Much of what we know about art and photography has been learned from books. The photography book remains the primary delivery system for the photographer to present their ideas in the most effectively controlled manner. Within the pages of a well-made book, the total equals more than the sum of its parts. The book is a physical object, not a metaphor, the pages of a book of photographs have an organic presence. The infrastructure of production is of essential importance if the photographer wants to achieve their personal expression.
A successful photography book is an unbroken string of correct decisions. Once the printed book is in hand there can be no changes made. For this reason, a seriously comprehensive dummy or maquette serves to present in a physical manner many of the qualitative aspects of the finished product.
This 9-day workshop will clarify the bookmaking process in a clear and accessible manner. Starting with the creation of a book “dummy” or maquette to 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.
Each participant will be guided in a step-by-step manner, personally by Ralph Gibson.
- Overall Layout
- Tactility / Viewing Distance
- Scale and Proportion
- Sequence and Rhythm
- Ideal form for the specific content
- Lithography concerns
- Pricing and Distribution
The class will meet over the course of nine days in December. The program will include eight group sessions and two individual review sessions with Ralph.
Saturday – December 11th
10:00pm – 12:00 Noon
Sunday – December 12th 10:00am – 12:00 Noon 2:00pm-4:00pm
Monday – December 13th – Friday, December 17th - one-on-one appointments.
Saturday – December 18th 10:00pm – 12:00 Noon 2:00pm-4:00pm
Sunday – December 19th 10:00am – 12:00 Noon 2:00pm-4:00pm
Sessions will be held via the Zoom platform. A total of 17 hours of instruction is included. Individual tutorials lasting one hour and will not be shared with the group.
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.
PREREQUISITES – WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
Note: Basic knowledge of InDesign is required. This will enable Ralph Gibson to import each student’s layout into his computer and make suggestions and changes via Screen Share visible to the individual photographer or the entire group.
Come prepared knowing how to explain your book concept, your goals, and what you are looking to get out of this experience. It is critical that each participant have a body of work in the form of JPEG images ready to be considered for a book. Having a collection of images and interest in receiving constructive feedback are prerequisites. The members of the workshop should have a min of 20 or more jpegs.
Enrollment is limited to only 10 participants.