Photobooks again

And so on to another in my occasional series on things to do with your digital photos. I have mentioned making photo books before and there have been a number of services available, but now I have found another South African source of high-quality books and has its HQ in Durban.

It’s called Burblepix and offers a range of photo products and a free Burblepix program to be used to create them with. On offer are photo books ranging from a 24-page 148 mm square soft cover, at R195, to a 24-page 300 mm square hardcover book for R530. Extra pages can be added to any book but cost extra.

The cover of the book I made using Burblepix.

Also available are calendars up to A3 in size, for R250, postcards, and a selection of diaries and journals. I am assured that they are also looking at offering books with black and white-only content, which will make it much easier, and cheaper, for local authors to get a couple of copies of their masterpieces printed.

The software can be downloaded free from the Burblepix website ( ) which also has a number of pages with hints and tips on using the software, examples of different kinds of photo books that you can create, and a number of samples that can be downloaded and used as the template for your own creations.

Using the software is very easy and involves a number of steps including choosing the product you want to create, selecting the pictures you want to use with it, saying whether you want to use an existing sample or start a new design, and deciding whether you want to have the program place all the pictures automatically on the pages it creates.

The options section gives you access to a selection of clip art, cover designs, a variety of page designs, different styles of picture frame, special photo borders called masks, photo effects such as black and white and sepia, and a selection of page backgrounds.

The software automatically generates page designs with varying numbers of pictures per page and you have the option of accepting these, or picking another page design and dragging it onto any page to replace the one already full film Beauty and the Beast online

It’s then a matter of dragging pictures from the list on the right into the frames where you want them and optionally applying a mask, frame or special effect to the picture. If you find that you don’t have enough pictures at any stage, you can always click the plus button and select more.

All the layouts have dotted lines to show the safe area where you can be sure that your content won’t be trimmed away. You can place pictures on the edge of the page outside the safe zone if you want them to go right to the edge of the page in the finished book, but you need to make sure that there is nothing vital in the trim zone.

You can save your project along the way and when complete, you click the order button and the software guides you through the process of payment and submitting the file to Burblepix. You get a chance to preview your photo book, choose a finish, decide how you’ll pay, and whether you want to upload the file or burn it to a CD, that you can drop off at Pinetown Printers.

I put some of my portraits together into a book and I was extremely impressed with the quality of the printing and binding when it was returned to me. The book was carefully packed in a sturdy cardboard mailing sleeve and, even if I say so myself, it looked pretty gorgeous when I unwrapped it.

Using the software was also a pretty good experience and it would be great for most uses. People creating photo books for a living might find that it doesn’t offer quite the same level of control, or convenience, as a professional package but then again, it is free.

Burblepix is highly recommended.



2 thoughts on “Photobooks again

  1. Hi. Check out the book site I made a book with them in early 2008 – excellent product.
    They are a lot cheaper than these local outfits (even allowing for post). Blurb in particular allows for variations in templates etc.

    • Hi Claude. I have got the Blurb software and have been meaning to do a book with it. Their prices do sound good and the only snag I can see is the longer delivery times. I’ll report back when I have tried them.

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