year 2017, week 39.
step by step guide to creating a book
(not really step by step or a guide per se but hear me out)
I shot everything with my X-Pro1 and 35mm f1.4 lens. ISO and focal distance of 2 feet stayed constant. I adjusted aperture and shutter speed to accommodate for a +2/3 exposure in camera so the editing of the photos was simple. After I opened Lightroom and imported the RAW files from my card I tweeked the sliders on one photo until it resembles what I envisioned. Contrast, exposure, vibrancy, and saturation all got subtle nudges. Color temperature goes from Daylight to 4750 K because that looks right to me. Then I copy the edits and apply them to all photos. Before I call it I review each image and adjust the exposure so that the histogram is relatively in the same spread.
This isn’t my normal approach to editing but I want these photos to have nearly all the same parameters so that the “subject” of the photo is color and not my alteration of the scene.
I have not done this step yet but it is my plan tonight.
Export. Now I can work out a book design and figure out the final size my photographs need to be but that is too much work. Instead I export all of my photographs full size jpegs. That will give me the most flexibility in BookWright.
Once in BookWright I just pick the book size I (think I) want and get to work. For this case I am pretty sure I will stick with the 6x9 trade book. This aspect ratio is the same as my photographs so that step is easy. As far as design of my photos I will put them full bleed because I want the color to be the focus. I can’t lose track of that. Color is key. Minimal text will be in the book. Maybe a title page and then some space at the back but that will be figured out later.
It is all about color. The gradient of atmosphere and molecules reduced to pixels in my camera. Eventually it is just blotches of ink on paper.
Tuesday night I sequenced all of the photos in Lightroom Mobile on my iPhone, from Lightroom on my desktop I exported as mentioned above (with the exception of file name which I added a sequence number to the beginning of the file name), then impoted into BookWright. Laying out the photos was easy; create enough pages for them, apply a full bleed layout to them all by selecting the pages and clicking once, set the photos to be sorted by name, and clicking “Auto-Create Book”.
It placed all the photos in the order I sequenced on my phone! Wow. In a matter a 20 minutes (including sequencing) I was well on my way to having a book! I think I found a great process although this worked out best because everything in the book (image size & layout) is uniform, I think I will try this more often.
So now on to the title page and the pages at the end. That is all I have left. At the end I will add my thoughts on color and maybe some definitions for terms that create these colors. Then there will be some blank pages. These will be for something I will discuss tomorrow. The book is sitting at 110 pages which is big. In fact it is the biggest page count I think I’ve done. Again, this is about color and the significance in slight variations of the color of the sky so I am not worried about having too many pages.
Lets talk about the blank pages at the end of the book. Since this book will contain almost 100 photographs that are seemingly recitative I don’t see this book as being a best seller (like all my other works of art). Instead of forcing this book to “look” like I want it to be one I have decided to take a different path. This book will be printed once. I will get the book and sit with it for a bit then write my thoughts in the back. After I am done with it I will give it to Nick Tauro, my lone and faithful Pateron supporter for him to enjoy. Once he feels complete with it he can write some words in the back and pass it on to whomever he chooses. and so on. and so on. Until the book is full and that person will return it to me. My hope is that all the transactions of the book will be in person and over a discussion on the topic. The person giving the book will have plenty to say and the person receiving will most likely have questions. I hope to order the book this weekend. It is nearly complete.