As I mentioned two weeks ago, I'm looking for pictures for TOP's first book, which has the working title "Quiet Color." (A working title, if you don't know the term, is a tentative title which might or might not become the final title. For example, the working title of the Beatles' last release, "Let It Be," was "Get Back.")
We're looking for recent or little-known art photographs with naturalistic or subdued color. Film work is okay but digital is preferred.
If you'd like to submit your own work, you can send me one, two, or three small JPEGs (say, 500 to 1000 pixels wide) in an email. (My email address is m c johns t on at mac dot co m. It's in the right hand sidebar under "Resources > Contact" if you lose track of this post. Note that my last name is "Johnston," not "Johnson.")
Alternately, you can just send me direct links to one, two, or three pictures. Please send direct links to specific pictures—I'm very unlikely to follow involved instructions such as "Go to this site. Click on 'recent work.' Go to number 26. Scroll right to the third image," etc. Generally, please just make it easy for me. I'm going to be looking at lots of work, and don't want to be frustrated or waste lots of time digging down to the visuals.
All emails must have the subject line "quietcolorsuggestion." No quotation marks, no spaces, no punctuation:
One "s." No "u" in "color." Just like that, nothing less, nothing more. If yours doesn't, it simply won't be seen, because it won't go into the right mailbox in my email program. (Don't think I'm being crabby here. I'll get lots of email with the wrong subject line.)
You can also suggest other peoples' work. In that case, don't send JPEGs, just send links. Again, links to specific pictures are best. You don't need to be acquainted with the photographers personally. The pictures must have an identified or identifiable author; anonymous shots on random flotsam websites won't help. Also, just suggesting names ("Check out Joe Blow's work") is unlikely to help. I won't be scouting through new websites for this project.
I have 11 tentative inclusions for the book so far and we need 19 more.
Not a contest...
Payment for the selections will be five copies of the finished book, valued at between $150 and $250, depending on the final price of the book which hasn't been determined yet. Also, you'll have the opportunity to order more copies at cost if you have any need for them (as gifts, for instance, or for publicity). If that's not sufficient recompense for you, I understand, but better not submit. Pictures will be handled very respectfully: they'll appear in the book on a single page with a blank facing page, no bleeds. A short biography of each photographer will appear at the end of the book. Part of our plans for our publishing program call for donating copies of our books to various schools, galleries, museums and libraries that are important in the photo world, so that might be considered an added bonus for contributors.
This is not a contest, so this process might not be very satisfying! (Just a warning.) You won't receive any acknowledgement of your submission and I will not comment on your work even if you request it. On the other hand, if your suggestion isn't picked, there is absolutely no need to take that as any kind of negative judgement of the work itself—it simply means it wasn't quite right for this project. Karsh's portrait of Winston Churchill wouldn't be right for this project, so it's possible for a photograph to be at the pinnacle of photographic greatness and still not be chosen. Don't sweat it and please don't take it personally.
You can send your suggestions any time between now and October 7th, which is our deadline for selecting the prospects. A little earlier in that time frame might give your suggestions a little better chance, but don't feel the need to rush—you can consider your submissions calmly and at leisure. This weekend or the first part of next week is fine. Late submissions (i.e., closer to Oct. 7th) will still be considered but it's likely that all the choices will have been made by then.
Looking forward to your suggestions! And thanks very much for your help.
Original contents copyright 2013 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved. Links in this post may be to our affiliates; sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
(To see all the comments, click on the "Comments" link below.)
Featured Comments from:
Richard Tugwell: "Will the book format be square, landscape or portrait?"
Mike replies: Square, actually. But the pictures can be of most aspect ratios except panoramic, which would run too small.
This might be a good opportunity to discuss a few of our principles. Basically, I love photo books. They're just one of my favorite things. I'm a very visual person, I've planted my flag in this life in the general area of photography, and I've been an enthusiastic part of the audience for photographers for pretty much my whole life (I guess I liked children's books illustrated with drawings first, actually, but photography came along soon enough after). And, like many first-world consumers, I'm something of a connoisseur of consumer objects.
I even make it a point to spend time with my photo books on a regular basis. It's part of my recreation to look through one every day or two. I've seen thousands upon thousands of photo books of every description, over a period of many years.
Everything I'm planning for TOP's books will embody what I like best in photo books. The reason the book will be square is that I like squarish books, and the reason I like squarish books is because they don't discrimate between photographs based on aspect ratio. We've all seen books of 35mm photography, for example, that are obllong—much wider than they are tall. Those are fine for horizontal 35mm pictures, but they short-shrift the verticals, which end up not fitting the page and running quite a bit smaller. The point of a squarish book is that it can be designed to not favor horizontals over verticals or vice versa. Even square photos can be made to "balance" with pictures of more rectangular aspect ratio by just making them a little smaller on the page.
Everything I like regarding photography books are things that simply make it easier for me to see and appreciate pictures, and comfortably contemplate them at length if I want to. That's all. I don't like overly "creative" book design, I don't like full bleeds (I especially don't like multiple bleeds on the same page), I don't like pictures crossing the gutter, I don't like books that are too big to comfortably hold in your lap...but really, every single preference I have is very simply motivated by my desire to see and appreciate photographs in a pleasant and relaxed way.
Our books might not win any awards for being different, but they'll definitely give precedence to the work.