Photo book issues

Due to the recent flooding, I lost my main memory stick with my pictures for my photo book on them. This meant I only had the inDesign formatted versions of my images to use, which made their resolution quite a bit lower. Although they are still legible and to some degree of passable quality, I thought it should be noted anyway.

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Alejandro Cartagena


Cartagena’s work revolves a lot around series photography, but her series ‘carpoolers’, seems to definitely be one the most successful. The almost perfect framing, almost identical with every shot is not only pleasing to the eye, but quite accomplished; this series feels more like a collection than it does a photographic sequence. My photo book is similar in the light that I used the same plate for each of my shots, but only changed the contents, as did Alejandro use the same piece of road, and bridge but a different ‘carpool’ came each day.


I feel my narrative’s project went well with what I could make of it. I loved the idea of making a photo series book, however admittedly we did not have a lot of time to take the photos so I thought of something simple, but intriguing to a reader/viewer. I decided to use foods in my fridge that I actually liked, and presented them in a way that I’d find them unappetising; then taking the exact same format picture twenty times, on a hideously bland plate with a vapid, uninteresting background. To top this off I put the quite uninviting word ‘grub’ on the front cover, on the same plate. The intentionally bland subject matter is what I feel makes my book intriguing, and with this strange oxymoronic approach toward making this book, I carried the idea over to my illustrated storybook. Under a heavy influence of David Shrigley’s work, I decided to make my illustrations exceptionally terrible, but with a tenacious connection to how I interpreted the feel of the story. The story ‘Old Sultan’ to me felt two-dimensional and hard to imagine (as, admittedly it is with nearly the entire ‘Grimms’ Fairy Tails’ collection), and so without sort of constructing a certain take on it, I decided to straight up illustrate exactly how I thought of the characters on first reading about them, and strangely but surely it correlated well (or terribly, however you’d like to think about it). Artist and format research was somewhat challenging at first, due to my book having an intentional unappealing aesthetic. However, after getting my head around Shrigley’s approach, more artists fell in to place, and I found that I could also research what not to do (which was especially easy with my approach). Overall I had a fun, experimentative time with this project, and if there was more time I would definitely have liked to have a better go at the Photo book.

Illustrated Book Format and Text


I found it common in illustrated storybooks to have large visuals, and smaller (though not too small) text. It’s made obvious a lot of the time that we are supposed to be focusing our attention on a main or focal point of the page. A standard, easy read font is usually commonplace as well, being Helvetica, Times New Roman or the such.

However, due to having a subversive nature in my project I’ve decided on a rather unattractive text, and a quite unnatural visual to text ratio (however, one may conclude my text to be illustrative in itself anyway).

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Text is usually placed in clear view, though not so much a hindrance to the illustration. The good thing about this is because these are literally the only two solid elements on the page it’s almost quite simple to format it well and creatively. And with such a divergent book as mine is, I’m hoping to experiment extensively with format and text.

Workshop Book

We had to complete 12 illustrations, with 30 seconds to do each one based on a a room or area given to us my the tutor. I chose the forest, and tried to illustrate physically and through a deal of other senses as well. We had to pick 8 of these illustrations and construct a small makeshift book with them, putting the illustrations in order and having a somewhat cohesive narrative based around our area.

Illustrated Story Book: Experimental Book Binding

These pictures document my book binding process, (or how not to book bind). I decided to use the other side of the book rim material, which is obviously not supposed to be on show. What’s more I took the edge of the material, right to the end where the stitching starts to fray, as well sticking excess strips back on, in an ironically linear fashion. I also made a point to keep some of the cropping marks, automatically printed as a guide by inDesign almost in an effort to highlight it’s original state.

Here’s a more typically arranged bound book:

My primary aim in my illustrated story book project is to create a difficult and almost how ‘not’ to create an appealing, conventional storybook. However, I’ve still made the book accessible and manageable to a pretty much universal audience, to an extent. I feel I have managed to construct more of an art piece than a story book.