Aug 1, 2008

Books, books, and more books...

TRAPPED: Mental Illness in America's Prisons
Photographs by Jenn Ackerman

click image to preview book

Take a gander at the 1,800+ books entered in the photography now book competition when you get a chance. There are some pretty cool hidden gems in the mix. But see if you too notice and are disappointed by all the "one-hit" wonders as you peruse the 1800+ thumbnails. What I mean by that is the lack of cohesive bodies of work. Many many times I clicked on a wonderful cover image that struck my eye only to see complete opposite style or different techniques on the inside.

Also, I wish they had split the competition into at least 2 categories... fine art/personal and documentary. Cuz say for instance it's down to two books, one powerfully emotional documentary style book set in the Congo, and a brilliantly original moving personal series?!?! That's like apples and oranges to me? I wouldn't put the two against each other like that, it would be impossible to decide.

my 2¢


jimmieknuckles said...

ahhh and in such an instance,
we would use the thunderdome.
it really is the answer to all of lifes pesky little questions

maringuy said...

Hey it's Mike with Blurb. Wanted to thank you for your blog post, and for participating in Photography.Book.Now. Year One was awesome - so much better than we could have predicted - and we're so appreciative of all the participation and enthusiasm.

We actually did have two categories - general and themed. There will be a winner in each category, and books in each category are judged separately. So, in an ideal world, the two books you describe would never come up against each other. That said, we have also established criteria for judging that takes into account these and other factors.

We'll most definitely tweak future versions of this competition based on learnings from this year - and feedback from our people is what drives us to be great in everything we do. So thanks!

Hope to see you at our PBN events this fall...

Mike Barash
Marketing Director

Aaron said...

Hey Mike,

thanks for stopping by and representin' for Blurb. And I dig your personal blog btw.

As far as the 2 categories go... I was very confused by those. I'm not sure if they were different enough and I'm sure there is/was tons of crossover between the two.

as explained on your site:

General Photography Book

This category was open to books of all kinds-portfolios, retrospectives . anything and everything. To celebrate the sheer diversity of the photographic medium, we gave entrants the creative freedom to create the book of your choice.

Thematic Photography Book

The themed category emphasized the photography book as an experience that is more than the sum of its parts. We encouraged photographers to select a topic, concept, or collection of work that showed us how photography creates a narrative in book form.

From this I gathered that I should enter Thematic? right? but wouldn't "portfolios & retrospectives" as exampled in the General category be considered thematic?

It just didn't seem like a real difference between the two? Someone hit me in the head with a mallet if I am just simply being retarded on this and help clarify.

I was just hoping to see more documentary and commmercial projects duke it out with themselves and the personal work/ fine art folk have at it in their own group.

Then... the ├╝ber tough decision of choosing the best of those two entirely different categories and choosing one Overall winner?

So that's more detail on what I was saying.

Oh, and apparently Jimmie Knuckles would like to see a thunderdome of some sort in future competitions as well.


jimmieknuckles said...

thunderdome has solved more than one dilemma of this sort.

if its good enough to deal with parking space issues in my apartment complex,
its good enough to deal with this book nonsense.

p.s. my car lost the last round

maringuy said...

That's a great point Aaron, and I totally get where you're coming from. All this is great feedback and the best I can do today is take it into consideration for next year's competition. Which I absolutely will do. So thanks.

And Jimmie, I think where this will probably all net out is the thunderdome - I actually see no more logical way to solve for this and any other issues that may arise.

The more I think about it actually, thunderdome could end up resolving the grand prize winner next year - it elevates the competition from the subjective to a straight-up battle. Game on.

jimmieknuckles said...

^^^^ if people knew that there was a possibility of facing thunderdome, think of the way it would raise the bar,

not only would you end up with phenomenal books, but theyd be backed by people willing to commit to them, and sacrifice for them.

imagine that, books, with pictures supported wholeheartedly by people that bring their balls

plus, just imagine the pay per view potential

its a win win situation