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Thread: GRD2 Walkabout at ISO 200

  1. #51

  2. #52

    Re: GRD2 Walkabout at ISO 200

    Helen, no shame whatsoever in self-publishing. And yes, publishers can be a nightmare.

    That said, at its best, fine-art photography book printing is an art in itself, and one that is disappearing, not becoming more common. The "glory" of participating in that waning universe — working with the very printers in Italy, Japan and Singapore who invented and evolved and mastered these processes over hundreds of years — is still a major allure for many photographers, and I understand why.

    At that level of printing, a small run, especially the first run, is still a major expense. In publishing, and in music, there are examples of independents who have done really well, but in general having the machinery in place to manufacture high-quality in a relatively cost-effective way, having the distribution channels lined up to deliver it, and having the long-standing relationships in place to effectively promote that product is a paradigm that — the system still being what it is — hasn't outlasted its usefulness ... yet.

    It's true; very few of us will be so lucky as to have Amilcare Pizzi print or Steidl or Twelvetrees Press publish our monographs! And that's definitely no reason to give up. In the early 90s, mid-level quality illustrated books became way more common — maybe starting with the hybrid-sized Rolling Stone Press bio "Cobain" — and I think they can look fantastic, considering they often sell for $29 vs $150. Taschen is sort of a factory, but it has made a tremendous amount of great imagery accessible to a way broader social strata of interested consumers. That's cool. Personally, I end up spending more time with books that are less precious objects and easier to physically hold — like those great little black Photo Poche books from the 90s. I have some great big books on my shelf, but I don't open them up as often. If a photographer winds up with the option to work with a smaller, less-established imprint, it is worth giving that route serious consideration.

    By the way, I wanted to add to Bertie's earlier post that within the context of illustrated books, it is important to view book packagers — Melcher, Calloway as examples — and designers — Sam Shahid, JP Suarez as examples — as "agents". Within this realm of publishing I've heard of very few literary agents, honestly none, who claim to have the qualifications, energy or desire to shepherd these unwieldy and mostly far less financially-rewarding projects forward, except under exceptional circumstances.

    Finally, my sense is that when the potential for making the best possible images has been truly, fully exhausted, and a collection of work is truly ready to be published, and the person who created the work is truly ready to be published, that all the pieces will fall in to place.

    Finally, finally (I promise): Mitch, if you can enlist the support of the established, famous photographer you know, that may be all you need. Nothing gets the attention of an agent, editor or publisher like an endorsement from one of his/her other clients or authors. Try to ask for something specific and do-able: an introduction. One introduction. There is no such thing as a favor. Celebrities don't — can't — save their struggling friends. But if they can do something tangible and specific for someone whose work they believe is ready, like make ONE ACTUAL INTRODUCTION, then chances are, they will. Good luck.

    Now I must address whatever it is I am avoiding by spending so much time sharing my thoughts here. Sleep? Honestly, I like participating here — writing helps clarify, plus I contributing is rewarding. I apologize that my posts aren't shorter. Way shorter.

    By for now.

    Bye for now.

  3. #53
    Senior Member helenhill's Avatar
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    Re: GRD2 Walkabout at ISO 200


    Very True, Taschen & Rizzoli are Great!

  4. #54
    Senior Member Robert Campbell's Avatar
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    Re: GRD2 Walkabout at ISO 200


    Another set of thoughts - but I'm not really trying to teach you how to suck eggs, nor to extend this thread indefinitely.

    Many books of pix have pictures only on the right-hand page as you look at an opened book. However, many designers seem to feel that people should 'look into the book' rather than looking off to the right - to the extent that pix are sometimes laterally reversed to achieve this - something to do with keeping your eyes on the page. You might, however, feel that there is more tension if someone looks out of the page.

    Similarly, if there are pix on both left and right hand sides, designers seem to prefer people looking at oneanother; again, more tension or drama perhaps if they look out.

    This might influence your editing.


  5. #55
    Mitch Alland

    Re: GRD2 Walkabout at ISO 200

    Bertie, these design questions are interesting and can be seen in the varying designs of Ralph Gibson's early books, in which the size of the photo is changed on some pages creating another type of rhythm. Moriyama Daido's book "Shinjuku 19xx-20xx" published, by Codax/Hatje Cantz, has pictures on both sides with a few blank pages that appear either either the left or right side. But I'm still very far from design considerations, which I'll start thinking of when I fins a publisher: all I'm thinking about now is the sequence of the pictures.

    And here is one of the pictures from the "final final" series above that I've reworked: originall I was happy with the blown out highlights as a way of showing the hot, bright contrast light of a typical Bangkok afternoon, but then brought the DNG file into Aperture to recover the highlights — that could not be done to this extent in either Lightroom or LightZone — and decided on the following interpretation, making the final contrast adjustments in LightZone. With B&W I find that if I look at a picture long enough I want to try another interpretation. This latst version does not shout quite as much as the previous one:

    http:[email protected]/

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