Saturday, June 16, 2012

LOOK3 (editors & my dummy book)

"image of giraffe on santa monica pier" (c) george elsasser

After my visit to LOOK3 I want to push the design of my book "Tips and Tales" farther. I am mostly pleased with its edit and sequencing but after LOOK3 things have changed a little.  Here is a complete look at the book: "Tips & Tales"

After meeting with some incredible editors National Geographic Magazine senior editor Pamela Chen ,  independent Michael Davis,  and from VII Photo Donald Weber I feel encouraged to push the overall design. I needed to take it to the event and give people in the know a look. I am happy with the images and the flow of the sequencing as they were for the most part. Which is a very good thing.

Donald Weber opened my head up to new possibilities in photo book design, and said my book was like "A demented (American) fairytale".  Yes I agree.

"image of forgotten homer simpson doll in snow" (c) george elsasser
Homer is not in the book but I certainly enjoy tipping my hat to the strange things I find, sometimes the ironies astound me. This is certainly part of my aesthetic at times.

Pam Chen mentioned working in locational notes to help show the implied underlying narrative is nationwide not localized.

Finally Michael Davis was extremely helpful in identifying some tendencies in my work I am some what obliquely aware of, that I need pay attention to. It is hard to describe Michael other than extremely supportive, sensitive and generous. I highly recommend people consider working with him. Thanks Michael also for mentioning PhotoLucida to me, people if you are of the fine art ilk for lack of a better term it should not be missed.

All three person's integrity came right to the forefront in my brief time with them. Each were very supportive and helpful, each enjoyed the images and felt most of them had a strong voice. I will try to add more later when I check my notes, so remember these are my recollections.

Being a fine art photographer I did not know what to expect, (but what I received was excellent insight into what my work was about) because the editors backgrounds are mostly focused on journalistic photography.  I am glad I kept an open mind and showed them my work.  One of the greatest things in photography in the last I guess 10-15 yrs. is all the lines are blurred and cross fertilization is ram-pit.  Labels can keep people from looking at different work that is not in their specific arena, which is narrow minded and elitist.

I am grateful I got to meet specifically each of you cause I had no idea who to show the work to and just let the univern.  Thanks so much!
I have been a little out of touch with the photo book as I have been studying mostly painters since 1996 or so.  After LOOK3 and a good look at the many Aperture books (all on view at LOOK3) I have missed, not to mention the 25+ books at the event published in all manors and displayed. I have been brought up to speed.  Editing for me fortunately is not time dependent as it is in journalism so my images have plenty of time to sit still and I can see if they still have a strong voice very much later.  This is very important in editing my work so that the romance of lots of effort can fade well into the past and not effect my choices.  Being to too emotionally close to images can be problematic.

LOOK3 incidentally is a fantastic photography festival be there in 2013 or wait for 2015. It is three years on one year off.  It does have a fine art focus in addition to it's journalistic roots, its first year guest was none other than shadowy figure Joel-Peter Witkin

This year they had Camille Seaman
(a very sensitive and spiritual woman I had the great pleasure to speak with at length) among others.  More on LOOK3 later, this is keeping me from my camera work. No wonder I posted nothing in 2011.