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Re: [BKARTS] photographing books

We all know it's incredibly important to have good quality slide to use for
entering shows as well as documenting your work but it was really brought
home to me when I served on a jury for a 1% for the Arts competition.  Even
though I tried to keep an open mind, it was impossible not to discount work
shown in poor quality slides.  Also, since a chunk of money was involved,
the group consensus was that folks were uncomfortable trusting money to
someone who wasn't "professional" enough to have quality slides.  This was
not about the quality of the work, but the organizational/professional level
of the artist.  Right or wrong, that's how it felt.

I have taken my own slides and paid for professional work.  Nowadays, I go
to the professional but I tell him just what I want:  what views, how close,
which detail.  I ask him to do the set up and then look through the
viewfinder myself to make sure I'm getting what I want.  This doesn't mean I
don't ask for or take his advice, but I do give him perimeters.  Also, my
photographer has an architectural lens with a grid imbedded in the lens.
This doesn't show on the slide but it helps him get the book square on the

As to what views to take, I always take the front cover and if the design
travels to the back, I do an open cover shot (front, back and spine(if there
is one)).

I do an open view (whatever that means to the book), a view of each page if
applicable and close-ups of interesting detail.

If the binding structure is especially interesting or won't read well from a
distance, I do a close up of that as well.

Most shows let you send several views of a 3-D object so I send the cover
shots plus the book open and a detail if I'm allowed enough slides.  For
instance, the application might say a total of 5 works and no more than 3
slides of an 3-D object.  In that case, I can send 15 slides.

Book Sources

Photography for Artists and Craftsmen
Claus-Peter Schmid

Photographing Crafts
John C. Barsness

Petersen's Guide to Photo Lighting Techniques
Ben Halprin

The Artists' Handbook for Photographing Their Own Artwork
John White

How To Prepare Your Portfolio
Ed Marquand

Artemis BonaDea
North Bound Books

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