documentary photography, final exhibition, final submission, photobook, photography award, uni work, university

My photobook is finally ready for the submission

For my book’s pages I chose Lumi Silk Coated paper (150gsm), as the image quality is very good; the paper appear slightly shiny, feels nice when touched and as it isn’t white, it gives a slightly warm feeling to the photographs.

I experimented with book sizes and decided that A4 is too large, A5 is too small, so I tried the version in between them-B5 and it’s perfect. I printed the book pages at the University printing bureau and delivered them to Spink and Thackray in Leeds for binding. I chose a light yellow hard cover and for the second book I selected a slightly larger size, orange cover and very similar to Lumi Silk paper. However, the prints quality in the second book wasn’t as good as the ones printed at the University.

Unfortunately, I realised that one of the images in the book was cropped. The same one that I printed for an exhibition and came damaged. Unlucky. Fallowing my mistake, I had to reprint the book pages again. I drove to uni on Wednesday the 24th of April and the printing bureau was closed for an Easter break. I went there the day after, printed the pages and drove to Leeds to make an order. The fallowing Thursday, I collected the book which wasn’t as ordered. The letters on the front page was damaged and appears slightly dirty around the edges however, it wasn’t too bad. In addition, when I came home, I realised that they put two front pages in the book. I wanted to scream!

This means that I had to drive to Leeds again! I drove in London, Manchester and other big cities in the World, but I hate driving in Leeds. Never mind, the next morning I gave them a ring and made a complaint. I was told to bring the book back and they will sort it out for me. This time I sent my boyfriend, as I was stressed enough and had million other things to do before the submissions. Three days before the submission I finally collected my book! Thankfully this time it looks amazing and I am very proud of it!

I need to take a pictures of my book, make some changes and finally I will be ready to submit my work, both written and physical form.

If you would like to see my book and many other interesting work, come to The University of Huddersfield on the 7th of June for the final year photography student’s exhibition. I can’t wait for it!

book making, documentary photography, dummy book, exhibition, final year, Interim Show, major project, photo gallery, photobook, photography, uni work, university

Third Interim Show

Yesterday, was the University of Huddersfield’s final year photography students Third Interim Show. The exhibition took place at the Market Hall in Huddersfield. It was amazing to see our work exhibited and evident development from previous exhibitions, visible within the quality of work and prints.

It was our last chance to get feedback on our work before the final submissions. We have five weeks remaining to the deadline, where we must submit our written work as well as physical books, framed prints or portfolio.  

To get ready for the exhibition, I’ve made a few test prints to see what type of paper will be best for my photographs and my photobook.

I chose Lumi Silk Coated Card 300gsm for my photographs and Silk Coated 150gsm paper for the book. Both papers are light cream colour, slightly warmer than white. My displayed prints were in SRA3 size (450mm x320mm) and book printed in B5 (176mm x 250mm).

We were split into groups of 6 – 7 people to give feedback to the other groups. Have a look at my feedback:

Fallowing the group comments, each of us had an individual meeting with one of our tutors. I spoke with Richard Higgingbottom. Richard told me that my project is coming along well and that I chose good paper type. The design and the size of my book are also good however, he advised me to make some changes within the sequence and the text. I told Richard that I am planning to have a hard cover and he advised me to look at Leeds Village Books to find some ideas for the colour of the cloth.

I appreciate all of the feedback I received. I will change the title and think about the cover of the book; I will work on my book sequence and make bigger prints for the exhibition. I won’t include three men, as according to my given feedback it is “Indicating something racial?” I don’t agree with this, as my project is about immigration and clearly anti-racial however, if this is people’s first impression then I will have to work on it.

If you have any comments regarding my exhibition, paper type or my photobook, please get in touch.

documentary photography, dummy book, immigration, photobook, photography, portfolio review

Portfolio Review by photographers Richard Kelly and Garry Clarkson

Following the talk by our latest guest speaker Richard Kelly, we’ve had an opportunity to share with him our work and get feedback. Garry Clarkson also joined us, and we’ve had a chance to hear what he has to say about our work.

I showed my latest dummy book.

Feedback form Richard Kelly

According to Kelly, my project looks very good and I have some strong portraiture with very good lighting. His favourite was the first and second portraiture in the top raw, middle image in the third raw and the bottom left. The middle image on the top reminds him of Richard Billingham’s Ray’s a Laugh. He likes the photographs, as they show real people and emotions, as there is a story, people are thinking, imagining the future, appear hopeful, the viewer feels a connection to them. He also advised me to add more images of their personal stuff or something connected to them, as those little motives, symbolic photographs says a lot about the owner.

Both Kelly and Clarkson agreed that the images with dead pan face expression made in the subjects’ work environment are slightly emotionless and that I should get rid of them. As they don’t fit to the flow of the book, they appear as visual statistics, editorial work, from tabloids, photojournalism, newspapers or magazines when I am trying to show the opposite.

Feedback from Garry Clarkson

Clarkson said that my book shows the everyday beauty and experience, the positive representation of immigration and humanising them. He stated that the last image in the top raw is too commercial, without the contexts and with missing metaphor, so the viewer moves away. He said that I have good environmental portraits around subjects’ homes and works; with subtle light and contrast of different gazes. Similarly to Kelly, Clarkson likes the emotive images with subtle, window light best, so as the one with dog next to the person, as he claims it signifies “when the space become the place” and the identity. Garry Clarkson adds that those images elevate away from statistical and news photographs, crates emotional connections and good feelings when looking at them. He told me to add images of more personalised items, or to add something symbolic that portrays the struggle people went through.

We spoke about the title, Bloody Foreigners? according to Clarkson “reinforcing the prejudice”. He said that the title shouldn’t be too descriptive, “don’t reveal everything, don’t reveal the magic”, let the viewer interpret and make their own story, the more you hold back the more people will invest. He then said, “I am jealous, a lot of work in here”. Wow, thanks Garry!

With only 7 weeks left to the deadlines, I need to take the advice in consideration when completing my final project. Within 7 weeks I must design and print a book, choose prints for the exhibition in April and for the final exhibition, also prepare final presentation, write critical research summary for my major project and professional practice. Is this even possible?

I will carry on writing the blog and share with you all I’ve done, and the meetings/portfolio reviews I attended until the end of uni. Then I will have some other stories…

book making, Books publishing, documentary photography, photobook, photography, photography workshop, Richard Higgingbottom, Tide Press

Book Making Workshop

Our tutorials are finished however, as many of us making photobooks for major project, last Wednesday one of our tutors Richard Higgingbottom delivered book making workshop. Higgingbottom is associated with Tide Press – independent photobook publishing company, what make him a specialist in book making process. Higgingbottom gave us a lot of useful information regarding photobooks and brought a lot of physical books, so we can get the idea about different sizes, covers, bindings, designs etc.

When making books there is many things to consider. Paper type, the thickness of the paper, size, scale, format, soft or a hard cover, colour of the cover, kind of bind, font in the book and on the cover, uppercase or lower case, the cover with the image or without, what writing on the cover both front and back (title, name or nothing), the consistency within the book or not at all to surprise the viewer…

Higgingbottom stated that the design must fit the context, however, the design is to elevate the project not to make the project better. The best photobooks are when the design relates to the project and make the viewer engaging with the project. So, we need to make an interesting book that tell the story we want to convey.

I asked Higgingbottom if hard cover would fit my project? He says that I should try it, and to make each portraiture huge full blead to humanize each of the subjects. He recommended book size like A3. As he told me to work on a sequence, he advised me to do a few more dummy books to see how it feels reading through each of them. First to sequence the images as kind of themes (people at work, people at homes looking straight, looking sideways, text etc). Second sequence with consistency. For example, portraiture with additional image, two single portraiture, one with the text and so on. Next one, start from colourful images and carry on to the ones with the lack of colours, or other way round. He also told me to look at Rob Hornstra work 100 Billionaires to see how the adding text works in the book. Thanks for your feedback Richard, I will try all of this.

My latest dummy book:

Higgingbottom also recommended few printing and binding companies:

F&G Ratchford to get stuff for binding; Spink & Thackray – book binding and hard covers; Precision in Leeds – hard cover binds; Entwistle in Manchester for prints, Hp indigo press printers; G & F Smith for paper – Art shop in Leeds and Manchester; For a book pages no thicker that 150gsm, for a cover around 275gsm if we want to fold it and bind it.

If you have any more ideas regarding book design or prints, please get in touch.