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In conjunction with our ongoing Future of Photobooks project with FlakPhoto, photographer-writers Harlan Erskine and Todd Walker are hosting a Tweetchat about the Future of Photobooks this evening (Tuesday, Dec. 15) from 9 to 10 pm Eastern (6 to 7 pm Pacific). This will also kick off their weekly Tuesday Photo Art Chats, which you can find by doing a Twitter search for #photoartchat.

To be part of the discussion, make sure your tweets include #photoartchat and a @reply if you’re responding to a specific person. For an even simpler way to take part, you can go to TweetChat, enter this hashtag, and interact as you would in an IM chat screen. You can also see the chat in the column below, which will update in real time with any tweets that include #photoartchat.

*UPDATE: Here are a few highlights from last night’s TweetChat about The Future of Photobooks on #photoartchat.

How often are photobooks purchased from print-on-demand storefronts like Blurb? Are they mostly photographers printing their own portfolios? People agreed they are more likely to buy books when they can touch them. If they’re buying them online, they need to be more of a “known quantity,” either a photographer or publisher they know, like, and trust to put out a quality product.

joostdeleij: Would be interesting if quality Blurb (etc) books, that sold over 100 copies, could for example be sold through Amazon
i’ve sold about 30 books through the blurb bookstore. not bad, considering i’m not a name brand. purchasers are pleased.
Steven Shore talks about his iPhoto experiments here:

Questions of people’s favorite photobooks lately, as well as the “most influential” photobooks of the last decade, came up several times.

harlanerskine: I have really enjoyed Paul Graham’s “a shimmer of possibilities” (not that I can afford it)
Most recent purchase Travelog by Charles Harbutt from the 1970s, great pictures and essay. Newest is Wessel 5 Books (Steidl).
@harlanerskine I’ve lined up Burtynsky’s “OIL” as one to get soon
I love buying photography books. One of the most affordable ones and interesting Terryworld‘ by Terry Richardson
Also on my want list: “Joel Sternfeld: Oxbow Archive
My last purchase was PhotoArt ‘the new world of photography’. Very nice! and affordable.
I have also been revisiting Robert Frank’s “The Americans
Winteriesse by Luc Delahaye, Most of Thomas Roma‘s books. The Silence by Gilles Peress.
hmmm @ocularoctopus that’s a tough one. Anything Gerry Badger writes excites my intellect, & I’m in love w/ Violet Isle (from @RadiusBooks)
My kids liked going through Dog Dogs by Erwitt, it was small and inexpensive so I did not mind the man handling of it.
@OcularOctopus but I really like Alex Soth’s Niagara. Paul Graham’s Shimmer of possibilities…
@OcularOctopus Taryn Simon’s “An American Index of the Hidden…” and Row Ethridge’s “Rockaway, NY”
@harlanerskine Sleeping By The Mississippi might be the most influential book of the decade.
How about Jason Eskenazi’s Wonderland? I have not seen it in person. I would say Wintereise is up there too for the decade.

A discussion of the ideal size for photobooks to be printed also surfaced.

tom_leininger: @consumptive I like the size. I am becoming more of a fan of smaller sized books.
Smaller sized would be 8.5×11 and smaller. It is an intimate portable. Larger books is like an event.
@tom_leininger it seems like some books are made with the wrong size. some times too big sometimes too small.
@harlanerskine Many retrospective books are too small. fitting pictures to a standard size for a series of books. detail lost
@OcularOctopus I agree-some photography is difficult to put into a book. sometimes its like fitting a square peg into a…

And finally, can video be a book?

harlanerskine: @tom_leininger it can be sort of did you see this art video for sale in my post about the art book?

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RJ Shaughnessy, Your Golden Opportunity Is Comeing Very Soon

RJ Shaughnessy, Your Golden Opportunity Is Comeing Very Soon. Via eyecurious

On Tuesday we started a cross-blog conversation about the Future of Photobooks, the first wave in a multi-week, crowd-sourced project to see if we can collectively figure out what of the more difficult questions facing our industry: “What will photobooks look like in 2019?”

In the course of that conversation, J. Wesley Brown at We Can Shoot Too came up with the great idea of putting together a list of all the best printers if you’re looking to self-publish a high-quality photobook.

J. Wesley says: “I suggested on my post because they printed R.J. Shaughnessy’s book, “Your Golden Opportunity Is Comeing Very Soon” and I think the quality is great for the price (at least in B&W – I’d have to see a sample of their color work before deciding on a color book).”

Dalton says: “I have heard good things about this place, which has a much more hands-on process on and is tighter with the QC. And the prices are very good, especially once you start looking at 10+ copies.”

@JSandifer says: “OR you could decide to buy a Vandercook and do it all by hand!… David Wolfe prints books, portfolios, and stationery by hand.”

Marc Feustel says: “I have been collaborating with a Kyoto-based printing company, Benrido, that has combined nineteenth century colotype printing techniques with digital technology to produce a series of portfolios with truly exquisite results.”

Joerg @ Conscientious wrote a post a year ago about “Richard Renaldi and Seth Boyd’s Charles Lane Press and their first book Fall River Boys.”

That’s just a very short list to get us started. Please leave other printers you know about or have worked with in the comments and let us know if you have experience with any of the ones above. We’ll include these results in our final Photobook Resource page :)

What do you think photobooks will look like in 10 years? Will they be digital or physical? Open-source or proprietary? Will they be read on a Kindle or an iPhone? And what aesthetic innovations will have transformed them?

Picture 1I know I’m not alone in pondering these questions. Joerg Colberg echoed these thoughts just last week in a post on Conscientious. Then I talked to Andy Adams at Flak Photo about his weekly features highlighting the winners of Blurb‘s 2009 Photography.Book.Now contest (left), and something clicked.

For a while now, it’s been our goal (at RESOLVE and liveBooks) to find and share new business models that will move photography and the creative industries forward in a positive way. But we’re also eager to conduct our own experiments. And what better place to start than the incredibly flexible blogging format?

Andy and I initially wondered how we could use our blogs in a new way to further illuminate the question, “What will photobooks be like in the year 2019?” We’re not psychic, but we do have a lot of faith in collective intelligence. And with all the talk these days about “crowd-sourcing,” we thought, why can’t we crowd-source a blog post?

Discussions in the blogosphere generally lead readers along trajectories of information, but all those useful ideas rarely get tied back up into a single useful post. We plan to centralize the discussion around this specific topic — photobooks — so that anyone searching for related posts can find them easily and understand the context around them.

So how does this Future of Photobooks thing work? Andy and I have contacted fellow bloggers and asked them to post about the most prescient innovations they’ve seen in the photobook and publishing industries. We’ll add links to those blogs within this post as they go live, so over the next few days you’ll be able to see the “research” for our final post developing in real time.

Adam Westbrook: The future of the Photobook?
Keep Your Shutters Open (Rachel M. Wolfe): Foto Future
eyecurious (Marc Feustel): Some more fuel on the photo book fire
The PhotoBook (Doug Stockdale): Future of Photobooks?
Quintessence (Ellen Rennard): Photo Books in Ten Years?
We Can Shoot Too (J. Wesley Brown): The Photo Book
Ed Kashi Weblog (Paul O’Sullivan): The Future of Photobooks
The PhotoOracle (Tomas Ovalle): Photobooks: Evolution or Revolution? (Nick Turpin): The Future of Photobooks?
TechTock Blog (Jack Howard): Thoughts on the Future of Photo Books (And books in general)
Elysium (Colleen Mullins): Dummy
LOZ (Laurence Vecten): I heart photo books
Green Tea Gallery Magazine (Francesco Gallarotti): The Future of Photobooks
Craig Ferguson Images: For the Love of (Photo)Books
Brereton Blog (Mark Brereton): Photo Books Photo Books
Heather Morton Art Buyer Blog: An Invitation to Participate in a Discussion about the Future of Photobooks
La Pura Vida (Bryan Formhals): The Netflix of Photobooks
Elizabeth Avedon: The Future of Photobooks: Past, Present, and Future
Thought Factory (Gary Sauer-Thompson): Photobooks: Possibilities + Future
Link-Log: The Future of Photography Books?
Darius Himes: The Premise: A Crowd Sourced Blog about Photography Books Publishing
Street Level Japan (Dan Abbe): The Photobooks I Bought This Year
Amy Stein: The Future of Photobooks
New Photographics (Jonathan Worth): ‘The Future of Photo-books’ A response.
Larissa Leclair: Joining the conversation about photobooks
Ben Huff . words & photographs: A few thoughts on books
Little Brown Mushroom (Alec Soth): The Future of Photobooks
Fraction. The blog for the magazine (David Bram): The Future of Photography Books
Food For Your Eyes (Nathalie Belayche): Future of photography books: food for thought
Ocular Octopus (Todd Walker): The Photobook Circa 2019
Luceo Images Blog (David Walter Banks): Resolve Blog: Future of Photobooks
The Space In Between (Stacy Oborn): What May Come: On the Future of Photobooks
altfotonet (Gary Sauer-Thompson): A conversation about the future of photobooks
Shooting Wide Open (Jin Zhu): Photobooks, periodicals, and boxes
Hamburger Eyes (Ray Potes): The Future of Photobooks
Shane Godfrey: What Will Photo Books Look Like in 10 Years?
Sadkids (Geoffrey Ellis): The Future of Photobooks
Daylight Magazine (Michael Itkoff & Taj Forer): Future of the Photo Book
Blurberati Blog: The Future of Photo Books
Jerry Avenaim Photography Blog: The Future of Photography Books?
Harlan Erskine Photography/Blog: Thinking about the future of the Photobook
The Online Photographer (Mike Johnston): The Future of the Photo Book
Critical Terrain (Alan Rapp): Inversely Proportional: thoughts on the future of the photobook
Lens Culture (Jim Casper): The Future of Magazines and Photobooks?
Exposures Blog (Lesley Martin): The Future of the Photobook
Emily Goligoski: The Future of Photobooks (& Media Monetization?)
Image Your Emotions (Jean-Baptiste Blanc): Future of photobooks
Lens Culture (Jim Casper): Simon Roberts Video Excerpt: The beauty of photobooks
DLK Collection: A Contrarian View: A Collector’s Thoughts on Photobooks
Larissa Leclair: Interview: Elizabeth Flemming
Lulu Blog (Tim Wright): The Future of Photobooks
Rolando Gomez: The Future of Photography Books — Free Books!
Metro Nature (Christina Seely): The future of photobooks
Contact Photography Blog (Emily Graham): On the Photobook

But please don’t wait for us to contact you to start contributing. If you have something you want to say about photobooks, write a post on your own blog, linking to this post, by Sunday, Dec. 13 (we’ve had so much great interest, we’ll continue to accept posts on an ongoing basis). Then ping Andy or I with the link on Facebook or Twitter, and we’ll add you into the list. (Andy: FB & Twitter. Miki: FB & Twitter.) Don’t have a blog or don’t have time to post? Simply leave your thoughts in the comments. If you want to be notified when other people share their great ideas, be sure to use the “subscribe” drop-down to received email updates.

And this is just the beginning. At the end of this week, Andy and I will choose the standout ideas and highlight them (with links to whoever suggested them) in another post. That post will be all about real-time discussion. We’ll organize the big ideas — it will be up to you to tell us what you think about them. Delve into the details, throw out some pros and cons, tell us we’re off base if you must. We’re just excited to host a healthy discussion.

Finally we’ll sift through all the great ideas and heated debate and pull it together in one final post, which we hope will live a long online life as a resource for anyone trying to understand where the photobook industry is headed. And your name, links, and/or blog will be an indispensable part of it. You’re helping us explain where photobook publishing is headed, and we’re helping people find you and your brilliant ideas. Everyone wins. Just the way we like it :)

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PhotosynthAs of Wednesday, Microsoft Bing is using crowd-sourced photos to create a 3-D virtual worlds in its Maps application, according to Using a fascinating program called Photosynth (we saw it first in a TED Talk that’s included in the article), the 3-D worlds rely on images across the web tagged with a specific location to create a model that Microsoft undoubtedly hopes will improve on Google’s “street view.” Implications of this are big — from challenges to Google’s hegemony to image copyright questions — but mostly we just think it’s COOL.

PictoryPictory, a new online photo magazine from Laura Brunow Miner, the former editor-in-chief and design director of JPG magazine, launched this week. Pictory draws images from submissions by photographers of every level and nationality, curates them under a specific topic, and asks the photographers to contextualize them with personal, sometimes intimate, captions. It’s a beautiful interface, a great idea, and more proof that magazines are not so much dying as evolving.

emily_shurCollect.give is another innovative project that launched this week, this time using profits from print sales to support non-profits close to the photographers’ hearts. John Loomis, Kevin J. Miyazaki, Susana Raab, Dalton Rooney, Emily Shur, and Allison V. Smith are each selling one print through the site and have pledged to donate 100% of the profits from their print sales to their chosen charitable organizations. A simple but powerful example of how how photography can improve lives.


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