Prototype : Photobook One

MA in Photography, Falmouth University, Module 3, Surfaces and Strategies, Week 7

I have been reading about the design, making, graphics, market for photobooks and looking at many online – both actual books and retailers and exhibitors.  They are complex constructs.  I have been grappling my own images, with formats, tonal variations, awaiting the delivery of my book binding kit, avoiding digital format tools and concluded that I needed to create a ‘fixed point’ around which I could navigate thoughts.  I thus decided to trim all ‘white’ excess from my loose prints, then place in an order that flowed and was in my view well considered.  This meant that all the landscape format images were, for the moment, put to one side, despite some being my favourite images.  

Prototype 1

Screen Shot 2017-07-15 at 16.15.12

figure 1

This move allowed me to then experiment with a ‘cover’ that is a slice of a large A3 print of a concrete facade and fold that into a front and back cover combined. The first and last leaves are test printed onto tracing paper.  These translucent sheets took ink relatively well (I need to overcome some fine dragging problems); in prototype 2 I would alter the justification of the text to the right and alter to a degree, so an obvious learning point there.  The use of a bulldog clip to act as my binding mechanism has allowed the mock up to take a book form.  The video, complete with Radiohead and a siren in the background was made holding my iPhone in my right hand and turning the small pages (circa A6) to show progress to date. I then spent two hours attempting to upload the video, then applying mp4 conversion software and repeating the upload, all to no avail. I have as a third option uploaded to Facebook (not my preferred choice as it is a public posting).  So the use of dummy here certainly applies, but work in progress https://www.facebook.com/facilitateurban/ (note look for the post entitle ‘test dummy of photobook’ as there will be subsequent posts on that site) – see figure 1 for still from video.

A Review work in progress

The prototype was presented to peers and my tutor Stella Baraklianou on 13th July 2017.  W discussed the dilemma of orientation and the exclusion of portrait images, once suggested method was to print the portrait images to the right of the page and leave a white space to the left hand side.  There was much discussion about two sided printing.  The text on tracing paper was thought interesting because it was a foil to the standard inkjet print.  We discussed fine paper solutions to printing and the potential for binding multiple paper types into one set. I tabled the idea of a ‘set of postcards’ that people could combine into their own self-made books using the bulldog clip to hold together, with a guidance sequencing sheet and a box to contain it.  Prototype two will learn from and mature these ideas.  I also need to devise a method of trimming each sheet to exactly the same dimensions as I currently have a number of variations.

Audience

I am focusing this on a long term view that the work will be most appropriate in book form and I suspect it will take several volumes as time passes (through and beyond the MA). For this module it will be on display for viewing at a relatively high end restaurant then in the sister bar from September onwards alongside the hung work.  So, the audience here will be the business, financial, development and political communities of Birmingham, as both the bar and restaurant are anchors within the CBD and those groups are the clientele.  These are the decision makers and of course potentially commissioners.

Design

I have acquired Adobe InDesign as I have a drive to create stronger graphic work, focused especially on the use of text.  This will help create a consistency of message and appearance.

Core Methodology

I am continuing to use the statement about my practice;

Pause.  Defining : The moment of discontinuity : The state of in-between.  Acting : To dwell in the moment and capture the interstitial state.

I am negotiating working with a design business and thus the quality of work and its presentation will gain increasing importance and relevance.

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