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insights into photography
Tag Archives: Laos
May 22, 2012Posted by on
Themes are a very good way of traveling with a camera. They give you something to look for and usually something to photograph. In Laos over Christmas I was taken by the number of houses, no matter how simple, that had satellite dishes attached so that became my theme although I did stretch the idea to include houses with solar panels and some houses without either. Here is the result of that series.
I try to collate my series of images in books; photo books are relatively cheap, about £1 a page, well cheap if you don’t have too many pages. You can see this book here
April 5, 2012Posted by on
I can’t believe you do not know about photobooks, they have been around for a few years now and the quality and range keeps improving. I have made books using different suppliers for a number of years. My first was an iphoto book, later I tried a Photobox book, then an Aperture book and recently YourPhotobooks. I have moved around with suppliers to get an idea of the quality they produce and the ease of book assembly. This week I completed a second book on my trip to Laos over Christmas and the new year and this time I went for Blurb Books. It is possible these are the market leaders although I am not sure how you could work that out. Their overall quality is excellent and their technical sophistication, explaining colour space, providing icc profiles etc far exceeds those of the other suppliers I have tried.
If you are interested to look inside my book click on the cover and it will take you to the Blurb site where you can preview it’s content.
I decided to go for the largest size available and as I had shot rather a lot of images whilst away it has a lot of pages. I tried using the templates for pages supplied but found this didn’t suit the layout I wanted. One of the very nice things about Blurb is that you can create your own page templates and save them so it is possible to define something unique to your purpose. Not only do you have choice of book sizes but also cover types, hard or soft back, wrap around or dust jacket, there are about 5 different paper types you can select also. This really is as close to a bespoke service as you could want.
The cost reflects the service, I always budget about £1 a page for an A4 photobook, this is pretty cheap if you think you can get several images per page. I probably have about 200 images in my Laos book and even at the cost of £70 for the 150 pages that is still only about 40p per image and many are full A4 in size. I decided not to try to make a profit on my book but Blurb allows you to set your own price and make profit on the difference when someone buys it. You can also put your books in their library for the world to peruse and choose to buy if they like your work.
Why am I telling you about this, well I have always thought of photography as something that has a point when it becomes physical. Viewing on screen on line is OK but if you want to collect your work into something that actually reflects your portfolio then prints or books are a must. You will be surprised at the reaction from family and friends when you show them a book(s) of your work and you will always have something to hand to show, no need to boot up the computer.
March 1, 2012Posted by on
I have now uploaded the full set of images to my Flickr stream, you can see them here
February 3, 2012Posted by on
I updated my website today, new images in Product, Academic, PR and Personal sections, go and have a look here
January 14, 2012Posted by on
A few landscapes and abstracts from ~Laos
January 13, 2012Posted by on
November 12, 2011Posted by on
I am thinking about going away at Christmas, in terms of business it will make no difference, as the UK closes down for 2 weeks commerce grinds to a halt unless you are a retailer. I haven’t been away since visiting Syria in 2009 and I think a trip is overdue. My current intent is Laos, it sounds perfect for me at a time of year when the weather back home is cold and grey and if like last year snow covered. A good time to escape. Maybe I will book today.
My inbox pinged and there was another sage missive from the excellent Tom Dining. He is a photographer from the Northern Territory in Australia, Darwin. For me he would not need to travel, all he needs to photograph is around him, but then again for him it is home. So this post from Tom hit at the heart of my current ponderings. Here is what he says
“In the process of learning to see, ordinary days and ordinary events can often take on a significance that is, to say the least, surprising, if not profound, but certainly extraordinary in their connection. Today is such an ordinary day.
The first event was a simple question posted on a blog.
” Where is your next big travel trip?”
Simple enough inquiry, but the implications in the particular context was that one needs to travel to photograph; to find new destinations, grandeous scenery, interesting people, places of beauty, the obligatory sunset or sunrise on a new and more exciting horizon, captivating architecture or the progression of interesting and dramatic lives and events other than those that fill our own seemingly mundane existence. We need the imagery of the imaginary, the visual spectacle of the spectacular; we need to see and record what we don’t have or pay homage to the representation of what we do have: the landscape.
The travelling photographer is armed with a vision we envy. He brings us a world out of reach to many. Like The Grand Tour we plan our lives, in part, to fulfil the dream and return with the booty of other places, neatly parcelled in a digital slide show which will be presented to friends and family on our return.
“See where I have been,” and we will sit in amazement at the splendor and beauty of it all.”
So Tom is challenging us to find images worth recording at home?…Is he getting to the root of why I want to go to Laos or in fact anywhere, am I missing the point?.
“While standing in the middle of the road framing one of many shots I took that morning, drifting blissfully through my own world, a gentleman approached from the curb.
“What are you photographing?’ he asked sincerely.
” The truth” I responded, only after the shutter hand been pressed and I was happy I had captured it as I saw it.
“I used to photograph rock art” he added, with some trepidation, moving back to the curb and seeking safety from the traffic and me.
Everyone has a vision of the truth. We can all find it and photograph it as we see it. When that is done, the beauty will be revealed. Finding your truth may be closer than you think.”
Read more of Tom’s wise words on his blog here
Here are some images from my last trip, if you would like to see more go here