Monday, July 4, 2011


Not ones I've read, but ones I have created.  For some time I have had a passion for photo books and have started to create my own.  I started this as a way to economically print many of my underwater photographs and then moved to creating a book for each diving expedition I undertake.

I use Blurb as I find the software to be very flexible and the quality of the books is excellent.  One key concern for me is colour management, however, thus far the books pretty much look the way they do on the screen.  There are limitations, such as having to use 8 bit JPG's, I would prefer to use 16 bit TIFFs, but that would make the size of the book very unwieldy.  This does ultimately limit the quality I can achieve.

So far I have not published a book specifically for OCA purposes, however, creation of photobooks is a big part of my personal photographic practice and so deserves a mention here.  Until recently I was prone to creating books that maximized the number of photos through having multiple shots per page and trying to be creative with page layout.  There in nothing really wrong with this, it creates a "nice" record of a vacation, but lacks a cohesiveness. As a result for my latest underwater imagery book, I have gone down the "art" side of the design process, eliminating almost all text and limiting photographs to one per page.  I have also shifted to a white background and every photo has a white border.  I have allowed some variance in the aspect ratio of the shots, but where possible have matched them to the page layout, 8 x10.

Here is "Sabah":

By Shaun Clarke

This book is my first genuine attempt at trying to treat underwater imagery as art, although it also contains photographs from the rain forest as well as above water shots of the lagoon.  This is also a stepping stone for me, as I moved from a focus on macro towards a more landscape style, preferring wide angle views to close in shots of the weird and wonderful creatures that occupy the reef.

I have also followed that approach in the creation of a wedding album for Tina and Manuel.  Once again I have limited text to simply their names and gone with a very clean page layout, allowing no more than two photo's per page, once again on a white background, but this time in portrait format:

In the past I always used black paper, even for weddings (what was I thinking) and was more than a little creative with my composition.  This looks much better and, I think, is providing good practice in the creation of photo books.  This is my favored presentation style for images, I am unlikely to get anything on a gallery wall in the near future.

No comments:

Post a Comment