Making books

The Field Book

I have recently returned from a photo book making workshop run by photographers Joe Wright and John Blakemore. It was part of the programme surrounding the Inside the Outside collective exhibition at Photo Parlour in Nottingham.

The workshop ran across two days. The first day was mainly run by John. He discussed books he had made, showing us many examples and then demonstrated how to make a few different forms of book. For the workshop, we were required to bring a series of images to make a book from. In the afternoon he helped us edit and sequence these for our first book.

I brought a selection of images from my Field project. These were a little problematic. I had already done an edit at home to reduce the number of images I brought with me which left us with fewer options. There probably wasn’t enough consistency between the images. While the images are of the same field, they were stylistically too varied. I needed to decide if the chronology of the images was important, still not sure. Including a repeating motif would have helped in consolidating the project. So basically the project I thought I had almost finished still needed much work.

The second day was mainly about making our own book using the sequence from the previous day. Before that though Joe showed us some of his also wonderful photo books and then some of the tools that can help in book creation: RotaTrim, paper creasers. I didn’t manage to complete my book on the day. I got as far as completing the book block and the cover.

The book is now complete. I changed the sequence of images slightly from the one decided on that weekend by augmenting it with some new images and removing a couple but the sequence is in essence the same. It still has many of the issues commented on while sequencing at the workshop but as a first go I’m quite happy.

The weekend was really enjoyable. I learnt a new skill and met a bunch of great photographers. Book making is something I would like to take further. It encompasses many things I believe in. Photography should be about the physical object of the photo. Viewing photos on a screen is a second class way to view them. I work in series and a book allows me to bring images together in one object. I also like the craft. The final product was made by me and only me. Below you’ll find a video of the book.



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