As a challenge to myself, I have been attempting to gather together 20 of my “best” shots for a personal photography book. It’s a challenge, because it seems the minute I start to do this is the minute I start to second guess myself. What is, after all, a “best shot”? And why should it make it into a (self published) book?
It’s a difficult set of questions as I oscilate between just gathering shots I like at random – quite a task from the 50,000+ photos I have in Lightroom from the past 15 years or so, and finding a project that will give me a focus for the book.
This will be my second self published book. The first one was easy as I had nothing to do with it (apart from taking the pics). It was a present from dd for Christmas. She just took a bunch of photos from my Instagram feed and sent them off to one of those self publishing things and … Voilà! … dagboshoots vol. 1 is in existence.
Print run: one. Readership: two humans and two cats (they gave it four out of four paws … but they’re easy to bribe. A few treats and they were raving about it).
Anyway, I am currently focussing on the “project” idea, and am slowly putting some sets of photographs together. Likely candidates are:
- Hong Kong Swimmers (see here on Flickr for an example) – a saturated set of pics taken from my hotel window in Hong Kong of these wonderful old fellows who swim in one of the world’s busiest harbours.
- Out the Window – I spend hours sitting looking out of taxi, bus, train, plane, cafe, restaurant, hotel windows in my travels and some of the pics are okay (I know it’s been done before, but hey … that’s not really the point at this stage).
- Chinese Weddings – I have spent quite a few weekends in different parts of China and Hong Kong and weekends seem to be when people don their wedding outfits and wander around town (like this). You get some amazing shots as a result.
From reading a smattering of photography books and going to as many exhibitions as I can, it seems that nothing is off limits. dd bought me Mike Mandel’s superb Good 70s, which collects a few of his projects, most famously his 1970s collection of Photographer baseball cards. However, my favourite are his timed shots of himself, sitting in various streets scenes. Remarkable for their wit.
There’s no rush I guess, so I plan to think a lot more on the subject, dither quite a bit, and then finally commit myself to an idea … around 2025 should do it.