Book Subscription Newsletter

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Dear Smogranch Reader:

Testing something here…..and I’m hoping you will play along. I’m thinking of starting a quarterly publication, a magazine I’m guessing, and am attempting to figure out not only how many people are interested but also the best way to communicate with those people. The idea is when I hit “Publish” you will all be notified of the arrival of said publication. Not that you have to actually buy the damn thing, although that would be nice, but at least you will know about the happening. In the future I will offer one-hundred print copies, but there will be an opened ended number of digital copies available. So, if you are so inclined, sign up and take the ride. Like I said, this is an ongoing test. I was hesitant to do this, but I think this ability is critical for anyone seriously wanting to independently publish, something I find myself wanting to encourage. Also working on a way to “spiff” one of the hundred people, randomly of course, but I’ve got some ideas.
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Here is your mission if you choose to accept it. The test magazine is here. I never intended to go public with this, which is ironic considering the title and content. Shot with Leica, and Hasselblad, and shot on location in Utah, California, New York and the United Kingdom, “Whistleblower” is a look at the terminology of modern warfare hidden in the language of everyday life. This is a mere twenty-pages and is only a first taste of the project. Subsequent magazines will be a higher page count with more content.

LINK TO THE NEWSLETTER SIGNUP

LINK TO THE EBOOK

As for now, I’m only going to offer this as Ebook. When it’s done, sometime in 2055, I’ll offer the print version. Thanks people.

Discount Code from Smogranch

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Photo: Napper

I’ve included this action pose for your viewing pleasure. I’m doing PRECISELY what I tell people never to do…….CHIMP.

You didn’t ask for this but I’m giving it out anyway. For those of you about to order something juicy you an use this code to save 25%.

the code: SMOGRANCH25

the details:

to save 25% on print book orders $75+**
Offer good through August 31, 2014
**Offer valid through August 31, 2014 (11:59 p.m. local time). Valid for first-time customers purchasing printed books only. A 25% discount is applied to your product total with a minimum purchase of USD $75, CAD $75, AUD $75, EUR €60, or GBP £50. Maximum discount is USD $100, CAD $100, AUD $100, EUR €75, or GBP £65 off product total. This offer is good for one-time use, and cannot be combined with volume discounts, other promotional codes, gift cards, or used for adjustments on previous orders

Ebooks

I just got a brand new laptop. Yep, a screaming fast 13-inch maxed out on RAM. It had been a long while since I had a new machine. I got used to all the tricks I had to employ to get my old laptop to actually do the things I needed to do. No two Creative Suite programs open at the same time. If converting RAW files I had to leave the machine alone and prop it up on books to keep it from overheating, etc. etc. Not any more.

One of the things I never think about when I get a new machine is the work required to get it up to speed. I need software, programs, attachments, etc. In the process of upgrading I realized I now I have an operating system that views Ebooks. Hadn’t really thought about adding mine, but suddenly I was staring at the iBooks interface as it appeared on my desktop. I thought, “What the Hell.”
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I stopped adding my books at ten, but I do indeed have a few more. I had no idea. Over the past year it has become second order for me to just make one from any project I’m doing. Oddly enough, I have three iPads, all of which are broken, but the one I have that still retails a faint heartbeat only has ONE program that works….iBooks. But, even stranger is that most of the time when I show my work this way it’s on my phone. Now that I have the new operating system I’m curious to see if this will become a part of my routine. I’m not actually trying to show people my work, but from time to time I need examples, so this works out well.
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If you are prone to showing your work and want options you should at least give one of these a go. I do enjoy stills and audio. Video is okay, but for me three elements are one too many. I’m in the minority here I think, as usual. Have a look for yourself.
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I’m going to blow my own horn here. This last image….I love. So simple, such beautiful light. And one small audio file to give you the SOUND of that place and that moment. What could be better? Free frozen yogurt? Ya, okay, that, but not much else.

Because I Can: The Postcard Book

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Hey Folks,

This is the latest post in the “Because I Can” series about making Blurb books in an edition of ONE. Yes, you heard and read correctly. I’m making books with the intention of capping the print run at ONE book. Why? BECAUSE I CAN. We have really only had this option since about 2006, yet photographers ALREADY seem to take this for granted. I know, there is so much change on a daily basis that we are perpetually thirsty for the new, always wanting the latest and greatest. I get it. However, I for one cannot overlook the power in having the ability to make a single book. I wrote about this in a previous post, so if you want the background then go back and have a look. I pulled a selection from that prior post to set the table for this one. This is a series people. I’ve made at least a dozen books already and have eighteen more in the pipeline.

This book was created after overhearing a conversation between two young girls in a Japanese stationary store. They came across postcard material and said “Remember these? I really miss getting these in the mail.” Then they spoke about “giving up” and going with email. I asked myself “Why?” Why do we do this to ourselves. We give in, give up, cave to what is happening these days, as if we don’t have a choice. This book was crafted from found post cards, scanned front and back. Postcards were then sleeved and inserted into airmail envelopes.

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Books I Love: Beyond the Fall

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The latest installment “Books I Love.” The concept is very simple. Find a book in my collection, photograph it, then share it with you. The idea being to share what I love about the book or why I have it. The books will range from traditionally published, POD and handmade. The only stipulation is that I love the book. Most of them have a backstory, which I will also share. Books and photography are forever linked, so why not explore the relationship through my bookshelf. Hope you enjoy.

In short, I don’t think you can find a better book of reportage. “Beyond the Fall” by American photojournalist Anthony Suau is a ten-year look at the former Soviet Bloc in transition. TEN YEARS for those of you who came of age in the “modern” photography world of weekend essays, isn’t an exaggeration or typo. He spent TEN YEARS working on this book, and one look at the images living on those pages and you will very clearly see what that kind of time does when it comes to the quality of reporting. Suau covers it all, politics, family, war, high-society and everyday life. When I think of documentary photography books, it’s publications like this that set the bar. You have to remember something very, very important. This is a book of moments. The vast majority of these images are one frame moments. Just think about that. Just think about how much time and focus that requires. Now think about doing that over a ten-year period. So many of the documentary books I see today are the “abstract urban landscape book” void of people(So no need for interaction or model release) or the “portrait series” documentary book which can be done VERY quickly(There are a few stellar books in this category however). Forget it, this book was like an ultra-marathon.

Now, books like this rarely get the credit they deserve because for whatever reason work like this is considered too reality based and the art world doesn’t seem to know what to do with it(Something that has been written about by a fair number of art-world folks), but for me this work is SO DIFFICULT, so RARE and so TIME CONSUMING it deserves it’s own wing in the museum world. Forget the gallery world, this work it more important than MOST of those spaces(There are worthy galleries.)

I KNOW there are so many of you out there living under the ultra-romantic notion of photographer. The loner walking the back streets of a crumbling empire, Leica in hand, pouring their life into their contact sheets. Well, in this case, that is in some ways what you had, but I will remind you of the DATE these images were taken, and the reality that this lifestyle is EXTREMELY rare today because the industry that supported photographers at this time is basically gone. Even during the time this book was made it was a supreme struggle to do this work. Today, nearly impossible. The time isn’t being spent, the work is made digitally now and it just doesn’t have the same cache or impact, nor do folks want to slow down and actually appreciate the work. The reason I’m telling you this is to slow YOU down when you consider a book like this. This is a treasure. A gem. Give yourself, and the photographer, some respect and sit down alone, sans mobile phone umbilical cord, TV, laptop, iPad, etc., and just look at the work, start to finish, front to back. Trust me, it’s worth it.

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I simply can’t tell you the range of what this book offers. I’m not even going start with design or materials, which are both very good, because I still can’t get over the quality of the photographs. The alarming thing is that each photograph represents what has to be an archive of other work. You see an image of a destroyed downtown Grozny during the height of the Chechen War and you think “What ELSE does he have?” You realize to get that one image there had to be MONTHS of preparation and sacrifice. This work is “classic” in all the right ways, and could or should be used in photojournalism schools to illustrate the kind of work being done by one motivated individual with time and resources. Perhaps not as much as he would have liked, actually don’t know, but I’m guessing. This book gets better with age.

Don’t walk, RUN, and go by this thing.