The PhotoBook

January 2, 2014

Simon Roberts – Pierdom

Simon_Roberts_Pierdom_cover

Copyright Simon Roberts 2013 published by Dewi Lewis publications

Simon Roberts really connects with his fellow British and understands the underlying psych of Great Briton. This photobook is an excellent follow on to his photobook We English and is another in his series that utilizes a large format vision to investigate the British culture.

His subjects are the many piers lining the British coast and how the built landscape can reveal some of the essence of his own society. As an Island nation one time the piers were an integral part of the economic infrastructure were essential to trade and commerce. In the current economy, their intrinsic value is greatly diminished. There is still something elusive about these large nostalgic structures that creates a symbolic connection to the sea and British history, and are now frequently a place for leisure and play.

With the passage of time many of these grand structures are now in ruins or perhaps entirely eliminated with only the traces of memory at their former sites. Roberts includes these piers as well to provide a broad look at this subject, but without taking on the aura of “disaster porn”. Roberts is not abstract and clinical in his visual investigation of his subjects and frequently introducing a human element.

As a book object, this large publication has a classic and yet contemporary appearance. The interior plates are slightly larger in size than the original 8×10” film, thus similar to reading Roberts contact prints. The smyth binding allows a lay-flat read, a real delight in studying this body of work. The paper surface is matte with the ink providing an every so light luster to provide a nice luminance to these lyrical photographs.

All of these aspects have led me to select this photobook as one of my more interesting photobooks for 2013.

Other photobooks by Simon Roberts on The PhotoBook: We English

Douglas Stockdale for The PhotoBook

Simon_Roberts_Pierdom_1

Simon_Roberts_Pierdom_2

Simon_Roberts_Pierdom_3

Simon_Roberts_Pierdom_4

Simon_Roberts_Pierdom_5

Simon_Roberts_Pierdom_6

Simon_Roberts_Pierdom_7

Simon_Roberts_Pierdom_8

December 30, 2013

Self-publishing – a matter of timing

Filed under: Photo Book Discussions, Photo Books — Doug Stockdale @ 6:33 pm

Matej_Sitar-America_My_Way_cover

Copyright Matej Sitar 2012, self-published

This last month I had an interesting exchange of emails with Matej Sitar regarding the self-publication of his photobook America, My Way that I thought I should share the underlying lesson. What actually sparked our discussion was the request from Mel at photo-eye‘s on-line magazine/photobook store for my list of top ten photobooks for 2013. While making my selection, one of those that I found really interesting, Matej Sitar’s photobook, which was acquired about mid-2013, but in checking the copyright date, it stated 2012. That should have been a quick elimination (the foundation for this little story) for a best of 2013 photobook.

Nevertheless, since I had been exchanging emails and Fb messages with Sitar for most of this year, I sent him a quick question; when exactly was his photobook published in 2012? The short answer was that in December of 2012 was when he brought all of the elements together, including the text copy stating 2012, but in fact, it was not formally published and launched until March 2013. Great! I could then place it on my 2013 interesting book list, regardless of the copyright date. Nice thing about being a photobook blogger, I am not tied to formality!

As Sitar stated during our exchanges, it did not occur to him at the time as to the potential consequences of having the 2012 date on his photobook at the time and how that might impact the end of the year “Best Photobook” list frenzy that occurs. We only need to look back to last year to see how Cristina de Middel’s Afronauts went so crazy after getting listed by so many folks that Aftronauts resulted in being considered the most popular contemporary photobook for 2012 and the subsequent mad scrabble to include de Middel into so many exhibitions and workshops. Instant stardom! So yes, the end of the year “Best Photobook” list can really make a difference in a fine art career, whether you agree with this or not, these lists have do have an impact. Sadly the corollary is that is if your photobook does not make it on any of these lists, it can have another type of impact.

So is there a rule of thumb for those who are self-publishing to consider? For a first time photobook and not represented by galleries where you can grander some exhibitions and press, it may make sense to join the Spring publication crowd (There are two big “traditional” photobook publication seasons, Spring and Fall). But Spring is a relative time, so maybe a February launch date is your “Spring”. Which means you really print and bind in November/December of the previous year, printing your copyright date on your release, not your production date.  This would allow plenty of time to get your book out to the photobook reviewers, into the stores, get some PR traction and maybe an exhibition or two to hopefully make an impact. In fact, this was the strategy that de Middel followed.

Now some books have been published in the Fall that are making the current lists (I think that there are more than 55 photobook “lists” or more). Again,  your “Fall” might be in July or August (or even earlier). I think part of the thinking about an early Fall release, somewhat like the movies released late for the Academy Award season, is that the books are still fresh in everybody’s minds and the buzzzzzz is still running strong when folks starting thinking about their list.

Just keep in mind, those reviewers/bloggers who publish their list each year, they work on their “Best Book” list the entire year, constantly evaluating new titles and content as to whether to be included on their end of year list and perhaps replace another title which is not as interesting or as great a body of work.

So when self-publishing, this is just another aspect to take into consideration along with the begillion other tasks that need to be accomplished. Best of luck!!

Cheers!

December 16, 2013

Interesting Photobooks for 2013

Stack_of_Interesting_photobooks_2013

I have been invited to take part in photo-eye’s annual poll by photobook commentators as to the 10 Best Books of 2013. For those who follow this blog, that fact that I am participating in this may seem a bit unusual, as I have readily admitted in the past, I do not have access to read and study every photobook that was issued during the year. Nevertheless, although I have had an opportunity to see a great many photobooks, this will still be a of a bit biased list as I will draw from those books that I have actually read or are in my collection.

My list, which is not in any particular order, may not be the “Best” photobooks of 2013, but rather I have selected some of the more interesting photobooks that I read that were published in 2013. And my list is for 11 photobooks since I could not narrow it down to just 10, as well as a new category of my own making, interesting exhibition catalogs for 2013, for which I have named two.

I have published commentaries for most of these, which I have linked up. It is my intent that to publish commentaries for the remaining photobooks shortly.

More Interesting Photobooks of 2013

Carolyn_Drake-Two_Rivers_cover

 Two Rivers, Carolyn Drake, self-published 2013

Two Rivers is a complex story and an excellent example of how a book design (by the talented Sybren Kuiper) can create an effective subtext to a photographer’s narrative. This is a compelling investigation of survival and the tribulations of the people in the region of Central Asia.

Simon_Roberts_Pierdom_cover

Pierdom, Simon Roberts, Dewi Lewis, 2013

Simon Roberts seems to really connect with his fellow people and the underlying psych of Great Briton. This is another in his series that utilizes a large format vision to investigate the British culture. His subjects are the many piers lining the British coast and how the built landscape can reveal some of the essence of his own society.

Mitch_Epstein-New_York_Arbor_cover

New York Arbor, Mitch Epstein , Steidl, 2013

New York Abor is a beautiful book that is classically designed and elegantly printed to showcase the lyrical black and white photographs of Mitch Espstein. The interior plates are approximate in size to the original large format film and in conjunction with the superb printing by the publisher, Steidl Verlag, the experience is breath taking, not unlike viewing large format contact prints.

Jane_Fulton_Alt-The_Burn_cover

 The Burn, Jane Fulton Alt, Kehrer Verglag, 2013

In reading The Burn, I view these lyrical photographs with mixed emotions having experience the wild fires in Southern California. But for me, that is also a hallmark of a good body of work in that it can stir memories, activate the senses (I can almost smell and taste the acid, dense smoke of a wild fire), while yet be visually captivating.

Brian_Griffin_Business_as_Usual_cover

Business as Usual, Brian Griffin, Editions Bessard, 2013

Having spent an inordinate amount of time in corporate business, the small narratives that Griffith creates are hilarious and almost too funny for words. Although the photographs were from an earlier period and perhaps appear a bit over the top, they are still spot on regarding today’s office politics and the theater of business.

Mateusz_Sarello-Swell_cover

Swell, Mateusz Sarello, Instytut Kultury Wizualnej, 2013

I was immediately struck by the many narrative possibilities created by Ania Nalecka’s design for Swell.  It’s ingenious and well executed book concept that metaphorically works with Sarello’s two-part visual narrative. Their collaboration has resulted in a beautifully conceived and photographed book.

Matej_Sitar-America_My_Way-Interior_covers

America, My Way, Matej Sitar, self-published, December 2012- released early 2013

I am intrigued by the possibilities of what others might also experience during shared events and moments. I found that Sitar’s multiple alternatives presented in America, My Way of a road trip up the American West coast to have fully tapped into my psyche.

Paul_Gaffney-We_Make_the_Path_by_Walking_book_n_slipcover

We Make the Path by Walking, Paul Gaffney, self-published, 2013

Reading We Make the Path by Walking just connects with me. The lyrical photographs investigate a journey and the many options and possibilities that lie beforehand, while yet enjoying the view in transit. I found Gaffney’s book to be a wonderful metaphor for the messiness of living life.

Patrick_Hogan-still_cover

Still, Patrick Hogan, self-published, 2012

Still is a splendid and intriguing investigation of personal relationships. As the title implies, quiet and intimate moments are captured while creating a place that can best be described as ambivalence. The book has an interesting cadence and inclusion of difficult to read interior plates, at times there is the faintest hint of a photographic image and others on the extreme of darkness, both bordering on illegibility that beguiles me.

Leon_Kirchlechner_Nowhere_cover

Nowhere, Leon Kirchlechner, Der Grief & dienacht Publishing, 2013

Nowhere is an intriguing set of landscape photographs in which Kirchlechner has introduced a translucent object, a whiff of smoke (or whatever it is) that tugs at my imagination. This occasion vapor acts as a subconscious trigger for some distant memory that I cannot easily grasp. The ambiguous images are unsettlingly; seemingly fragile and yet have ominous undertones.

max_sher_A_Remote_Barely_Audible_Evening_Waltz-cover

A Remote Barely Audible Evening Waltz, Max Sher, Treemedia, 2013

A Remote Barely Audible Evening Waltz (English version of the Russian title) is an investigation of memory and personal experiences; concurrently evokes mystery and nostalgia. A delightful semi-fictional story based on appropriating vernacular photographs that narrate a poignant story of Sher’s making set in Russia during the 1960’s.

More Interesting Exhibition Catalogs for 2013

10x10_American_Photobooks_cover_n_belly-band

2013 10×10 American Photobook, published by 10×10 American Photobooks, 2013.  (I need to admit my bias as I am a contributor to this exhibition and my selection is included in the catalog)

Douglas Stockdale is a photographer, author, photobook collector, blogger, independent photobook curator and founder of the this much admired blog, The Photobook. Recently he was a contributor to the 2013 10×10 American Photobooks traveling exhibition (NYC, Pittsburgh, Tokyo) and curated the photobook exhibition Work for the 2012 Fotografia Festival Internazionale in Rome, Italy. He recently release his self-published artist book Pine Lake and in 2011 Edizioni Punctum released his hardcover book Ciociaria. Stockdale’s photographs are in the permanent collection of the Museo d’Arte Contemporea di Roma (MACRO), Rome, Italy.

Update/correction; Patrick Hogan’s Still was actually published in 2012, which I acquired in 2013 and the title page is a bit obscure as the book’s copyright date. Thanks to Paul Gaffney for his assistance in tracking this publication fact down. Nevertheless,  I still think it as one of the more interesting photobooks for me in 2013.

Douglas Stockdale for The PhotoBook

Paul Gaffney – We Make the Paths by Walking

Paul_Gaffney-We_Make_the_Path_by_Walking_book_n_slipcover

Copyright Paul Gaffney 2013, self-published

Paul Gaffney investigates a regional passion that is prevalent amongst the isles of Great Briton, that of walking. Whereas the walks or foot journeys in the isles are usually of a short duration, Gaffney expanded the scope and range of his visual walking quest to 3,500 kilometers (2,200 miles). Gaffney’s viewpoint is close to midpoint, essentially minimizing the visual clues as to the actual location. This teases the reader to look closer and deeper into the image. The ambiguous images are contemplative and lyrical, sometimes looking ahead or the passing viewpoint as one might walk by.

A classic, yet well visualized, allegory for the journey of life, that while in transit there lays ahead a separation to the path and one must chose one path over another. For a walker it is possible to walk one path and then return for to the other, but in the passing duration, small atmospheric and chance occasions change. Likewise, a walker does not need to remain on a given path, but create one of their own making. His book ends with a crossroads, with the path in front dissolving into the distance, where the unknown lies in wait.

Reading We Make the Path by Walking just connects with me. The lyrical photographs investigate a journey and the many options and possibilities that lie before the reader, while yet enjoying the view in transit. I found Gaffney’s book to be a wonderful metaphor for the messiness of living life.

Gaffney’s photobook is a text printed stiff cover book that resides in a printed ¾ slip cover. The slip cover design suggests an individual’s pocket, representing a place for the small guide booklets that many walkers acquire to prepare for a specific region.

Paul_Gaffney-We_Make_the_Path_by_Walking_cover

The interior book block has exposed binding due to the front endpapers is not attached to the cover. The block is affixed to the back cover by means of gluing the endpapers to the back cover and the end paper is included as a part of the last signature. The binding itself appears to be a Smyth bound and glued, which allows the book to provide a lay-flat viewing, which I enjoy. When I find a book with an exposed binding, I am intrigued as the metaphoric intent. In this case, the photographs, as well as the narrative is open ended and thus the journey is still not complete.

Gaffney complete the design and editing of this self-published book.

Douglas Stockdale for The Photobook

Paul_Gaffney-We_Make_the_Path_by_Walking_1

Paul_Gaffney-We_Make_the_Path_by_Walking_2

Paul_Gaffney-We_Make_the_Path_by_Walking_3

Paul_Gaffney-We_Make_the_Path_by_Walking_4

Paul_Gaffney-We_Make_the_Path_by_Walking_5

Paul_Gaffney-We_Make_the_Path_by_Walking_6

Paul_Gaffney-We_Make_the_Path_by_Walking_7

December 13, 2013

Photobook definitions on a new Reference page

Filed under: Uncategorized — Doug Stockdale @ 7:41 pm

While I was reviewing some recent photobooks, I realized that I have been using some book design and publishing jargon that may not be as well known to photographers and readers of photobooks. I think for many folks, the book printer (and bindery) may be a black-box; photographs and essays go in one side and pretty soon a ton of printed photobooks in cardboard boxes come out the other side.

So I decided to provide a little bit of information to demystify some of the book design and publishing (printing) processes and terminology. This may be especially helpful for those who like me who are very interested in creating their own artist books and self-publishing. Thus I have initiated a new Reference page available on the upper right side bar of this blog to provide definitions and links to sites (usually Wikipedia) that provide even more detail.

So check it out and perhaps it might help you understand some of the things lurking in the book designers bag-of-tricks or in the publisher’s black-box. And if you still have some questions, leave a comment and I will try to answer the best I can.

Cheers!

Btw, this is currently a work in progress and hope to have this finished by the end of the year (2013).

December 5, 2013

Book Fair this Sunday in Santa Monica – updated

Filed under: Photo Book NEWS, Photo Books — Doug Stockdale @ 11:44 pm

Douglas_Stockdale_Pine_Lake_cover_L

Book Fair and print sale for emerging photographer/artists

Which includes yours truly, me! I will be there with my artist book Pine Lake as well as my Ciociaria Limited Edition book + print set (both versions), and trade copies of Ciociaria to purchase and be signed. I will also have a framed limited edition photograph from the Ciociaria book for sale, which was exhibited at OCCCA earlier this year. Cool, eh?

Collectors and artists set to mingle at upcoming book fair and print sale at Duncan Miller Gallery in Bergamot Station, Sunday, Dec 8, 2013, 2-5 pm. From the gallery:

We are producing a one day event to showcase and sell books and photographs from 26 talented emerging photographer/artists — Come join us!

It’s free to attend, the great food truck Deano’s Deli will be on hand, and we’ll have wine and soft drinks in the gallery.

Enjoy an afternoon of mingling with photo collectors, art lovers, friends and photographers at Duncan Miller Gallery in Bergamot Station, Santa Monica.

Artists include: Melissa Richardson Banks, Sara Jane Boyers, Richard Chow, Steve Daly, Elena Dorfman, Judy Francesconi, Kevin Gray, Maureen Haldeman, Lorna Hart, Liz Huston, Mark Indig, Renee Jacobs, Jamie Johnson, Tom Johnson, Robbie Kaye, Sandra Klein, Clay Lipsky, Claire Mallett, Rico Mandel, Lisa McCord, Linda Morrow, Lori Pond, Kristianne Koch Riddle, Yasmina Rossi, Douglas Stockdale, Michael Wood

Please see the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/430070477094944

This event is sponsored by Santa Fe Photographic Workshops, coming to Santa Monica in 2014 and YourDailyPhotograph.com

DUNCANMILLERGALLERY
2525 Michigan Ave, Unit A7
Santa Monica, CA 90404
310-453-1111

So if you are in the area this Sunday, drop in, check it out and introduce yourself; I’m looking forward to meeting more of my readers and talk photobooks.

Cheers!

For an update on my experience participating at this Art Book Fair, please see my post in my personal photo-blog Singular Images, here.

12-08-13_Renee_Jacobs_Paris_me_Pine_Lake

Renee Jacobs holding her recently published book Paris while I hold Pine Lake. (photo by Wendy Hicks). I reviewed Renee Jacobs Slow Burn earlier on The PhotoBook, which was one of books that I selected for 2013 10×10 American Photobooks.

December 4, 2013

Mateusz Sarello – Swell

Mateusz_Sarello-Swell_cover

Copyright Mateusz Sarello 2013 published by Instytut Kultury Wizualnej

After receiving Mateuszu Sarello’s photobook Swell, I was immediately struck by the many possibilities being offered up by his book’s ingenious and well executed design that metaphorically works with Sarello’s photographic. This has resulted in a beautifully conceived and photographed book.

Very simply, his is a story in two parts. First is a past event, a visit to the Baltic Sea with a lover and a relationship lost.  That in turn has led to the circumstances for the second situation, a revisit to the same sea as a personal therapeutic journey. And correspondingly, the book has two distinct parts, incorporating the two bodies of work in two unique page blocks. Each page block is attached via the end papers to a book cover panel.

The two interior page blocks have exposed spines that infer rawness to the book and to his story; that Sarello is leaving himself likewise emotionally exposed to the reader. That the spines are left unfinished implies that this is a story still in the making, that relationships can be incomplete and there is more yet to come. That the page blocks are attached to the cover panels by a single sheet of the end paper hints at the underlying fragility of his story and that this book, hence the story, should be handled with care.

The book has an amble spine that allows it to lay flat and visually separate the two page blocks. It is easy for the reader to quickly comprehend that there are two distinct segments to his narrative.

The velum page that is bound to the top of the second block is a subtle touch, connoting a separation, while providing a veiled glimpse at what is to follow. It reads as a soft transition, not an abrupt change and hinting at a continuation, yet letting the reader know that something has change and is now in some way different.

The hardcover book has embossed covers and spine (subtle text to read on the black linen cover), with the text in English (produced in Warsaw, Poland) and book design by Ania Nalecka. The text is provided by Kuba Rubaj and from the diary of Mateusz Sarello.

by Douglas Stockdale for The PhotoBook

Mateusz_Sarello-Swell_1

Mateusz_Sarello-Swell_2

Mateusz_Sarello-Swell_interior_blocks

Mateusz_Sarello-Swell_interior_block_transition_3

Mateusz_Sarello-Swell_4

Mateusz_Sarello-Swell_5

Mateusz_Sarello-Swell_6

November 24, 2013

Carolyn Drake – Two Rivers

Carolyn_Drake-Two_Rivers_cover

Copyright Carolyn Drake 2013 self-published

Carolyn Drake has self-published a very interesting book this year, titled Two Rivers. This excellent and creative book has garnered a number of insightful reviews that discuss this body of work much better than I, so I am going to defer to others as to how this book came to be and her photographic oeuvres. The links are provided below.

As this book is crazy good, I am instead gong to discuss this book as an object, such as the design, sequencing, printing, etc. While trying to sort out the various aspects these past months, I have been fortunate to trade a series of emails with Drake about the making of her first book. Yes, her first book, but what a book!

As self-published photobooks go, Drake makes no bones about this being a collaborative effort between her book designer, Sybren (aka Syb or –SYB-) Kuiper, who is located in the Netherlands as well as a lot of input from various photographers, editors and friends. She is no stranger to collaboration; for the five year of photographing this project her success depended on her relationships and collaborations with guides, locals and others to assist in gaining access to or communicating with her subjects in Central Asia.

From my emails with Drake and reading her interviews about making the book, it is apparent that there are some specific conceptual aspects that she wanted to incorporate, but she was really open to other ideas and suggestions. As the photography of the body of work was ending, Drake found that she was get blocked into seeing a project in a specific way, bogged down with a part of the project or unable to solve how to mash certain groups of photographs cohesively together. She states that working with Kuiper provided her some needed conceptual break throughs. One example is the order of the photographs, when Kuiper proposed starting the book’s sequence at where the two rivers appear to end versus where the river’s originates high in the mountains.

The very first thing that strikes the reader upon seeing Two Rivers are the short covers, they do not extend out to overlap the interior book block. There were specific metaphors in mind for this cover design; the two rivers she investigates due to man’s (government) interventions no longer reach the two lakes that these rivers have historically fed. In leaving the interior block exposed, she has also created a tension for the reader, as the block of photographs are no longer safely protected by the exterior covers. Thus metaphorically her subjects are also left exposed and are placed at risk, a subtle criticism of the governmental policies affecting those who had depended on the rivers to survive in this region.

Upon opening the covers, the reader immediately confronts a mashup and disjointed series of photographs that is further confounded by the photographic layout on the Japanese style binding.   Glenna Gordon states about the books interior “In this work, the viewer is often denied the pleasure of seeing Drake’s images completely—communicating the frustrations she felt during her working process, and allowing us a rush of delayed gratification when we finally arrive at the magical, full-bleed images of starry nights, elaborate feasts, handmade bridges, and ladies with gold teeth.”

The photographic images frequently hang precariously on the edge of the page and roll onto the following page. In a standard photobook, this layout would literally break the photographic image in two, but with the Japanese style of double fold page printing (fukuro toji), it allows readers to roll their finger between the pages to get a glimpse of the whole image. To create the double fold page, it might appear that the signature is trimmed to create a continuous concertina binding, but actually each folded page is a separate folio, held to the spine with cold glue, versus a perfect binging which uses hot glue. The opposite (inside) side of the page is unprinted.

Carolyn_Drake-Two_Rivers_double-fold

In describing how this double folded page book came to fruition, Drake stated “The Japanese binding was Syb’s idea. When he suggested it, he just called it “Japanese binding.”  The idea was that the pages would be folded on the outside edge and images would wrap over the fold. But there are different kinds of bindings for folded pages. One thing I was very concerned about was whether the book would be able to lay flat open. I didn’t want to have images in the gutter be hard to read if they were also going to be folded over the edges of the pages. A lot of the examples you see online of Japanese binding are sewn in a way that makes it very difficult to fully open the book… I went to Arles the year we were working on it and I came across A Criminal Investigation by Watabe Yukichi. I think Cristina Middel pointed it out to me. I bought it and took it to Syb and asked him if he knew someone who could make a binding like that. He then showed it to a printer who contacted a binder in Holland who does that. They made a model for us with no images, just a couple cover options, the paper, and the binding. It was beautiful, so I decided I would commit to it. It works because of the “cold glue” and thin, uncoated paper”.

The book has a Linen hard cover with an inlaid black foil, with Japanese double folded offset printing and binding. The companion text booklet is stiffcover and a pamphlet stab binding (string). The text is provided by Elif Batuman. The text booklet is held to the back cover of the book by means of an elastic rubber band.

Review links:

Guernia Magazine, Glenna Gordon interviews Carolyn Drake

The Observer, Sean O’Hagan, Saturday 3 August 2013

Adam Bell Blog, Two Rivers by Carolyn Drake

Central Asia Standard blog

Carolyn Drake, Kickstarter

Time Lightbox, Carolyn Drake

Oh, yeah, least I forget: highly recommended.

Douglas Stockdale for The PhotoBook

Carolyn_Drake-Two_Rivers_1A

Carolyn_Drake-Two_Rivers_1B

Carolyn_Drake-Two_Rivers_2

Carolyn_Drake-Two_Rivers_3

Carolyn_Drake-Two_Rivers_4

Carolyn_Drake-Two_Rivers_5

Carolyn_Drake-Two_Rivers_6

Carolyn_Drake-Two_Rivers_7

November 18, 2013

Massimo Vitali – Natural Habitats

Massimo_Vitali_Natural_Habitats_cover

Copyright Massimo Vitali 2011 published by Steidl

Massimo Vitali’s Natural Habitats was one of the larger photobooks in overall size and mass published by Steidl in 2010, which is a nice match up with the large format photographs that Vitali works with.

I had access to inspect some of Vitali press images, two of which I included below, and it appears to me that the photographic plates within the book are just a tad bit more desaturated in color. The color management and transition from film negative to the pre-press digital file and four (five, six?) printing plates and finally within the limits of the printing press operations is slippery, during which many color, contrast, hue and density minor drifts can accumulate. As well as where the photographer pushes and pulls the image to achieve their desired results, as each of these steps can be an opportunity as well as a challenge.

Color management is where some of the larger photobook publishers like Steidl can shine, as they can chose printers and presses which are best suited to successfully manage these tasks. Especially for the nuances that are particular to exceptional photobook publishing.

In some cases, such as with Steidl, the publisher may allow the photographer to be “on-press” during the book’s production press run. Thus creates an opportunity to make some additional “creative” tweaks during the interaction of the press man and photographer while the sheets/signatures (multiple pages) are being printed. I suspect that this is the case with this exception photobook, as this photobook probably looks very much like what Vitali is envisioning.

The hardcover book is wide, heavy and expansive, with a nice dust cover. The binding permits a lay-flat reading experience, while the photographs have sufficient margins and there is no content lost in the gutter. The large photographic plates and wonderful printing make this body a work a delight to read.

Douglas Stockdale for The PhotoBook

Massimo_Vitali_Natural_Habitats_1

Massimo_Vitali_Natural_Habitats_2

23_Vitali_II_CD

Massimo_Vitali_Natural_Habitats_3

45_Vitali_II_CD

Massimo_Vitali_Natural_Habitats_7

November 13, 2013

Jefferson Hayman – I’ll Find Another One Prettier Than You

Photographs copyright Jefferson Hayman 2012 published by Ampersand Gallery and Fine Books

This is a smaller stiff-cover book that utilizes the print on demand technology; hence the binding is tight and creates restrictions in opening and reading the book’s contents. As such, this is not a book that the interior pages will lay flat, which can be frustrating for me in order to photograph the interior pages for this article. Nevertheless, I believe that you will obtain a sense of Hayman’s interesting book project.

One aspect of this photobook type of book publishing is the potential for the edge of photographic image to become entrapped and potentially lost in the gutter (glued binding). The designer of this book has taken this aspect of the binding into careful consideration and has provided generous margins around each photographic plate. Thus Hayman’s photographs can be read in their entirety.

Cheers

By Douglas Stockdale for The PhotoBook

« Newer PostsOlder Posts »

The Silver is the New Black Theme Blog at WordPress.com.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 9,523 other followers