APUG book of photos

Discussion in 'Book, Magazine, Gallery Reviews, Shows & Contests' started by guitstik, Jul 16, 2011.

  1. Michael A. Smith

    Michael A. Smith Subscriber

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    My opinion is that democracy should play no role in making such a selection for an APUG book. A "democratic" book will not be an excellent one. My only interest in this was is putting together an excellent book. Otherwise it is just a waste of time. And keithwms, this has nothing to do with my ego. I wouldn't care if my name were mentioned anywhere. I was just volunteering to help produce something excellent.

    Most all photography contest have one juror. One. Those things are not democracies. Never. Nor should they be. And if the "majority" would not submit work because of a single juror, even one with extremely wide taste, then they obviously do not ever submit work to any juried contests or exhibitions. And they obviously never submit their work to a critique, since critiques are given by one person. Okay. Their loss.

    Egos will be assuaged by those participating in a "democratic" book, but the democratic idea presented here is a weird concept of equality. Everyone certainly has a right to their opinion about which photographs they like, but sorry, not all opinions are equal. Some people only have their likes and dislikes--likes and dislikes that are not based on much more than . . . likes and dislikes.

    Anyone who selects an APUG book, whether it is me or someone else, should have a thorough knowledge, and I mean thorough, of the history of photography. And that is for starters. All work viewed should be seen in relation to what has gone before. Some at APUG no doubt have that knowledge, but most do not. They should also have the ability to be totally objective about their own work. And they should have experience as a juror and as a book editor and publisher. if there are others beside myself at APUG who have these qualifications and also the willingness to devote the time required (with, when you get down to it, minimal compensation), then go to it.

    Michael A. Smith
     
  2. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Member

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    This thread/project long ago crossed over into the surreal. It's worse than watching the US Congress trying to figure out how to pay the bills.

    I participated in the survey, so I am one of the 100+. I said I'd submit a photograph and purchase a book, regardless of whether my photo was included. But after 30+ thread pages of whining, bickering, insults, threats, and just plain old immature poking-sticks-in-eyes behavior, I think it's time to revisit my survey selections. There is now just too much blood on the carpet for this to be an enjoyable exercise. So I've decided that both my time and money can be put to more productive photographic use elsewhere.

    Best of luck to whomever is victorius, or simply left alive...

    Ken
     
  3. ozphoto

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    I've been away for a while and this thread has grown considerably! I had a look at the LFP book as suggested, and liked what Frank had to say in his opening statement:

    "......This book is a small sampling of the range of work being done by forum members. Some of the photos here are indeed a beginner's best effort, while many of the images are from seasoned professionals and established artists. This mix represents the demographic mix of the forum itself and it is probably why the forum has been so long-lasting and successful."

    Putting together a book is a painstaking process, and certainly needs to be thoroughly investigated prior to deciding which avenue to take regarding the final printing.

    Others thoughts regarding an all encompassing book vs. a selected works edition raise the obvious question of cost and how these works are selected or grouped.

    As a former member of several photographic associations, I have a small collection of each association's "Yearbooks" (for want of a better description) which comprise of the winning entries from their annual competitions. They certainly show the "best of the best" for that year, as selected by their judging panel for each selected category. Naturally, entry fees would have covered the cost of printing (along with sponsorship), and every member had a chance to enter. The resulting images were not always to everyone's taste, but they made the cut: to each his own.

    The "all in" venture would seem to be better suited to a POD direction, as a "Selected Works" edition implies to me at least, to be a showcase of *the* best work available on APUG.

    Regardless of which route it eventually takes, it is not something that can be achieved without forethought, planning and a strong idea of what it is truly promoting. Once you have these things nailed down, only then could the design and printing start.

    A survey sent to all members to gauge reaction would be an ideal place to start - anything less couldn't really be an acceptable decision. After all it's an APUG book and every member should be given the opportunity to have his/her say as to what format the book should take.
     
  4. ozphoto

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    Survey

    Ahh, rats. :blink: Seems my time away has resulted in not being able to participate in the survey. Anyone happen to have a copy of what the questions were?
     
  5. ozphoto

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    I've experienced the problem of bad printing with Blurb - the first set were printed in the EU and the second in AU (I think).

    First set had lovely toning on the cover, the second akin to dirty heads on an Epson printer - lines all over it and the tone was awful!

    I contacted them with scans to show the appalling difference (and their apparent lack of concern with quality control) and they sent me another set gratis, in all formats that were originally ordered.

    Kudos for their response, but admit I'm worried that what I order, may not be the same as what *you* order with respect to quality. They need to ensure that regardless of where the book is printed, the quality and printing remains the same, other wise it rather defeats the purpose.
     
  6. Sean

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    That could be handled with an anonymous submission process where those judging have only a number code in relation to the work instead of a name. I think the book should be far more casual than clinical, it does not need to be a museum level creation of the highest caliber. I think it should embody a sense of community, participation, exploration, amateur/pro levels of work, interesting process notes and bio tidbits of the contributors, visually appealing of course and something fun to be a part of.
     
  7. hoffy

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    +1.

    Couldn't have said it better myself
     
  8. Wolfeye

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    I can't see how a democratic voting process from among APUG members would make the work worthless. Seems straightforward logic that an anonymous submission process, followed by voting by APUG members, would yield a selection of photos the members would actually like to buy. Or am I missing something?
     
  9. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    You are missing nothing, Wolfeye.

    Thank you for making my point for me so clearly. So you do want to be The Juror then. My goodness, motives expose themselves so crystal-clearly.

    N.b. if you consult a dictionary for the definition of juror, you will see that it is a member of a jury panel, typically a body of twelve individuals. Hence, if you wish to have one person pass "excellent" judgement, you should refer to that person as a judge, not a juror. If you make your language more clear, then you might help others understand your true intentions.

    And I am offended by the notion that this should be anything like a photography contest.

    ~~~

    Let's take a step back from this unpleasant interlude and remember that we already have an awesome book of sorts, represented right on this forum. APUGers can post almost anything they want, and it is naturally reviewed by others. Hence APUG is already a journal or book of sorts. And, even with all those hideously offensive cat's asses and breasts offending all the MFAs among us, we are all still here and enjoying it.

    So... why should the journal or book be substantially different from what we have all loved for years? Why should it be more erudite, more credentialed, more... bland?

    The purpose of this journal or book is, I think, to elevate the more salient items from the blur of content. Nothing more.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 14, 2011
  10. Michael A. Smith

    Michael A. Smith Subscriber

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    My motives were clearly spelled out right at the beginning.

    A juror in the legal world is a member of a 12-person jury. The art world is not the legal world. A juror in the art world most often is just one person.

    Good luck to all.

    Michael A. Smith
     
  11. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    In the end we're all artists along some continuum from beginner to professional, including everything in between (aspiring artists, casual or serious hobbyists etc). And getting a bunch of artists to come to any kind of swift and unanimous (or even consensus) agreement in a smooth way is not easy. But hopefully this can be done somehow.

    I think I've taken it a little too seriously thus far, even as somewhat of an outsider. Perhaps others have as well. Yes we want a high quality product, but this is not the be-all-end-all of any of our respective careers, hobbies etc. I'm not sure if I should submit any pictures, but I'll buy a nice APUG photography book whether I have any pictures in it or not.
     
  12. OP
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    guitstik

    guitstik Member

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    We need to come to some sort of compromise if we are to get a book to press. The biggest objection I am seeing to Lodima Press doing this printing is not the cost but a one man panel judging our work. Every book, magazine or news paper has a singular editor that makes the final decisions and that is as it should be or chaos takes over. I can understand the objections but the way I see it, a juried selection would be impractical. Who here is willing to send even one print to a panel of "judges"? If we used a jury of twelve, that would be twelve prints going out in all different directions and that would be cost prohibitive. I don't know about the rest of you but my monitor isn't the greatest at reproducing tones. My own prints don't look the same on my monitor so how wouldni be able to judge the works of others, hence the idea for this book. So why not let one man with a vast background of looking at prints from professionals do all of the hard work and take all of the grief that goes with it.

    The prices I have seen for a POD book get up over $100 unless we cut corners by going with a smaller book, lower quality paper and cut the number of pages and even then it is still close to that price. I have read where others have talked about starting with a POD and then later doing a fine art book. That seems backwards to me. How many people do you think would be interested in a second book if the first was not of the best quality?

    Sean is correct, we need numbers and I am still befuddled as to why we haven't spread the word better. If Sean did put a banner at the top of each section I think more people would get involved but what will turn people off is this insecent bickering, name calling and shedding of blood. I assume that we are all adults here and as such can we not get together and come up with a plan other than "I don't want him judging me" or "I won't work with these people". I think that Michael and Ian should get together over a beer and talk over their differences. We already have several things going for us, a printer/publisher with excellent credentials, a group of APUG'ers with really good ideas and a whole gallery of talented artists. Could we not get a selection committee together to mull over submissions and then pass those on to Michael for him to edit? If Sean would agree, we might even get him to give the final nod. Of course this would be contingent on getting the number of submissions and purchasers where we need them.

    Joel

    Edit: I have been informed that this is not a viable option I also get the feeling that I have been dismissed.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 14, 2011
  13. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    Joel,

    Until we get beyond "my print won't...." mentality, no consensus will ever emerge. We evaluate and critique images all day long on APUG gallery. We can even do a preliminary selection on scanned image by panels, then final print can be sent to a single person for final judgement. But this person who will cast the final judgement will need to be selected by the membership.

    This is an enthusiasts' forum. Please never forget that. Each of us are proud of our own accomplishment. If this is going to be a APUG book, it will have to belong to everybody - one way or another. That doesn't necessary mean everyone's work needs to be included.

    Before any consensus was formed, Micheal came out and basically declared how it's going to be. People reacted. I'm not surprised at all, how it went down from there.
     
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  15. Ian Grant

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    That's an excellent summation.

    Rachelle (mooseontheloose) carried out a survey and based on its results, comments in this thread etc, there's a plan of action in place that Joel is part of and which will be made public in a few days.

    I think MicaelR 1974 in his last post put's things into perspective. This is simply an APUG book some people take things to seriousaly, it just need to get done without petty sqabbles.

    Ian
     
  16. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    my take is that if one person is going to curate a book of apug images
    there shouldn't even be submissions. he or she should just look at images in the gallery and then email the people whose images
    were liked/ accepted / made the cut ... and ask if they would be interested in having their work in a book.
    let people know this is going to be going on and then look at every image in the gallery ...

    then have a 80 page book ( or volumes of 80 page books ) since 80 pages seems to be the best value ...
    and go from there.

    make the announcement, browse the gallery email, publish and have an APUG page on blurb ...

    have the moderators or membership council or open vote here on apug
    decide who is going to be the curator and have a new book every few months .
    and maybe every few months or once a year we can have a celeb-curator who is a member / subscriber here on apug.

    joel since you started this thread, maybe you can be the first book czar :smile:



    threads like this go on for 30 pages, and nothing gets done besides name calling, and bad feelings ...
     
  17. mooseontheloose

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    That's not a bad idea, except I don't know who would want to wade through 541 pages of gallery postings!
     
  18. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    if you change your images / page to 210 it trims page count down considerably :wink:

    too bad the random image pages don't have 210 images on them
    it would make browsing the gallery for this sort of thing really easy ...
     
  19. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council
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    I've been doing some price shopping for services, and if we go with Blurb, we can get a soft-cover, 8.5 x 11 inch book with up to 120 pages for $35, hard-cover for with dust jacket for $44, hard-cover with imagewrap for $ 47, and ProLine Linen cover with dust jacket for $50. That's a far cry from $100, and well within the budget most people on the survey indicated they would spend. I've seen Blurb books before and they're quite nice. Yes, they're not as nice as what Lodima could do for us, but if we judge by the survey, there's no way we could get 500 people (or 1000) to pony up and buy the entire production run. If we were to go with Michael's suggestion that those buying the book cover the difference, if we had a production run of 1000 books, and 200 people actually bought, then the excess production run would raise the cost per person by a factor of 4- so a $20 book would become an $80 book. If we went with a POD book, the cost would be fixed, per book, never go up, there would be no excess inventory to manage, and to cap it off, there would be no delay between design and production while we wait for checks to come in. Put simply, the logistics of producing the book absolutely dictate that we go with POD. I know I don't have a spare $10K sitting around to produce this book to insure it gets printed in a timely fashion, and I don't have a garage I could store 1000 books in, nor do I have the time and energy to sit down and process, pack and ship orders in a timely fashion. Neither do any of the other folks who have been actively working on this, and I doubt most of the nay-sayers here do either. Now, if someone here has the spare cash and the spare time to manage the offset press run and its distribution, I will be the very first one to cede that task to them and pony up my $20 for my copy of the book. Please, step forward and identify yourself.

    As to blood being spilt in this thread, I don't see it. I do see people offering up nice ideas without regard for practical considerations and when those practical considerations get pointed out, they get butt-hurt because their idea wasn't immediately adopted. If you want to participate, the identities of those organizing this effort are known at this point - feel free to PM us and join in. For the record, we are:

    Joel - Guitstik
    Rachelle - Mooseontheloose
    Ian Grant - Ian Grant
    Scott - TheFlyingCamera

    This process is somewhat slow by virtue of the fact that we're in four discontiguous time zones (Japan, Central US, Eastern US, Continental Europe) and so conversations don't happen in real time. We are finalizing a lot of details for the project and will be putting out a new announcement in a new thread in the next few days. It should all be much clearer then, and we hope folks will be able to get on board at that time. If people are too butt-hurt to see past the project not looking exactly like they wanted it to, then we'll kill the thing here and let someone else produce their own idea of what this should look like. If not, we'll get a book out the door within the next six months.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 14, 2011
  20. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    An unlimited edition...I like it!
     
  21. MattKing

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    Thanks to all four of you for stepping forward and putting time and effort into this.

    I especially appreciate the fact that there are people from a lot of different locations working on it.

    And I'm sure having a transplanted Canadian on the team helps too :wink:.
     
  22. coigach

    coigach Member

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    Cheers for update - much appreciated.
     
  23. ozphoto

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    Hi guys! Any more information regarding this? After all the to-and-fro, and heated discussions, it seems to have died totally.
     
  24. keithwms

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    It hasn't died at all :smile: There have finally been some earnest efforts to create an inclusive project which all APUGers can be proud of. I look forward to seeing the product!
     
  25. ozphoto

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    Thanks Keith - that's great to hear. How do you keep updated?
     
  26. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Nanette, I was asked my opinion about something and was added to a few informal mails. I believe where it stands now is that Sean has made some excellent suggestions for how to make the project more inclusive and open. I think there will be some new info quite soon.

    FWIW my role in the project has been simply to suggest that a "jury" is not one person.
     
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