In 2014, after my early autumn month long trip out west and processing so many of the photographs, I thought of making a book containing some of them and some text as a way of recording some of my thoughts about the trip and how much it deeply affected me and my photography. With Black Friday coming up, I figured there would be some great sales and I might be able to have a nice keepsake of the trip at a reasonable price, because without a sale, these books can easily become pretty pricey. Well, I worked really hard to put it together, writing about some things I thought were important that I took away from the trip, but I never really had enough time to include everything I wanted before the sale was over. In fact I worked on the book right up to the last moment, with the upload finishing at 11:58pm on Black Friday, just under the wire!! When it was delivered, I couldn’t be happier or more proud of this wonderful book to keep for myself and maybe even become a family album of sorts, almost like some of the albums of photos I’ve looked at from time to time that my parents put together so long ago with the “technology” of their era.
This year I had time to plan a bit ahead, having come back home about two weeks earlier than in 2014, so it gave me more time to process all the photos and to think out the text I wanted to include, how I wanted the book to be laid out and actually do a little research to add to the informational narrative lacking in the previous book. This time I went for the big book and tried the glossy, heavyweight paper for added detail and a bit more vibrance, and as an added bonus, a nice storage box was included free, but I kept the same basic design from two years ago for a bit of continuity. I uploaded it on Black Friday again and to my amazement, it was delivered on Wednesday afternoon, 5 days later!! I had actually gotten an email earlier in the morning saying it was shipped, so it was a complete surprise to actually have it in my hands later that afternoon. And I was completely thrilled with the results and couldn’t be happier.
Since it had been two years since the previous book, I included photos from some of my other shorter trips along the coast of North and South Carolina and along the Blue Ridge Parkway which I visited several times in both spring and fall during those two years. I included several pages of photos from nearby Jordan Lake that’s been a continuing project of mine ever since I switched over to digital. That filled out the book to 100 pages with loads of pictures, including quite a few two-page panoramas that I don’t believe were available the last time. I even called up the publisher to make sure I had the correct resolution for those panoramas in the largest book they make to give the landscapes I saw over these two years the most impact I could without losing any of their sharpness. It is impressive to see your own work in a book stretching almost 28-inches wide with such great detail achieved by making several panels at the time it was taken, that were later stitched together in Photoshop.
It was really an enjoyable experience creating this book and someday I may create another to go along with these few I’ve done so far, and I encourage those who are passionate about their photography to consider creating a collection of their own in book form. They are so easy to just pull out at any time and thumb through, reliving the experiences of creating those images and to read the words you wrote about them. It is also a way in which others can have a little more insight into your soul and why photography has become your avenue of artistic expression.