Simplest Plug-n-Play Photo Layout?
I have the Creative Suite, but almost exclusively use Photoshop, and this is my question: I want to make a small, home printed photography book which will have very little text, and most likely will consist of several pages of full-bleed one page and cross-gutter two page image placements, and I'm wondering if InDesign is overkill for this project. I like the drag and drop that is in Apple Aperature and iPhoto, but I don't have Aperature, and iPhoto doesn't do two page spreads. I'd like it to be smart enough to know how to handle the other half of an image being on an entirely different piece of paper, and perhaps even take into consideration the thickness of the paper for multi page stacked signatures. I'm finding the learning curve on inDesign to have me pulling my hair out, it just doesn't seem that intuitive to me, but I'm pretty bad at new professional software learning curves. Can anyone stear me in the right direction? The help and tutorials for InDesign all assume that I want to get into very elaborate text rich layouts, and I get lost in that. Any help would be appreciated.
Ultimately, you're referring to whats called imposition. When most layout pages for a book they are doing so in 'reader spreads.' Simply means you're looking at spread as you want to see it in a book. When those files go to a printer, they use software (nowadays) that rearranges the material into 'printer spreads.' This is simply taking the information and making sure that when page two is printed, that (in an 8 page brochure lets say) on the right-hand side of that flat page, page 7 is printed so when it's all folded together, you get 'reader spreads.'
Since you're doing many photos, your catch will be splitting up the images to ensure proper alignment.
If you're doing this yourself, it will bode well to try a test. Take some paper and make a little dummy of how many pages you want. Just take however many pages you want the final to be and divide it by two. That's how many pieces of paper you need. Fold those in half and put them together. Now, number each surface 1 through whatever. Take apart the pages and you'll have the imposition worked out.
Now it's a matter of splitting the photos wherever the fold will occur. If you design the book with all the photos aligned the same, it will cut down your Photoshop work immensly. Otherwise, just make notes with measurements where you will have to save an image as two and place those pieces on the appropriate pages.
Doing this can all be done in Photoshop but depending upon how large of a page size you use, and the # of pages, you could wind up with a lot of storage space needed!
In InDesign, you would just be importing the pictures into two separate boxes. If you really watch your numbers, you could even avoid having to split the images and instead just click on an image with the 'hollow-arrow' and use your arrow keys to reposition the picture within the picture frame.