Site Specific Project- Photobook Layout

After deciding to create a photobook to display my final set of images, I began to create this book. I looked at a range of sites that could create books however decided to use SnapFish, this site was the most appropriate for me as not only did it offer flexibility when designing the layout of the Photobook, but it also offered fast delivery which I wanted to make sure I meet my deadline.

I decided to create a portrait book, even though most of my images are landscape, there are a few that are portrait and so by having a portrait book I felt it would accommodate both orientations well. Furthermore after looking at the photobook,  ‘Everything is going to be okay’ by Alberto Lizaralde, I was influenced by his layout in his photobook; the images move down the page as the book progresses, even though his themes are different to mine, I found this an interesting layout that I could adopt in my own work. I decided to move my images down the page in my photobook as I want to show the idea of how the river flows from the north west down to the south east of Coventry, the movement of my images would echo this idea. Originally I thought I would move each image down in relation to each location and how far they are away from the previous location, in a similar way to how I have left blank pages in proportion to the gaps between locations; however after creating this layout I found that it looked very uneven and didn’t flow as nicely and so I have decided to move each image down the same amount, this will still represent the idea of the movement of the river geographically.

Screen Shot 2014-11-16 at 14.24.40

After deciding on part the layout of my photobook, I also decided to experiment with different positions of the images in relation to each other. I tried one layout where the images flowed into the next at each location, showing the continual flow of the river. I also tried having a slight border around each image, to separate them a bit so that each image didn’t lose its own detail and beauty. I feel that both layouts worked, however for my project I feel that having the images flow together suits my aims and what I am looking at; I want to show the journey and flow of the river, as well as the change from the natural to the urban environment.

Screen Shot 2014-11-16 at 14.27.32

For the order of my photographs, I didn’t have much choice as I wanted it to be a ‘true’ representation of the river, for this reason I will order my photographs in the order of the river’s journey and flow from the source to where it joins the River Sowe; I have selected my best photographs from each location that look at both the river and the surrounding area. Within my photobook I have decided to add black pages in the middle, these pages represent where the river goes under the city centre. The image before and after show the beginning and end of the culverted tunnels and lead into the darkness. I decided to have black as these pages represent the underground and the darkness of the tunnels, instead of having white pages as I have for the other locations that I did not photograph as they were on the surface in the daylight.

When designing my photobook on SnapFish, there was a range of options for the front cover; my two main options were either having a photograph front cover or having a material front cover in a single colour. To me a photograph front cover can look a bit gimmicky and less professional and so for this reason I have decided to have a black linen cover, this is very simple and plain, allowing the images inside to be the main focus of the book.

Finally I decided to add slight context to my book to give the viewer a bit of an idea of what I was looking at. Inside the book before my images, I gave a bit of context in the text, ‘The River Sherbourne starts at Hawkes End, running from outside Coventry, into the city, passing under the city centre and then out at Far Gosford, finally ending at the River Sowe.’ This text give my viewer an idea of what I was looking at and also the journey of the River Sherbourne. My book continues to show my images showing not only the journey of the river through the landscape but also my personal journey of discovery. Finally I leave my viewers with a visual of a map like interpretation of the river, mapping the route of the river and also each location I visited along the river. I feel that this final bit of context gives the viewers a greater understanding of what I was looking at and also allows them to take a different reading from their original one.

The River Sherbourne


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