The last few months have been crazy busy. Photographically, I have really been busy with a project that I read about in Zack Arias' book Q & A. Awesome book by the way. Anyway, one of the Questions that Zack Answered was about doing what is necessary to define your best work. The object is to get down to your 20-30 best images and then actually going through with getting them printed into a book.
I am two thirds of the way done with this effort. It started with going through every photograph I have ever made. I have been shooting since 2006, so you can image this took awhile. Every image with potential for making it into the book gets thrown into a folder. I went from around 14,000 images down to 450 or so. From here, the process gets a little more difficult. These 450 are further culled to around 100. These 100 are printed and the process for figuring out your book layout begins.
This is the part where I am at. In these 109 images that I had printed, there are some things that immediately jump out. I am totally a generalist when it comes to shooting, which sucks when it comes to this kind of project. There are four photos from various baseball activities. That's not enough for a story. Same thing with cityscapes (three images), portraits (two images), and lighthouses (sorry Jupiter, Florida, you know I love you). What I was able to find are 24 images that might work to tell my story. None of them have a man-made object in them. That's awesome, they tell a Natural story. That story starts with a sunrise, goes into my wildlife images, then birds, then Utah, etc, ending with a sunset. Each subject if you will is broken up with a black and white image.
I think this story flows, but the next step in the project is to get outside people to look at it and give me feedback. My aunt and uncle are going to come over in a couple weeks. My buddy from work is willing to chip in his advice too. I'm going to put the images on a table or a wall, along with the other prints and tell them to go to work. They're gonna have free reign to add or remove as they see fit. I want feedback on all of them. Together we're going to craft an awesome photo book that I can print and confidently show people my best work. The real gift is the critiques of these images. I expect harsh opinion, and I hope I get it. It's the only way I'll get better.
I'll be posting some of these images here over the next few days and weeks, so please check back. This has been fun, but it will be even more fun if I can get additional eyes to look at my work.