This is post thirteen in a series about my experiences in publishing a book. The series starts here.
Now that I’ve decided on page size for the book, it’s time to think about the full bleed images. For those of you not familiar with the term, in the printing business, full bleed refers to images that run completely to the edges of the page, with no white space showing. In order for this to work with the printing tolerances on the press and the cutting tolerances when the pages are trimmed, the images need to be slightly larger than the actual page size. Jerry recommended that I make the images an eighth of an inch larger in both directions, giving me an image size of 9.625 x 12 1/ 8 inches.
Most of the pictures in the Staccato series of quite a bit wider than they are tall, and none of the images that I’ve selected for the book happen to be precisely the right shape to be printed full bleed. To see what I was up against, I asked Lightroom to sort the images by aspect ratio, which, in my case, puts the squarer images at the top. Now I had the images ordered in such a way as the top images would have to receive the least amount of cropping to fit the page. I created virtual copies of the top 20 or so images, set a crop preset in Lr, and came up with the best crops that I could. Then I spent a long time staring at them, and eliminated several as me not acceptable.
I had feared that trying to force the images into a Procrustean bed dictated by the page size would be a frustrating and fruitless process. My fears were unfounded. I was able to find acceptable croppings for many more images than not. Indeed, I found the task interesting and pleasant, and one that gave me new insights into many of the images.