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  1. #241
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    If a hard-copy publication is desired, all lovely thoughts of high-end printing aside, it would be, in my not-so-humble opinion, best to start out with a POD volume. This would A: keep overhead to a minimum, and B: help gauge demand for a hardcover high-end press volume at a later date. To solve the problem of print reproduction, and to save someone the immense headache of receiving, cataloging, and returning hundreds of prints to hundreds of destinations (trust me on this, having curated a gallery show featuring six photographers, that was a big enough pain in the ass as it was...), it would be infinitely preferable to have someone put forth a printer specification (i.e. TIFF, CMYK, Adobe RGB 1998 colorspace, 300 PPI, max file size 10" on the long axis, etc). Those who lack the technical acumen and/or hardware to produce a file meeting those specs themselves would have a ready reference to take to a service bureau and have their originals scanned to those specs. Much like Modern Postcard does, a monitor profile could be supplied by the printing house to send to whichever service bureau is doing the scanning, so they could use it to standardize if not guarantee color matching.

    I think the reason the response has slacked off is that there were quite a few folks initially interested when it was a pie-in-the-sky idea - "Oooh, let's make a book!". When folks who have experience with doing it started pointing out some of the practical considerations, those unwilling to invest sweat equity started bailing. Unfortunately, making something like a book is absolutely NOT a democratic process. Allowing it to be democratic (aka anarchic) is going to be as big a turn-off as having a self-appointed jury picking a gallery of their friends. Just as many people if not more will not want to participate if they think their fine-art grand landscape of Yosemite will be sharing a binding with little Kevin's pet turtle photo that's only half in-focus and overexposed.

    There needs to be some kind of executive body making editorial decisions or A: nothing will get done, and B: what does get done is a piece of crap (sorry to be so blunt, but it's true). If folks really want to produce an APUG book, my recommendations would be as follows:

    - Put forth a nominations process to select an editorial board. All APUG would be able to vote on the nominees.
    - Once the nominees had accepted and the editorial board was seated, all editorial decision-making would devolve to them.
    - The editorial board would sift through the submissions to the APUG Book gallery and choose which images would be included.
    - keep the book a POD volume. Blurb distributes for free a software package for assembling books via template, which makes it much easier and reduces the bar for distributing the production work. It also makes it easier and cheaper to print a volume that is more inclusive. I see people bitch all the time about the cost of photo books published by big publishing houses containing work by famous photographers whose work is easy to sell - What makes you think that offset quadtone litho printing for a project like this could be done cheaper?

    Frankly, I'd rather see it limited to a fewer number of photographers, and give each of them three or five images apiece. It then becomes a viable showpiece for the featured photographers. Otherwise, it becomes a big album of one-off "Best of" shots, which is one of the cardinal rules of hanging a show - don't do a "greatest hits" wall, showing your favorite images across all genres, media and sizes. It immediately brands you as an amateur without an idea or clue.

  2. #242

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    i think that one of the reasons why people are reluctant to be involved
    and connect to this project is because it seems like there is a lot of potential
    for this to get bad ... really bad, but somehow it hasn't yet.


    i'm looking forward to reading Michael Smith's quote

  3. #243

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    Is that what Joel initially envisioned? A showpiece for featured photographers? If that is the case why doesn't a group of people simply get together and publish a book to promote themselves? Who needs an editorial board and submissions for that?

    I also don't believe a "best of" is necessarily the wrong thing. It is often the wrong thing when a single photographer submits a best of series rather than a cohesive body of work. But that's not what this is. Saying that brands the book as "amateur" is a red herring. This IS an amateur book, as much as some people like to pontificate about certain names, and prolific posters on here. This is essentially an amateur site of amateur photographers. Anybody who wants to be in this book, or feels the need to be in this book, or feels entitled to be in this book, is an amateur, and there's nothing wrong with being an amateur. I've seen a lot of good things in the gallery here, but they are pretty much random. I have not seen anything consistently spectacular by any one person. Sorry.

    The more I think about this the more I realize how it went off the rails. Joel had an idea for an APUG book, and immediately some of the more experienced photographers weighed in attempting to make it something more than it is, crying foul on the jury idea, warning that the book would be a waste if the prolific names chose not to participate, refusing to submit anything unless this or that, and so on. Give me a break. Who's buying this book anyway besides the people in it and some other APUG members?

  4. #244
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Michael, Joel suggested an APUG book of images, some of us are trying to discus rational ways forward. It may well be that to get a book that truly represents APUG and it's subcribers that's worthy of being a 10th Anniversary Yearbook it's partly by invitation and partly by selection.

    Ian

  5. #245
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    Before ANYTHING else is done, THE purpose for the book needs to be decided. The level of effort to produce something, whether it includes ten, twenty, or two hundred photographers will be far greater than anyone, including those who have some experience doing this already, can anticipate. No matter how democratic or anarchic you make it, there will always be some people who will harbor bitter grudges that they were somehow left out (missed the deadline, weren't juried in, failed the printing QC, etc). For this to work, as a completed object, there have to be several criteria -

    1. A purpose for the book: is this a showcase for APUG, demonstrating the depth and breadth of the quality of work on the site? Is it an APUG family album replete with outtakes and the family portraits with Aunt Sally's head cut off and the telephone pole growing out of Uncle Bob's fedora? Does it feature just black-and-white, or color too? To what extent does it embrace alt-process prints? What formats of photography? There's enough material here on this site that you could easily publish a dozen different books each one featuring a single theme - 35mm, large format, street photo, portraits, nudes, color, b/w, alt-process, and so on.

    2. SOME degree of selectivity. I don't really care what selectivity you apply, but there has to be some. At a minimum, paying subscribers who have been subscribers for more than 30 days. You can come up with any other criteria that you want, but you've got to start somewhere. Once you get past that level, someone has to exercise editorial control over content and placement. Otherwise you end up with a book with 400 pages of 1 photographer, 1 image, a $250 price tag, it looks like crap and nobody buys it.

    3. Submitted images for publication MUST meet a certain quality control standard. When I juried an exhibit, with eight artists total, despite the fact that I gave very explicit instructions on how to have the finished work shipped, half the artists ignored my instructions to a greater or lesser degree. Half the artists sent me image files for the catalog that did not conform to the specifications in the acceptance letter. I ended up not producing the catalog because even with those few artists, it was too much work to un-frame, re-scan, and re-frame the work to produce that catalog. If the image file submitted isn't however many pixels by xxx DPI in abc colorspace, etc etc it doesn't get in. Period. Even if it was Roger Hicks or Sally Mann submitting work, if it didn't meet standards, it's out. See previous note about book size and price.

    3. Deadlines must be set and adhered to. Otherwise it will never get done. We'll be producing the 10th anniversary book and getting it to press around the 20th anniversary otherwise.

    If anything I'm saying here doesn't make sense, please let me know and I'll be happy to discuss.

  6. #246

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    So what happened with this thread?

  7. #247
    PhotoBob's Avatar
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    Has there been any further motion?
    Follow the Light John 8:12
    ~~~PhotoBob

  8. #248
    Ken Nadvornick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael R 1974 View Post
    So what happened with this thread?
    Been quietly watching this thread since the start. From my perspective Scott (TFC) hit the nail dead center with his first sentence and his criterion #1. And so far there has been no real, workable answer to the concerns he expressed...

    Just my opinion.

    Ken
    "They are the proof that something was there and no longer is. Like a stain. And the stillness of them is boggling. You can turn away but when you come back they’ll still be there looking at you."

    — Diane Arbus, March 15, 1971, in response to a request for a brief statement about photographs

  9. #249
    mooseontheloose's Avatar
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    There has been movement behind-the-scenes to address the issues brought up in this thread and in the survey. We're still working out a few key issues before posting the final version.
    Rachelle

    My favorite thing is to go where I've never been. D. Arbus

  10. #250
    Ken Nadvornick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mooseontheloose View Post
    There has been movement behind-the-scenes ...
    That's unfortunate...



    Ken
    "They are the proof that something was there and no longer is. Like a stain. And the stillness of them is boggling. You can turn away but when you come back they’ll still be there looking at you."

    — Diane Arbus, March 15, 1971, in response to a request for a brief statement about photographs



 

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