Just a few short weeks ago I thought I had the edit of LTT nailed down.
But there was always something that bugged me about it.
How is it possible to translate into book form, using only images, all
that Steph and I went through? You see, I’m sure I don’t want my words
in there, don’t want to direct and hand-hold, point, the viewers too, too
much. Just enough.
It wasn’t until my buddy (who I’ve never actually met) Timothy Archibald
called me up to discuss the sequence the other day that things became
more clear. Timothy has been following my work for years (and I his). He
has been a constant source of thought-out thoughts. As opposed to my
thoughts which tend to come more from the emotional side of the brain.
I had sent Tim links to a couple iterations of the LTT sequence, one of
which contained bleeds. He commented on the effect those bleeds had,
that the relationship side of the LTT story was given short shrift in the
more genteel layout I had been working with up to then.
That layout lacked the necessary punch. And the bleeds, I think and hope,
supply that. Punch.
As well, when you crop some of the images square you can use shots that
don’t fit into the sequence if used full-frame. And you can use images in
different spots in the sequence because they read differently when cropped
and blown-up. After all, this is a foto book, I want it to live and operate as
its own discrete thing, I will do what it takes to define, describe and evoke,
in this book, that trip Steph and I took.
So, in one 8 hour marathon (for which the previous 4 months I’ve spent
working on it were merely training) I rejigged the whole thing, using the
basic back bone of the most recent iteration, the one I thought was the
Of course there will be more thought and feedback solicitation, more
tweaking and wondering. It’s pretty scary to lock it down. . .to say:”Yes,
this is what I mean”. But eventually it’s gonna (have to) happen.
Alec Soth and writer Brad Zellar have been rambling thru Ohio, meeting
folks, listening, photographing and posting as they go.
I know there are some who would say that this way of working, basically
doing a project live on social media, has a number of pitfalls.
But as a photographer who took that risk by posting the Stephanie project
week by week, as it unfolded, I have to say: “WAY TO GO”.
Seems to me that using social media to aggregate observations as you go,
is a good thing. Lord knows that most of the images and thoughts that I get
on my social media feeds are notable only because of their authors lack of
ambition, insight and ability to actually put themselves out there to try to
create a stream that accrues value as it progresses.
You can follow along here.
Here’s one of their recent posts:
And here are a couple I took in Ohio a few years back: