I recently received a long awaited package.
In a brown cardboard wrapping were copies of my first two photography books, direct from the printer. These were the proof copies of Placentia in Winter and A Cold War Fades Away. Each book represents projects spanning multiple years, and lots of time in the snow, rain, and wind of coastal Newfoundland in the darkest season. I’ve spent the past months going through the large collection of digital images, and developing and scanning rolls of film. This was followed by the difficult task of editing, finding the images that best fit each project, and that also complement each other. This in itself was slow going as the selection process had to be rigorous. It meant often choosing between multiple images that seemed equally worthy but where only one or two would make it into the book. It also meant writing introductory essays to set the context for each project, followed by choosing a printing service, selecting the appropriate cover material and paper stocks, doing the page layouts, and finally the overall book design. Then, when everything was checked and each image carefully considered again, I uploaded the design files and had them printed.
So when my review copies showed up the first thing I did was closely examine each printed photo to see how it matched the on screen appearance. I was quite pleased with the resulting reproductions. Often in moving from the screen to the printed page shadows can tend to darken and lose detail. That wasn’t the case here, and the few images that required reproducing shadow detail came out perfectly. I did find a couple of images with issues in one of the books and I went back and forth with the printer to correct these. After double-checking for typos and making a few minor changes the corrected files were re-uploaded.
In the end there were very few issues to be found. While I spent a lot of time tweaking and nailing down the original design it was time well spent. The proof copies needed very few corrections.
I then undertook the design of a second version of each book. The original designs I refer to as the Premium Editions. These have the highest quality covers with a dust jacket. They also contain the full selection of images for each project.
The second set of book designs I’ve labelled Essential Editions. These contain an essential subset of the original photo selection while having soft covers.
In all four versions of the books I made no compromises on the most critical factor. I used the heaviest stock, highest quality, photo paper on which to print the images.
These books are now available on my web store at
In blog posts to come I’ll dig into the ideas and concepts behind each book project.