Though I can still hardly believe it, I have been told by the publisher (Eddie Ephraums, of Envisage Books) sponsoring the British Black & White Photography journal's "What's Your Book?" contest, that my book idea submission has won!
While there were several stages to the judging (see my earlier blog post), the last stage consisted of a two month long on-line vote (by readers of the journal) for one of three finalists selected by a panel of judges. Well, the voting site has closed, the votes have been counted, and my book idea seems to have bubbled ever so slightly to the top! In truth, as I had written before, I was thrilled beyond measure at just seeing my name on the shortlist of three finalists, with two other obviously gifted photographers. Trevor Crone and Michael Copsey both had superb entries, and beautiful photographs. I am also sure that both will also soon have their work published in a book, as the quality simply speaks for itself. It is a sincere honor to have shared a temporary spotlight with these fine artists.
My own entry consisted of six sample images (supplied on a CD), 20 additional images for a later stage of judging, along with some fine-art prints sent via mail, and the following title, strap-line and "short description" of what I envision a book of my photos looking like:
Sudden Stillness: Visual Echoes of Timeless Rhythms
Simple, Zen-like meditations on the mystery of nature's primal patterns, expressed in four movements (each introduced by a short essay): Chaos, Order, Complexity, & Decay. "Chaos" is disorganized and formless; "Order" is imposed structure; "Complexity" is self-organized and emergent; “Decay” is entropic death, but presages rebirth. These interpenetrating primal patterns drift quietly on an ineffable meta-pattern of energy. Collectively, the four movements quietly weave a visual narrative to reveal nature experienced as sudden stillness.
The final pool of images from which Eddie Ephraums and I are currently sequencing a selection for the actual book, consists of about 90 photos (though only about a quarter of these will appear in the final version). Eddie's working design for the book is quite interesting. He plans on creating a concertina-style - i.e., fold-out - book, a mockup of which appears above. I am told that these kinds of books are notoriously difficult to produce, particularly when using heavier than normal paper stock, which Eddie wants to use because it allows the book to stand up by itself when open. Fully extended, the book will span almost two meters in length! Eddie is also trying to achieve the finest possible tonal reproductions, so that the relatively small number of pages (about 20) is more than made up for by the quality of the photographs.
As this will be a very limited initial run of about 200 copies (!), one thing I must be mindful of is the potential audience and general level of interest for the book before it is published. I therefore humbly ask those readers of my Blog who might be interested in purchasing a copy to please leave a comment, or email me privately. I will be more than happy to put you on my list, keep you up to date on the book's progress, and let you know (as soon as I do) of when it will be available for purchase.