The PhotoBook Journal

September 12, 2017

NY Art Book Fair – September 2017

NY Art Book Fair 2017 logo

NY Art Book Fair, Printed Matters, Inc

Big reminder that Printed Matters NY Art Book Fair is almost upon us, with a preview September 21s and the event runs September 22nd – 24th, 2017 at MoMA PS1, Long Island City, Queens.

While access to the Preview, from 6-9pm, is a whopping 10 bucks (and supports NYABF17), the main event on Sept 22-24th is FREE to attend. Did we mention that this is FREE to attend. Well yes it is!

One of the main book events in NYC! At least when held in LA, this is an opportunity to see a diverse and broad range of indie publications and usually has an area focused on photobooks, although many of the indie photobook publishers are widely dispersed and part of the fun is hunting them down.

Regretfully The PhotoBook Journal team will not be present for this NYC event, but look for us at LA Art Book Fair in early 2018.

Cheers!

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September 7, 2017

Andrej Lamut – Nokturno

Filed under: Book Reviews, Photo Book Discussions, Photo Books — Tags: , — Doug Stockdale @ 8:57 am

Andrej_Lamut_Nokturno_cover

Photographer: Andrej Lamut (born Ptuj, & resides Ljubljana, (Slovenia))

Published by The Angry Bat, Ljubljana, Slovenia, copyright 2017

Text: English

Without essays, captions, pagination or index

Andrej_Lamut_Nokturno_inside_front_cover_naked_binding

Hard cover, sewn binding with open (naked) spine, numbered (300), duo-tone lithography, printed by Eurograf, Velenje & binding by Maruji, Ljubljana

Photobook designer: Andrej Lamut & The Angry Bat (Matej Sitar)

Notes:

The night (Nokturno/nocturnal) provides an interesting environment to explore a diverse range of metaphoric potential, from the ominous mysteries that might lurk within to a joyful time when the party really starts to begin. Much can be obscured by darkness with its limited visibility, with things that can go bump in the night and the objects that can be seen, whether by man-made illumination or by the phase of the moon, take on very different appearances.

Technically, making photographs at night, especially outside of a well lite room, due to the low, flat light conditions is very challenging, whether using digital or analog methods. If a longer exposure is used it can allow blurred movement or if using pushed film processing or high ISO, a graininess to the image or areas within the frame that might become over exposed as a high contrast image. Aesthetically night photography can introduce elements of abstraction, ambiguity, obscurity, incompleteness and other vague aspects of a limited vision. All of these elements can be skillfully used to explore a broad and diverse range of investigations and many of these elements can be found in this book project by Andrej Lamut.

Lamut defers to the school of thought of providing only images without any context, either an introduction, captions, index or even pagination. Any meaning is left open to interpretation by the viewer and Nokturno offers many mysterious photographs to explore. It is not clear as to Lamut’s narrative, but I am also guessing that this puzzling project is very intentional. It is ripe for multiple readings.

The dark images are printed full bleed without any bordering margins to provide any visual relief. Where the images are not full page spreads, the paired images are slammed together to create a multilayered context. With a few exceptions, the binding of the book allows a lay-flat reading experience that is delightful.

As a performance photographer (EnKnapGroup, professional ensemble for contemporary dance in Slovenia) and uses this book object to further investigate another aspect of performance, stating “Nokturno is a result of my research on performative acts which construct the final artwork as a physical object. I believe that they are the complete opposite of straight photography. What generates meaning in these images are the performative actions made by the artist. This kind of actions have an impact or an effect on visual and physical appearance of the artwork. The essence of performative photography is not what is depicted on an image, but which acts were executed in the process of creating it. Furthermore, the final artwork itself becomes performative by having some sort of impact on the viewer.”

Nokturno is a dark poetic body of work that hints at mysterious objects and landscapes which delightfully challenges the reader.

Cheers

Douglas Stockdale

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August 31, 2017

Algis Griskevicius – TADA

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Copyright 2016 Algis Griskevicius

Photographer: Algis Griskevicius (born & resides Vilnius (Lithuania))

Publisher: NoRoutine Books (Lithuania)

Essay: Leonidas Donskis

Text: Lithuanian and English

Algis_Griskevicius-TADA_inside_front_cover

Hardcover book, sewn and exposed tape binding, black & white lithography, glued insert booklet (saddle stitch), contact proof print, printed by UAB Druka, Klaipeda, Lithuania

Photobook designer: Gysis Skudzinskas

Notes: Algis Griskevicius includes in his artistic practice both paintings and photography, and his photobook TADA (THEN) is a series of photographs created between 1985 and 1995 as potential source material for his paintings. Some of the photographic prints have been altered to further refine Griskevicius’s visual concept for a painting, although from the essay by Donskis, the paintings may not have ever been completed. Thus the question Donskis raises; are these photographs works of art or unfinished works in progress, such as incomplete works by the paintings and sculptures of the early masters?

There is a rawness to the printed images, appearing unfinished and the additional marks adds to the mystery. When viewing Griskevicius’s paintings (not included in the book), there is evidence that some aspects, whether the composition, shapes or lines have made its way as a latent image. The worn photographs have a vernacular appearance, as though these were not intended to be “artistic” and indeed the raw recording of something of interest. The glued in booklet of 35mm black and white negative contract prints confirms Griskevicius’s interest in graphic shapes and lines as one of the constant themes that threads its way through the small images. This is an intriguing collection of thoughts that could be referenced as a potential source of imagination for the artist to draw on at a later date.

Cheers

Note: Recognized in a Lithuanian Book Completion as one of the Most Beautiful Lithuanian Books 2016 in the photo book category.

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August 29, 2017

FineBooks & Collections – Autumn 2017

Filed under: Photo Book Discussions, Photo Book NEWS, Photo Books — Tags: , — Doug Stockdale @ 2:13 pm

FineBooks_and_Collections_Autumn_2017_cover

Copyright 2017 by Journalistic, Inc., Chapel Hill, NC

Editor: Rebecca Rego Barry

Photography columnist: Andrea Volpe

Stiffcover, perfect bound magazine

Through serendipity I recently came to know of FineBooks & Collections, a quarterly published by Journalistic, Inc. out of their Chapel Hill, NC offices. As you might imagine the magazine reports on all things related to “Fine” Books, Manuscripts, and other published empheria that might end up in a collection.

The events that led to my obtaining a review copy of FineBooks was a survey article being prepared about photobooks, titled Photography in Motion, Collecting Photobooks is a way of Collecting Change by Andrea Volpe. One of the subjects that Volpe discussed was Yale’s Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library acquisition/donation of the Indie Photobook Library develop by Larissa Leclair (we reported on this earlier). To illustrate the indie type of phtotobooks in Leclair’s collection, FineBooks wanted to use the cover of my photobook Ciociaria, published by Edizioni Punctum that was included in the Yale acquisition. That placed my photobook alongside some very nice photographic company; Alvin Langdon Coburn, Lewis Hine, Danny Lyons, Richard Avedon and Gary Winogrand.

Other articles of note for photographers and book makers: Not the End for Endpapers, a short interview of Daile Kaplan who is the head of photography at the Swann Auction Galleries and her Pop Photographica collection, a review of a Henry Thoreau exhibition that includes an interesting daguerreotype of him and her In View column (The Sum of its Parts) by Volpe.

Bottom line for those make and collect photobooks, this magazine is an enjoyable and diverse read that provides a bit more expansive book landscape.

You may also want to check out their blog, provides some interesting reading as well. This was also added to our resource page for recommended photobook blogs.

Cheers,

Douglas Stockdale

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August 24, 2017

Michael Lundgren – Matter

Michael_Lundgren-Matter_cover

Photographer: Michael Lundgren (born Denver, CO & resides in Phoenix, AZ, (USA)

Radius Books, Santa Fe, NM (USA) copyright 2016

Text: English

Hard cover, sewn binding, four-color lithography, Confluence poster, printed by Editoriale Bortolazzi-Stei, Verona (IT)

Michael_Lundgren-Matter_inside_back_cover_pocket_insert_book_spine

above: inside back cover, taped spine (binding) of text block, back pocket, folded poster

Photobook designer: David Chickey, Michael Lundgren

Notes:

Matter, as defined in the dictionary: physical substance in general, as distinct from mind and spirit; (in physics) that which occupies space and possesses rest mass, especially as distinct from energy.

Michael Lundgren’s subjects are photographed in a variety of lighting conditions that define the subjects form (and mass) while also attempting to create enough ambiguity to create dissociation to un-moor you from your memory and associations as to what the subject might be. These various objects are encountered in the American Southwest and Mexican desert as well as in Spain.

I had the good fortune to meet up with Michael briefly at last year’s Medium Festival in San Diego. I had the misfortune of not being able to locate and bring with my copy of his earlier Transfigurations that was published in 2008, which was until recently hiding from me in my library stacks. There can be a downside in possessing toooo many photobooks.

Nevertheless I am going to defer to an intriguing interview in the British Journal of Photography earlier this year, which Lundgren states philosophically “The best description of magical realism is finding magic in the rational world. I’m not concerned with being an environmental photographer; I’m concerned with making images that make you feel something you can’t quite understand,” he continues. “There’s something that happens when you’re presented with what you can’t quite fathom. The agreements that I have in my mind in my world view are halted and they are interpreted. Within that interruption, there’s the possibility to see something that we didn’t know. I want to put you in a different world,” he says. “You can’t walk into this place and neither can you leave. You can only turn the page. These aren’t landscapes from real tradition: this is an isolating method. I’m interested in how flat photographs can exist almost as a three dimensional experience”

This exploration is a continuation of his earlier published book project, Transfigurations, an investigation that was completed in the black and white medium. In Matter he introduces the use of color to further examine and perhaps expand on the the potential symbolism of his subjects. This is indeed color except with a twist of magical realism; a dead green animal, a small pool of red liquid, a white inverted snake, a red mass with blacken tentacles or swirls of milky-brown dense clouds. These are various elements of matter that create questions and cause one to reconsider the natural world and one’s own expectations and understanding of reality. An intriguing and thought provoking, while yet visually poetic, investigation.

Lundgren was featured previously on The PhotoBook Journal; Transfigurations

Cheers

Douglas Stockdale

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August 23, 2017

Media partners – Lucie Foundation

Filed under: Photo Books, Photo Book NEWS — Tags: , — Doug Stockdale @ 2:51 pm

Lucie-Photobook-Prize_blog

Lucie Foundation, Photo Book Prize

We are very happy to announce that The PhotoBook Journal is a media partner with the Lucie Foundation for their first Photo Book Prize. We will continue to provide additional updates on the Book Prize as information becomes available.

The deadline for making the virtual book submission is looming. Books will not be required unless these are juried-in for the New York exhibition.

At the moment, we regretfully do not plan to be in NYC for this photobook event; I will be teaching a one-day Photo Book Marketing workshop that weekend with LACP and Gerhard will be participating in the Medium Photo Festival in San Diego. A very busy Fall schedule!

Cheers,

Douglas

August 15, 2017

CLAP! – Contemporary Latin American Photobooks

Filed under: Book Publications, Book Reviews, Photo Book Discussions, Photo Books — Tags: , — Doug Stockdale @ 1:45 pm

CLAP!– Contemporary_Latin_American_Photobooks_cover

Edited by Olga Yatskevich, Russet Lederman, Matthew Carson & Michael Lang

Published by 10 x 10 Photobooks (NY) copyright 2017

Text: English & Spanish (Español) & Portuguese

Stiff cover with folded dust jacket, sewn binding, four-color lithography, Index, List of Photographers and Editors, printed by SYL, Barcelona, Spain

Photobook designer: Richardo Baez

Notes:

This is another collective survey of photobooks by the 10 x 10 photobooks team, Editors Olga Yatskevich, Russet Lederman, Matthew Carson & Associate Editor Michael Lang, this time with a focus on what has been published in and by Latin America(s) between 2000 and 2016. These Latin photobooks were selected by 18 photobook specialist who study or follow the publications by photographers in this region. This survey is an interesting, broad and diverse teaser of publications by Latin photographers and photographic oriented artist. Likewise, the subject matter is equally broad, with many photobooks that might be termed having a strong Latin orientation.

CLAP! has a very creative design layout which unlike the earlier 10×10 American Photobooks I found be a challenge to determine what the true orientation of the referenced interior book spread, thus a bit confusing as to what the photobook may actually look like. The accompanying CLAP! Photobook Index of the book’s covers is a more traditional design and layout as well as a delight to cruise and speculate what might be lurking within the covers.

In our efforts for this journal to provide a broad discussion of international photobooks we have previously reviewed some of the photobooks found in CLAP!, thus we can help provide a little more in-depth examination of what is occurring in Latin America. Our book reviews include those by Alejandro Cartagena, Before the War and Carpoolers, Mariela Sancari, Moises and Guilherme Gerais, Intergalatico.

CLAP! provides wonderful evidence of the diversity and high energy going into the development of photobook by Latin photographers and this catalog provides ample opportunity to explore the many Latin photobook possibilities.

Previous 10×10 Photobook publications featured on TPBJ: 10 x 10 American Photobooks

If you found this review of interest, you may also want to check out America Latina Photographs: 1960 – 2013.

Cheers, Douglas Stockdale

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August 12, 2017

Harvey Benge – The Month Before Trump

Harvey_Benge-The_Month_Before_Trump_cover

Photographer: Harvey Benge (resides Auckland (NZ) and Paris (FR))

Self-Published & Limited Edition with signed print (Edition – 50): New Zealand copyright 2017

Text: English

Stiff cover, saddle stitch binding, four-color lithography, printed NZ

Photobook designer: Harvey Benge

Notes: x

Harvey Benge’s The Month Before Trump is a collection of photographs made in the United States, specifically San Francisco and New York in October 2016, the month before the presidential elections. As a New Zealander who spends equal time between Auckland and Paris, he provides a sophisticated outsider’s eye which reminds me of a contemporary Robert Frank and his 1950’s seminal photobook The Americans.

While I believe Frank is a bit more searing in his vision, I find Benge to be a bit more subtle, while both photographers provide a unique while sarcastic view of the American urban landscape. As in earlier Benge photobooks, the paring of the mostly horizontal images create wonderful dialogs while usually sharing a spot of color or tonality to complement the resulting juxtaposition narrative.

Benge explains;

My pictures explore the strange anthropology of cities. The unusual and overlooked in the human landscape. I am asking the viewer to question the idea that photographs as documents are complete representations of subject. I’m interested in the universality of life and the idea of parallel lives – when one thing is happening here, something else is happening over there. The democracy of non-places fascinates me, in the knowledge that inevitably nothing is as it seems.

While the making his observations of the morphing American landscape was at a time prior to knowing the political outcome, the subsequent editing for his book was with the full realization of who had inadvertently landed a White House job. Thus perhaps the reason for what I perceive as an underlying dark edginess to his urban investigation.

Other photobooks by Harvey Benge that have been reviewed on The PhotoBook Journal; Sri Landa Diary, Birds, Against Forgetting, Eat me, Still Looking for It, All the Places I’ve Even Known, One day – Ten Photographers.

 

 

Cheers, Douglas Stockdale

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August 10, 2017

Announcing LUCIE PHOTO BOOK PRIZE

Filed under: Artist Books, Book Publications, Photo Book NEWS, Photo Books — Tags: , — Doug Stockdale @ 3:13 pm

Lucie-Photobook-Prize_blog

Lucie Foundation

We think that this is another interesting photobook prize to consider; here are the details:

The Lucie Foundation is dedicated to celebrating all forms of photography, in print and online and is pleased to introduce the Lucie Photo Book Prize. This program is a juried competition open to a diversity of submissions – from published to prototype to hand-made books.  The awards will be presented to photographers, editors, curators or publishers who have created such projects anywhere in the world within the last 24 months of our public call, starting July 25. The Lucie Foundation is proud to offer two cash prizes to the top two finalists for their outstanding work – one Traditional $3,000 cash prize and one Independent $2,000 cash prize. The Traditional Prize will be awarded to a photographer, editor, curator or publisher whose book is commercially produced and distributed. The Independent Prize will be awarded to a photographer, editor, curator or publisher whose book is published and distributed independently. The Lucie Photo Book Prize will coincide with the Lucie Foundation’s programming in New York City this fall, which includes the prestigious 15th Annual Lucie Awards, the 3rd annual Lucie Technical Awards and our sister-effort, the International Photography Awards Best of Show.  The top 30 finalists will have their work displayed at Splashlight Studios in New York City on October 28, 2017.

SUBMISSION PROCESS

Photographers, editors, and curators are all welcome to submit their books. Eligible books include exhibition catalogs, prototypes, proposals, independently published, self-published, traditional, limited edition, multi-artist, multi-author, single-author, intersectional, zine, handmade, reissue, and more!

DEADLINE TO SUBMIT: August 25, 2017 (08/25/17 update): Extended to September 6th!

FINALISTS ANNOUNCED: October 2, 2017

WINNERS ANNOUNCED: October 28, 2017

APPLICATION PROCESS:  Complete Submission Form and upload PDF File of Book- http://luciephotobookprize.com/submit/ (Photobook does not need to be provided unless juried into the NYC exhibition)

  1. Traditional- $50 for first submission, $30 for each additional category.

The Traditional Prize will be awarded to a photographer, editor, curator or publisher whose book is commercially produced and distributed.

  1. Independent- $25 for first submission, $10 for each additional category.

The Independent Prize will be awarded to a photographer, editor, curator or publisher whose book is published and distributed independently.

CATEGORIES:

1-Exhibition Catalogue: Printed publication made to accompany a temporary exhibition or installation at a gallery or alternative space.

2- First: Open to photographers, authors, and publishers who have not previously had a book published by a third party publishing house.

3- Handmade: Self-published book made by hand.

4-Intersectional: Publication that mixes photography with another medium. This can include text, music, painting, graphic design, poetry, and more.

5-Limited Edition: A book that is released in a limited quantity print run.

6-Multi-Artist: More than one artist, curator, etc. is featured in the publication.

7-Multi Author: Publication composed by more than one author.

8- Proposal: Plan or scheme of a publication, including visual and text which outlines book idea. To be juried by three publishing companies.

9-Prototype: Mock-up of a proposed publication.

10- Other: Publication that does not fit within in any of the thirteen categories.

11-Reissue: A book that has not been available for a period of time, but is now being published or produced again.

12- Self-Published: Publication of any book or other media by its author without the involvement of an established publisher.

13-Single Author: Publication produced by one author.

14- Zine: A small-circulation, self-published work.

SUBCATEGORIES: Culture, Documentary, Fashion, Fine Art, Nature, Other, Photojournalism, Portrait, Single Subject

JURY

The newly established Lucie Photo Book Jury – consisting of independent curators, creative directors, editors Lucie Honorees, and photography critics – will take part in recognizing and rewarding deserving photographers, editors, curators, and publishers  who share the passion of making incredible imagery through the photo book medium. The Jury is responsible for choosing the 30 finalists, as well as the top two cash prize winners.

ABOUT LUCIE FOUNDATION

Lucie Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit charitable organization whose three-tiered mission is to honor master photographers, discover and cultivate emerging talent, and promote the appreciation of photography, worldwide. Lucie Foundation presents a variety of programs throughout the year, including its signature program, The Lucie Awards.

August 8, 2017

Eanna de Freine – The Indie Photobook Publishing Guide

Filed under: Photo Books, Photo Book NEWS, Photo Book Discussions — Tags: , , — Doug Stockdale @ 12:56 pm

logo - 1008 px

Copyright Eanna de Freine 2017

Since many of the readers of TPBJ are either interested in self-publishing or at least knowing more about self-publishing, we want to share a new and (somewhat) FREE Indie Photobook Publishing Guide. Okay, maybe not entirely free, as you can read the Guide on line, but if you want to download it and obtain some of the other freebies, then you will need to recommend it to three friends, providing de Freine with some additional email addresses for his newsletter. Regretfully not always a free lunch.

So in advance I will reveal that I was involved in the development of this guide as a Beta reader, Editor and interviewed for one of the self-publishing Case Studies about my recently released Bluewater Shore. I was also joined by Clare Rowland, Tom Westbury, Euan Ross, Kalen Lee, Domenico Bruno Lobkowitz, David Flynn, Gabriele Harhoff and Uwe Bedenbecke in the Editing and other Case Studies were provided by Rohan Hutchinson, Gabrielle Harhoff, Nuno Moreira, Sebastien Tixier, Dustin Shum, Christophe le Toquin, Matej Sitar (America My Way), Sandra Koestler and Diane Vincent (OBEN).

Eanna de Freine is the publisher behind the Indie press The Velvet Cell and has seven years experience producing over 60 titles (six of which are his own photobooks) that have achieved total sales of over 5,000 copies. So he draws on all of that publishing experience as well as the collective advice from the various Editors that he has enlisted to ensure that his Guide is based on solid footing.

That said, what the guide does not get into in much depth is the editing and sequencing of a book, but the accompanying Case Studies do discuss this important aspect of developing a photobook.

Where the Guide shines is:

  • Why consider Indie publishing for your photobook
  • Important questions to ask yourself before proceeding
  • The biggest mistakes self-publishers make
  • How to fund and validate your photobook before you go to print
  • How to prepare and print your photobook in the most economical way
  • How to sell and distribute your photobook online and to bookshops
  • Creative ways to grow your fan-base and build an audience who will eagerly await your next book

Thus if self-publishing is in your future then this practical Guide should help as many photographers and artists can attest that publishing a photobook, either with an established publisher or doing it yourself, can be a bumpy ride. It is really nice opportunity to take advantage of the pitfalls and experience of others.

So check it out (here) and see if this Guide might help you on your self-publishing journey. I would be interested in hearing your feedback. I am also available to assist with mentoring you on this journey if you would like some additional assistance.

Cheers, Douglas Stockdale

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