Monthly Archives: October 2016

PBlog 7: Product Review

This is a first for me, I have been asked to write a product review for a Photo Book from Saal Digital,
@saal.digital.uk” (on Facebook)
@saal_digital (Instagram)
#saaldigital (Twitter).

I chose to order a 28×19 landscape book with 26 pages and a glossy, padded cover.

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Downloading the software ( from http://www.saal-digital.co.uk/ ) was an easy process, I did run into a problem installing it when my MacBook told me I didn’t have an updated version of Adobe AIR but a quick google search sorted that out (not sure if this would only affect me but I thought it best to include it just in case).
Once you have the software up and running the process is very easy, just import the pics you want in your book and you choose exactly how it’s going to look and how many pages you have in it. The costing of the book updates in real time so you know exactly how much you are paying before you start.
There are a huge amount of options for the layout of the book but not too much that you would be overwhelmed by them and get put off. There are a number of layout options for each page ( I chose the plain layout so i could place the pictures anywhere I wanted).  You can have pics and text or just pics, its up to you.  You can also resize and edit each pic once its on the page and the indicator will tell you straight away if the quality is good enough for that size.  You can also change the colour and design of the background to further enhance your pics ( I opted to try out different designs and colours for each page and it didn’t cost any extra).   I placed a panoramic pic on the centre pages and I think it looks great even though I didn’t go for a ‘lay flat’option.

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All the pages are laid out and numbered at the bottom of the page so its easy to keep up with what you are producing and you can add or subtract pages depending on your preferred design.  There is even a quick option of automatically filling the book with your uploaded pics and then you can just buy it or do some edits to get it the way you want it.

Once you’re done it’s through to the purchase page which offers different payment methods, including PayPal, and different postage methods ( I chose standard delivery and it was with me within the week).

The book was well packaged and arrived in perfect condition, I checked for any discrepancies and couldn’t find any,  I have also been slightly over-bending it and its still not damaged so I guess its going to keep its shape quite well.

So in terms of value for money I would highly recommend this photo book as ideal for keepsakes or even showcasing an amateur portfolio, it’s simple and straightforward design software is safe to download and I’m certain you won’t be disappointed with the end result.

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Phoblog 6 

Theoretically you can now use a smartphone for photography in place of a DSLR, I have indeed taken many a photo on my iPhone which has produced great results: 

(The above was taken at the Swan Pond in the grounds of Culzean Castle).

I have even theorised that a smartphone could be used on a professional shoot with similar striking results although I suspect that if you showed up to be paid for your work that you would be soundly booted out if you pulled out a phone instead of a ‘big camera’.  Recently I found myself with a decision to make; hassle myself with lugging a portion of my gear on holiday with me or leaving it behind and relying on my phone.  I chose the latter.  So, after flying off to Spain feeling like I’d lost a limb, I was determined to see if I could make a reality out of the theory.  I couldn’t.  The camera quality on the phone is outstanding I can’t deny that but the phone fits in my pocket, and stays there.  I saw the photo opportunities but I didn’t have the same desire to whip the phone out, it was a hassle I could do without and although I wanted to be having a relaxing holiday I knew that if I had brought my trusty K3 and a couple of decent lenses I’d have been more inclined to ‘get the shot’, a personal opinion, I know, but it was a bit of an eye opener for me and I, momentarily, regretted not taking it with me. I did have one laugh at myself, while deciding whether to take my camera I toyed with the idea of getting a action camera or at least a waterproof one but I opted instead to buy a waterproof camera case which promised 30 metres of waterproofness.  It took me 5 days to pluck up the courage to try it out and after a successful tissue test I bounded off for the pool hoping for a shoot that would make Shawn Heinrichs jealous.  I got to the pool, inserted my precious phone into the case and checked and double checked the seal (the seal on the case, there wasn’t a seal in the pool), you may be guessing where this is going but you’d be wrong.  The case was great and kept my phone completely dry and safe, the problem was, I can’t blooming see underwater 😳. Sure I can open my eyes and negotiate my way through the pool when I’m swimming but can I see enough to set up a shot? Can I see where the button is to take said shot?, the answer is no, no I cannot.  I emerged defeated from the watery pit, looking more like Wendy Craig than Daniel Craig but at least my phone was perfectly dry and safe.  I’ll need to see if I can me some prescription goggles for my next holiday.