Thanks to the generous help of my friends, Judith Crispin, Stuart Murdoch, Paul Atkins at Atkins Photo Lab and Adam Dutkiewicz at Moon Arrow Press I now have a first draft of the Bowden Archives: Memory, Text, Place. The pictures have a narrative of their own now and some sort of coherence. That was something I could not do on my own, as I was too close to the pictures.
The next step for me is to follow Adam’s advice and do a dummy book using BookWright, Blurb’s free desktop software, in order to see what the draft with images and text looks like as a book— as opposed to an idea in my head, or Stuart’s step— rough prints on sheets of folded up paper to have an tactile object in my hand as opposed to images on a computer screen.
Making a photo book on my own like this —even if it a dummy– -is a big step for me. I have kept on putting the DIY book publishing off. This draft once it is incorporated into BookWright will give me something to take the publisher, so that we can assess how the book will look within their house style.
There are two texts in the book that bookend the photos. The first text -“Living in Bowden” (in the 1980s)— come before the main body of images. The second essay is more philosophical, and it endeavours to undercut the modernist acceptance of positivist equation of seeing and knowing with respect to photography by making the turn to hermeneutics and embracing the hermeneutical circle.
The significance of this is that a documentary/topographic style of photography is an interpretation of what is. This means that the emphasis shifts from windows on a world to meaning and to the interpretation of the visual text.
The problem that I am encountering is that I do not know how to use the Indesign plugin for Bookwright.