Fine Photography Gallery

Discussion in 'Book, Magazine, Gallery Reviews, Shows & Contests' started by Ed Sukach, Jun 21, 2003.

  1. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    With apologies - I guess. I couldn't think of where else to post this.

    I recently was asked to recommend a book of "Fine Art" photography. The first thought that came to mind was "The Galleries at APUG" ... especially the Critique gallery."
    All of the images here form an impressive body of work, and If I were to open a book with these images at the local Borders, it would certainly be "at the same level" as the finest they have.

    The basic pholosophies here are such that they seem to breed fine work.
    I have been fortunate to meet some of the "great lights" in photography and there seems to be a common thread among the characters of all ... Generally they are modest (almost like: "I really can't quite understand what all the fuss is about me.); there is a willingness to help each other; a sense of humor about themselves; - I remember a gushing woman greeting one of the really `famous ones', "Oh, Mr. *****, you are the world's greatest photographer!" His reply: "Uh, yeh... well. I DO photography. I guess once in a while I make a good one".

    Somehow - APUG has evolved (?) or was it always so ... into the same atmosphere. A fertile field for excellent, expressive photography. The levels here are so high that it is difficult to critique. "Wow - look at that image ... and this one ... and this one ... and there is another great one ..."

    This is a wonderful - MAGIC - place, and all involved deserve the highest accolades.
     
  2. Thomassauerwein

    Thomassauerwein Member

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    Their is an energy here at Apug that seems to reflect peoples visceral energy towards photography. the images are stylized and reflect great diversity, Apug has somehow (without threat of rejection through an approval process) attracted a very high level of contribution. The books I see in the bookstores tend to either re-publish history with a new face or only the dreaded top 10 or 15 publically approved faces over and over again. On line galleries or publications are todays mechinism for visibility. The sad thing is we can't bind our computers and put them on the coffee table. Maybe we should talk to Sean and convince him to Bi-Annually publish articles,images and critiques. With the job they've done with Apug what they could with that project!
     
  3. Tim Budd

    Tim Budd Member

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    I know this may sound like a long shot - and perhaps an impossibility, but has anyone ever thought of getting the best images into a book and getting it published. We could look for contributions off APUG members and cut costs in areas like design by getting people to put forward their skills- I for one am a graphic designer.

    Just a thought, I don't know what others think?
     
  4. Les McLean

    Les McLean Subscriber

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    In theory it's a good idea but I'm afraid fraught with potential problems. The images to be included have to be selected who would do that?
    Certainly, the idea of people contributing their particular skill is a cost saver but finding a company to print it at the sort of quality required is likely to be expensive. Even if we could manage that, distribution is difficult to arrange. I'm not against the idea Tim but I've been involved in similar ventures in the past and they have always ended in acrimony. I've said in previous posts that we have a happy and growing group of interesting people and photographers and long may it last. I think this sort of venture, interesting as it may be, could introduce ill feeling and arguments that we could well do without.
     
  5. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I'm with Les here, I'm afraid...

    While I consider myself a hobbyist darkroomer, I nevertheless work long and hard at getting exactly the tones I want. If I feel it would improve the result, I'll use a different paper/surface/developer/toner until I'm happy or give up. I will also use different processing (and cropping) depending on the final size of the print.

    Now printing that in a book would be very, very expensive. I'm not sure I could afford to buy it - or whether I would if I could. A portfolio of 11x14" fine prints would probably be cheaper!

    But I love the idea :wink:
     
  6. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    Why, you Les of course! (Kidding)

    Publishing a book is not an easy thing and the reuturns are not worth the hassle. Like Les said, who would edit? if doing a simple critique can cause a big flame war, imagine if the editor decided to pass on images, he would probably get crucified. Printing and distribuitng the book can run into the many tens of thousands of dollars. Although Sean has done a great job getting sponsors (with the help of some people, you know who you are, thanks!!) I am sure APUG is no where near having that kind of money.

    While it would be nice to do a "pictures from afar" book with contributions from our members, I think this idea is one that will be in the "wish we could do this but...." tray.
     
  7. roy

    roy Member

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    In theory a super idea but, as others have pointed out, there are obstacles waiting just below the surface. An enormous task for whoever has to mastermind the project.
     
  8. lee

    lee Member

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    Ole's portfolio idea is an excellent one. One of the groups I read is a group that you need to be asked to join and I was lucky enough to know someone that was a member. We did a portfolio exchange a year or two ago. The way it worked was after the list came out of who wanted to do it, each member selected a print and made that many copies and then we sent them to a central member that had offered to collate them and resend them to each member. There were 2 portfolios that were extra. One was donated to the Houston Center for Photography and was sold in auction as a money raiser for HCP and the other was donated to the Harry Ransom Center for Humanities at the University of Texas Austin, TX. We could do the same thing I think. There was very nice work and I feel lucky to have been included.

    lee\c
     
  9. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    These are intrersting comments. I, for one would *HATE* to have to select "only a few" - there are so many really good ones - where would one start?

    I have no experience in publishing - however, I hope everyone realizes that "Fine Photography Books" *ARE* published - and certainly the risks and problems involved are no less with those than there would be here.

    Would we be beset by acrimony? ... I don't think so. That would be so far "out of character" for APUG ... I don't think it could happen.

    I certainly cannot speak for everyone, but if *my work* was not included, I would not go into orbit. I think everyone here has shown a level of maturity and a confidence in themselves so that "fits of pique" would surprise the hell out of me.
     
  10. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I also like the idea of a portfolio of some sort with a nicely printed cover as a more manageable kind of project to start with. If someone has access to gallery space, it could go along with a group show.
     
  11. clogz

    clogz Subscriber

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    Just a few ideas: how about publishing a book on CD?
    how about a calendar?


    Wonder what you think of this


    Hans
     
  12. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

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    I think the best way to go would be to partner with a magazine (photovision, black and white, lenswork, for example). The magazine would then take a big submission from APUG say once a year, then publish a yearly "The Annual APUG Portfolio". Who knows, maybe it would gain a cult following and be the 'sport's illustrated swimsuit edition' of photography? We would need to make sure the timing is right for this, maybe the site is still too young?
     
  13. Thomassauerwein

    Thomassauerwein Member

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    Maybe, if we create a theme for members to submit too, the volume of images would be less to choose from. then maybe a calender or an article written by Apug members can be submitted for publication.

    A theme Idea: Masterpiece collection Submitted images would be; an acheivement image, that when all education,experimentation and elements collide and you've got your first image that sais "I've arrived"

    I do have to say though, by going through processes like these the innossence of Apug will be put to the test. It may be best to leave well enuogh alone.
     
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  15. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    The calendar idea seems to be very feasible if certain concessions in quality are taken. I see it as a group effort for the group though... pictures by us for us and not a marketed item outside of the web. I do know that I would like them. The group showing and the magazine idea are also good ideas.
     
  16. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    Let me add to my statement that I have NO idea about the publishing of anything outside of the newspaper business. After working for various newspapers for the last 6-7 years I'm used to atrocious print quality and even a dot-matrix printer would do a better job.
     
  17. brimc76

    brimc76 Member

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    I just read about doing a CD project as, opposed to book publishing, in one of the articles in the latest issue of Lenswork Magazine. It was aimed more at personal projects but was very interesting.
     
  18. Nige

    Nige Subscriber

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    A while ago I bought some of those little CD's to create a "portfolio", with the intention if it came up any good (being able to deal with different screen sizes, etc), I'd get some of the credit card sized/shaped ones and have ones I could hand out to people (for whatever reason) The CD's are still in my cupboard...

    I have seen postings in various sites about online sites that will create/bind a book of your images. Can't think of there names at the moment. No idea of the quality, but maybe worth a look, but it does come back to who's going to edit it! Even a feature in a magazine would be hard as they don't have much room, maybe 5 -10 images would be it.
     
  19. Nige

    Nige Subscriber

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  20. Thomassauerwein

    Thomassauerwein Member

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    I'm sure with some ingenuity we could make our own books, I have an Epson 7600 printer, We could make jig for binding , create a cover and have something for motivated members to share within this community. In the long run it may be a way to have a tangible product for solicitation. I hesitate to submit this because of the time,money and political ramifications involved.
     
  21. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    Thomas does has a great idea, but I understand what could/could not happen because of it. What if we did some sort of small book? I know that the epson's also have the option to use rolls of paper, but I'm not sure of the actual size (I'm hoping 6-10" wide). The photos could all be printed this size and then mailed out with a cover and any other extra pages with text, etc. that would be decided on. Each individual could then decide whether they wanted to keep the images more as a loose-leaf portfolio while others could spend the extra $$$ to have theirs bound. I know Kinkos binds book for a very cheap price. I have access to a binder which lets you use those plastic rings, I would be willing to purchase a bunch of the binding rings and bind the books... at the moment I have lots of extra time as I can't print. And I also work at a dry cleaners where the business starts to slow down during the summer (less sweaters and dry clean only clothes) and could do my binding in-between waiting on customers. Hell, I could even put a couple of the books up for sale at the cleaners and also at a small-town gifts store (it's run by a lady and her mother and they take 10-15% I'm already planning on matting small b&w images and selling them there).
     
  22. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    I'm just brainstorming and trying to come up with some ideas. Hopefully my post will act as a springboard for someone else.
     
  23. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

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    I know Michael A. Smith and Paula Chamlee have their own books printed. So that's proof very high quality work can be produced by individuals outsourcing the work. What the cost is, I have no idea...
     
  24. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    $40 a shot, that is how much I figure it would cost per unit, if yu think about it, 1000 units would be $40000. Typically a table book sells for $80 so I figure once you inlcude the distribuitor etc.....the is not much left. If anybody has an extra $40000 let me know ......:D
     
  25. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    I have visited with Michael about the cost of producing a photo book. He tells me that the one of the most important aspects is the sequencing of the images. Interestingly enough the same sentiment was voiced by one of the publishers in an article in View Camera Magazine.

    Michael mentioned a book that someone was wanting to do. The book was to include about 100 images and the cost was going to be in the neighborhood of $100, 000 for that book.

    Michael and Paula consult in all phases of the book production. The fees that they quoted me were $1,500 per day. He mentioned that they do work with photographers in arranging financing for a project, if needed. Additionally they work in seeking publishers that may want to take a book on. They told me of a publisher that may want to take a look at my "Exodus" body of work. Additionally, aside from that contact, I have since come into contact with a NYC based publisher that produces photo books as well. I don't know where this will end up at this time.

    I have spoken with a doctor in Florida that works in platinum, bromoil and silver large format. He self published a book several years ago. His wife indicated that they produced an initial printing of 2000 at a cost of $75,000. She said that in retrospect they wished they had printed half that number. They benefitted from a big press release in Shutterbug Magazine and their book was listed as the best of it's type for that year. Yet, marketing their own book, is not proving to be a windfall.

    The problem, even if one has the finances, is one of distribution. Book stores like to have a Library of Congress number and additionally an ISBN number here in the states. It is my understanding that in order to gain an ISBN number one needs to be in the business of publishing. I have no idea what the distribution considerations are in other countries.

    Getting back to Michael Smith, he self published a book over 15 years ago. The binder screwed up a major portion of that run. He ended up with a small fraction of the intended printing. I believe that the remainder of that printing is just now being sold out by Michael. Perhaps it is now totally gone...a year ago the price per copy was $1,500.

    Ego building though it may be to see one's name and work in a publication, the reality of the matter is that it is not easy...in fact it is damned risky. If you have the money to fund this thing, let me know because I have some prime beach front property to sell.
     
  26. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

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    we need one of our members to win a multi-state powerball, then they can fund books for us all.