Gail Williams (gail) Tue 9 May 06 12:12
I'm trying to think of an example of that. It's a marvel when you see it. I was thinking about one of the other differences between the web and a book. I ma captivated by the luminous quality of images on the screen. I think you did an impressive job with the images in the book since in my experience some online favorites are very flat when printed on paper. Areas of white or very light colors in particular tend to go from a light source to a blank area. Did you find any that you wanted onscreen that didn't read on paper?
Johanna Neurath (johannaneurath) Wed 10 May 06 01:02
There are two in the rio section which we really wanted - but which were very noisy... so we decided to reproduce them in black and white (consulting the photographers of course) http://www.fotolog.com/nelson369/?pid=3862224 & http://www.fotolog.com/interludio/?pid=4591173 & in the landscape section the misty foggy ones didn't come out as well as I'd hoped: Especially kandykorn's where the colours are very subtle on (my) screen http://www.fotolog.com/kandykorn/?pid=8404235 You can see the 'noise' here in the book. The repro house worked very hard on this one - we got to fifth proofs I think. The others (below) were better - and I think perhaps because we kept them small http://www.fotolog.com/kandykorn/?pid=8404161 http://www.fotolog.com/kandykorn/?pid=8404275 http://www.fotolog.com/kandykorn/?pid=8404259 http://www.fotolog.com/kandykorn/?pid=8404102
kayili! (kayo) Wed 10 May 06 08:08
I just marvel at the way the photos are thematically connected on the pages. Did you start with one favorite and try to find others that connected to it in a certain way? It reminds me of an old radio station that used to be around here, KPIG, that would play sets of music that were so subtly connected you really had to think deeply, but there it would be. A little puzzle and a lot of fun.
virtual community or butter? (bumbaugh) Wed 10 May 06 14:24
It's great to be able to review some of those photos and think through the process you must have undertaken to do the selecting and other editing. Not having the book, I feel a bit at a loss to pose this well, so let me just throw it out generally: Tell me more about the essays. You've said a little about why they were important to the project, and mentioned a couple of topics, but I'd really like to hear more about the content of them and what they do in the overall enterprise of the book.
Johanna Neurath (johannaneurath) Wed 10 May 06 17:37
Perhaps Andrew should really answer this, being the wordsmith and all - but he's otherwise engaged right now... I think the launch party in New York is in full swing as I write! I'm looking forward to seeing some of the pictures tomorrow! But there are four main pieces of writing Andrew's Introduction - Not So Lonely Planet This situates the reader: and gives the history and background to the website, explains how the website works - what the Fotologgers use it for (a visual diary, to 'show-off', make wise cracks etc. etc.) The most exciting idea for me is where Andrew is talking about the fact that photosharing websites are an environment that is about as unmediated as you can get... There you can find thousands of images which have NOT been published because they have been deemed newsworthy by a journalist. They have NOT been published because a gallerist or curator judges them to be art. And they have not been published because a marketeer thinks they will sell a product... One of the recent reviews for the book said "Entirely free of elitism or coffee-table snobbery this venture is true creative democracy and is a beautiful thing." http://www.flickr.com/photo_zoom.gne?id=136798908&size=o I'm linking to Flickr here so you can see the picture big & read the text! Anyhow, for me that said it all... exactly what we wanted the book to acheive - because that what it's documenting at Fotolog. Simple really. Then there are three texts by Nick Currie AKA Momus - his blog clcik opera is here: http://imomus.livejournal.com/ Generally a great read - I recommend it! Nick's background is music, but he is interested in 1001 things and writes very knowledgably, entertainingly and always in a questioning way about whatever preoccupies his mind. I clicked on a link one day and discovered his essay about photoblogging (see comment 43 above for the link) - right then & there I KNEW he had the perfect voice for the book... Personal and quirky and fun... and the ability to assume his readers have intelligence! Very important! - Personally I hate being talked down to... In an illustrated book I want a text to provoke and spark ideas off so i can draw my own conclusions - not to tell me everything... Nick's texts: Public Images Unlimited, Songs of Ourselves and Digital Communities. I think I had better let Andrew talk about these in more detail as he worked closely with Nick batting ideas around and honing the final pieces with his editorial eye... In any event I must just say when I finally got a finished copy - strangely the texts were what made me feel most proud and excited... Funny, me essentially being a pictures person and all... I'd be really interested to hear what anyone who has got the book and has read the text thinks of it!
art siegel (arto) Thu 11 May 06 10:11
I enjoyed the texts, but I won't be going back to them after one time through. The pictures, however...
Gail Williams (gail) Thu 11 May 06 11:03
I'd love to hear about the New York party... cross-posting from elsewhere is completely appropriate. We'll ask our own follow-up questions!
Andrew Long (andrewlong) Fri 12 May 06 13:14
hi folks, sorry I've been out of touch, and can't post right now, travelling. But probably later tonight.
virtual community or butter? (bumbaugh) Sat 13 May 06 05:15
How funny that the text should touch you so, Johanna, more than the photos. But you'd been living deep in the photos for longer, too, I suppose. Were there things you wanted to do / wished you'd done but didn't with the book? (And whenever you want to jump in about the essays or anything else, have at it, Andrew.)
David Adam Edelstein (davadam) Sat 13 May 06 10:19
<scribbled by davadam Sat 13 May 06 10:20>
David Adam Edelstein (davadam) Sat 13 May 06 10:21
photography 340: What Did You Shoot Today II #1054 of 1056: david adam edelstein (davadam) Fri 12 May 2006 (07:27 PM) I should probably go post this in the fotolog discussion going on in Inkwell right now, but it seems to me that sites like fotolog and flickr are really showing how digital is different from film, and enabling things that weren't possible before. For a commercial photographic process, now that we have high resolution digital cameras, the main difference is that they don't have to go through processing and scanning of images. But the immediate download-post-share-discuss cycle is truly different from film-based photography.
David Adam Edelstein (davadam) Sat 13 May 06 10:22
(that's me quoting myself and following my own advice :-)
Gail Williams (gail) Sat 13 May 06 14:10
I agree -- that's a profound way in which it's different. And that extends even to "chimping" where you display and share and discuss in person while looking at the photo.
Gail Williams (gail) Sat 13 May 06 14:31
Fotolog, Flickr and even putting photos up on blogs add two things that are at the heart of the social dynamic of all of this. One is the possibolity to be found by strangers (or friends of friends), the virtual gallery dynamic. The other is the ability to respond in written words or other images. Those two things make something awfully powerful. They lead to learning, for one thing. I had studied photography seriously in my teens and early twenties, but even though I loved museums and art and photo books, I had no faith in my sense of composition. Within a week of being on fotolog I was learning what kinds of composition make me go "wow" because when I uploaded I would see other images in thumbnail format next to mine, and I'd think "better composition!" far too often. At some point I saw a glorious photo thumbnail that truned out to be an image of a shower curtain with a caption that it was nearly midnight and the photographer had just managed to squeeze this shot in and kept her vow of an image she liked every day. I decided to do that, and I kept it up for the most part for almost a year. I learned more than in any class I ever took, from being "on assignment" for one group or another, or having a specific person's living, changing, unfolding work in my mind. Some of the groups that evolved at fotolog were literally games -- like the sequential numbers group. I rushed out one afternoon to find a particular number -- and have it also be a photo that please me -- because the group had gotten stuck. That's a silly but concrete example of how socializing and improvisation unfold in a visual space.
Johanna Neurath (johannaneurath) Sun 14 May 06 03:22
Hehehe Gail can totally relate to your last comment...! Have done very similar things myself... And I guess sort of related to davadams comment, but I notice that when I am really plugged into Fotolog or Flickr my sense of time changes... Two or three days seems an eternity if one of my friends or favourites hasn't uploaded any new pictures.... And I am far more aware of the seasons and nature - wonderful if you live in the centre of a big city like I do...
Johanna Neurath (johannaneurath) Sun 14 May 06 03:42
And to jump back up to kayo's question (back up there at comment 53). "Did you start with one favorite and try to find others that connected to it in a certain way?" We shuffled everything into sections first and then printed out colour contact sheets of thumbnail images... which we scribbled all over... trying to find connections between images... Most spreads in one section will have SOME sort of theme however tenuous that connects all the images on that double page - even if it's totally opaque to anyone but me, Andrew or Karolina the designer! And sort of relatedly to the above, recently, someone sent me a link to this article: http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/printpage/0,5942,18925277,00.html after I read the article I thought how sad - but also how true - and that now that everything is so available (& in such abundance!) the people who get on and the people who are successful are the people who are good EDITORS, whether that's the photographer or artist themselves or someone trying to make sense of it all... For me an important part of Flickr or Fotolog is that each of us is an editor as well as publisher... And we are editing both our own images AND other peoples - we choose who we look at, we choose who's Fotolog to jump to next, and we all make our own patterns out of the images we see... Unlike in a newspaper or on TV or indeed a book (even fotolog.book) where someone else has pre-edited the images for us...
kayili! (kayo) Sun 14 May 06 08:14
Interesting... I was just thinking as I looked at some favorites on flickr (I WISH YOU WERE LISTENING FOTOLOG PEOPLE) that I wished I could make sets out of my favorites...
Gail Williams (gail) Mon 15 May 06 11:04
I confess, have an extreme, obsessed user-point-of-view agenda for What Should Fotolog Do and What Should Flickr Do in order to each be better but not identical to one another. (But I'm deeply sympathetic because working at The WELL has made me painfully sensitive to technical, social and financial hurdles in development and innovation. Just keeping going is a real accomplishment. Spawning a beautiful book is rarity for any site of any kind!) Some kind of fave gallery on fotolog and some kind of friends-of-friends gallery-like mobility on flickr have been such an obsession of some of us that I even set up a blog specifically to work out my obsessive issues in those areas. http://gailwilliams.wordpress.com/ (Just in the spirit of full disclosure. But that's mere topic-drift here.) Johanna, the article about the ubiquity of images is interesting. Fifteen years ago I was arguing with people here that having all this text-based talking and chatter was the death of writing. But it just isn't. I imagine that the monks who copied manuscripts in the middle ages may have found the idea of universal literacy horrifying, why, it could lead to just anybody making a permanent record of just anything! Yet important writing is rare and valued. For example, not many written diaries are historic gems. More literacy doesn't kill beloved writing, it makes some but not unlimited competition for well-written books and articles, but it sure does make more filtering desirable! Perhaps Visual Librarian is a job title of the furture. But of course the focus of your book is on populism... even though some of the people you selected have training in photography or visual arts, when they are at fotolog they are doing something new and different. It's usually very casual, and sometimes it is quite a bit like braided visual diaries. And that explains the "yearbook" context for the fotolog.book, one of many ways it can be experienced. How is this book performing in the context of your catalogue, Johanna? Your press seems to do mostly fine art, design and antiquities. Did this push a boundary, and if so, is it a promising direction for your company?
virtual community or butter? (bumbaugh) Mon 15 May 06 12:35
And, to add to Gail's print-oriented questions, what's next for fotolog? What's planned (that can be revealed without having to kill us or buy our silence)? Users, here: What would you like to see develop on fotolog?
Johanna Neurath (johannaneurath) Tue 16 May 06 15:21
Yes, yes, the death of 'something' is always being predicted when new media emerge... Video would ruin cinema attendance, e-books would kill paper books etc, etc, and as you say doesn't really work that way... the old media get shaken up a little and have to re-evaluate what they are doing... And Thames & Hudson publish some popular culture (street art, street fashion. music graphics and so on), but it is an area that I see growing for us...
Cynthia Dyer-Bennet (cdb) Wed 17 May 06 12:36
Johanna, Adam, Andrew, et al -- this has been a great conversation! These past two weeks have gone by so fast, and I want to thank all of you for joining us. It's been a real pleasure. Though our virtual spotlight has turned to a new discussion, this topic will remain open for further comments. I understand that you have busy lives, and I realize you may not be able to stick around indefinitely, but please know that you're welcome to stay and talk some more if you can. I have one small question I'd like to throw out here, just in case one of you has time to respond: Are you considering doing another book with the same focus? Is there a possibility of having a series of books -- Best of fotolog, 2006; Best of fotolog, 2007 -- I'd think there would still be so much material to publish, and a seemingly endless stream of new material added to the pile. I hope so; anyway. Good luck, and best wishes!
Gail Williams (gail) Wed 17 May 06 13:05
Thanks for coming by! I was pleased to see mentions of the conversation elsewhere around the net, too. Nice job everybody!
Members: Enter the conference to participate
Non-members: How to participate