Sunday, February 03, 2008

what is a book ?

what is a book ?

Silly question, surely. We all know what a book is. Particularly a photography book - it's just a collection of pictures - right ? But really the ordering of those pictures matter. The sequence can change how the viewer feels about the images. Within that, the relationship of pictures on the page to the pictures on the facing page can have a big impact. Another way to consider a photo book is as a series of diptychs. Each pair of images combine to show something larger than the individual images alone. Perhaps two sides of the same object, or maybe a wide view then a tight crop. The whole set of images in the book should hopefully tie together under some cohesive theme, but locally the pages could be used to create an even stronger whole. I think I first became aware of this relationship listening to Brooks Jensen describing the layout of pages in Lenswork. As I think more about what I'm wanting to do for SoFoMoBo, this idea has come back to me. A happy side effect is that instead of having to come up with 35 images, now I maybe only really need to come up with 17 pairs of images. Same number of shots, but half as many concepts. I'm not yet sure if that's going to be harder or easier to shoot.


John Setzler said...

I have been thinking about this myself, but I'm still not sure what I'm going to do. I'm trying to think about this idea as well as the possibility of having a photo on one side and text on the other where each image is individualized. That idea leads to the problem of deciding which side gets the image and which gets the text. The balance doesn't seem very nice in that aspect...