While it´s quite practical to have all your photos on your phone or laptop, I belong to the small group of people who loves to print out their photos and glue them into books. I always enjoyed browsing trough my grandparents and parents photobooks. Having something to hold in your hand, the best moments. And you won´t find an instagram post in your attic 40 years from now.
So I was really delighted when Saal Digital , a German photo printing company which offers High-End photoproducts, offered me to test their photobook.
I decided to go for the probably most extra Modelbook ever.
Creating the book
To create a book you have three options:
The One Minute Photobook function can easily be found in the webshop. It´s super easy, just choose the kind of book you´d like and make it unique with the paper, number of pages and cover type. Then upload your photos and place them how you please. It´s a easy software which includes different layouts and an autofill option. Even if you don´t have a clue about whats going on, you can create a nice photobook without any problems. I tried this option, but since I´m slightly more advanced in design I decided to use the second option.
I downloaded the Design Software, where you can take advantage of the diverse design options and templates. I needed a few minutes to work myself into the program, but then it was still very straightforward and I really enjoyed playing around and using all the features. The software gives you instant feedback on printing quality based on the image resolution used, and other informations, which I found very helpful.
They also offer a Professional Zone for those who who prefer to use InDesign or Photoshop.
Saal Digital offers a test file, which gets printed free of charge, that can be used to calibrate your own screen. It also offers ICC-profiles.
I went for the 28 x 19 Photobook, matte photo paper, 32 pages. After rechecking every detail for a million times, I am going to confirm the order by loading the file on Saal Digital servers.The process is really quick and intuitive, you can pay by paypal and after a few minutes I received the confirmation order and a link with which I can monitor the progress of my order. Let´s the waiting begin.
Unfortunately my order arrived two hours after I boarded my flight home for christmas, so I had to wait 2 more weeks before I could see my photobook. (But that´s definitely not Saal Digital´s fault, the printing and shipping was really quick! The Royal Mail not so. But it was Christmas time though.)
First thing I came home was ripping the package apart. The book is well protected with a tough, cardboard outer box and a extra layer of foam. A big plus for me is that they don´t waste any packing material, the book sat snug in the box.
If I had to describe my first impression in one word, without a doubt it would be : woaahhh.
I love it!
The cover is exactly like that of a art print book you can find in bookstores. The quality of the prints is amazing. I chose the mat paper, the colours are strong and pure, the ink flow is very well controlled, which makes your images really sharp. Even my really dark pictures look amazing and not smudgy at all. The backs of each print are glued together resulting in thick pages which are a pleasure to flip through.
Because the book is bound flat, you can print a panoramic image spanning an entire spread without a horrible line cutting right across your photo. All in all the book feels artisan-produced.
I´m really impressed by the quality!
Would I reccomend the Saal Digital Photobook?
Definitely yes! I would recommend it to all my friends, family and people in the photography scene.
I review it as someone who isn´t an expert, so I can say that even if you´re a amateur and want your holiday photos or your baby first year printed: Go to Saal Digital. It´s a easy and inexpensive way, best value for money.
But I would also recommend it to every professional photographer or artist who wants ones art printed in high quality.
All in all, the High-End Photobook feels like it justifies its name.
The print quality as well as the bound quality of the album is very high indeed. You will get your money’s worth here.
The only bad thing for me is, that you pay £5 extra to remove the barcode from the back of your album. But it´s really small, so it isn´t too annoying!
I will order from Saal Digital again for sure! Next time for my Scotland memorys.
Thanks to the photographers: Darja Bylik, Blake Lumen, Rachael T, Miako_San, Claudia Wycisk, Goodvibescreative