Friday, 30 March 2012

2011 Your Best Digital Photos Competition Winners

Pic by winning photographer, Best Digital Portrait category, Chan Kwok Hung, from Hong Kong, who scored $1000 for the top prize.
We have just published the winners of this huge photo competition. We had an unprecedented number of submissions, and an amazingly high quality of entries. Very inspirational. Well done to the winners and many thanks for everyone that participated. This competition will be repeated in the near future so you'll get another chance to outshine the competition! Click on either image to view the rest of the competition winners.
Best Digital Landscape winner, Sue Robertson, won a cool $1000 for her excellent landscape.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Best from the February Portrait Class


February Portrait Class Feedback from Robin Nichols on Vimeo.
Pic by Stephanie Flack

Pic by Stephanie Flack

Pic by Stephanie Flack

Pic by Stephanie Flack
Pic by Phil Young

Pic by Phil Young

Pic by Phil Young
Pic by Niall Chang

Pic by Niall Chang

Pic by Niall Chang

Pic by Niall Chang
Pic by Kusum Singh

Pic by Kusum Singh

Pic by Kusum Singh
Pic by James Peppiat

Pic by James Peppiat

Pic by James Peppiat
Pic by Mary Flynn

Pic by Mary Flynn

Pic by Mary Flynn

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Great After Sales Sevice from Blurb


I've just finished my 14th book using Blurb (www.blurb.com). I thought it appropriate to make some comments on its service. Most of my books have been travel oriented, records of a big trip and, once in Blurb's online bookstore, are categorised under "Travel". There are more than 26,000 books in this category. Blurb is a popular company producing, in my opinion, an increasingly impressive product at a reasonably affordable price.
However, when I recently received my 14th book I was dismayed to see that the front page title appeared dangerously close to the outer right-hand edge of the book.
Experiencing one of those awful sinking feelings when the wrapper is opened for the first time, I compared what I
physically saw in the book with the original Booksmart document onscreen. I realised that the programmers only provide a bleed warning in the Edit Mode, not in the Preview Mode which I always use for final checking.
The inside cover endpapers were also slightly bubbled, as if not pressed flat during the adhesive process. This was less a concern to me than the almost truncated title. Even so I still mentioned both problems in an e-mail to Blurb's Support Centre.

I received an automatic reply by return stating that somebody would be in touch with me shortly. I've contacted support on other occasions and found that, yes, someone always gets back within 48 hours.
Support asked me to take pictures of the endpapers and the bleed issue (above), which I did. Within 24 hours I received a reply, plus a coupon number to the value $200 (approximately the cost to have the original printed) with an apology. I was impressed.
On another occasion, the binding wasn't tight enough so that the pages slumped out in between the hardcover edges. I had the same quick response from Blurb Support and received a credit within 48 hours.
The reason for writing this is to highlight that, with so many custom books being printed by Blurb (not sure how many, but it must be tens of thousands per month) I don't find it unacceptable that the occasional book has quality problems. But what's satisfying is that Blurb is big enough not only to admit $#%@ happens, but also to do something about it. It might not happen for all your perceived problems, but at least this time it leaves me a happy camper currently planning my 15th book.