2 Replies Latest reply: Sep 21, 2011 6:08 AM by feinberj
feinberj Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

I recently made an 8 1/2 x 11 hardcover photo book in iPhoto, using the files given to me by my wedding photographer.  When the book arrived, most of the prints were excellent.  However, three (out of 90) were quite grainy.  It looked as if they had been fed into Photoshop 3 and converted to 256 colors using a smart dither.  Not grainy, so much as a very, very noticeable 256-color-seeming wandering dither.  I went back to the original files I used to submit the album, and I noticed that, for whatever reason, the three "grainy" photos were all about 25Mb jpg files.  The other 87 pictures, which were extremely clear, were all jpg files under 10Mb.  I also noticed that when the album was sent to Apple upon creation, only about 86Mb was uploaded even though the pictures were all about 6-8 Mb apiece (other than The Big Three).  So it would seem that when the book is being assembled, iPhoto is creating temporary down-sampled versions of the pictures on each page for upload.  If you've got a JPG file that's too big, it would seem that it makes a very bad down-sampled image, which is then reflected on the printed page.


This first wedding book was for my mom.  I've already ordered a second book for my wife's grandmother (I KNEW I should have waited for my mom's book to arrive first!).  I'll try tinkering with the three 25Mb JPG files to get them down to 8Mb or so, and then put them in the book.


The upshot of the  story is -- keep your JPG files well under 20Mb if you're going to include them in iPhoto print books!


BTW this was in iPhoto 2009.

Mac Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.8)
  • Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (134,875 points)

    iPhoto uploads a pdf to the Printers for making books.


    DId you Preview the book before ordering it?

  • feinberj Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I didn't realize previewing a photo book was an option -- thanks for the suggestion!  It's not at all obvious (in my opinion) that the PDF you see in the print preview is the same as what is forwarded to the book-printing subcontractor.  It would be nice if Apple could add a "preview book" button in the Buy Book dialog.


    Anyhow, I can see the extreme graininess in the preview as well, so I can see what I can do in Photoshop, maybe with gaussian blur, so that it will look better when we make our next copy of the book.