Oxford School of Photography

insights into photography

Tag Archives: Blurb Books

Making a great travel book

Blurb make digital books, and very nice they are too. If your think of yourself as a photographer at any level you should be committing your best images to some form of hard copy. Being on line, having them on your ipad, whatever form of screen based display you use it is not as good as a hard copy.

What makes a great travel book? It’s not just the location or the camera. A superior travel book is one part photographer’s eye, one part careful curation and editing, and one part thoughtful organization and construction. A great travel book doesn’t just collect images, it tells a story. It conveys the meaning of a place and it gets inside the place—it may even tell a little bit about the author and why they travel.


We asked four photographers for tips—a pretty international group, representing the United States, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Thailand. We asked them about the books they made, the cameras they shoot with, and just what it is that they’re looking for when they hit the road.



neil-hebert-this-is-china“…I can tell you that I had about 600 images to chose from, and about 100 made it into the book. You have to be picky when you’re putting your work out there, plus the images have to work.”
Neil Herbert



“The reactions have been phenomenal, my 25 limited-edition copies sold in a week and the normal edition is still selling. I have received so much encouraging positive feedback from everyone who has seen the book and it seems to have taken on a life of its own.”
Flemming Bo Jensen

Read the whole of this article/advertorial here

Blurb Books – The Photo book

I can’t believe you do not know about photobooks, they have been around for a few years now and the quality and range keeps improving. I have made books using different suppliers for a number of years. My first was an iphoto book, later I tried a Photobox book, then an Aperture book and recently YourPhotobooks. I have moved around with suppliers to get an idea of the quality they produce and the ease of book assembly. This week I completed a second book on my trip to Laos over Christmas and the new year and this time I went for Blurb Books. It is possible these are the market leaders although I am not sure how you could work that out. Their overall quality is excellent and their technical sophistication, explaining colour space, providing icc profiles etc far exceeds those of the other suppliers I have tried.

©Keith Barnes

Blurb Books a photography book by Keith Barnes about Laos

If you are interested to look inside my book click on the cover and it will take you to the Blurb site where you can preview it’s content.

I decided to go for the largest size available and as I had shot rather a lot of images whilst away it has a lot of pages. I tried using the templates for pages supplied but found this didn’t suit the layout I wanted. One of the very nice things about Blurb is that you can create your own page templates and save them so it is possible to define something unique to your purpose. Not only do you have choice of book sizes but also cover types, hard or soft back, wrap around or dust jacket, there are about 5 different paper types you can select also. This really is as close to a bespoke service as you could want.

The cost reflects the service, I always budget about £1 a page for an A4 photobook, this is pretty cheap if you think you can get several images per page. I probably have about 200 images in my Laos book and even at the cost of £70 for the 150 pages that is still only about 40p per image and many are full A4 in size. I decided not to try to make a profit on my book but Blurb allows you to set your own price and make profit on the difference when someone buys it. You can also put your books in their library for the world to peruse and choose to buy if they like your work.

Why am I telling you about this, well I have always thought of photography as something that has a point when it becomes physical. Viewing on screen on line is OK but if you want to collect your work into something that actually reflects your portfolio then prints or books are a must. You will be surprised at the reaction from family and friends when you show them a book(s) of your work and you will always have something to hand to show, no need to boot up the computer.