I think most people are aware that I love Lego’s Chima line of mini figures. And I’m pretty sure you never thought I would write a blog post that starts with: The problem with Chima. Continue reading The Problem with Chima
“Twelve significant photographs in any one year is a good crop.” – Ansel Adams
Just like Ansel Adams, we realize twelve good images a year is a tremendous accomplishment that should be celebrated. So last year we challenged our readers to come up with their own 12 best images, turn them into small photo books and exchange them with us. Everyone who participated was thrilled with the experience, especially Me2 and myself, and requested this to be an annual activity. Continue reading Best of 2015 Photo Challenge
The books created for the Best of 2014 Photo Challenge are starting to arrive. I have seen several posts on IG featuring books by both Me2 and myself so I know they are arriving at their destinations. I have received a handful myself and I can understand the enthusiasm that the recipients feel. Opening each book is a true gift; a gift of the heart.
These little books are packed with memories, back stories, unique presentations and of course lots of outstanding photographs. Each book reflects the individual creator, but they also represent everything good about our toy photography community. In short they are amazing!
The stories I have read within their pages reflect the camaraderie, the joy, the relationships and the common experiences that bind us together. I am pretty sure that Me2 and I are the true winners in this endeavor because we will receive eight to nine books each. A veritable treasure trove of photography goodness.
So to everyone who took the plunge and created a book I thank you for making this a truly special holiday.
There where seven participants in the book exchange; Sweden (2), Germany (1), Turkey (1), Columbia (1), United States (3), Belgium (1)
Should we do this again? If so, how often?
If we do this again, would you like the opportunity to exchange with everyone who participates?
Have you started editing your photos for the Best of 2014 Photo Challenge?
I sat down last night and narrowed my choice down to 20 images, seven of which are solid choices. Not quite the 12 that Ansel talked about, but I will take it. As I begin to choose the last five images that will round out my top 12, I keep thinking about this quote:
“It can be a trap of the photographer to think that his or her best pictures were the ones that were hardest to get. – Timothy Allen
This is definitely an editing trap I have fallen into before. It is hard to eliminate images from a group that you worked hard to get. It is so easy to get wrapped up in an image emotionally and not see clearly how it can strengthen or weaken the whole. For me, I am often entranced by a certain aspect of an image, a compelling detail, that it is hard to see it within the context of the group.
But then this is why editing is hard.
The other by product of this exercise is that I am seeing relationships I was not aware of. So many of my favorite images are taken near or in water it is almost comical. If you are familiar with my past work this makes a certain amount of sense. I also noticed my favorite images tend to be rather dark, not the usual playful imagery that you expect from Lego photography. I will have to consider lightening the mood with my final choices.
Once I lay out my book with its final 12 images I will be adding text to each image. I want you to know why I chose each image and what makes it special to me. I hope you will consider adding similar explanations in your book.
I look forward to seeing what you choose and why.
Have you signed up to partake in the great Best of 2014 Photo Book Swap?
Does your book have a theme beyond “Best of…”?
Please let us know if you have any questions, we are here to help.
I am very pleased with the response to my photo challenge. Your enthusiasm is infectious!
Here are a few more details.
If you have never made a photo book before you are in for a treat. It is a very satisfying way to display your photos and of course they make great gifts. There has been some concern that this activity would be cost prohibitive, so I did some research and found some options of publishers that offer modest pricing.
Artifact Uprising offers a 6 x 8 soft cover book for $22.99.
Shutterfly offers a 7 x 9 softcover book for $15.99.
Mosaic offers a 7 x 7 hard cover book for $20.00
Apple offers a 8 x 6 soft cover book for $11.00
Lulu offers a 9 x 7 soft cover book for $12.99
These sites all have pre packed designs that you can drop your images into. This is not a design challenge. Simply pick a simple layout and upload your photos to it. It couldn’t be any simpler. If you plan to print multiple copies of any book I recommend printing one copy to proof color and density. Just because your photo looks great on the screen, doesn’t mean it will look good on paper.
If you want to get super fancy I would suggest checking out Blurb Photo Books. You can go crazy and get a beautiful hard cover book for around $36.00. (All the pricing is approximate and quoted for a book of 20 pages or less. All pricing is in US currency.)
Each of these options have there pluses and minuses. You will have to decide if you want to add text or let the photos speak for themselves. Mosaic is a photo only layout. I have found that text is really helpful down the road to remember the time and place; those details that become fuzzy with time.
If you are ready to commit to exchanging a photo book with me please click here. Please send me an e-mail and let me know your intentions by December 1st. Ideally we would all have our books printed and mailed by December 31st.
In other news I wanted to share with you my first large scale print that I received from the printer. I am no stranger to printing my photographs large, but this is the first Lego mini figure photo and I couldn’t be more pleased with the results.
Have a great weekend friends and I hope to hear from you!
If you want to research a full range of custom book publishers check out this article.
If I haven’t answered your specific question, please leave a comment and I will get back to you.
This challenge is open to all photographers who are friends of this blog, not just toy photographers.
What is the biggest art photo you have ever printed?
It is that time of year when I turn my thoughts to assembling a photo album of pictures I have taken of my children during the past 12 months. This is a tradition I started nine years ago with the birth of my second child. Each book is an epic adventure in its own right, but all the books together is mind blowing. For my 17 year old daughter, it is her most cherished Christmas gift.
After a Twitter conversation with Arby of @Worldofminifigs regarding her annual calendar, I was wondering if this might not be a good exercise for my Lego photography as well. Why not start with 2014 and create a small book of my favorite 12 images that I can then share with my family and friends? You know, the special ones that have been supportive throughout the year.
But I want to add a twist to this project; I want you to do it too.
…and then I want us to swap them.
I want to share my photos with you and I want you to share yours with me. Why?
- We can feed the Marketing Beast together.
- It is good practice to edit your images.
- These images could be the seeds of a future photography show.
- It is a great way to look back and appreciate your year in photography.
- We can move one step closer to making our internet friends into real life friends.
- Create an inexpensive holiday gift for friends and family alike.
- A tangible way to show people what your passion is.
Not to mention that if we keep doing this every year, making a book of our12 favorite / best images, we will have a great archive and a tangible view of our progress. There is no substitute to seeing your images printed in a book or framed on a wall to give a real sense of accomplishment.
If you accept my challenge, please leave your intentions in the comments below. I will keep you up to date on my progress. Ideally, I will have all books printed and mailed before December 15th.
I hope you will accept my challenge and share your photography with me because I want to share my photography with you.
I wonder if I can persuade +Me2 and Avanaut to join in?
This challenge is open to anyone who has been a friend of this blog, not just toy photographers.
|Will this image make the cut?|