1EYE, ROAMING: Introducing BOOKS II & III

1EYE, ROAMING was never meant to become a series. Released in 2013, the book was a return to the very first images I had shot with a Fujifilm X-series camera—the original X100—during a trip through France. It represented a sea change and a new, simpler way of seeing for me: one camera, one lens...one focal length.

But it also became a method of traveling and shooting from which I’ve never wavered. So when I began to imagine a framework for new books, it eventually dawned on me that I had one already: 1EYE, ROAMING had set the stage. Different cities, different eye—same concept and approach.

Today I’m introducing Books II and III: Venice & Rome and In Tokyo. Both have been in the works for quite some time, enough that I could’ve staggered their release. But at this point—despite the geographic distances—they felt complementary to me.

With Book II we find ourselves in Italy during the fall of 2014, exploring the streets of two famous cities with an X100S. In Book III we’re in Japan, during my six-day visit to Tokyo in January 2016—this time with an X-Pro2 and the XF 35mm f/2 lens, switching from a 35mm to a 50mm POV.

The tone of these new chapters is slightly different, less verbose, less of a diary than Book I. But they follow in the footsteps of the original by also including brief “technical” addendums—a look at processing and an essay in Book II; annotated contact sheets in Book III.

Both eBooks can be purchased individually but I’ve also created a double-pack—which adds a bit of a discount. You can learn more about the new books in the Publications section. It feels good to finally release these...like turning a page. I do hope you’ll find something worthwhile, should you decide to add them to your collection.

No holiday wishes yet...I should be back one last time before the week is over :)


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Get in the Loop | A New Book by Flemming Bo Jensen

Since ’tis the season and all that…Here’s a stocking stuffer for anyone looking to get into music photography: Get in the Loop - How to Make Great Music Images. It’s a brand new eBook from my buddy Flemming Bo Jensen and the second release under our KAGE Editions label. Obviously I’m biased, but I happen to believe he did a great job. The book covers all bases: gear, contracts, technique, post-processing…you name it. He didn’t hold anything back.

I’m particularly fond of the Pictures chapter where he shares 46 images, each with its EXIF data and a backstory explaining the context of the shot. This is something I not only find interesting, I also believe it’s one of the best ways to learn from a photographer.

Flemming works quite a bit with Red Bull and he specializes in electronic music—which means clubs, lasers, smoke but also outdoors events and tons of DJs. While this may seem like a very narrow niche, I believe the fundamentals explained in the book apply to music photography as a whole. There’s a lot to see here.

At $6.99 for 220 pages of tips, tricks and awesome photography I think it’s a steal.
The book is available now as a PDF download from Flemming’s website right here.
 

The print portfolio

Sometimes you need new eyes. That’s why we have portfolio reviews and consultants whose only job is to hone in on our strengths and bring these to light through the best possible selection of our work.

During the holidays my friend Peter Nash and his wonderful wife Laura LiPuma Nash graciously waded through a boatload of my images to come up with a set that made sense. What these guys offered wasn’t just a fresh outlook but also an insane amount of combined experience in photography, creative direction and marketing know-how. That they did this as a favour is something I still can’t wrap my brain around.

It’s always interesting to see the results of such an exercise because it usually shatters a few preconceptions you have about your own work. It’s not unusual for things you thought were a sure bet to be left out while other images, stuff you weren’t really considering, make the grade. But that’s the point: to get an opinion untainted by emotion and bagage. As much as I try to perfect my editing skills, I’m still way too close to my images to get a proper perspective.

Their idea was to create a portfolio based on two-page spreads, with images playing off each other. I have to admit that when I first saw their edit I was slightly perplexed… Some of it was immediately obvious but other pairings seemed a little strange. It wasn’t until I started putting the book together that I finally “got” their choices; a lot of these were not only eye opening, they were things I would not have thought of — and that’s exciting.

For this to be effective though, I needed a support that allowed the pages to lay flat, without a gutter spoiling the view. Something also big enough to have impact without costing an arm and a leg. My first idea was to print the images myself on 13x19 paper and use a portfolio binder. It’s a great way to have complete control over the process and it allows quick changes to be made without fuss, which is a great way to keep everything fresh. But with a total of 77 images to print (I know it doesn't add up math buffs, one image is on its own!) I was still looking at a good chunk of money and quite a bit of time to put in.

I looked around for options and decided to give MagCloud a try; specifically their 17x11 tabloid format. I use MagCloud’s magazines quite a bit and while they’re obviously not printed on high end Hahnemuhle paper, they look great and more importantly impress the heck out of clients. The specs of their tabloid product felt like a good fit, with 80# stock and wire-o-binding that would keep the book perfectly flat. I figured it was worth a try.

When the book came in the first thing I noticed was the weight: at 84 pages this thing is heavy. The heft, combined with the size, makes it feel like an object much more than a book. It feels serious. The pages are double-sided but thick enough to manipulate and images don’t bleed though at all.

Now, what about the prints themselves? It’s still not high end, crazy D-Max, perfectly detailed prints. There’s a bit more shine than I’d like and metamerism is visible at certain angles. But… The work still looks great, the impact is totally there and it costs… $32.24. I’m in Canada so shipping was a bit more than in the US — in total it came up to $50.10. That’s crazy inexpensive. The 84 page book itself is the price I would’ve paid for a cheap portfolio binder.

I’m not advocating bargain hunting here. You want the work to stand out and show off what you can do in the best light possible. But at the end of the day a portfolio isn’t going to hang on someone’s wall — all it needs to do is draw people in. At this price, I can afford to send them or leave them behind much more easily than something I need to spend four days putting together, at a couple of hundred bucks a pop. The images below don’t really do it justice but I wanted to give you an idea of the selection.

Huge thanks again to Peter and Laura. I owe you guys big time.
Now I just need something to carry this thing in… 

1EYE, ROAMING. | My first eBook available now.

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PDF format (landscape, iPad ready), 152 pages. 105 monochrome photographs and seven case studies. All images taken with the Fujifilm X100.

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There are moments in time that will change everything without our knowledge, without even the slightest hint that anything is actually happening. Events that will unfold, passing through us, metastasizing until every single cell is modified or replaced.
— 1EYE, ROAMING.

You can't imagine how long I've been working on this... But it's finally here: today I'm launching my first eBook entitled 1EYE, ROAMING.

If you're a longtime reader of this blog you'll recognize the topic since it's based on the Lutetia - Travels in France with the X100 series. Why return to those images? Because I needed to; because they've since become much more important than I originally thought and because I needed something more permanent. I have other projects in mind but this had to be the first step.

Anyone familiar with the original series will immediately notice a very big change: colour is gone. Every single image has been re-processed in black and white, going back to the original files and starting anew. Why? For one I needed to get excited again, to forget about my original selection and see all those images as if they were completely new. Discarding colour forced me to re-evaluate everything. Besides, I quickly realized that most of the images I was selecting were already in black and white, making the few remaining colour photos stick out like a sore thumb — The choice quickly became obvious . 

To bring these pictures back to the present, I went back to the archives, disabling the ratings filters in order to go through all the files again. I found quite a few that had never been published and have now found their way in this book. I added a chapter/city, omitted another. All in the spirit of coherence.

I kept the same chronological structure but while the original series was merely a set of favourites, this book works harder at creating a better flow, leaving images behind, adding new ones;  my hope is that I've at least succeeded in offering a much more focused edit that ties the entire journey together.

This re-interpretation of the Lutetia series also serves to highlight something I truly believe in: that images are never final; they're always a work in progress, subject to the possibility of a different interpretation. They're constantly in a state of flux, alive with the potential of change.

Also included is a special chapter called Case Studies where I offer a glimpse into the processing of the images as well as reflexions on some of the moments that were captured. Seven examples in all.

The book is in PDF format and I can tell you it looks fantastic on an iPad Air. Very happy with it.

One last tidbit: there's a special introductory price in effect and anyone who buys the ebook between now and December 12 gets a chance to win a signed 8.5x11 print of the 1EYE image of their choice. Winner will be announced on December 16.

Oh! and I need to thank photographers and friends Robert Boyer and Derek Clark for their hugely helpful input and advice. Official info page is here. A few screenshots below.

Holidays? Start your engines!

P.S I've added a Paypal button to the official page for those of you who prefer that method of payment.