Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Learning from the Work - SoFoBoMo

While I can't say that I'm settled into all the technical requirements of producing a PDF book or a hold-in-your-hand book, I can say that I've calmed down. I've written down a workflow and tried it out. It seems to work. Still there is much to do on finding a layout and design but I plan to keep that pretty simple. I like simple photography books where the image is the message. So, in the back of my mind stuff has been kind of churning about making the images.

Often when I'm feeling lost I go back to David Bayles and Ted Orland's book, Art & Fear. My copy is dog-eared and splotched with yellow highlighter. Sure enough, I found some guidance--

"...expectations based on the work itself are the most useful tool the artist possesses. What you need to know about the next piece is contained in the last piece. The place to learn about your materials is in the last use of your materials. The place to learn about your execution is in your execution. The best information about what you love is in your contact with what you love. Put simply, your work is your guide."

I went back over the last two years of images. If I use the work that I have liked as my guide, then the image will be square and will be made with a bad lens......either the holga camera with film, a holga lens mounted on a digital camera or with a lensbaby or maybe all three. Okay, that is settled.

Knowing which lens I will use started me looking for another reference. I can't find it or remember it exactly but it was something about the first sentence that you write in a novel eliminates so many stories that could be written. And each successive sentence after that eliminates more that by the time you have written the first page your novel is set.

I think this is true. Choosing the lens has eliminated a lot of subjects and I'm sure soon my focus (excuse the pun) will narrow down even more as I make other decisions about the project. On one hand, I hate to start feeling locked in but on the other I think knowing where I'm going will open doors.

9 comments:

Babs said...

How exciting for you to "expand your horizons" with this project! I'm envious and realize there are times when I miss design......but not often enough to get back into it! Ha........

glorv1 said...

Sounds like you are more at ease now and are really starting to get into it. I'm so rooting for you. Thx for sharing.

pitchertaker said...

These last two images seem to be on the road to success...

Paul said...

Billie, I have that book as well, though admittedly, it's not dog eared. I'll have to read some more of it this weekend. I think that you've touched on something very important, reviewing your previous work.

I keep coming up with ideas for SoFoBoMo, but have not committed to one just yet, but I think that I'm getting very close. Posts like these help. Thanks!

rgl said...

Hi Bille - Good luck with the SoFoBoMo project. I just tried a test run using WORD to create the book (save as PDF) then I uploaded it to ISSUU where it was then transformed into a good-looking eBook.

http://issuu.com/rglongpre/docs/through-a-jungian-lens-1

Billie said...

rgl, I checked out your test book. It looks great. You give me hope! Also make me a little nervous. It will be hard to top....Oh...That's right, this isn't a competition! LOL

Howard Grill said...

Billie...I have often thought about pdf e-books. Do you know of any books or websites that give an overview of the technical side of how to make them...what software is easiest to use and how to use that software to make a layout etc??? Where did you learn?

Howard Grill said...

Whoops...scrap that last comment....I missed a few posts and am reading the blog backwards in time....I see that you have been posting the trials and tribulations of the process!

Billie said...

Howard, I received some really good advice from Rosie and I put a link in that entry so you can find that. I'm thinking for the PDF book, I'll do it in photoshop and use Acrobat to make the PDF. Paul Lester says Scribus isn't too bad but he is a software guy!