Saturday, 6 June 2009

SoFoBoMo Debrief

Monkbar Gate, York - May 2009

Enough time has gone by now to look back on my Solo Photo Book Month project. I enjoyed developing a book and intend to do another one as a self-initiated project later this year. Originally I'd wanted to do SoFoBoMo last year but found out about the project too late to really have any fair chance of producing a book in the time left. I decided then that I'd take part in 2009.

Apart from a change of subject and a few weather problems delaying the shoot, everything went OK. There are one or two little things I'd change if i could go back a month. It was intensely bright on the day of the shoot- even with lots of fluffy white clouds around to diffuse the light a little. I should have shot the photographs late afternoon to evening when the light was gentler. Just little niggles though. Other than that, I'd say that it all went by the numbers. The book building was pretty straightforward using Open Office 3.0 - a free open source office suite for PC with lots of great publishing tools including a PDF file creator. I'll probably use it again next year.

The trickiest part of the book was getting the PDF file right. I discovered that it's really a trade off between quality and convenience. Too large a PDF file and no one will download the book. Too small and the images look awful. It took a lot of tweaking to get my PDF somewhere near the size i wanted. I don't believe it's quite spot on, even with the current version 4 build, but you could tweak the PDF until the cows came home. As they say about film making, 'A film is never finished, just abandoned'. The same could be said for creating a photography book.

My 14.9Mb PDF book called 'Walled City - Photographs of York' can be found HERE

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