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Monthly Archives: May 2014

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I am in deepest darkest editing. I’m working on the edit for my book Generation Pink, going through three years worth of work. Over the years I have picked up the language of photography. Now I must learn the language of the photo book. I already¬†have a few phrases tucked up my sleeve, but I need more fluency. I have so been busy trying to get the point across, in my photographs, that the work seems to shout it out. I am in the process of cooling it down – spacing out – my ‘in your face’ busy shots, with some quieter pictures. In an effort to communicate more clearly and effectively.

 

I worked on this edit with two of my trusted photo book friends. The workshop I did with Akina made it clear to me that I wasn’t going to be able to edit my own work, by myself. Alex, Rudi and I spent an evening last week, making a start on it. The process is ongoing, as I live with it on my wall and work at it over the next few weeks. What becomes most apparent is the sheer amount of work that doesn’t make the final cut. From 2,143 images around 50 will be in the final book. From 223 additional research images I might use one. From the pages and pages of text in my notebooks, this will probably become 10 quotes.

 

And that is the beauty of making a photo book; only the best work, the images that communicate most effectively, work together to create a whole. The work is translated into a photo book and becomes greater than the sum of its parts. It’s the cream off the top and everything else gets chucked down the sink. And I am ready to be ruthless. I remember reading novels and being irritated when the author includes his/her research in the story. The research qualifies, and allows you to tell the story, but to include it dilutes the story for the reader. With this in mind I am intent to let go. There is no need to show my workings, that’s what this blog is for.

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On Saturday I attended a photo book making workshop held by Akina Books, and brought to Bristol by IC Visual labs. Akina are an independent, hand made, photo book publishing house based in London; holding workshops across Europe. We were fortunate and pretty excited to have them come to Bristol.

In less than four weeks the first Photo Book Bristol will be held here, drawing an international mix of publishers, photographers and book makers straight to the heart of Bristol.

So now my book project has a deadline. I need to have a book dummy ready for the festival. There will be people there, who I have met along the way, some that have seen the work at an early stage. It will be a great opportunity to get advice and feedback. And now I just might have a cover. This photograph comes from a session I did with my friend’s daughter Rosie. I have photographed her before so we were comfortable with each other. It was very much a group effort, as out of shot is my daughter Ruby who was ‘assisting’ me and Rosie’s brother Louis watching intently.

I will have to move mountains to get a dummy together in time, but it’s finally coming together and it marks the beginning of the end, of the past 3 years of my work.