OFF-TOPIC: Photo books

As my main hobby is photography, I am, of course, in contact with many other folks with a like interest. Many photographers have been very constrained over the last year as a result of the pandemic limiting our ability to travel. I am lucky because, although my travel has been no less limited, my style of photography is predicated on the assumption that, wherever you are, there are images to be had.

So, I have been just as productive with making images during 2020 as I might have been in a “normal” year. Actually, I feel that I am making an increasing number of images that satisfy me, as I am homing in on my own style more than ever before. I have my usual problem: what to do with the pictures. Although I enjoy making the images, it is always challenging to figure out how to use/share them. I post online in a few places, I enter competitions etc. and, each year, I make a photo book …

Every year, I create a book of my best work. I have done this since 2011 and it is nice to look back to see whether I am making progress. The books are all the same format: 30cm square, with one image on each of the 32 pages. My process is quite simple: After the year end, I look at my catalog of images, filter for the year just passed and for a “star rating” [I mark images that I am happy with]. Then I pare down the number to fit the 32 pages. At least, this has been my process up until now. This year, I got the number of images down to 54 and I am having a real problem reducing it further. I guess that it is great news that I feel I have more “good” images, but I need to decide how to make the book. I think there are two options: increase the number of pages to 54; use multiple images on some pages. I will ponder further.

Here are some examples of pictures that I anticipate including in the 2020 book:

My next job will be to upload these to the vendor’s website and assemble the book using their web-app. That takes a little while because initially I have to relearn how to use the tool; a year is just long enough to forget. Once it is ready, I will sit on my hands and wait until I can get a good discount. Right now, I can get 50%, but I would like more. I am wondering whether making the book and leaving it ready to order will trigger the offer of a better deal …

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