Using only found images (ie images from family albums and local library archives, not published in magazines) research and construct a photo-artefact/story that weaves a narrative linking the people depicted within.
Development : Build and include a soundscape relevant to your story. Include personal stories from the subjects depicted.
During summer I discovered a folder in my HDD where I had dumped all photographs and video (digitized tapes) my mother brought back from her trip to Tulsa, Oklahoma. I didn’t get to see these for five years. The same goes for my mother. She had visited her brother, my uncle, after a very long period. My uncle has been living there for about 15 years. It was never very easy to pop in the States for a visit, due to the distance and price. I see everything from a much different perspective since I started this course. I have considered to make a book because since we made the switch to digital we haven’t seen any printed family pictures, considering that both my parents were taking photographs on the travels with a 35mm camera.
Save the files!
At this point I should mention that only half of the photographs was in my hard drive. The other half was left in my uncle’s drive due to lack of space in the camera. My uncle send several emails with 460 files in total. In the only issue is that sending them through Picasa as emails, they were down-sized about 10 times their original size. I went through my father’s old laptop were the emails were saved and individually extracted the files from Outlook.
Before I make this photo-book, I have the chance with the transformative storytelling task to create a first draft of the final piece. I have used video instead of ebook format or plain normal paper. I started by editing down the photographs. I have been through the 6 hours of tape in order to get a greater understanding of the environment my mother was for a month. She has recorded mostly the journeys from place to place. One thing I can certainly observe is the amount of time spent in cars.
make the video!
After editing, I started sequencing the photographs. I wanted to keep the initial form I had designed, but I realized that video was a broader canvas. I had much more space to cover, or leave blank. In the end I decided to put images side-by-side which either made some stand out better, or create individual small narratives within the main narrative. Since I am still experimenting with sequencing, and editing the second set of images, what you see below is not a final cut. Concerning sound, I will be pulling audio clips from the videos and perhaps add some creative commons material or record my own foley sounds to create a coherent soundscape.
Original post “My concern is that if the media takes to doing what Russell is demonstrating now, that people, the public will begin to disbelieve photographs generally and it won’t be as effective and as powerful a document of social communication as it has been for the last 150 years.” Fred Ritchin 1990
Though for some people it might be a no brainer, a straight answer as to what is better or not, I am glad that we had the opportunity to experience the pros and cons, the differences, between the physical and the virtual book.
Last week Matt asked us to bring a photo book from the library. The photo book had to be a practitioner’s body of work, not just a collection of photographs. We were split into two groups. One group would take part in a forum like those held by Matt’s PhotoBook Club, while the other group was making actual, physical books!
On the task, Victoria Lucas taught us how to bind books and some really useful tips in the process. We did start with Japanese Stab binding which in my opinion was quite easy and then we did a hardback Concertina, which proved to be more difficult as more tools were involved as well as more effort and time in order to measure and fold the papers.
It was quite an experience, while the thought that I can make my own books made me feel truly independent and being capable of publishing my work.
Right after finishing the book binding session we had a break and continued on to do the PhotoBook Club –like forum with the book we brought along with us. Each one of us had to briefly talk about the book and we chose it. We started discussing about each book while trying to identify the reasons why the book was put together in its current form, the selection of paper, the position of the photographs as well as the significance or not of text along the photographs, or just the beginning or the end of the book. We even discussed the possible connections between photographs that were side by side or on the same page of a book.
Finally, we all exchanged books, something I found really interesting as we all had the chance to learn more information on photo books, new and established artists as well as contextual information on their bodies of work.
A couple of days later, on the next session with George, we were taught how to create an e-book and how it can serve us and our work. After having a brief discussion on books and their value, George gave us demonstration with HP’s service MagCloud and Adobe InDesign. The basic idea of this demonstration was not just to make a pdf version of a book but the endless options we are given through internet. There are many other online services like MagCloud that can publish your book and even make it in print. What this kind of services do is to give you a template of the book they can print and all we had to do was use the template, in our case with InDesign in order to make a pdf file. You can then just keep the pdf or upload it on their service and make available through their marketplace. Options like making it available for free or by payment, just digital copy or printed are available in many of these providers.
The significance I see in this process is the convenience of making a book done and available in public within hours. This can serve really well in need of something going out in a uniformed “package”, the pdf file, and in lightning speed. Obviously the bigger picture here is the existence of the Internet and how it can be used as tool of any sort, its communication capabilities and the essence of speed.
I will not say if one of them two, physical or virtual book, is better than the other, because I have realised that they are both tools that serve you according to your needs. It’s all down to what’s the purpose of needing to publish something. You will have to jot down what you want, why; to who is addressed to and see which one satisfies your purpose.
I wouldn’t discard any of them from my inventory as both might come handy one day.