Blurb gets ebooks – CEO open letter

I just had this land in my inbox:

An Open Letter from Blurb’s CEO

Hello Customers, Partners, and Friends,

This is only the second time I have written one of these open letters, so I guess it takes something special to get me to put pen to paper, or in this case, fingers to keyboard.

Recently, I was rummaging around on my hard drive for the very first slide deck we created to pitch the Blurb idea to the venture capital community. The file was dated September 2004, which means that fully seven years ago we were either prescient, or we seriously lack imagination — either way, we have come to this vision, now.

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Useful ImagePrint article at ImagePrint Today: The Platen Gap

ImagePrint Today have published a useful article about the platen gap and how to set it using the ImagePrint RIP.  I’m a new user of IP (ImagePrint) and of particular interest in this article is the fact that it usefully points out that the media selection within the IP print dialogue has no bearing on the amount of ink applied to the paper because that information is supplied to the printer within the ICC paper profile.

Read the full article…

Snapseed updated with improvements – v1.1.0

An update is available for Nik Software’s Snapseed iPad app today.  Details below of what has been up updated.

At the moment I cannot open a RAW file as the update suggests.  When I choose to open an image I have imported with the connection kit then Snapseed opens only the embedded jpeg rather than doing a RAW conversion.  This is what happened before with the original version so I cannot see what the different is with v1.1.0.  I must say though that it was quicker opening the file with the new version and the image seems clearer.

What’s New in Version 1.1.0

In Version 1.1.0 Snapseed
+ Supports RAW images transferred with the Camera Connector kit
+ Preserves EXIF data on saving
+ Visual enhancements
+ Performance optimizations
+ Various bug fixes and interaction tweaks

DxO Labs releases FilmPack 3

DxO Labs FilmPack 3DxO Labs has released it’s latest incarnation of the highly regarded film simulation software, FilmPack 3.

From the press release:
“DxO Labs today announces DxO FilmPack 3 for Mac and Windows, the latest version of its reference software simulating silver halide film rendition based on DxO Labs’ unique 10 years of recognized expertise in calibration. DxO FilmPack 3 allows photographers, from experts to beginners, to recreate the magic of dozens of black & white or color film stocks in one click, offering limitless creative options for their digital images.”

DxO FilmPack 3 plug-in for DxO Optics Pro and upgrades to DxO FilmPack 3 plug-in for DxO Optics Pro are available immediately from the DxO Labs e-store ( at a special introductory discount. Customers purchasing this plug-in or its upgrade will have free access to DxO FilmPack 3 standalone or Photoshop/Lightroom/Aperture plug-ins when available.

This software is of particular interest to me because for the last few years I have mostly been working in monochrome and FilmPack allows me to keep a look and feel across a collection of images rather than each one looking different in terms of the tonal representation of the colour.

There are discounts to be had if you purchase before the 31st July. I shall be buying my upgrade.

More details on DxO Labs FilmPack 3

Snapseed iPad app from Nik Software

Nik software have entered the iPad application market with their newly released Snapseed app.  Nik Software are better known for their excellent Photoshop and Lightroom plugins, like Silver Efex Pro and Color Efex Pro, and now they have applied their skills and knowledge to bring this new app to the iPad with the claim that it “makes any photograph extraordinary”.  Here’s the introduction text from their web page:

Snapseed for iPad makes any photograph extraordinary and is brought to you by Nik Software, the recognized leader in digital photographic products and technologies. With Snapseed, enhance your photos with one tap. Tweak photos to perfection with Tune Image or selectively adjust only a part of your photo with revolutionary Control Points. Add incredible effects with innovative filters like Drama, Vintage, and Grunge. Share photos with your friends and family with social network support, or print your photos directly in Snapseed.

I have had a quick look at this app and it seems to be rather good.  It has the usual adjustment options, like brightness and contrast, but the features that sets this apart from other ‘photography’ type apps that I have tried are the style presets allowing you to create a cool look to your photograph and then to adjust those presets too.

snapseed screenshot

I use an original iPad and it seemed to be pretty fast and certainly acceptable in terms of speed and responsiveness.

One feature that appears to be missing, or I have not found yet, is a resize option.  I would have expected it to be bunched with the regular adjustment options but I could not see it.  Resizing an image is important to me because I don’t want to be emailing or uploading images that are several thousand pixels across or several megabytes in size so I hope the option really is there and I have just missed it.

Details of Snapseed can be found at Nik Software and I’ll get a more detailed review on here shortly.