Things are coming together and falling apart. They are coming together in the sense I can see some great projects ahead. They are falling apart as I can see so many directions to explore. I am ok with both of these ideas as I have decided I am now in play phase. It now feels like time is passing quickly.
Two types of photobook are trending. The first is diaristic and the second is a question of identity. (Gerry & Parr. The Photobook; A history. Phaidon. Chapter 7 p214). These distinctions are useful to think about in terms of my project. Another I took from Arles was as witness. That could be to walls and fences going up in the world or environmental disasters.
I didn’t want to do a physical photobook this week but was so glad I did. I also learnt lots. I was daunted reading Understanding Photobooks by Jorg Colberg as the number of specialists needed to produce a photobook looked big and expensive. Editor, designer, curator and binder together with almost infinite choices. Then I saw that there are a number of steps to go through.
I played with images on my dining table. I asked for input from anybody willing to discuss it. I had a go at a zine. I thought about what my message was. I was inspired by this week’s guest lecturer Lukas Burk. He simplified the whole process of bookmaking. He illustrated the importance of learning from each effort we attempt. He also asked very clear questions like what is your work about and who is your client. I loved the genuine way he admitted to answering these questions incorrectly in the past and then learning from the mistake. He took a lot of the mystery out of making a photobook.
I eventually had prints of my work on pink paper. An Amazon package arrived so I thought I could reuse the cardboard as a cover. Then I assembled. Quickly realised I should have double side printed so had to stick pages together. Then realised that I should have reinforced the hole punch holes so the book might last. In the end I felt pleased with the result. It was my first photobook and I will treasure it. In respect of the distinctions mentioned above this book is a question of identity.
I have also been working on my exhibition for Landings. States of Mine. I went to a local printer to begin to understand the infinite range of options for printing. The biggest struggle is what I want to see in my print versus the cost. Boy it can get expensive. I think it is important to set a budget and then stick within it. Also come back to the Lukas Burk questions about what I want to achieve and who the customer is.
I am in a play phase with my photography. I have been experimenting with so many of the parameters this week. In or out of focus, clear or unclear perspective and using shadows to obscure and highlight things within the image. With every variable I explore there are then so many more available within the editing process. For these images I found a spot with dappled light coming through trees on a walk last week. I set up my tripod and got in to the dappled light. With the exposures I then took exposure drastically down and brought hightlights up to obtain an effect.
I am now coming to the conclusion that all a photograph can ever do is evoke a projection from the viewer. Nothing is ‘true’ about the photograph. It is all an individual projection. This is exciting. What do I want my viewers to project?