Oh my, it has been quite a while since I have done a review so please pardon me if this is disjointed and confusing! I cringe just a bit when I see my site as there are some pages I'd dearly love to revamp but unfortunately don't have quite the gumption to begin the task. Perhaps after finishing this review the King gumption will strike me.
This review is comparing the 2012 rerelease of The Avonlea Album. The Avonlea Album was originally published in 1991 and contained images from the first two seasons. The album contained quite a nice collection of publicity shots, stills, and scenery with the photos being interspearsed with quotes from The Story Girl and The Golden Road.
The revamped book now features images from all seven seasons leaving the text pretty much the same as before. While the redone book sports about twenty new images it has also left out a handful of images and some of the images that are the same have sadly lost qualitiy. The cause of the lost quality could be a number of things. There are a few images that had issues in the original book and still have issues in the redone book (pg. 13 in old book i.e.). The ones that are not sharp or have noise in the old book will most likely look about the same. However, there are images in the original book that are absolutely beautiful but in the transfer to the new book they lost their magic. What happened, I'm not exactly certain as there are several possibilities. The most likely cause is that the images used for the original album could not be found but later and lower quality scans of the image still existed.
Some of the photos have been inverted/mirrored, which really does not bother me- unless it's an image of Gus playing the fiddle that's been inverted (which yes, was done). Some photos have received a facelift via a photo editing program which, if done correctly, can end in wonderful results. Unfortunately, this was not always so. For example page thirty-eight in the orignal album features absolutely beautiful late afternoon shots of Olivia, Hetty, and Sara. While the lighting may be a touch warm (too much brown) it nonetheless sets an excellent mood. In the redone album these two images have been altered with all the warmth taken out which caused the charm to be taken with it.
There are also photos that I have seen printed elsewhere that are wonderful sharp and crisp yet in this book they are pixelated and fuzzy. My guess to what happened is that the images used did not have a large enough dpi (dots per inch) and if there is not enough dpi then the image will be stretched from the center causing pixelation and fuzziness.
It is great to see this album to be printed again and overall it is well done but I cannot say that it is an improvement over the original album. Yes, it is improved in the sense that there are more images in the book but the book does not seem to be have redone with love and care and that is the most important element when releasing a product. I was disappointed when I first thumbed through book. I had been hoping that the older images had been retouched and that some of the new images would have been "rare".
If you do not own the original album and are unable to find one I would recommend getting this album, but I would recommend to wait for the price to come down as even to a devoted fan it is not worth the thirty dollars that is being asked for it. If you own the original album I can't say that I would strongly recommend it as most of the images are the same and the few images that have been added are all images that have been used in other Avonlea related releaes. I will say that the photographer in me is probably making me pickier about the images than most people would be so it could very well be that another person would not be as bothered by the quality.
Some of the page layouts are quite different and others are quite similar. Below are a few examples of the similar layouts.
The image to the left is absolutely dastardly, but it is also very poor in the original book. I just don't understand why it was used or why they just didn't use the image on a smaller scale as then the lack of focus (and pixelation) would be much less noticeable.
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