show out there and more.

It is small, great and worth the money. For a brief but pretty comprehensive book on podcasting, this is it.

The Teamworking Pocketbook

A pocket sized guide to teambuilding and making teams work right.
Teamworking Pocketbook

The Teamworking Pocketbook
By Ian Fleming
Management Pocket Books, 1999
ISBN: 190377621X

This little 94-page book manages to pack a huge amount of sensible advice into a tiny package. It is organized as single pages on a single topic, with related topics gathered together into chapters. The chapters are:
*    What is a team?
*    Challenges facing teams
*    How to build a team
*    Leading the team
*    Potential team problems
*    Successful teams
*    Reading list
Cute illustrations also fill the book and add to the message.

Because of its size, this is a book that stands a good chance of being read. Plus because of its arrangement you can dive into individual pages or read it through in one sitting, whatever suits.

If you have to either work in or, more particularly, lead or encourage teams in your organization, this is a really good, easy to read and cheap source of great information.

The E Myth Revisited – Why Most Small Businesses Donâ

The E Myth Revisited is a classic and must read book for people in business or considering getting started in business.
E-Myth Revisited Book

The E Myth Revisited
Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It
By Michael E. Gerber
HarperCollins, 1995
ISBN: 0-88730-728-0

This is a classic book, even as a revised edition of the original The E-Myth. This book takes you through a completely revised way of thinking about business and your role in it.

Chapters include:
*    The Entrepreneurial Myth
*    The Entrepreneur, the Manager and the Technician
*    Infancy: The Technician’s Phase
*    Adolescence: Getting Some Help
*    Beyond the Comfort Zone
*    Maturity and the Entrepreneurial Perspective
*    The Turn-Key Revolution
*    The Franchise Prototype
*    Working On Your Business, Not In It
*    The Business Development Process
*    Your Business Development Program
*    Your Primary Aim
*    Your Strategic Objective
*    Your Organizational Strategy
*    Your Management Strategy
*    Your Marketing Strategy
*    Your Systems Strategy
*    A Letter to Sarah
*    Bringing the Dream Back to American Small Business
*    Taking the First Step

I would say the core idea in this book is that the thinking and reasoning of why we often choose to start our own business is not the thinking pattern that will lead to a successful business. It is easy to get trapped into working in our business. We often start a business because we feel we can do something better than others that we see, often our boss. Or because we can do some thing better than we see many others doing it and feel we can and should turn this skill into money.

So what this book sets out to do is to overturn our thinking and help us to get our thinking right from the beginning, or if we are already in business, before the foreclosure or closing down sale sign goes up. It does this by taking you through the problems with conventional thinking and tries to substitute a good way of thinking that can carry you through the inevitable issues. Illustrated with lots of personal stories to put things in perspective, it is a surprisingly quick read, as you yearn to understand more and change your thinking.

The fact is that this book has done precisely that for countless business people all around the world. It is simple, direct and easy to understand. It may not be so easy to put into practice, depending on how disciplined you are, but I can say that this book went a long way in changing my ideas about business and getting my business on a much sounder basis.

If you are in business or contemplating starting a business, whether in the creative industries or not, you need to read this book, listen to the audio book or whatever it takes. It will help you work your business better, rather than work in your business and be trapped in the process.

The Power of Nice

rnA book that argues that there is a better way than the ruthless, cut throat and self-absorbed approach to work and relationships that is often pushed as the best way to get ahead.
The Power of Nice
How to conquer the world with kindness
By Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval
Inspired Living, 2007
ISBN: 9781741750959

This seems to be an Australian printing of the ideas in The Power of Nice: How to conquer the business world with kindness audio cd, published by Oasis Audio, 2006 by the authors and Jay Leno, or the authors’ book The Power of Nice : Eight Ways to Kill the Business World with Kindness, published by Doubleday in 2006.

Based on the Nice People Finish First principle, the book sets out to show that the way to success is to be nice. This runs counter to all the books and common knowledge that says otherwise, but it makes sense. Having never felt comfortable with the win at all costs approach, both because it did not feel right and because it seemed like a good way to generate a lot of long-term negative karma for only short-term gains, I had resigned myself to not getting as far as I might. However this book, illustrated with lots of examples from the author’s own business lives, tends to show otherwise.

This is a fairly short book of around 120 pages, so it is a quick read. It is broken up into the following chapters:
*    The Power of Nice
*    The Six Power of Nice Principles
*    Bake a Bigger Pie
*    Sweeten the Deal
*    Help Your Enemies
*    Tell the Truth
*    “Yes” Your Way to the Top
*    Shut Up and Listen
*    Put Your Head on Their Shoulders
*    Create a Nicer Universe

The book makes a strong and compulsive case of using the power of nice to guide everything, from the way your business treats employees to how you negotiate. Filled with personal experience, I found it a very inspirational read and, I think, offers both a moral and more effective philosophy for how to run your life. The good thing is that you can read this book, decide to experiment and put it to the test to see if it works for you.
Given it is such a quick read, give it a go, try the ideas and see for yourself.

iPhoto 6 – The Missing Manual

iPhoto is a great piece of software and this latest version covers lot of the bases a digital photographer needs. This book examines it all.
iPhoto book review

iPhoto 6
The Missing Manual
By David Pogue and Derrick Story
O’Reilly Media, 2006
ISBN: 0-596-52725-X

iPhoto comes with new Macs and is part of the iLife collection. But there is no written manual so you are stuck with reading online and electronic documentation. This book helps you to get the most out of it.

Chapters include:
*    Welcome to Digital Photography
*    Composing Brilliant Photos
*    Beyond the Simple Snapshot
*    Camera Meets Mac
*    The Digital Shoebox
*    Editing Your Shots
*    The iPhoto Slideshow
*    Making Prints
*    iWeb, Photocasting & Network Sharing
*    Books, Calendars and Cards
*    iPhoto Goes to the Movies
*    Screensavers, Applescript & Automator
*    iPhoto File Management
*    Troubleshooting
*    iPhoto, Menu by Menu

The first part on photography is a bit weak, not because the info is poor, but just that it is such a big topic that the book can’t help but be superficial. Once it gets into Part 2 the book does a great job of taking you through this excellent application. From getting your images into iPhoto, to organizing them and then finding them, the book taught me a thing or two about this application. Then it takes you through the editing and enhancing process. Part 3 of the book looks at getting your images out there and in use, from creating slideshows and movies to book and calendar printing. There is also good coverage of managing photos, backing them up, etc.

If you want to know how to exploit fully the potential of iPhoto 6, this is the book for you.

Switching to the Mac â

For the increasing numbers of Windows users who are switching over to the Mac, there lies a different way of working. They need help with that transition and this book provides it.
Switch book review

Switching to the Mac – Tiger Edition
The Missing Manual
By David Pogue & Adam Goldstein
O’Reilly Media, 2005
ISBN: 0-596-00660-8

With so many people making the switch to Macs from Windows, accelerated by the ability to run Windows via BootCamp and Parallels. Now this book does not cover BootCamp and Parallels, I’d expect that in the next edition I would guess, but it does cover everything else a Windows person needs to know.

Organised into fifteen chapters, the book walks you through not only the system differences but also the user interface and issues with common Windows software. Chapters include:
*    How the Mac is Different
*    Windows and Icons
*    The Dock, Desktop, Toolbar and Sidebar
*    Programs and Documents
*    Five Ways to Transfer Your Files
*    Transferring Email and Contacts
*    Special Software, Special Problems
*    Hardware on the Mac
*    Getting Online
*    Mail and Address Book
*    Safari, iChat and Sherlock
*    Accounts and Security
*    System Preferences
*    The Freebie Programs
*    Installation and Troubleshooting

This is a great book. It is the sort of thing I wish I had when I made the Windows to Mac transition, but of course that was back on OS 9 days. Even just the chapter on moving your email and contacts is, in practice, worth the asking price of the book. Also surprisingly helpful for the switcher is the Special Software, Special Problems chapter. The authors take you through a wide range of the software people use on Windows and discuss whether these are available for the Mac or, if not, what are suitable equivalents. They are honest where there are no satisfactory equivalents.

There’s good coverage of moving files across, networking, configuring the system and using the free applications that come with the Mac. There are screengrabs where you need them and good, insightful information.

A good book for those doing the switch.

Flickr Hacks – Tips & Tools for Sharing Photos Online

With so many using Flickr as one of their main ways to display their images, there is much need for a book like this.
Flickr book review

Flickr Hacks
Tips & Tools for Sharing Photos Online
By Paul Bausch & Jim Bumgardner
O’Reilly Media, 2006
ISBN: 0-596-10245-3

This book should appeal to Flickr users from just beyond the rank beginner to the serious, advanced user. It starts off with the basics of getting your images onto Flickr and then rapidly moves beyond that.

The book is organized into the following chapters:
*    Sharing Photos
*    Tagging Photos
*    Viewing Photos
*    Community
*    Maintenance
*    API Basics
*    Custom Applications

Frickr is much more than just a place to post your images. With a complete API (Application Programming Interface), Flickr has many extensions and can be customised and integrated into your other web sites via the API and things like intelligent use of RSS feeds.

The book includes 50 hacks, from Hack # 1, Store, Sort and Share Your Photos to Hack # 49, Make a Photo Mosaic and #50, Make a Slideshow. Along the way there are a great cross-section of tips, like Make a Contact Sheet and Map your Contacts by mixing Flickr with Google Maps. Some of the hacks require PHP or other web scripting, many don’t and are more ways of getting what you want through the Flickr interface. The book gives you enough information to modify or go beyond the described hack if you want to.

If you are looking for ways to take your use of Flickr beyond the basic level, this is the book for you. Recommended.

FileMaker Pro 8 – The Missing Manual

FileMaker is one of the most useful programs to all sorts of computer users. It is just off most people’s radar. This book should help to make it more accessible.
Filemaker book review

FileMaker Pro 8
The Missing Manual
By Geoff Coffey & Susan Prosser
O’Reilly Media, 2005
ISBN: 0-596-00579-2

So many of us need to track information in one way or another. Many of us do this on scraps of paper, some use card files or electronic equivalents, some their word processor or others Excel. But many of us do not think about using a database.

FileMaker is one of the two, big database products for desktop computers. The other is Access. However, while Access is a Windows only program, FileMaker is a cross platform application, running on both Mac and Windows. In addition many of us believe it is easier to use than Access.

This book sets out to take you from the very beginning with what is a database up to making serious applications using FileMaker. Chapters include:
*    Your First Database
*    Organizing and Editing Records
*    Building a New Database
*    Layout Basics
*    Creating Layouts
*    Advanced Layouts and Reports
*    Multiple Tables and Relationships
*    Advanced Relationship Techniques
*    Introduction to Calculations
*    Calculations and Data Types
*    Advanced Calculations
*    Extending Calculations
*    Scripting Basics
*    Script Steps
*    Advanced Scripting
*    Security
*    Exporting and Importing
*    Sharing Your Database
*    Developer Utilities

This book achieves all it sets out to do. The chapters gradually build your knowledge from what is a database to how to use FileMaker to the more advanced topics. It does this in a logical and excellent way, never leaving you struggling for understanding. You can dive into particular chapters or work through the whole book, doing the exercises yourself. The best way to use this book is to read some of it and then go to the computer and try what has been discussed.

I’ve used this book myself in building a complete database system to manage my web hosting clients and their hosting accounts and domain names. The key and area to concentrate on with this book is understanding just what a database is, how they are structured, table relationships and such. Once you have this worked out, the rest flows pretty easily.

So why might a reader of The Digital ImageMaker want to play with database software? Well, what about keeping track of your sales of artwork, your wedding photography clients, commercial photography clients, web site work or publication history of your images? If you are in business in any way in the image making area there are probably many ways that you can use a database. Filemaker is a great way to do this and this book will help you to do it.

iPod & iTunes – The Missing Manual, Fourth Edition

The iPod is less intuitive in some ways than you might expect and this book aims to bring you up to speed very quickly on the power of the iPod.
iPod & iTunes Book

iPod & iTunes
The Missing Manual, Fourth Edition
By J.D. Biersdorfer
O’Reilly Media, 2006
ISBN: 0-596-52675-X

For those new to the iPod experience, this book sets out to fill in all the gaps and make you comfortable in exploiting all the potential of your iPod.

This book is organised into the following chapters:
*    Meet the iPod
*    The iPod Sync Connection
*    The iPod Shuffle
*    Digital Audio Formats
*    iTunes for Macintosh and Windows
*    iPod Multimedia
*    The iTunes Music Store
*    iPod Games and Other Extras
*    The iPod as External Drive
*    Connecting the iPod
*    Hot Hacks and Cool Tools
*    Troubleshooting

For many of us the idea of a whole book on using an iPod seems overkill. But not so to others. Plus the iPod is actually quite complex, when you include syncing files, adding your calendar and address book details and using it as an external hard drive. When you then add the issues of converting video to work on a video iPod, you get an extremely complex situation with a lot to learn.

This book does a great job of covering all you need to know, whether you are on a Mac or a Windows PC. It covers all the bases mentioned above, plus loads more. There’s coverage of connecting the iPod to other equipment, like your car radio, using the iPod to make presentations, converting video to the right format for the iPod, etc. Plus, of course, good coverage of using iTunes to best advantage, sharing iTunes libraries and podcasting.

If you are new to the iPod and happy to read a book to get up to speed very quickly, this is the book for you.