The photography book remains the foremost delivery system of a photographer’s vision. In the book the sum equals more than the parts. In the world of photography all the leading practitioners have made their work and their names known by way of a major publication. For many serious photographers, however, the book is a goal difficult to realize. Often the technical steps in making a book remain a mystery.
This 3-day workshop and will deal with all aspects of the book making process. We will focus on the book “dummy” as an object in and of itself. An object developed to the level of presentation for final publication. Aspects of layout, design, double-page spreads, book cover impact and editorial thrust as well as binding, typography, separation for plate-making, distribution formulas and more will be addressed.
To date, Ralph Gibson has produced more than 50 books in this manner. The computer has vastly enhanced the process of book making and production and he strongly believes that these are the golden years of the photography book.
Workshop participants will have the opportunity to view two books by Ralph Gibson and their hand-made dummies, created via this same process. Ralph’s position has always been that an accurate facsimile of the book intended for publication is the optimum approach.
This informs the photographer as to the exact content of his/her book as well as shows the potential publisher exactly what is being offered for publication. In this manner the editing comes after the idea of the book is made, not before. It is a strong step towards the autonomy of the photographer in an otherwise very amorphous and confusing world. The world of photography book publishing.
It should also be mentioned that very often the initial dummy is not in fact the final dummy, the initial dummy functions to show the photographer what is strong and what is weak in the sequence.
The more accurate the final dummy, the more accurate and satisfying will be the printed and published book.
- Overall Layout
- Tactility / Viewing Distance
- Scale and Proportion
- Sequence and Rhythm
- Ideal form for the specific content
- Lithography concerns
- Pricing and Distribution
The Ralph Gibson Bookmaking Workshop attendees must bring jpeg files for all images to be considered for inclusion in the dummy. More rather than fewer images are essential and basic knowledge of a layout program such as InDesign is recommended.
Without doubt the most effective way to present a book to a publisher or printer for publication is with a ‘ dummy.” This dummy or maquette is a hand-made example of the finished book and essentially means that the photographer and the publisher are talking about the same book.
To this end, this workshop will outline, step by step, exactly how a book is created, produced and distributed. Beginning with the most basics of layout, design, typography and content the members of the workshop will all produce a 16 or 32 page ” signature” of their work in place; scaled and printed and bound.
A basic knowledge of the program is required to the extent that the photographer can import and scale his or her images on the page.
Gibson (b.1939) studied photography in the US Navy and further pursued the medium at the San Francisco Art Institute in the early 1960’s. Gibson went on to assist Dorothea Lange and later, Robert Frank on two of his films, launching his professional career. Having a strong interest in books and book-making, he founded his own publishing company, Lustrum Press out of New York and went on to create his trilogy, The Somnambulist, Deja Vu, and Days at Sea which were instant hits and helped solidify his mark as a key player in 20th century photography.
Gibson’s photographs are in many important museum collections and have been shown in hundreds of exhibitions across the globe. His awards include a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship, Leica Medal of Excellence, Lucie Lifetime Award among many others, and in 2002 he was appointed Commandeur de L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres de France.
WHO SHOULD ATTEND
This experience is a rare opportunity to work with a true master of the fine art photography book.
The workshop will be ideal for the intermediate to advanced photographer with a project or collection of images they feel could make a book. Having a collection of images and interest in receiving constructive feedback are prerequisites.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
Come prepared knowing how to explain your book concept, your goals, and what you are looking to get out of this experience.
Each participant will be required to bring a laptop computer along with the necessary jpegs of their photographs to be placed in the dummy. A basic knowledge of a layout program such as InDesign is entirely recommended, but not required. The dummy pages will be printed with inkjet printers provided during the workshop.
Enrollment is limited to only 10 participants.
Coffee and snacks will be provided throughout. A catered lunch with Ralph with be provided on the final day of the final day of the program.
Lodging is not included in the workshop fee.