Iceland was the first group tour I’ve ever been on. With a fixed itinerary, pre-defined locations, and a large group with a variety of interests – to say I was highly skeptical was an understatement. Regardless of my hesitation, it was hard to turn down the invitation and I really wanted to travel with those that invited me.
Now that I’m home and relatively pleased with a few of the images I brought home, it’s interesting and often amazing to see what the rest of the group saw and shot. With each new image, I found myself saying “Where was that?”, “Why did I not see it that way?”, or “#*$?, my image sucks compared to that one”.
The trip was a very fast paced packed itinerary with little time to rest (most of use slept in the van) and exhaustion was a battle by week two. At a time when I was completely uninspired to pick up the camera with several excuses of being too tired, the light or weather sucks, it’s mid-day and hot, there were other photographers out making great images that I had the opportunity and intentionally missed out on.
To close off this Icelandic Adventure, we as a group have assembled a PDF in the form of an eBook showcasing everyone’s favourite photographs.
Today’s Image – Two Weeks in Iceland PDF eBook
This 122 page PDF is designed to be a portfolio of our favourite images from 12 photographers that ventured off to Iceland for 2 weeks in the spring of 2012. Published by oopoomoo, you can download this free 36MB PDF to see the wide variety of images and the different photographic styles artists can produce, even though we were often standing side by side in front of the same scene in the same weather.
After several months of anticipation, I’m pleased to announce that in honour of the park’s 75th anniversary, PEI National Park, Parks and People Association and The Acorn Press released a new book this past Wednesday night to a full house at Dalvay-by-the-Sea National Historic Site — a 77 page picture-heavy book produced primarily with John Sylvester’s images from his 28 years of photographing the park.
During the creation of the book, I was approached by Parks & People and PEI National Park to participate in this anniversary publication with the inclusion of some of my own images which I easily agreed to.
Thanks to all who attended Wednesday night where both John and I were available for book signings. If I was a guessing man, I would not be surprised if we signed 100 or more books. It felt like a successful first day and I was pleasantly surprised just how many mentioned they were familiar with this website.
You can buy the book online for only $17.80 CND or pick it up at any Parks and People boutique / bookstore.
Today’s Image – Prince Edward Island National Park: Past and Present
The following text is quoted from the introduction to Prince Edward Island National Park: Past and Present.
Prince Edward Island National Park has been welcoming vistors from around the world since it was first created in 1937. From the dramatic red sandstone cliffs and spectacular beaches in Cavendish to the pristine parabolic dunes in Greenwich, this small coastal park has captiavated the hearts of all who experience its serene and tranquil beauty.
Stretching for about 40 kilometres along the north shore of Prince Edward Island between New London and Tracadie bays and taking in the tip of the Greenwich peninsula in St. Peters Bay, the Park’s dynamic coastal landscape is constantly chaning as it is shaped by wind and waves.
This book aims to capture the essence of this special place, preserved and protected for you to return to again and again..
As an additional preview, here are a few of the images found in the book.
I have been enjoying printing so much with the new printer, I mentioned last week that I would mail out a free print to a random commenter on Facebook. I had a hard time selecting only 1 — so I selected 4 names from the 161 entries I received (If I could, I’d send something to everyone). After copying all the names into a spreadsheet, I asked my soon-to-be-wife across the room for 2 random numbers and then I used random.org to select two more names. The 4 recipients by random draw were Paula Hughes, Wendy Mumma, Noel Clancey and Amber Phillips. Thank you to all those that were interested.
If you would still like a print now, for the next week until May 27th 2012, I will ship any 8.5×11 print you want for a reduced introduction price of $20 (shipping and taxes included).
Visit www.stephendesroches.com/prints for complete details.
Today’s Image – Prince Edward Island Fine Art Photography Prints
All prints are created on a heavy 300+ g/m² fine art acid-free paper using the latest in Epsons Ultrachrome K3 inks. Printed on 8.5×11 sheets with large white borders, the dimensions of the image are custom to the artist and will require custom matting. To make this truly fine art, I do not want to be hand cuffed by pre-determined paper or frame sizes. 8×10 is just not acceptable for everything.
Examples on how to mat are listed here: www.stephendesroches.com/prints
Now that I’m committed financially to producing my own fine art prints (I’m giving some away via facebook btw – spread the news), I have participated in many friendly debates about the file vs the print and how several photography studios still consider the print the be all and end all of preserving memories. So many studios still refuse to sell files but those same studios may also be trashing the files after only a few years. So my question for everyone that shoots for clients, either it be portrait, commercial or weddings, if you do not offer the sale of files, do you archive them forever?
With the level of photo restoration happening today fixing water damaged or sun faded prints of grandparents at young ages – there should be no reason to have this problem with the images being made today 50 years from now. The general public is smarter and more aware of managing their digital life and unlike the negative which was also analog, a digital file is much easier to duplicate and archive properly. And also unlike a painting, the ability to reproduce more prints is an artificial limitation. With each year that passes, printing technology advances and improves. What is possible today was not possible 10 years ago and oh, how I wish I could simply reprint prints made 50 years ago.
So before you create that sales pitch for you website on why “hire a professional photographer” with the standard bullet points — are you making a long-term product or a short-term one? And if you are the client hiring a photographer, are you hiring to create a print/image for the short-term or the long-term?
Whether the business model fits it or not, digital files are here to stay but let’s not confuse this with the validity of a print. The print is still the standard for presentation and enjoyment but it is no longer the best method of archival. The print may have the most value today but the file has the most value 100 years from now.
And before you argue that files will be lost or hard drives will die — you can argue all the same points about taking proper care of prints. It only takes a single accident to destroy a piece of art. The big difference is that you can’t back up a print even if you wanted to.
Today’s Image – I’m Now Making My Own Prints
Before transitioning to photography in 2001, I grew up with pencils, brushes, inks and paints. I keep saying artist first photographer second but there is something missing if your work never makes it to paper. And since going digital, I have printed so very little. Now after all these years, I *think* my work has matured enough to be worthy of paper again.
Why have I printed so little until now? For starters, you send your file away, and a week or two later, a package shows up in the mail. To some degree, it’s not really your product at all. It’s a product of the lab created with your artwork. If there is a mistake, you reorder and wait another week. And for low volume printing — shipping is expensive. The second problem is that labs charge a very high premium for art paper which is what I’m mostly interested in.
That’s about to change because I’ve setup my own little home printing lab. It started with the use of a friends printer a couple months ago that has ultimately led to buying one of my own. Which means, reasonably priced open edition signed collectable prints on archival heavy weight papers are coming soon.
For what feels like forever, I have listed a book on www.stephendesroches.com as coming soon and to check back in late 2011. While I did receive my artist’s proof previews, I decided to keep them for Christmas Gifts and not tell anyone. Well, by now the books have been opened which means I can now talk about it.
The following 9 photos are a preview of a trial run limited edition 12×12 160 page hard cover book. (details to order will come in a few weeks)
Today’s Image – My Prince Edward Island Book
I’m pleased with the results and will move forward with a final release after a couple edits. The images in this book are exclusively created on Prince Edward Island over the past 3 or 4 years. While I do include the locations of each image, I decided to lay this book out as a portfolio that only focuses on the images. You’ll not find any stories or additional information of each photograph.
An excerpt from the introduction:
Keeping photography fun is an exciting task. Endless resources of information and much to learn without any pressure or expectations. The idea of recording the world onto single frames is an exercise that forces a closer look at light, colors and shapes. Either it be at home on quiet Prince Edward Island or the occasional travel to much larger cities, a camera in hand has become as common as carrying identification. The desire to become better is stronger then ever but at the end of each day; it’s still all for fun.