Workshop Book Feedback

Bamboo Grove, originally uploaded by Eric Jeschke.

Key: R20080530-181726

As I reported yesterday, I spent today at a photo workshop by Robbert Flick, who was the fly-in guest juror for a local photo contest.  In conjunction with the contest, they held a workshop.  He showed and talked about his work for about an hour, and then we spent the rest of the morning and early afternoon (with a break for catered lunch) reviewing portfolios of the 20+ photographers present.

In lieu of a portfolio I brought my VioVio-made SoFoBoMo book, showed it around, and had it reviewed.  It got a lot of positive comments, including from Robbert, who gave some nice feedback on it.  The negatives seemed to revolve around my use of a running page header.  The header has the book title and a subtitle running on even pages and my name and web site running on odd pages.  He would have rather seen no text at all on the pages, just images.  Even the page numbers he would have preferred in a smaller font, possibly in a light grey.  He recommended that if image titles were needed, he’d put them in the front or back material, and not under the photos.  The purpose being to let the work speak to the viewer without a lot of interference.  This advice seemed a little counter to some of the dialogue I’ve been seeing in the SoFoBoMo posts and comments, where I was getting the impression that adding some text putting the picture in context for the viewer was a good thing.  I need to think some more about that.

I asked specifically about the image quality of POD publishing.  Robbert suggested that unless you were willing to spend some good money for a really good press and a press run (and even then), you were unlikely to get anything close to what you can do on your own inkjet.  Most of the participants really liked the book, leading me to think that maybe I’m just being unrealistically high in my image quality expectations.  And, as I said, I am completely happy with the aspects that I was most worried about: neutral B&W, the overall tonal range.  Anyway, some good strokes.  And it got me feeling a lot more positive about the VioVio result, especially considering the price.

All in all I had a great time at the workshop.  Just listening in on the critiques of all the photographer’s work, looking at some great images, talking photography–I usually pull some good things out of this kind of event.  I came away with one or two BIG things to think about in my own work, things that I’d never gave much thought to before. I’ll be sharing those in the next couple of days.

And I think I’m going to give Lulu a shot at printing the book.

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