Oh yes, the book. It has arrived. Well, it actually arrived more than a week ago while I was on vacation in Maine. The book then went on to survive a monsoon rainstorm while leaning against my front door. The package was wrinkled and faded but the book was perfectly intact and dry. This book was completed, uploaded, printed and shipped less than a week after I returned from Wyoming, and this was with me feeling exhausted and staring at three, larger Blurb tasks. What I’m saying is this “live-booking” is a totally doable, enjoyable endeavor that I fully expect a segment of you to embrace. Not all of you will, and that’s okay. I can’t force you, but I have thought about trying.
What to take away from this project if you take nothing else.
5. Full circle. Exposure to print. Just like a real, actual photographer.
Let’s talk about the actual book.
1. Blurb, 8×10 portrait, imagewrap, black end sheets, Proline Uncoated paper. Approximately 100 pages. I love this book size. Large enough to feel substantial but easier to handle, and less expensive, than either of the larger size options. Proline Uncoated has just enough texture without falling into that “too toothy” realm. I love this paper. Expensive but when used appropriately a surgical strike on the senses. Were to make this book public I would create a second version, in either Trade or Magazine which would fracture the price by about two thirds. I would keep this fancy version for my family but then offer the less expensive version to the public. I’m not going to do that, but if I was….
2. As you will see, the cover was designed using a black and white image over-layed with a color image which provides a specific sheen. The title of the book is “Glimpse” so I wanted to keep this in mind when designing the cover. To actually see the full extent of the image on the cover the viewer needs to twist and turn the book, hence the “Glimpse” title. (You always want the copy and imagery to play nicely together.) When you look directly at the cover of the book you don’t see the author portrait…….pretty cool huh? (Look at last image in this post for sample image.)
4. Designing the first forty-pages before I left was critical to the “live-booking” style of work. I thought I would end up changing much of what I did, but I actually stuck with most of it. People this is critical if you are going to make books. To think about coming back with nothing written, nothing designed, nothing edited….yikes. Like climbing Mt. Everest with no training. Not likely gonna happen. Give yourself the advantage and take some stabs BEFORE you go.
6. I really like how the digital images printed. This was really my first book using the Fuji XT2. The files printed incredibly well. Both color and black and white. The camera is overkill for everything I do. I’ve got no intention of making 40×60 prints, which I’m sure you could do with this camera, so most of what I do falls well within the realities of this camera. I’m not missing film at all, but for you film lovers just know my life is different now and this camera fits who I am at the moment.
7. Just so you know, all I did was calibrate my monitor, months ago, and kept things like brightness and saturation in mind. I didn’t convert to CMYK. I didn’t use the Blurb profile. I didn’t soft proof. Nope. Didn’t need to. Book and images look spot on. I’m adding this point because I get SO many questions from color geeks who seem to make bookmaking the most complicated endeavor in human history. I get it, color is cool, but it’s not going to make your book interesting. Save the time and energy you spend on pixel by pixel color matching, or whatever it is you are doing, and use that same time to make better images, or write better copy, etc. I will take interesting over perfect any day of the year.
8. This copy of the book will probably be the ONLY copy. Now that I’ve made my images I’ll send this copy to my mother who doesn’t know its coming. This is half the fun. This book will cause complete and total confusion in the Milnor Davidian Compound. My phone will ring minutes after reception. “Daniel.” “Ya.” “Someone sent me a book with you on the cover.” “Ya.” “Who did that?” “No idea.” “But it’s all about us, and you and your father.” “No idea.” “Daniel” “What?” “You know and you just aren’t telling me.” “No idea.” “Daniel.” “Tell me I’m your favorite child and I’ll tell you.” “No.” “Say it!” “Daniel.” Can’t wait to get her going.
9. Very happy I created and including the acrylic drawings of the eclipse. As you know, I’m not a painter. This is all new to me, but fun, and will continue to be a part of what I do, hopefully a larger and larger part. Art is cool. Who knew?
10. I’m done. Did I mention that? I’m already on to the next thing. I feel like if you are a photographer your job in life is to make pictures. Your job is not to stop your life for a year, or two, and marry yourself to a book. This just isn’t going to work in the future unless you are independently wealthy and have nothing but time. Then by all means, but for the rest of us just keep to this plan. Research, design, shoot, edit, sequence, finish design, upload, print MOVE ON. You will be far happier, far nicer to be around and you won’t be asking anyone for anything. This doesn’t mean you make junk, or move so fast you produce a sub par species, but be realistic and spend the bulk of your time making images.