I am proud to present my very first photo book, “The Unnoticed”, available now at Blurb.com. I’ve assembled 110 photos from 10 abandoned locations in this 136-page volume, available in hard cover, soft cover, and ebook format for iPad/iPhone. Just like the show I set up earlier this year at the Albany Uncommon Grounds, putting this book together was an interesting experience that I recommend to any photographer, and I’ll share more about this process in this post.
You can view the slideshow below to flip through its pages (click on the “Full Screen” button for a better experience):
Moving here from France, I have always been interested in architecture; especially how a “new country” like the U.S. treats its buildings and infrastructure. How and why do people abandon places, leaving everything behind: bikes, clothes, cards, Teddy bears? Buildings come out of the ground very quickly, and are often abandoned or destroyed just as fast. My goal is to capture this unique feeling of time at work, to freeze a moment in a place’s history before it collapses into memory. Within those places that are so full of waste and decay, I try to find one splash of color or light, one beautiful thing — the flower growing through a broken window hidden in every abandoned factory or schoolhouse or theater. I try to provide a glimpse into this world of chaos and decay before it inevitably gives way to something completely different… old or new. This is what I’m sharing in this book and in the eponymous exhibition.
Click on any of the thumbnails to open a larger view, or check the full-screen Flickr slideshow if you have Flash installed.
Print-On-Demand services like Blurb or Lulu provide a new opportunity to author and distribute books and portfolios country-wide. While I have been lucky to have my photographs passed around online, there is definitely something special — and very different — about sharing my own work in a physical form, be it in a show, or in a book. Creating a photo book doesn’t have to be strictly a commercial opportunity either, it is first and foremost a wonderful way to share your pictures with friends, family and others.
Availability and Pricing
- February 2012: the book is now also available in ebook format for iPad/iPhone.
- October 2011: 10 exemplars of the book can be found at the Albany Public Library and its local branches (thanks go to Mary Coon at APL).
The book is available at Blurb.com. This Print-On-Demand company has been around since 2005 and has published more than 300,000 titles in 2008 alone. A few of my photographer friends have used Blurb.com in the past with great satisfaction, and I had a stellar experience with this service myself. I trust them. If you have *any* issue ordering this book, contact their support staff and they will answer within a few hours. If the book presents the smallest defect when you receive it, they will send you a new one at no cost, the same day.
“The Unnoticed” is available in hard cover, soft cover, and ebook format for iPad/iPhone. The hard cover feels better, more substantial and, in my opinion, looks classier. The soft cover is less expensive and easier to browse if you like to flip the pages more quickly. Below are pictures I’ve taken of both cover styles. I’ve shown the book to a few people and the consensus is that the hard cover is a winner. At the end of the day though, they both have their advantages, so I can’t really push one over the other. They both look great and I’m happy with the quality of the prints. As of February 2012, the prices are:
This is only a few dollars more than what it costs to print and distribute the book using Blurb. If you are curious about how it works, here it is, in a nutshell. Blurb offers a free, downloadable, book-layout software client with which potential authors like me create their books using their own text and images. The completed book layout can then be uploaded to Blurb’s web server, after which copies may be ordered for printing and delivery. Easy as pie. Blurb allows authors to sell their books to anyone and retain a mark-up on the printing costs as author profit. There is no mark-up at the moment, enjoy As of July 2011, the mark-up is about $4, to test the waters.
What about Amazon.com or local book stores you might ask? I’m an avid Amazon.com shopper myself and I would have loved to see them carry this book. I did a bit of homework, read what fellow Blurb users had to say, and unfortunately this just wasn’t possible at *any* reasonable price. I also investigated if I could make this book available at The Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza in Albany, NY, but since they keep 40% of the revenue, the resulting prices would have been that much higher compared to Blurb. As this is just me here, I’m unable to store any inventory, but I’d still like to keep this whole process as smooth as possible for anyone wishing to purchase a copy. This is where Print-On-Demand services like Blurb shine.
Thanks to Chrissy S. for her tremendous help creating this book. Thanks to Michael R. and Laura M. for proof-reading all chapters. Thanks to my fellow urban explorers who share my interest in photography and getting dirty, Bennett C., Michael R., Paul G., Justin H., Darren K., Kim D., Michael F. & Brittany. Thanks to all of you who supported me, complimented and otherwise featured my photos, Kerry B., the good people at All Over Albany and Nippertown, Sara Foss at The Daily Gazette, and Jennifer Maher at Uncommon Grounds.
Here are some of the photos featured in the book. Once again, check the full-screen Flickr slideshow if you have Flash installed, or click on any of the thumbnails to open a larger view. Some of them are still on display at Uncommon Grounds in Albany, NY, until July 13th; be sure to stop by and enjoy the bagels.