Folios and PDFs

I’ve been experimenting with using PDFs as a way to show off folios. I found an excellent training DVD from the good folks at Lenswork which is exactly this, making folios in the PDF form. You can see the information here about the DVD. And with a incredible price of 80 dollars US, it is a bargain for anyone using PDFs to distribute images, albums or folios.

With the information in the DVD, I had the knowledge I needed to build very usable PDFs and keep the size manageable for downloads or bigger for using media like a CDR or DVD to distribute my folios. I am able to build my shell of a folio using Indesign to layout the folio, add pictures and text. Once I finished that, I could use Adobe Acrobat to make the PDF with actionable areas on the pages. Actionable areas like forward one page, back one page, go to thumbnails etc.

This image shows the thumbnail page from the folio. It shows each image, a title plus actionable areas. Indesign works very well for laying out a master page and then laying out the images quickly.

Commute Thumbnails

Commute Thumbnails

I think that using the PDF tool is a very useful way to show off my images to clients and friends. The format is virtually everywhere and on almost every platform.

This folio was born of a few reasons, one of which was that I promised myself to take pictures every day. The idea of taking pictures while commuting came from this idea of shooting every day and what better way to while away time while sitting in traffic then shooting pictures out of the windows of my car. Once I had the idea of the project, I decided it would be an excellent way to learn how to build the PDF folios. So I have completed two goals concurrently, I shot pictures every day for about three months and then learned how to use Indesign and Acrobat to build interactive folios.

The extras were that I found myself changing my routes to get “new” art, I learned to see things in a very different way, a more artistic way since I was very limited in my vision. No getting out of the car, no parking the car on the side of the road for 15 minutes, just see and shoot. Some images came from repeated efforts but some were inspired shots that could not be easily repeated if at all. Most were taken with my D300 and a 50mm lens. I found that while I could take shots with my Point and Shoot, most were not the quality I was looking for but they served well as a initial shot to see if I liked the idea. Zooms lenses did not lend themselves to shooting one handed while trying to drive.

I did learn that my side window tint which is aftermarket is equal to roughly a 1.5 stop neutral density filter on a bright day. I learned that the green tint in the windscreen was ugly but worked really well in black and white.

So in parting, I would suggest to anyone who has an interest in distributing images to review the Lenswork DVD on PDF Publishing. I would also suggest that you think about personal projects that might not be “traditional” such as shooting a folio out the windows of a car while driving around.

You can download my demo folio of “Commute” here.

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This entry was posted in editing, editing software, photography, technique, training, workflow.

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