Today I finished and uploaded my latest SoFoBoMo book, Road Ends. Follow the link to view and download the book. It’s free!
I’m going to be working on a print version of the book shortly, probably through Blurb. I’ve been wanting to try doing a book through Blurb and I sized this book for their 8×10 format. Stay tuned for details!
Roadside park beneath the SR 264 bridge over the Intracoastal Waterway near Belhaven, North Carolina
Kathy & I traveled to Belhaven, NC this past weekend to celebrate the 4th of July with our friends there. While in the area we spent some time photographing for my SoFoBoMo book project that I decided to call “Road Ends.” You’ll have to wait for the finished product for all the details but it’s basically about discovering what is at the end of all these dead-end roads that we frequently pass by but never take because, after all, they are dead ends.
The thing that I found most interesting is that we so often pass these roads by because we see them as detours or distractions from our primary journey. Making them the actual destination changes the approach considerably, as all of a sudden by giving ourselves “permission” to stop and see what’s there we no longer pass them by. Every time we saw a “Dead End” sign we drove down the road to see if anything was there. Many times there was nothing there. A few times we thought we heard Banjo Music, but frequently we found something interesting.
It’s easy to just drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway or down some main road and just look at whatever you pass by, but just like the idea that ones photography can be improved by spending time with interesting subjects, it’s really beneficial to look for subjects in different or unusual places. By “forcing myself” to explore the ends of the dead end roads I not only found some interesting and unexpected subjects but perhaps a new way of looking that will hopefully improve the way I see.
SoFoBoMo stands for Solo Photo Book Month, and is a fun way to motivate yourself to do a project. I participated last year and am doing it again this year.
During any 30-day period between June 1 and July 31 you take the photographs, lay them out in a book format and publish them as a .PDF book and if you wish as a print-on-demand book through Blurb, Lulu or one of the many other POD publishers. Lulu and Blurb seem to be the most popular. Last year I published mine on Lulu and someone actually bought one!
I had come up with a really good idea for this year’s theme but my plans didn’t work out so I’ve decided to hold that thought for another year. What I’ve decided to do should still be interesting. I’m excited about it and looking forward to giving it a go.
Kathy & I leave July 3 for a cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas. What I’m planning to do is photograph people taking pictures. A cruise should offer plenty of subject matter! I’ve got some ideas about how to make that interesting, so we’ll see how it goes. The primary thing for me is the exercise of shooting and creating a project. I’ll do my best, and regardless of the outcome it will be a lot of fun and a great learning experience.
Look for my book on Blurb some time in early August!
I’ve been playing around with online print-on-demand services in anticipation of publishing my 2010 calendar. Since I no longer have arm-twisting access to a large portion of my customer base (co-workers from whom I purchased Boy Scout popcorn and Girl Scout cookies) I want to go with a company that has the ability to do online sales. So far the front runner has to be Lulu, partly because I have experience using them from when I published my SoFoBoMo book, and mostly because their price and quality seem to be a good balance.
I was playing around with their site today and was interested in the idea of publishing eBooks. I’m currently working on updating a digital workflow presentation and am im the process of writing a tutorial on registering copyrights, both of which I would like to publish as eBooks. To see how the process works I decided to turn my SoFoBoMo book into an eBook, which I then published and am offering for sale at $10. Not a bad deal if you ask me, except for the fact that it is available for free at the SoFoBoMo website. I’d be interested in feedback from anyone who gives it a try.
Calendars will be ready for purchase (hopefully) around October 1.
I participated in this year’s Solo Photo Book Month project, a group event where a bunch of photographers all make solo photo books start to finish, in 31 days, at more or less the same time. The idea of SoFoBoMo is to make the photos, write any needed text, layout the book, and produce a PDF image of the book, all in 31 days. The book portion of my effort fell a little outside that 31 day window, but I felt it was important to do a good job while still getting it done by June 30. I made it.
The theme for my entry took a number of turns, as I was originally planning to shoot a series of photos out of my office window, using light and architectural details to make a series of interesting pictures. Since I don’t have a job there any more I didn’t think the building security folks would be too keen on letting me in there to take pictures, so I decided to do a series of photos using my W.T. Duck plush doll in various locations during our travels this spring. Due partly to yucky weather at the beach and a strong reluctance to the idea carrying around a stuffed animal and taking it’s picture in public locations (not that it stops some people!) I didn’t get the inspiration I felt I needed to do a credible job on that project. I finally decided to just make a book of favorite images from my various photo trips from mid-May to mid-June. It’s what I do and what I am most passionate about, and I think the final result shows that.
The electronic version is available for free download here and there is a hard copy available for purchase from Lulu here.
I read about SoFoBoMo (aka Solo Photo Book Month) last year and thought it was a cool idea. I didn’t participate because I thought I was pretty busy. I had already planned on participating this year and was going to do a book of photos from my office window. But since I doubt they’ll let me in there to take pictures I had to come up with a new plan. I think I have a good one.
A couple of months ago Aaron Johnson of What The Duck started selling duck plush toys. I purchased a couple of them, having no idea what I was going to do with them. Now I do. Mr. W.T. Duck is going to hit the road! Like the garden gnome but much better, old W.T. is going to have his pitcher made all over North and South Carolina. I’ve already asked for and gotten Aaron’s blessing, and he says he is “flattered.”
The project doesn’t start until May 1, so I’ll have to dream up some great locations over the next few weeks.
You can buy your own W.T. Duck here, but no copycats!