Old School, 20-dupe slides
I’m not sure who this post if for. Young photographer maybe. Old photographer maybe. Curious photographer? I don’t know. But, I was cleaning out my office the other day, something I find intensely satisfying, and began to uncover A LOT of strange things. Odds and ends. Tidbits. Scraps. Failings. Creative tailings. One of the things that began to emerge was a variety of things all related to the same work. I did the project in Sicily. I like it. It’s one of the things I hope I’m never done with because I can’t imagine not wanting to go back to Sicily or not wanting to keep working on this piece. However, I have enough images where I can say, “I’ve got a project here.”
My second ever Blurb book and first on Sicily. Also the best selling Blurb book I’ve done.
I realized what I had, in the pile of debris from my office was an assortment of portfolios all relating to the exact same work. At first I thought, “Jesus, what was I thinking?” but after deeper consideration I realized these portfolios, in all their incarnations, served a variety of uses and purpose. And I figured that a lot of other photographers probably did the same.
5×7 print box, perhaps my all time favorite way of showing images.
I’m not sure which of these portfolios came first. Could have been the slides, or the small, initial prints, but I have to say, this small box is perhaps my favorite. I do this with much of the work I do. I do a shoot, a real shoot, like a long-term project shoot then I come home, edit. Then, I print the best few images in small size, either 5×7 or 4×6. Those go in a small box like this. That’s it. I keep doing this. Eventually, that little box is full and I’ve got a good start on the project, book, essay, etc.
Inkjet prints with metal, spiral bind.
I think I used this little baby at a portfolio review. Made some inkjet prints, not great ones by any stretch, then bound them in sequence to show at a portfolio review. It has been YEARS since I’ve done a review so I can’t remember all the details.
Camera Arts and Black & White Magazine
The work was also published at least twice, once in Camera Arts Magazine and once in Black and White Magazine. These too became part of the show process that I added in for this work. At the same type portfolio reviews I would first show them the work, then see if they were really looking or paying attention. Then, depending, I would bust out the publications and say something like “Oh ya, these guys ran this work,” very casually. For some reason this old idea still holds water for some folks, the idea that a magazine would run your work. It’s the old adage, “Well, if they found something interesting then maybe I should to.” I’ve never believed in this, simply because of the work I’ve seen published and knowing some of the reasons WHY it was published. But, alas, I was not immune to playing that game.
A second Blurb book that just wasn’t good. But, I made it anyway.
So over the years I kept coming back to this work and making new books of the material. I’m not sure why but I did. Some worked, others didn’t. But, those that didn’t taught me some good lessons. Printing, cover choice, typography, design, etc.
Another incarnation of the book that was too expensive and took to long.
You might be wondering if this kind of thing is excessive. I don’t know. Maybe. Or maybe not. Maybe ultimately it will lead to the “mega-book” or mega-portfolio.” I’ve not done anything quite so extensive with work since this time, and I think I’ve done work that is equal to or greater than this work.
Large print box, 13×19 prints.
I think this final installment is important. The large print box. These prints are large enough and expensive enough to really make you think before hitting “print,” which means I really had to edit before I hit the button, something I think is being lost in the modern photo-world. I love editing. Not saying I’m good at it, but I do like it. A powerful, talented editor can take a semi-lame duck and turn it into a nicely marinated, slightly crisp on the outside, duck dish of dishes. I know cause I’ve had it happen.
My point with all this. Don’t know. Just thought it was an interesting find.