Any year end Photo Books?

Discussion in 'The Watering Hole' started by Ray Sachs, Dec 14, 2012.

  1. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    Although my discipline was flagging, I finally got it together to assemble of book of my favorite work from this year. Seems to be an end-of-year project in lieu of photo albums so I'll have an easily browsable record of my year in photography. I'd already done a book in the Spring of the loads of shooting I did during the month I spent in NYC in April. That was my major photo project of the year, so another book seemed almost beside the point, but I did a lot of other shooting this year as well that I wanted on paper, so I took a day and pulled this together.

    The book can be viewed here: 2012 - In Photos by Ray Sachs: Arts & Photography | Blurb Books

    You can view it online, but the quality is pretty iffy depending on the size of monitor you're using. There's a PDF version that can be downloaded for $5, but I'm not trying to make any money here, so if anyone would like a copy of the PDF to browse, I think you should be able to download it for free here in Google Docs: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0BzYbLKEAQf-lZlJlSkJpV3ppN1U/edit. The quality of the PDF is quite good and extremely scalable - I can open the images up as single images on my 27" monitor and they still look great, even though that's far larger than the published prints will be in the hard copy of the book.

    Anyway, have a look if you'd like. And if anyone else puts together anything like this, feel free to add links to this thread. I love seeing people's work on the site as it comes along, but there's something about a year end retrospective that's can be really fun to look through.

    -Ray
     
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  2. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    After seeing Lightmancer's post a week or two back, I've started going through my flickrstream to see what my favorites are. I'm hitting delete on a lot of photos, but I'm also finding more of them that I like than I thought I would. I almost never visit my old photos, but am quite enjoying it. The problem is that I seriously overcooked a lot of them (and I still do from time to time.....so much for learning from one's mistakes) so I'll want to reprocess some. But I think a book is a great idea. I'll share my results when I finish up.....hopefully this month, so I can start the new year with a clean slate.

    I doubt I missed many of your shots Ray, but I'll definitely have a looksie at work today if it's slow.
     
  3. Isoterica

    Isoterica SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 6, 2011
    Very nice Ray! I keep telling myself that I need to do this.. storage media will change but books have lasted us so far.
     
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  4. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    I guess that's another reason to do this, but I just do it because I like having them on hand to look at. I'm not likely to go digging back through old photos in the depths of my hard drive while at my computer. But every now and then it's nice to pick up one of these books and leaf through it over a cup of coffee or something. I look at them occasionally this way - otherwise I probably wouldn't. I tend to get sick of my stuff when I'm just through working on it, but after some time has passed, I tend to enjoy it again. Like seeing an old friend.

    -Ray
     
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  5. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Nic
    This is a really great idea. I guess the hardest part is going through your catalogue and choosing the images you want, and then deciding in what sequence you want to display them. No small task, that.
     
  6. fin azvandi

    fin azvandi SC Veteran

    270
    Feb 22, 2012
    Madison, WI
    Very nice Ray, I will browse through in more detail later.

    Last night I was also trying to put together a very small "best of 2012" collection, right now I've got it down to ~25 images. But I'll think about expanding the selection and printing a book for myself - although I already have many of them hanging on the walls...
     
  7. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    I usually do the culling slowly over the course of the year - marking shots I particularly like. So when the end of the year comes, I go through those, kick some of them out, keep some of them. And then I do a cursory browse through the rest of the stuff I haven't thrown out to see if anything grabs me that didn't previously. This would be a much tougher task if I was being more selective and trying to get it down to a best 20 or 40 or something. But I seem to end up with about 120-150 that I like enough to want to see again - they're not all great stuff by a long shot, but each shot has SOMETHING in it that makes me want to see it again. Anyway, the selection process is an ongoing thing so it doesn't take a lot of time when it comes time to produce the book. And then once I open the Blurb software and start building it, it usually takes me a good solid 4-5 hours over the course of a day or two to place the ones you want (you always end up kicking a few more out during this process because you just can't find a place for them in any sort of context), sequence them, match facing pages to some extent. But I keep it pretty simple, don't go for fancy layouts or anything (I've seen some great layout work done in other's books, but I would suck at that and it would take exponentially longer to pull together) and I'm usually ready to send it off to print within a day or two of when I start actively pulling it together. Its one of those things that's hard to start, but it moves pretty quickly once you get started...

    -Ray
     
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  8. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    Well, I finished marking my favorites. I still need to go through it a second time...there's a few instances of similar shots that need to be weeded out, and a few sentimental shots that aren't great that can be dropped. I'm at an overly generous 100 right now. Getting rid of similar shots could take me to 85....and leaving only the best would be closer to 40 or 50. Maybe I'll just print out a bunch and work on my technique for next year.

    It's not great, but there's some stuff in here I'm pretty happy with. If you don't mind seeing too many pet photos, feel free to check it out here...... my personal favorites from 2012
     
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  9. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    Sometimes I hate my ipad (usually not) - I had a whole response written out on this last night, the browser crashed before I'd hit "post" and all was lost. So, here goes again, but I'll probably never recapture the raw punk enthusiasm of that first take...

    Luke, you should never apologize in advance (or any other time) for your photography - there's some WONDERFUL stuff in there. I don't know if you don't post that much here or if I'm just not looking at the right threads, but I only remember seeing a handful of those shots - most were new to me. I should make you a Flickr contact, of course, but the contacts I do have already make me feel like a dick because I get a huge email once a week with links to all of their new stuff and, because I'm a dick, it feels like a burden and too often I don't spend the time to go through it, and that makes me feel like MORE of a dick, and so I pretty much never add contacts no matter how brilliant because that just makes the perceived burden greater, the time spent on it less adequate, greater feelings of dick-ness, etc - its all just a horribly vicious circle. It would just be more people to feel bad about spending even less time on - there's no way out but to quit Flickr altogether, but then I'd feel REALLY bad... But I LOVE going through a "best of year" set like this. You've got a lot of GREAT stuff in there and a few that are so damn entertaining I never bother to "critique" the quality - I'm too busy laughing or smiling. Great pet shots too. And really creative processing. I loved the classic car coming through the garage door to my mind, the foggy Milwaukee morning, the various hilarious planking shots (dinners ready really cracked me up), etc.

    So you should definitely make this into a book. I think you'd really enjoy going back and browsing through it in a year or a few when these shots are well out of your mind and just picking up a book for a quick look will be really enjoyable - I'm already finding that with my stuff from a couple of years ago... And you really ought to publish the captions you include on your Flickr pages - you give great narrative. I don't, so there's almost no text in my books, but yours just enhances the viewing experience - I had to back out of the slide show to see 'em.

    Anyway, a damn fine set, well worthy of print - thanks for sending us that link. Post a link when you have the book together - I'd love a PDF of it.

    -Ray
     
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  10. ajramirez

    ajramirez SC All-Pro

    Jul 9, 2010
    Caguas, Puerto Rico
    Antonio
    Luke,

    This is a fantastic set of photographs. I had seen most of them, but seeing them all together was a real treat. My wife really enjoyed it as well!

    You certainly had a fantastic 2012 photographically speaking.

    Cheers,

    Antonio
     
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  11. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    Thanks Ray, I appreciate your words. I actually didn't think I was apologizing in the above post.....you should see how I usually feel...LOL.

    And thanks Antonio (and to your wife who obviously has excellent taste...she married you), 2012 was the year I started getting decent at photography. Hopefully 2013 will see continued growth. I have a few photographs that are whole and complete that I am proud of and am starting to see what separates those from the rest. Most of the others I consider snapshots that are enhanced (or made more eye-catching...not necessarily better) with adventurous processing.
     
  12. ajramirez

    ajramirez SC All-Pro

    Jul 9, 2010
    Caguas, Puerto Rico
    Antonio
    Ray,

    What a treat it was to look through your book. Impressive both for the outstanding quality of the photographs, but also for the volume, given that it only spans one year. I enjoyed all the photos but particularly liked your family shots. They show such closeness and joy!

    Very well done. Bravo, Ray.

    Cheers,

    Antonio
     
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  13. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    Thanks so much Antonio. As much as I enjoy the street and other types of photography I do, I understand that in the long run, the family shots will mean FAR more to me than all of the other stuff put together. I used to go really light on the family shots in my books, but now I realize they're probably the most important part, given that the books are intended pretty much for my family and I. I'm happy to have other folks check them out too, but we're the only long term audience...

    -Ray
     
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  14. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    BB
    Ray, your idea of your discipline flagging makes me feel like a nincompoop when it comes to this stuff.:blush: That said, I'm always glad you post about your books and give us links and not only share your reasons for printing but these threads encourage the rest of us.

    "I do solemnly swear....", she says like the broken record she is....:wink: I am going to do this. Now to upgrade to the new Lightroom!:biggrin:

    I'll be checking your book and your link, Luke.:th_salute:
     
  15. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    I'll expect you to get right on top of that BB, because you obviously don't have anything ELSE taking up your time these days! :biggrin:

    I have the time and enjoy the process, but if either wasn't the case, I wouldn't do 'em either...

    -Ray
     
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  16. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    BB
    :drinks: OK, so next year it is - the end of the year.:tongue:
     
  17. fin azvandi

    fin azvandi SC Veteran

    270
    Feb 22, 2012
    Madison, WI
    Ray, if you don't mind my asking did you have to do any extra work to process your images for Blurb printing? I just downloaded their ICC profile from their website and when I soft-proof on my computer the images are quite a bit less contrasty and saturated compared to the generic sRGB profile I use as a "default" soft-proof. I've printed some of these same images from Mpix and they turned out fine, but I suppose that may be due to the difference between press and photo printing.
     
  18. photogfollett

    photogfollett SC Regular

    194
    Feb 7, 2012
    Roseburg, Oregon
    John
    Ray, thanks for inspiration to get off my rear and put together a project to get a book together of this year's work. It may take me a month or more to cull through my images but you've set me on the right path....Thank you!
     
  19. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    Fin,

    I hate to say it, but I have no idea what you're talking about, except generally. I'm really just not terribly concerned nor even aware of the technical details of how to ready my photographs for the most accurate reproduction. Maybe because I don't process in a way that has anything to do with accuracy to begin with, I don't even really notice if the printer adds small amounts of their own degradation to the process. If I got something back that I didn't like, I'd notice, but that hasn't happened. But that might just be my low standards!

    So, no, I don't do anything extra except make sure the files are of adequate resolution (they'll alert you if you try to stick a file into a book if it doesn't have enough pixels to print well at the size selected). But as much as I hate to admit it, I've never given a moment's thought to ICC profiles or different color spaces or any of that. So I guess I went by trial and error and when I did my first book in 2010, I sent if off and ended up being really happy with the printed result (unlike the online preview, which sometimes looks horrible and pixelated on a computer display). So since then I haven't worried about it at all. But, frankly, it would have probably had to have been pretty bad for me to notice.

    So, you should double check all of this stuff before you do a big print run. Or maybe do a very small "test" book from them and just get one copy to see if it meets your standards. I think Christina or Karen (Briar) did that with their first effort to see if it printed to their standards. I've been happy with the results of just dropping the files in there, but that doesn't mean a more discerning eye would be...

    Sorry to not be of more help...

    -Ray
     
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  20. fin azvandi

    fin azvandi SC Veteran

    270
    Feb 22, 2012
    Madison, WI
    Thanks Ray, that is actually quite helpful. From looking at your work I feel like you have a pretty clear style for how you want your images to look in terms of colors and strong contrast. So if you are happy with how your books have turned out that's reassuring.