Over the past couple weeks I’ve been able to spend a little more time seriously compiling an ebook from all my Catoctin residency images. It is a pretty slow process for me, because I’m very interested in making reading it an insightful experience, not just a photo album. There is much more to it than just selecting the images (and that process alone takes a lot of debate and second-guessing).
This time around I pulled together all the images that I could potentially include and came up with 3 main categories for them to fit into. In this case, I found it was most straight-forward to divide them by primary subject matter: forest, stone and stream. Next I separate the images into those categories and begin to order them, specifically looking for good pairings of images that would make for an interesting spread. At this time I also experiment with different layouts of images on each page so that it feels balanced and leaves enough space.
Next on the agenda is final edits of images. All the photos have been processed so far, but most have not received that last little bit of attention that puts them over the top. So one by one I go through with fresh eyes and ask myself what could be improved or enhanced.
Finally, I get to the writing. Each category has a page of writing dedicated to it, explaining why those photos or that subject drew me, or maybe just sharing a story about some related experience. The intent is to give a bit of a window into how I think about the images to come. Also, depending on the image, I may add some specific details on individual pages.
Then of course come proof-reading and some final tweaks before it’s ready to make public.
But in all honesty, I like the process. I wish I could devote more time to it than I am able to with life, work and family, but the process itself is very beneficial to me. It helps me really think about the photos I took and what my experience was really about. It also allows me to spend a lot of time with my images which allows me to narrow down the ones I will fully develop and print.
So, I would say I’m about half way done right now, but I hope to be able to devote a little more time to it over the next week or so, so I feel like I’m about 2 weeks from completing it. And soon after I’ll be able to finish my prints and make them available through my Crated site.
Below are just a few screen shots of some spreads in process. I look forward to letting you see the full book.