Instant Grammar 2013

The Book’s Finished!!

During this past week I spent a good amount of time going through all the images from last year’s 365 Project that I described in a previous post (365 Projects – What’s Next? ). After gathering all the images, the task of culling them to a number that would produce a reasonably priced book was harder than I expected, but nonetheless gratifying even in some unexpected ways.

The Cows are Hamming it Up!
The Cows are Hamming it Up!

There may be some good reasons for all of us to go through a process like this once in a while.  It’s healthy to go back through a body of work and make decisions about what we’re going to include for publication in print (I gently put forth the concept that having photography in print is a different level of visceral connection to a work than on a computer screen; I may have to write a blog post about that concept).  It certainly felt like a cleansing to me with a much more positive outlook on my work as a result.

Fingall's Cave on the Island of Staffa.
Fingall’s Cave on the Island of Staffa.

First to describe the process that I used.  I took the 365+ candidate images (there were some days, where I had several interesting images, so I included these for this process rather than prejudging).  I assigned rating stars to all of the potentially publishable images, which wound up ranging from 3 to 5 stars.  Including all the extra images, this resulted in 229 images at 3+ stars: too many!  At this point, I did a quick re-scan to ensure that non of the 3-star images should have a change in rating and set the cut-off at 4+ stars: 164 images!  Still way too many, as my target was slight less than 60, so that I could publish it in a  60 page book.

Dunkin' Donuts and the Weather
Dunkin’ Donuts and the Weather

Another quick scan allowed me to get the number of potential images down to about 130, which was moving in the right direction.

Rather than continuing to pare down the number of images through this methodology, I decided to start formatting the book, which gave me the opportunity to get a sense of how the various images would work together on facing pages.  As I did this, a sense of flow and story was developing, which resulted in a very satisfying end product (I’m still writing the afterword, but that’s a matter of another 30 minutes max) that will go out later today for production.  I’m psyched!

Oh, almost forgot: go out and do something likes this for one of your projects and you’ll appreciate your own work a lot more!

Author: jansenphoto

A Fresh Perspective Photography is more than just a vehicle for capturing the world around me; it provides me with a palette and a set of brushes, with which I paint not only what I see, but also look to express the emotions that are evoked by the scene in front of me in that moment. Growing up in the Netherlands exposed me to a wide cross-section of visual arts that laid the foundation of my photographic view of all that surrounds me. Early influences were the Dutch Masters of the 17th century, to whom I was introduced by my grandfather during museum explorations; favorites among them are the scenes of quotidian life depicted by Jan Steen and Frans Hals and the vivid landscapes of Jacob van Ruisdael. My classical high school education was supplemented by the Boijmans Van Beuningen museum, where I spent many a lunch hour exploring its great collection. Here I was introduced to surrealism with a particular love for the approach taken by Salvador Dali; Dali also rekindled my appreciation for the work of Hieronymus Bosch, who often showed the folly of us mortals. Universal Connections My approach to any photographic subject is to look for understanding first; in this I look to establish either a connection between the viewer and the subject or capture the connection of the subject with its surroundings. The captured image then aims to portray this connection from a perspective that is part of my personal interpretation. This interpretation is often a form of externalized introspection, which may alternately display the connection of isolated beings and items with their environment or highlight the whimsy of the profound world, in which we find ourselves. The universe is full of connections, many of which are waiting to be discovered; part of my journey as a photographer is to document these connections. Any assignment, be it an event, a product shoot or a portrait session is always approached through communication with the client; this is where the first connection is established. Ideas are exchanged and a collaborative plan of action forms, ultimately resulting in a set of images that aim to exceed the expectations of each client. And, lest we forget, it is important to have fun while practicing the serious business of photography!

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