GRRRR FRUSTRATION and serious confusion

May 2, 2011 § Leave a comment

I am VERY frustrated right now. Can anyone see the posts on my blog?!?! they’re showing up on my screen but not on the computers in the digital lab. WHAT’S GOING ON?!?!

Luckily I type them out on Word first so I have most of my posts saved, but are any of my comments posted?!? Or are they just not accepted? I got replies to my posts on my presentation, so has anything else after that come up?

should I start a new blog?!



modern life & the photobook

April 26, 2011 § Leave a comment

It was great to read the author’s thoughts on how we generally  lean towards to the color world right now. Maybe this has to do with life going digital for many and that film is often thought of as JUST black and white. I personally think that is fair to say.

The most interesting aspect for me was the selection about documentary photography and choices to be made. As far as doc photography goes, it’s true that many photographers are opting to go with color at this point in time. I’m pretty much Switzerland (neutral) on this topic. It’s not fair to say that documentary photography should ONLY be b & w because that’s the only real truth, but I can see where that might have an impact on it’s use.

Our generation is maybe one of the last that will have a specific love for b & w just because of its relation to film. Columbia College is one of the last schools still using color darkrooms, so if you love film, chances are that you’re going to end up shooting in b & w. Yes?

But moving on, most documentary projects have a decent way to create a “flow” that would be excellent in book format. Nothing against photography being displayed in a gallery, I love doc work in galleries, but I believe that documentary photo projects could all have potential for a solid book of images. Don’t you think?

the 1970s and beyond

April 18, 2011 § Leave a comment

Very interesting. My friends Alyx, Caley and I were just having a conversation together this afternoon about one of the ideas brought up in this reading.

It’s true how the modern world is becoming increasingly confident that anyone can be a “photographer”. All a person needs to do is either get a simple point and shoot and say “cheeeeese!” or make the investment to buy a luxurious camera and turn the wheel to the “Auto” setting and doing the same for the Auto Focus. With a big smile, someone can say “I’m a real photographer!” when they upwrap an oh-so-sophisticated Canon on their birthday. Oh boy.

There is a quote that I immediately thought of that’s pretty humorous:

“Buying a Nikon doesn’t make you a photographer, it makes you a Nikon owner.” I’ve searched high and low for the author but I’ve given up. Sadly, a person doesn’t really have to know even the basics of photography or the “little buttons on the camera” do to take a photo. Caley said that everyone who can take a photo is a good photographer and I found Alyx and I just rolling our eyes while she tried to explain the talent that her brand new Rebel gave her. What do you think class?

Final Project Idea. Love, Nicole

April 17, 2011 § Leave a comment

Signature sewn -so I might become a bit suicidal trying to create it.

My final visual book that I’ll make for this class is going to be a book of books.Since seventh grade I’ve written in a diary every day…that’s a whole lot of paper. My plan is to scan in every cover of every diary, & when you turn the page of “that diary” there will be an entry scanned in & when you turn that page, the back will be scanned on the other side as if you’re closing it, which will reveal another one. As you keep flipping it will be a book that continuously starts over! The sequencing will be pretty obvious with each diary, by date & by entry. The viewer will see my handwriting change & the content become WAY more mature! Plus, for some reason I was always changing my last name for some kind of pseudo-author thing, so that should make for an interesting sequence too. Eventually, you’ll get to the only genuine name change when I got married 🙂 haha

signature sewn, ironic isn’t it?



What does the word “document” mean to you?

April 16, 2011 § Leave a comment

Hmmm…The Book as Document (I really want to put an “a” in between as & document). Well the word “document” makes me think of filling out paper at the DMV or the contents of my important folder, birth certificates, my social security card & all of my insurance information.

Then there’s the way less formal/official document that I think of. It brings up something that people may be offended by? Maybe offended?

There are a lot of elements that remind me or make me think of scrapbooking. I’m not saying that all of these types of books are some form of scrapbook, but that’s just the first thing that came to my mind. I personally see this kind of record keeping of memories as an art. If you do it right & dedicate a lot of time to it, the end result (or I suppose one never really ends, in a sense) is pretty amazing. That is a document. What makes me think of that & not an album is that rarely do plain photo albums incorporate a persons actual belongings like we see in Sol Lewitt’s book, & taking it just a bit further would be Christian Boltanski’s Objects Belonging to an Inhabitant of Oxford. In Boltanskis book, he actually physically shapes each image to the form of the object in them, much like the extra effort that goes into manipulating content that is often used in a scrapbook. I suppose Lewitts book could also be described as “cataloging” as well.

Matthew Gellar created a story about his girlfriend’s leukemia, which sadly results in her death. Not that this is something you want to scrapbook exactly, but he makes use of some of those elements. The story has personal anecdotes from his prospective, but he also includes medical files & records, as well as entries from her diary. There is a sequence here. The personal anecdotes come from HIS diary & follow that logical path of start to finish, with some interruption of these forms/her entries, & makes for a very special & unique narrative. Things like medical records serve more as IMAGES than as something to read -it represents something, you could say.

This is what I saw in The Book as Document. Scrapbooking is not tacky or just for mothers keeping track of when their children lost their first tooth, it is a visual book. We’ve all probably made one before without even knowing it 🙂

playing the accordion

April 11, 2011 § 11 Comments

I know just about everyone (myself included) has been especially down with the japanese stab binding lately, so I thought I’d venture into the land of the accordion book.

…but haven’t we all made a cheap fan in elementary school by folding & refolding a page over & over to keep cool on a hot day in the classroom? Yes, we may have secretly learned the according style book without even knowing it at the age of 8.

After looking to expand the possibilities of this seemingly adolescent style, there’s really many ways to take it to complex levels. I personally love interactive things (like Ashley’s post on Unbound Books) & am still wanting to hold onto that idea. Everyone loved pop-up books at some point, or any other book where there was something surprising about the actual, physical BOOK itself on the next page.

There is still that bit of my youth that craves that sort of work. Here is an image (that actually came from an art museum) that gives a look at a fun array of pages, all stemming off of an accordion book.


Besides it folding out and expanding, there are SO many ways to add to this style of book.

After being intrigued by that, I knew that there had to be something that would take it a bit further. Here is rough image of an idea I’m working on based off of a tip from a children’s school teacher’s lesson plans. It is really making use of the function of the accordion style, & doing it quite well, giving it a “tunnel” effect. Images can be inserted into the mid-section of the accordion to make it seem like you’re really looking into an actual place.

This tunnel book concept has truly led me down a path of curiosity & I’m trying to work with it on my own, it’s a bit time consuming if you want to take it even further, but I put this together to show a jumbled how-to.

Believe it or not, the accordion book does have quite a history. It has strong roots in past Japanese culture (& not the Japanese Stab style!) & was called the “Orihon”. The Orihon style was created during the Heian period (794–1185), & was traditionally used for Buddhist sutras. The Japanese Buddhists believed that the Orihon book was inscribed for Buddhist sutras & ‘cascaded’ from hand-to-hand, (like the accordion book) the draught created by the falling pages has healing properties if directed to the affected part of the sufferer’s body. In Japanese Buddhist monasteries it is still used as a treatment. Imagine that?

The Orihon accordion folds into a protective cover that is connected at the last page of the accordion structure. The Orihon makes for a very sophisticated accordion book.

The Japanese Orihon style is now usually replaced with the Nobiru gajo type of book construction, which is almost exactly the same, but depends on thicker paper & monasteries can now write on both sides for the same treatment.

Whether you want to keep up with the Japanese style but stray from the “stab”, self-heal with the history of Buddhism or tap back into the creative styles of your youth, the accordion book can definitely point you in a new direction. Grab a compass & go!

the book as a living organism

March 14, 2011 § Leave a comment

I was an awful student in my high school biology class; I just couldn’t get all of that information about cells and genetic makeup all into my head and somehow apply it to an exam at the end of the semester. All that I knew was that if something got out of alignment in a living thing, everything could go to hell. After graduation I could put that all behind me, right?

No! Books have a genetic makeup. There has to be some specific elements and the rest needs to be completely yours.

This class, and reading the guide Indie Publishing has kind of brought that  repressed knowledge back to the surface, if you misplace or forget one thing in the construction or decision-making process it really can go to hell. Ellen Luptons article shows a very specific breakdown of creating a masterful artwork that is the book itself not just what the words ARE or what the pictures SHOW.

What I’ve really absorbed from this class is considering the “spread” aspect of the layout…and…kind of stopping at font choice. Aha! I’ve even looked over something there! History of fonts, who would’ve known. The one that I think anyone could distinguish/mark would be some typewriter font. I LOVED the “Historical Book Faces” page that actually showed and described the history of font and made me think “God, how could I not have put these things together?!” (especially the 16th century fonts and the British 18th century fonts). There are all of these things right in front of me that I just never noticed.


who would have known that

deciding between centered

align left

align flush right

or even justified alignment would have really made that much of a difference to anything? Maybe some things aren’t meant to look like they should be going on, and on, and on, an on…in one single block of text. Everything you do in format has to have a justified (I’m hilarious) reason.


Then there’s the dust jacket, half title AND a title page, front matter, back matter, display face, table of contents, spacing, every stitch,end paper...oops, all I thought about is the cover. Your book, the living organism, is now dead. But I chose the font! No, it’s gone. Simple biology.


Although I haven’t fully etched out all of this information inside my mental notebook, I will always have this article handy so that not one cell of The Book is forgotten. I am on a mission to make my book live a long life!