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Posts Tagged ‘Daniel Milnor

BEING [photo]BOOKED @ QLD COLLEGE OF ART

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Heather introduces Doug's lecture...

Heather introduces Doug’s lecture…

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Last week we were guest presenters at the Queensland College of Art on the Gold Coast. We worked with photo media and digital media students and their lecturer Heather Faulkner discussing the topic of the contemporary photobook.

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Victoria Cooper and Doug Spowart talking about photobooks....PHOTO: Heather Faulkner

Victoria Cooper and Doug Spowart talking about photobooks….PHOTO: Heather Faulkner

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Doug presented a lecture on the history of the photobook and brought students up to date with the contemporary photobook including Ying Ang’s latest book ‘Gold Coast’. Students then were given an opportunity to hold, handle and view a range of contemporary photobooks from Australia and overseas including books by, Alec Soth and Brad Zellar, Martin Parr, Garry Trinh, Daniel Milnor, George Voulgaropoulos, Jacob Raupach, Lloyd Stubber, Emma Phillips, Kelvin Skewes, Joachim Schmid, James Mollison, Paul Graham, Gracia and Louise as well as a selection of zines from the Sticky Institute. We also presented a selection of our own photobooks and artists’ books. Of particular interest to the students was the structure, construction, printing and binding of photobooks.

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Students working on a sequencing task with Heather Faulkner

Students working on a sequencing task with Heather Faulkner

 

An important part of an accompanying tutorial covered ideas around the sequencing of images in photobooks and the ways in which narrative could be expressed. Students were then tasked to work with a series of images using unusual sequencing strategies that we suggested.

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We enjoyed the opportunity to engage with these students and discuss one of our favourite topics and share amazing books from our photobook library. Thank you Heather Faulkner for arranging this event…

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GETTING the BLURB on PHOTOBOOKS

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Daniel Milnor is Blurb’s Photographer-at-large and inspirational bookmaker.  Last week we attended presentation by Daniel at the Edge (SLQ) in Brisbane. Attended by an audience of around 80 the presentation, of three hours duration, told the story of how to make photobooks. Not just a bunch of photos in a catalogue or folio form but something that told a story – expressing a narrative.

Milnor is the consummate presenter and storyteller – adding to each technical concept and thing to consider in book-making his own personal story. And there were some amazing insights into Daniel’s career as a photodocumentary photographer of exotic places like South America and Sicily, but also of his own life. In one book he discussed, which was made entirely in his own home, he showed a picture of his shower curtain!!

Milnor's shower curtain

Milnor’s shower curtain

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In the presentation Milnor provided a step-by-step approach to the making of a book:

Step 1 Make/locate a body of work

Step 2 Give yourself time to edit

Step 3 Time to sequence

Step 4 Start the book using an online POD service – Like Blurb.

Step 5 Get the book

And – not really covered specifically although constantly part of his refinement of book ideas: Step 6 – Review it and re-do it better!!!

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His little phrases and comments that stuck in my memory (or notepad include):

Photobooks that are driven by the photographer –“don’t make any money” unless you have a big-name and are chosen by Steidl. However “subject driven books” can be successful

“Leopard lighting” portraits made under a tree – dappled light

Unless you “Think about your work, write about your work, talk about your work and show your work – You are never going to have a connection with your work!”

“Book builder”

Landscape “rocks and twig” photography

“The narrative arc”

“The perfect solution is YOUR solution”

“Don’t be afraid to play around…”

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What interested me was the excitement he expressed for his own books – their concepts and development. Towards the end of the presentation he showed examples of books created as collaborations with artists, books that were ‘added-to’ by creative intervention whereby the outcome became a unique state work of art. A seminal book for him in his challenge to the ‘normal’ photobook is the book On Approach which has won much acclaim for him. He commented that a curator he had met casually had described him as a ‘conceptual artist’ he seemed excited by the title and that his work, as art, could enter another space – the gallery.

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See Daniel Milnor's book On Approach @ Blurb

See Daniel Milnor’s book On Approach @ Blurb

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In the second last question of the day I asked him about the idea of the artists’ book and how artists can inform, as he had found, a new direction for photobooks – in his answer he spoke at length about the proposition — I think he agreed…

Thank you Daniel Milnor, and thank you Blurb for bringing some discussion on photobooks into this country. And the opportunity to engage with so many Australian photographers wanting to tell photo stories using the emancipating opportunities of print-on-demand indie publishing.

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Doug Spowart

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LINKS TO DANIEL MILNOR:

http://www.thisweekinphoto.com/2012/twip-287-blurbs-daniel-milnor-on-self-publishing-for-photographers/

His Website: http://www.smogranch.com/

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Attendees looking a Blurb sample books

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Daniel Milnor talking with an attendee during the break

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All  photographs  © Doug Spowart 2013.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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