climb

photobooks: hubris in images

these came in the mail the other day.


after months of procrastinating, i finally managed to sit down and design my photobooks. last year, i purchased some vouchers from groupon for 5 photobooks, and i don't really remember why i put off making them although i downloaded the program immediately after the transactions were confirmed. the result is that: i could have done so much more where the layouts are concerned. i just didn't want to put together pictures in a book. these weren't meant to be albums. i wanted the books to tell stories. the compilations were supposed to be five separate photoessays. right now, the message they convey is that i take good pictures, and that's not enough. now while i'm not completely happy with my own laziness, i am rather satisfied with the quality of the output. the books are so nicely done they could easily be coffee table books that savvy, cultured, well-traveled people might pick up and leaf through with keen interest. a small note though: it would have been great if my screen had been calibrated, or if i made myself aware of the color settings of the printer, because some photos appeared darker than they did on my iMac -- but then again, i edited very few of the photos, and those i did just had minor adjustments in contrast and sharpening. by the way, it took the printer in malaysia about five days to produce each one, and another two to deliver it to the philippines.




the first photobook is a compilation of photos i took during the days of film, when photography wasn't an everyman's thing. the printing output did not manage to capture the authentic feel of grain, but i was actually surprised to realize that although i was then unschooled in even the most basic principles of photography, i found elements that i use even now that i've done some workshops and read many books. the next one is about mountaineering, where i compile images of my adventures on the mountains. in some pages i also put group photos and shots of people i climb with. the last page is all about me. no one ought to complain because these are, after all, my photobooks. this photobook is where i spent the most amount of time, since i also lifted some text from my blog to accompany the pictures, and did a bit of page designing, whereas in most cases, i just put one photo in each page.


the third one is about my travels through the philippines. i chose an odd size for this one: portrait. the strange thing about photobooks is that for the softcover series, they only have square and landscape in small sizes, and portrait in both small and medium sizes, although they all have the same pricepoint. it's unfortunate because a nature/outdoor/travel/landscape photographer shoots mostly in landscape format. i compensated by spreading some photos across two pages, although since it's bound rather tightly, a portion of a picture is nearly obscured. on the cover of this photobook is a group of kids covered in sand and playing on the beach of apo island near dumaguete.




the fourth book chronicles images of my travels through southeast asia and hongkong. on the cover is a monk wrapping the stupa of a wat in colors we might associate with buddhism. if the photo file is large enough, you could actually have the entire front and back covers filled with just one photo, and i do this most of the time (the scan of the film photo wasn't large enough to be enlarged). so here i fill the pages with photos of temples, monks, and elephants. the last photobook is about my journeys through east asia, including japan, korea, taiwan. here was also a bit of thinking, because i sought to blur the distinctions between these three countries, and i decided to put two photos on a spread from different countries, but always with something in common: arches, spring colors, complicated ceilings, even just colors.

someone asked me why i didn't put captions in the photos: information that would have been useful, such as where they were taken, or how. i said, well, the books are mostly for my own reading pleasure, so i have something to look at when i'm not busy. but then of course i realized that i also want to share the images that i take, so that's something i can do for future editions of my photobooks. and there will be more since i just purchased another few vouchers. looking through these books now made me realize that my pictures aren't just meant for the web. they're meant to be appreciated on big, glossy books. for those who may be interested, viewing is anywhere near my place.
(Anonymous)
hi sir! my mom has always told me to create an album of all my climbs but i think this is a better idea to keep at home and to send to a few friends. may i know the contact info of the publisher and their rates? please shoot me an email --- k4t.o01@gmail.com

(if eer you're gonna post this reply, please snip off my email hehehehr thanks!)