Thursday, March 19, 2009

SoFoBoMo 2009

This year I am again entering the SoFoBoMo (2009) project and I decided to describe my experiences and tips to those of you who are going to or are still deciding to enter.

Last year was the initial launch for Solo Foto Book Month, which is an online event to create photo books as a community. At the same time, it was my first venture into producing a photography book.

These statues run along the front of the moat or second island, the 3rd being the castle of Frederiksborg. The first island contains the stables and rooms for other workers.

Never having created a book before and with the conditions that there where only 30 days to complete it did seem a bit daunting, at first. Now looking back, it seems easier than my insecurities/ anxiousness permitted.

While I can’t really help much with the selection of your topic regarding theme, there are a few suggestions that might make it easier for you and give you some flexibility with your approach.

The photo book project starts the 1st of May and you can, at your choosing, start anytime during the whole month of May.

My own approach is to plan as follows:

1st week to get out and get the images. For many who have working jobs during the week you could assign both weekends to this.

2nd week for photo selection and editing.

3rd week to layout the book and write a few words.

This gives you an extra week at the end to overcome any problems, like needing more images or more time in the other parts that always seems to go astray.

Taken on the Paris subway. I liked the expressions on the people in relationship to the poster behind them.

Be Creative and have a Backup Plan

My approach is to have several rolling projects that I could use for this year’s book. There are many themes I would like to explore and having several in the thinking about or initial planning stages gives flexibility to really select a topic I can be passionate about. It also gives me the confidence that as I set upon the quest to complete the photo book I have contingencies if the selected subject doesn’t seem to be working.

First week of May project 1 begins. The second week, project 2 could start and the same for the 3rd week project 3.

This may seem like a fair bit of work, but the main object is to have fun and if you’re busy or not excited about the second week’s theme, then skip and wait for the 3rd week. DO what you enjoy.

Some ideas I have this years are:

Along the Ottawa Valley to Algonquin Park

The emerging life in spring.

Still working on other themes.

This was my first use of the Di-GPS adapter for the Nikon camera. I was out on a friend’s property taking a few images as reference points on map he had. In this image I used the Orton effect by first duplicating the layer and then increasing size about 10%. The layer was then blurred (10.0) and set to overlay with 50% opacity. I wanted to create a glowing floor as we are heading down into a valley.

Book Publishing Software

I use Open Office writer to create the book. The main reasons I like this is first it has the ability to have 0.0 margins, which MS Word cannot. Second, and importantly, it allows you to save as PDF file.

I tried Scribus, as others are using it, and it works well but seems more complicated than I need. Also, if I remember correctly, image size was critical. I find Open office easy to use and meets the functionality I need. It you have used MS Word then most of the functionality is the same.

The problem I had with Ms Word is that I could not set the margins to 0.0. It always had a residual size with printer defaults.

I did enjoy creating the book last year but there was some self-imposed stress, as is normal, when you are undertaking some thing new.

This year I have no apprehensions about the approach or time limits. It should all be enjoyable.

I am not trying to create a book that will sell millions or even 10s, but a book that I will enjoy and in the process learn more about what it takes to make a book

Due check out Paul Butzi blog “Mussing of Photgraphy”as he has been instrumental in getting this going.

There is now a flickr discussion group where you can also post questions and share your ideas with others about the book project.

You can sign up for the SoFoBoMo project website to register your book

Niels Henriksen


Davidlind said...

I really enjoy your blog and the blogs u recommend in the sidebar as well. This is really what I aspire to do.

I took this photo today and I ran it thru photoshop elements. But im still not satisfied with it because of all the light on parts of the building. What do u think? Can u recommend something here?

Royce - Your Photo Vision said...

I love the shot taken on the Paris subway! It speaks volumes.

nielsp said...


I commented on your photo.


thanks for your kind words.

As photographers at least when we are on the street a lot of our art is found art. What I mean is thanks to the people who are busy doing their normal activities because it gives us a chance to capture these real moments.


Davidlind said...

Thanks for stopping by my Flickr page and leaving suggestions. I plan to work on it some more and also try to be more aware of my position when taking photos on the street. In this case however I wanted to see the faces of the crowd so I was stuck with them and the light.
Thanks again.

saradise said...

Thank YOU! I am getting ready to begin my month and was worried about how to actually create the book... This helped :-)


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