I like to think I follow my own advice. One of the many aspects of creating a physical book-dummy is to be able to have show-n-tell moments with other artists, photographers, friends, curators, bookstores and the like. At the start of every one of my book workshops, I advocate this aspect of a physical book-dummy in order to obtain some much needed feedback; are you hitting the mark for your audience?
Thus, when I really thought my book-dummy for The Flow of Light Brushes the Shadow was finished, it was time to give it a final acid test, thus I shared with some folks who have seen a book or two, my editorial team for PhotoBook Journal. And I am very happy that I did. When developing a body of work, there are always a few lingering doubts; did others perceive these strengths and weaknesses or spot something else that is not helping to create the narrative?
In the center of my book is a double gate-fold, with an exterior photograph the reader first sees before opening the gate-folds, illustrated above. First bit of feedback was that my night-time urban landscape that I initially used did not tie very directly with the two photographs inside the gate-fold. Hmmm, this is an aspect that I had thought of but now realizing that another night urban landscape might be better. Thus, the easy fix was a slight change in sequencing; now with the current night-time urban landscape, above, creating a stronger visual narrative as it ties almost directly to what is inside the gate-fold. Cool!
Second the white margins around the photographs inside the gate-fold were a bit too bright white, so I am working on a couple of options; either a zone V or zone IV neutral gray margin around each image. I have printed both and I am still in the process of evaluating these two alternative. Interestingly I have been not entirely happy with the blue background color for my book covers, so as a what-if, I replaced the blue with this same gray color. Hmmm, I like it. So now I am evaluating the same two grays for my book cover background, which in a way is nice as it links the cover color to the interior image treatment.
Getting feedback (and really listening to it) can be a powerful development tool for a book or really any body of work that is being developed.
You can also follow progress of this artist book on a new IG page for my book publisher: Singular Images Press @singularimagespress
Colorado Photographic Arts Center (CPAC): Developing a Creative Photo Book, a virtual (Zoom) workshop I will be leading on: May 14 & 15 – 21 & 22nd, 2022, from 1PM-4PM (Mountain Time). More details and sign-up available now at Colorado Photographic Arts Center.