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Tips for Landscape Photography with Professional Photographer Randall Sanger


When it comes to Landscape Photography, Randall Sanger of West Virginia knows a little bit about getting those dreamy shots many photographers crave.  Randall Sanger started taking up photography after graduating high school when his parents gave him a camera for a graduation gift. He’d backpack all over West Virginia getting to hike to places that others rarely see.  This gave him the opportunity to hone his landscape photography skills and eventually become an award-winning photographer and author in the process.


So, I spoke with Randy to gather some more insights into some basic tips for landscape photography and working in the industry.  His 10 plus years of producing high-quality images as a professional are sure to bring some insightful tips!



Camera Settings

Sanger suggested some very basic settings when it comes to manual mode while taking landscape photos.  Firstly, he noted that manual is the “way to go” and allows for the most control over your product.


He recommends an f-stop setting of “f16” for a sharper depth of field while setting your ISO to 50 for less noise.  When it comes to metering (a way to measure brightness) Randy always uses the sky for best results.


Tips For Planning Your 2020 Custom Calendar: Learn More


Time of the Day 

We all know, even if you’re not a photographer by trade, that “Golden Hour” is a prime time to shoot amazing landscape images.  But, we can’t all just rely on those perfect moments as they come and go. The other 12 hours of the day still has a landscape to shoot, so I asked Randy his best advice for daytime photography.


“I think using an ND filter or 3-stop filter during the day really helps cut out the harsh light and allows you to shoot throughout the day,” Sanger said.  


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He also mentioned the daytime hours brings about richer blue skies and white clouds than you normally see at night which tourism companies often like to see in their marketing materials.  So, shooting landscape during the day has to be in your bag of tricks if you’re looking to move into the field as a pro!



The Do’s and Don’ts of Post-Processing

Now we all know those photos we see on Instagram with extreme editing and hyper-saturated landscapes.  They may be “pretty” but often that type of editing is taking away from the natural beauty of the landscapes and as a photographer, you shouldn’t have to do a ton.


Randy mentioned his go-to tip, “I have a 3-minute rule where if I’m spending longer than 3 minutes on a photo while editing, I’ll move on.”  He’s always believed in “getting it right in the camera” and does very little post process. In Lightroom, he often uses a few key sliders: contrast, clarity, de-haze, highlights/shadows.  These minor adjustments will often get your photos to where they need to be in terms of post-processing without destroying the integrity of the landscape.


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Capture A Story

Randy spends most of his time in the Dolly Sods Wilderness located in the Eastern part of West Virginia taking clients of his workshops on photography excursions or just shooting for himself.  Here he finds himself immersed in waterfalls and landscapes that represent an area and can be told in varying photo series.

Randall Sanger's Photo Gallery: Explore Now


Sanger mentioned the importance of telling a story when it comes to landscape photography.  Whether you're putting together a photography book on waterfalls of West Virginia or piecing together a custom calendar with stunning imagery, the photographer should be telling a story.


It was great hearing from an expert like Randy Sanger about landscape photography because of his years of experience producing great imagery.  When looking at his physical custom 2020 calendar and website you can see his dedication to capturing landscapes in the state he loves.  


Landscape photography is a great way to show off your skills as a photographer while capturing places we love to visit.  


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Instant Photo Book Pricing: Learn More


Photos in calendars and in blog shot by Randall Sanger.

Perfect Bound vs. Saddle Stitch; Which Book is Right for You?

Tue, Jul 9, 2019 @ 08:30 AM Amber Gauthier 0

Which book is right for you?

One of the most important decisions to make for your next book printing project is what type of binding option to choose. While saddle stitch binding is our most popular and cost efficient form of binding, if you have a high enough page count, perfect bound is also a top choice. In this blog, you will find some information and examples that will help you choose the best binding for your book.

Book Binding Characteristics


There are two main things to keep in mind when selecting your binding: (1) what is your final page count going to be?; and (2) do you have a budget?


What is your Page Count?

One big factor when choosing binding is the minimum and maximum page counts needed for both perfect bound and saddle stitch book binding. Saddle stitch binding works very well for smaller page counts, whereas perfect binding is great for larger page counts. If your book is between 8 and 92 pages, saddle stitch is the most cost-effective choice. If your book has over 28 pages, perfect binding becomes another option. 

Book Requirements

Perfect Binding: Learn More
Saddle Stitch Binding: Learn More


For saddle stitch binding, the higher the page count gets, the more you have to keep in mind about page creep. This is when the inner pages stick out farther than the pages closer to the outer cover. This usually happens when there is a large number of pages or when a thicker paper is being used.

Page Creep in Saddle Stitch binding


A saddle stitch book with fewer pages will most likely not have to worry about creep because trimming may not be as noticeable as with higher page counts. So, if you have a book with a higher page count, perfect binding might be the best option.


Customer Example: Pittsburgh Moto Magazine (84-page Perfect Bound)

Since the majority of magazines you see on store shelves are perfect bound, Pittsburgh Moto, an 84-page publication, chose perfect binding to give their magazine that high quality look and feel you see with other widely circulated magazines. Since perfect binding is superior to the other binding types, it may help increase your return on investment because you can resell these perfect bound books to subscribers at a higher cost.

Perfect Bound Book Printing example

Another cool characteristic perfect binding offers is that you can put text on the spine if your book is thick enough. Since Pittsburgh Moto prints 3 to 4 issues a year, this binding option allows them to add in their magazine name, year and issue number down the spine, as you see with other magazines.

Magazine Printing


Are You on a Budget?

Though perfect bound book binding is more expensive than saddle stitch, it offers a highly professional appearance at a fairly low cost. If you plan on reselling your books, choosing perfect binding can help you sell them at a higher cost because of the higher quality and durability it offers. If you’re on a budget and perfect binding is a little out of your price range, saddle stitch is still an excellent alternative (and is still our most popular binding option). Whether you choose perfect binding or saddle stitch, the quality we provide will still give your printed book a sharp and appealing, professional look.


Customer Example: Dedicated Magazine (60-page Saddle Stitched)

Saddle Stitch Printing Example

Dedicated Magazine is a low-budget, hobby publication for scale model car enthusiasts. Many of these types of magazines (also known as Zines), choose saddle stitch binding because it has a lower cost than perfect bound but still maintains the elegance of other printed publications.

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Instant Perfect Bound Pricing: Learn More
Instant Saddle Stitch Pricing: Learn More

How Much Does It Cost To Print A Book?




At PrintingCenterUSA, we feel that the combination of digital and offset complement each other when it comes to the final price to print a book. We utilize the strengths of each to offer our customers the best of both worlds for quality, price, service and turnaround times.


Digital Printer


With digital printing, there is no make ready.  All work is done to set up a press for printing and the setup is easier, thus lowering labor costs. No printing plates are needed and the file goes directly to press and prints directly from computer to paper. The first copy is up to color. Costs remain constant over all run lengths.


Traditional Offset Printer

Traditional offset printers have much higher nonproductive up-front costs due to longer make ready and set up times. Printing plates need to be made, and there are more setup costs and maintenance associated with making ready. It usually takes about 200 sheets to get your project up to color and ready to be produced. As run lengths increase, costs decline. Short runs under 5,000 are more expensive with most offset printers.


Our state of the art combination of digital and offset printing presses allow us to have lower-cost setup so that short-run booklet jobs don't have the overhead that big offset printing shops have, which means we can do the smaller jobs of 10 to 5,000 booklets and 10 to 15,000 brochures for less.  


We feel that the combination of digital and offset complement each other. Our state of the art set-up and processes allows us to live in the “Area of Best Value” and come through for our customers when quantities vary or are unknown.


Short run digital printing companies only offer quantities up to 500 or 1,000 sheets or booklets. Short run printing jobs under 5,000 sheets or booklets are generally more expensive with most digital and offset printers. At PrintingCenterUSA our offset press fills the gap between 1,000 and 5,000 sheets and booklets. This gives you the best printing costs and the quality of both worlds.




There is a gap in small quantity printing jobs between 1,000 and 5,000 sheets or booklets. Both traditional digital and offset printers are generally more expensive. 


 You can see in the above graph how the combination of our digital presses and printing partners offer the best value for short-run quantities of 10 to 5,000 sheets and books and makes low-volume printing affordable, where with traditional printing methods the per-copy cost would be too high to be practical.


The graph represents a real-life example between four companies. This will help you better break down your job on a per-book basis and get the whole picture.



Binding Options for your Budget

Just like page count and quantity the other crucial pricing aspect to consider when book printing will be the binding option you choose.  You can learn more about our bindery options here. When it comes to price, let’s take a quick look at our two most common bookbinding types: perfect bound and saddle-stitch.  

In the below graph you will see RED (saddle-stitch) and BLUE (perfect bound) lines indicating perfect bound and saddle-stitch binding options.  The specs were set up to the same specs as the perfect bound example above.  Notice the price of saddle-stitch binding will usually be the most affordable option when it comes time to choose a binding.


 The reason for this minor price difference when comparing perfect bound and saddle stitch binding options circles back to time and process.  Perfect binding requires more materials and longer production time. That production time includes roughing up the edges of the book to allow more surface area for the hot glue to adhere to the pages better, and then cure for an extended period of time. This creates a more professional presentation compared to saddle stitch but adds to the cost.  Whereas saddle stitch books do not need the added time to cure (from the glue) because they are simply stapled together.




Saddle Stitch uses two staples for binding.


Perfect Binding allows spine printing.


Also, when comparing the two binding options you have to consider the pages once again to determine if you meet the minimum or maximum page count.  Saddle stitch books are an excellent choice for lower page count projects but can’t exceed 92 pages.  Perfect bound books need a minimum of 28 pages and even then that might not be enough to add the illustrious look you’re going after.  Perfect bound books reach a maximum height of 2 inches so be mindful of your page count.  Once you start adding more pages with the perfect bound option, it allows you to add even more professional qualities to your book like spine printing!


Remember, price shouldn’t be the only thing on your mind when choosing a binding option and it’s important you consider how you want to display your work.  Brush up on some aspects of saddle-stitch here and perfect bound here.



 PDF File Checklist


Pricing Calculator

Using our Pricing Calculator, we took a look (see charts below) at some of our most common average order sizes and formats to give you a better idea of pricing books for your next project.  Whether you’re printing a perfect bound children’s book or deciding how to best showcase your photography to potential buyers, the cost will undoubtedly play a deciding role.




When pricing a book, using our free pricing calculator will help you better accomplish your budgetary goals.  Take what you learned in the above sections regarding binding, page count and quantity and play around with our pricing calculator to get the price you're looking for.  Maybe you need a color cover but only have text on the inside, be sure to change that in the calculator. Explore the printing options that best fit your book printing needs.



Pricing a book doesn’t have to be a complicated process and here at PrintingCenterUSA, we’re here to help.  We offer personable customer service with book pricing experts that can assist you in meeting your financial goals.  Remember when pricing a book for print to weigh the options discussed in this article around quantity, pages and binding variations; these are the cornerstones of nailing down the cost of printing a book.


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Fundraising Campaign for Kids Dance Outreach Successfully Wraps Up

Fri, Jun 7, 2019 @ 10:30 AM Matt Fey 0 fundraising

KDO_Adaptive Dance2

Committed to making a difference in the lives of children with disabilities, PrintingCenterUSA leveraged the power of its national customer base to fundraise for Indianapolis-based Kids Dance Outreach’s (KDO) Adaptive Dance program. During the month of May, PrintingCenterUSA donated a portion of the proceeds from select products to the nonprofit — raising a total of $5,025 for child dancers with disabilities.  


The proceeds from the fundraising campaign will go towards summer programs KDO is hosting, including a course specifically for dancers with Down Syndrome under its Adaptive Dance program.


“With school out, kids often become isolated in the summer months — more so for children with disabilities who are too often left out,” said KDO Founding Director Michael Johnson. “As an inclusive organization, when we bring kids of all abilities together our communities are stronger because of it. We are extremely grateful to PrintingCenterUSA for helping to provide further opportunities to dancers with disabilities.”


Last December, PrintingCenterUSA broke a record in rallying its customer base to make the largest donation ever by a company to the Special Olympics of Montana. The success of that campaign inspired us to continue to make a difference in the lives of children with disabilities across the nation.


We are humbled to be able to help KDO carry out its mission of empowering children with disabilities through the power of performance art, thanks to the charitable giving of our customers.


Custom Greeting Cards: What You Need to Know

Custom greeting cards are a popular practice for sending personalized thoughts and best wishes to your friends, family, and colleagues. At PrintingCenterUSA, we make designing and printing your short-run and bulk greeting card orders a breeze. We offer three different sizes (5 x 7, 5.5 x 8.5, and 4.25 x 5.5), multiple paper stock options, multiple versioning, and two design resources (templates and an easy-to-use online design tool). 

Greeting Card Design Tool FAQ: Learn More


Custom greeting cards are perfect for amateur and professional photographers, artists and designers. Just upload your photos or artwork for any occasion. Artists love how our superb print quality and extra features such as creasing and UV coating ensure a professional showcasing of their artwork. Greeting Cards are a great way to keep your illustrations, paintings, or photographs in focus while simultaneously maintaining and developing important relationships. Order as many lots or versions as you want, though we require a minimum of 25 cards per lot or version. Order flat or folded.


Instant Greeting Card Pricing: Learn More

Free Greeting Card Sample Packet: Learn More



Our printing company sells top commercial quality printing at discount printing prices! We guarantee our quality is anything but cheap. We asked Colin Hayes from Cobenali Creations what made him decide to use PrintingCenterUSA for his greeting card line and he said “I researched several online printing companies and tried limited runs with a few of them. PrintingCenterUSA offered very competitive prices, so I gave them a LOT of my business." After printing literally thousands of greeting cards for his business, he always comes back to us for his next purchase.



A major perk of printing your greeting cards with PrintingCenterUSA is the ease of ordering multiple versions by selecting your quantity and number of versions on our pricing tool. This is perfect for showcasing an entire artistic series. You can have up to 50 versions in one order with as few as 25 of each version.

GC_Versions copy

Cards above by Colin Hayes 

GC_shrinkwrapped-1When you order multiple versions at one time, it's more efficient for us and more economical for you. How we do this is by gang running your versions onto a sheet of paper, drastically minimizing product waste.  When asked about the ease of ordering multiple versions for his custom greeting cards, Colin replied “I ordered 100 each of about 36 different cards, along with 500 catalogs, and they were very organized and [PrintingCenterUSA] kept me up to date on the status of each order. They have always been very prompt at answering my questions.”


4 Greeting Card Tips for Businesses: Learn More

Building Relationships Using Personalized Greeting Cards: Learn More



At PrintingCenterUSA, we offer three sizes of greeting cards: 5 x 7, 5.5 x 8.5, and 4.25 x 5.5. Our most popular size is 5x7. These can be printed either landscape (horizontal) or portrait (vertical). Another way to base your size decision is by the dimensions of your photograph. If you choose to order multiple versions, then it is most economical for all versions to be the same size.  




Online Design Tool 



Once you pick your size, you need to pick out your paper stock. Out of 6 premium paper stock options, we highly recommend 12pt C1S (coated 1 side) for your custom greeting card project. The thick card has a gleaming gloss finish on the front and no coating on the back. The uncoated finish on the inside of the card is perfect for writing—meaning the ink won’t smudge and dries quickly. To further protect your greeting card from scratches and finger prints, try adding a UV Coating!

Greeting Card Examples: Learn More



When ordering your greeting card at PrintingCenterUSA, you’re getting a sharp, professional crease. Creasing is a process that prepares the paper for folding by creating two parallel folding points. Done correctly, you end up with a channel line that creates two distinct sides of a card—One side has a recess or indentation, the other side has a bump or raise.

There are a few major benefits to creasing as opposed to roll-scoring.


Top: Roll-Score; Bottom: Crease


Example of ink cracking with roll-score

  1. Cards fold evenly: When your greeting card is roll-scored, there tends to be imperfections in the folding. The two halves won’t square up right. With the crease PrintingCenterUSA provides, your cards will fold perfectly every time whether we fold them or you do.
  2. Less cracking: A traditional roll-score only creates one stress point for the paper to fold. This causes cracking of the ink at the edge. With creasing, the printed image of on your card will be far less likely to have any cracked ink.
  3. Professional Appearance: Getting your cards creased is a more professional option. The squared edge is consistent and provides that extra finish to your custom greeting card.

You can either have your cards creased and left flat or go ahead and have us fold them for you. Don’t forget to add envelopes to your order! 

PDF File Checklist



Most other printing companies don’t let you know if you are missing out on a good deal. Their philosophy for bulk printing is “the more you print, the cheaper the per piece price.” PrintingCenterUSA  offers the best quality and price for both digital and offset products. We are able to do this because of our top-ranking equipment and press operators. Running our short-run orders on our digital presses allows us to maintain a low per piece price, because of a lower production cost. So whether you need a set of 25 greeting cards, or 2,000 with 10 versions, the price per piece is unbeatable.

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Although greeting cards lend themselves to a more casual communication style, it is still important to ensure that you aren’t missing an opportunity to add recognizability to your brand or current body of work. Add your name, website, logo, and contact information to the back of each card. It also helps to keep a consistent color scheme, font, type of imagery amongst your greeting card versions. For example, a photographer might select his set of greeting cards based solely on color scheme or subject matter.



Free Online Greeting Card Designer

With our online design tool, it is easier than ever to design your greeting cards! No matter how many versions.
Online Design Tool

Predesigned Book Template Downloads

If you have the Adobe design software (Photoshop, InDesign, or Illustrator) then you can choose between one of our many free greeting card template downloads to help jump start your design!


If you are starting a greeting card project and would like to speak with an expert, feel free to give us a call at 800-995-1555. Ready to place your next greeting card order? Visit our website to get started!