Landscapes in Scotland by BK Photography
A review of my new photo book called Landscapes in Scotland.
The way we view photographs has changed quite dramatically in the last decade or so. The vast majority of us will see all our images on some sort of digital device. Whether it’s on Facebook or lurking in a folder on your iPad, you can find your images pretty easily. No more looking through a shoebox of old photographs to rekindle those precious memories. Advancements in technology have allowed people to capture, edit and view photographs on their phone. Works really well too. Sometimes it seems like the days of a printed photograph are long gone. Sounds great, doesn’t it? Well, that might be a bit short-sighted.
I would take a guess that most don’t have another copy of their favourite photographs. How many people have lost their phone only to find they didn’t have a backup of some of their most cherished photographs? Storing all your pictures on a hard drive isn’t the answer either. When it comes to hard drives it’s not a case of if, it’s when the hard drive will die. Many hard drives will perish in cupboards around the globe. Another thing to think about is how long will this storage unit be available? Things move fast when it comes to technology. Posting images on a social media site seems like a good idea to preserve their lifespan but those images are not entirely safe either. Even Vint Cerf, who is considered one of the founding fathers of the internet has said our images are at risk if we only store them online. He warns us of the possibility of a forgotten century.
I’m a huge fan of seeing my work presented as a tangible product. When I first started to get serious about photography, digital was just in its infancy. I used to spend hours in the darkroom trying to make the perfect print. The print was everything back then. Showing your friends and family the negatives wasn’t even thought of. You needed the prints to show off all your hard work. The transition from analogue to digital photography was a bumpy road. Printing those early digital files wasn’t the way it was now. Only a handful of companies were up to the task. I cringe to think the amount of time, effort and of course money I spent trying to get a similar looking inkjet print. There was something magical about a hand developed silver halide print. Trying to achieve something that looked even remotely close to a black & white print was a futile task. I have framed prints throughout my home. Some were made with film using traditional methods and others were produced entirely digitally.
Every couple of months I add a few more 6×4’s to my ever increasing hoard of photographs and once in a while I’ll design a photo book (usually of my three children) for myself, parents or clients. Photo books are a fantastic way to present a collection of images. I enjoy the design process and love how a carefully arranged layout can enhance the visual impact of photography. As you may or not know there are many different options when it comes to the manufacturers of these products. I have tried a few throughout the years and I’m always looking for another option. Through a friend, I heard of a German company called SAAL. They were offering a free book to a professional photographer who would review their books, so I thought why not. I’ll give it a go.
I decided the book was to feature my landscapes that I have captured throughout Scotland. I often travel with my work and I try to make a point of taking in some local scenery with my camera. Scotland boasts some truly unique locations. People fly in from all corners of the world trying to emulate its beauty through the medium of photography. Thankfully, I don’t need to go that far. Hopefully, my images can capture the imagination of others like it has me. I thought if the books come back and looked good enough I could use them as a thank you to some of my long-term clients.
Although Saal Digital provides their own software to aid the design of your book, I decided to use my own. Once I was happy with my design, I uploaded the files and went with a 19cm square, glossy cover with 8 spreads. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised how nice it looked, especially with the extra thick pages. The pages lay flat for an album of that size and the printing was very consistent with my calibrated monitors. There is plenty of different variations but I wanted to keep it simple for my first time using them. All in all, I have to say I’m very satisfied with the results. I would be happy to have more of my work showcased using these books. I think it would particularly suit a client looking for a small memento of their portrait session. A good amount of my clients will only ask for the digital files. Hopefully having this option may tempt more to opt for an album. I’m looking forward to seeing more samples of their work as I’m always on the lookout for new ways to preserve my photographic obsession.
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