Mini-Narratives in Acadia

I’ve finally completed a fairly significant item on my to do list: an ebook highlighting my photos and my experience of being artist in residence for Acadia National Park. I’ve created a photo ebook for every residency I’ve been a part of; a practice I plan on continuing.

This time I tried to approach my composition of the book from a slightly different perspective. Rather than orchestrate the book around the linear narrative of my time in the park, I instead chose my top 10 locations and wrote some quick stories to accompany my photos. Since the Schoodic Peninsula is a lesser known portion of Acadia, I kind of see it as an unofficial guide to the must see portions of that area of the park.

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A view of my Lightroom window as I was building the ebook.

I’m also working on getting this ebook in the Kindle bookstore on Amazon, along with the ebooks from my last 3 residencies. I haven’t decided on the price I’ll be offering them for just yet, but the good news is, you don’t need to worry about it. If you’re on my mailing list, I plan on sending out a free copy to your inbox very shortly. If you aren’t on my mailing list yet to receive a monthly newsletter from me, head over to my website, benpanter.com, scroll down to the bottom and enter in your email. Then I’ll be happy to include you in this giveaway.

And as a side note, I did make this same ebook as a print book as well, though I haven’t decided yet if I’ll make that available to buy, or just order a copy for my own records. If you haven’t ever made a book through Blurb.com, I’d highly recommend it. The process is simple and rewarding.

I’m also working on getting my favorite images ready to print. It is not easy to narrow down thousands of photos, down to hundreds of potentials to be edited, down to a hundred for a book, down to just a handful to make available as prints. Below are just a few of my favorites. Ultimately I’d like to keep it to just about 15 of the true, stand out images.

I’ve always slacked when it comes to getting images ready to print and sell on my site. I’m always one to try a diy solution rather than something off the shelf, but I’m learning that in some areas, it’s just not worth it. So, I’m looking into more automated print selling solutions. One that I recently started checking out is Crated.com. I really like that they focus on just selling prints, rather than lots of other random tchotchkes like they do at redbubble and society6. Crated prices seem really reasonable, and of course they claim great print quality. Have you every ordered a print from them. I’d be very curious to hear your experience.

Perfecting Image Production

I’m in the absolute final stages of production for the image I’ll be sharing with Acadia National Park. I was hoping to do another social media post through the park’s feed like I did with Rocky Mountain, but they told me they just lost their local social media person, so they couldn’t make it happen. Oh well, better luck next time.

All that to say, it has been a process just getting to this point. I am a huge fan of the software I use for image editing, Adobe Lightroom, but I’ve recently realized something rather profound. Despite being an awesome image editing software and photography workflow tool, it can’t make up for my personal flaws.

Lightroom is an awesome organizational tool, but I have to be the one to set up and use my organizational system. It is an incredible editing tool, but only I can invest the time in perfecting my images (and sometimes more importantly, deciding which images not to edit). Sigh… some days I become painfully aware of my own limits and blind spots.

But still, it is often moments like this that offer some clarity. They allow some introspection that solidify or reframe why I am doing what I’m doing. It’s never fun coming to this place, but it is always worth walking through it.

Embracing Being Back

I’ve been home for a week and a half now, after spending 2 weeks in the park. It’s hard to admit to reality after you’ve had the opportunity of living in an ideal place. I’ve been so busy getting back into the regular flow of work and teaching that I have not edited a single image on my camera yet.

However, I have been editing and posting a lot of the images I took with my phone, and I’ve been very pleased with how they came out. Iphones are truly amazing devices, and pairing them with a little photography ingenuity and know-how can yield some incredible results. I thoroughly enjoyed working with my phone as a camera because I definitely shoot a different kind of image with it than with my dslr. It’s the same reason that I like shooting with large format cameras or pinhole cameras; the device itself causes me to shoot different images.

My Instagram Simple

So if you haven’t seen any of my instagram shots, you can find me @bpanter. Now as I find time I’ll start editing my dslr shots, the plus side of which is that I get to re-live the whole experience again and again.