Initially I wanted to hand in my work as a portfolio as I really like viewing a set of images in high quality print. However after discussing the nature of the project with my tutors they decided that a book would be more suited to the final body of work.
The narrative will be important to consider but I also want to produce a book that is slightly different from others. My initial idea is to create a folding book, this would work well with the idea of a timeline.
This would also allow the viewer to see the body of work as intended to be seen in an exhibition and it becomes more of a unique object than just a book. Alternatively It could actually have the photographs on the front and an actual timeline with dates and text on the reverse with matching pages.
To develop the idea further I will be looking at different styles of photo books, the combination of text and photos and old military books.
A good and obvious starting point is starting with the book research in Tim Hetherington’s Infidel. This book is a contemporary war photobook. The book is very well designed and works with the content of the photographs. The text on the front of the book is taken from a tattoo of one of the soldiers that were photographed, your then introduced to the landscape of the Korengal valley winch sets the scene. The book is then introduced by Sebastian Junger, Junger spent a lot of time with Hetherington so was a perfect candidate for writing the intro. After this the book is divided into portraits, landscapes, graphics of the soldiers tattoos and interviews at the back. It’s a great body of work and well thought out design.
I have spent some time looking through Martin Parr and Gerry Badger’s books, the Photobook: Volume 1 and 2: A History. However there most recent book volume 3 looks at more contemporary work and as my subject is also contemporary I thought it would be a good place to start.
One book that caught my attention is Dominique Lamberts – Stephanie Solinas. The book itself is a small book and only had 27 copies made. The book itself is about identity and has a beautiful clean and strong layout. Its repetition of text on the left and image on the right reads extreamly easily and makes the content stand out as the design is good but doesn’t distract.
Another book that caught my attention is Viviane Sassen’s – Flamboya, another book on identity, but more complicated to read than Stephanie Solinas.
What attracted me to this book was its layout. This was very contemporary design, featuring full page double spread bleeds to pages with small single images leaving lots of white space. I think with this book it requires a clever layout to give the viewer space and help them read the images correctly. This book would become very hard to read if it wasn’t this well designed.
The last book I have come across I have actually owned for years. I have always had an interest in the military, especially the RAF from a young age. The book is called ‘Pilots Notes for Spitfire IX, XI, & XVI’ This book is a recreation of pilots notes from 1946 for the spitfire fighter plane. The book contains mostly text and only 4 photographs but would be a good book to base my own book on due to the connection of the RAF. It also echos my idea of comparing the old and the new and recreation. The book is A5 in size which makes it easy to hold, I like the size and it will work well with the intimacy of my project.
After doing a mock up of a fold out design as I mentioned before, I decided that it wouldn’t work as the layout came to over 2.5m long. I think this would look good as something you would display on the wall but would be hard to handle as a book itself.
Front page (unfolded) – Photo story.
Back page (unfolded) – Timeline and quotes from interview.