These are the draft pages I’ve put together so far for my photobook project. I’ve been working fairly quickly over the past few days, figuring out which ideas are important and which are unnecessary. I start by finding pairs of photos that work together as vertical diptychs, then placing those diptychs in pairs or alongside journal pages, sometimes adding snippets of handwriting, and finally working out the order of the pages. The individual spreads are mostly sets of four photos, but I’m also trying to vary the structure a bit with some larger images. Working with more of a bird’s-eye view of the overall project really helps me feel like I’m making progress on this.
I’m thinking a printed book should be the same size as the notebooks I use, which are mostly about 3½ × 5½″, but I have to see how the photos look at that size. Right now a couple of spreads have handwriting extending across the page gutter, which probably won’t work well in a printed book; I have to test that, too.
I recently finished Lawrence Weschler’s Everything That Rises: A Book of Convergences, and it gave me some ideas about different ways of conceptually pairing images. Other books in the back of my head as I work on this project include Anders Nilsen’s Don’t Go Where I Can’t Follow (combining visual images and handwriting), Charles Burns’s One Eye (vertically-oriented diptychs), and Dan Eldon’s collage journals (presenting journals non-chronologically).
“None of us are free of references. And when you grow up in the world of art, things stick to you. I’m covered with imagery that has meant something to me, that has caught my attention over time, certainly they’re swirling around me at all times, like the moons of Saturn. I’m not always sure I’m identifying anything, but they make a composite of me, as well as things I have seen in the real world, gestures that I may not have had time to photograph, but even they stick with me as great moments of beauty that I have missed. So when I see them again, I am awakened, because I want to be faster this time, I want to get them this time. But dealing not only with the things one misses, one is always carrying a chapbook of images around.”
— Joel Meyerowitz in conversation with Lawrence Weschler, from Everything That Rises: A Book of Convergences