I have a number of ongoing projects few of which I’ve actually completed. In this case, however, I managed to finish one – probably because it had a very definite end point. Back in May 2015 our friend Paul expressed a wish to do something with his old negatives. Specifically he wanted to come up with something that he could give to his two daughters for Christmas. I showed him some of the photobooks that I’d done before and he decided that that would do it. I mentioned this in an earlier post: Paul and Family.

We started off well scanning some of the negatives (all black and white and mostly 30-40 years old) quickly. Then we stopped and with one thing and another didn’t spend much time on this for quite a while. Finally we noticed that Christmas was getting close and maybe we should get a move on. So we finally knuckled down to finish it off.

He didn’t want anything too complex so in the end we selected about 20 of the scanned negatives for inclusion in a simple, softcover 5×7 photobook. I then did a basic layout, which we then reviewed together with Paul making suggestions as to the order of the pictures. By 21 November we were done and the book went off to be printed – two copies. We received them 5 December with plenty of time for him to send them to his daughters in California.

He was pleased with the results and so was I. I always approach prints with a certain amount of trepidation as pictures sometimes look quite different in print than they do on screen. In this case they did look different – better.

I was encouraged by the exercise and I think I’ll do some more photobooks – in color this time. I don’t think I’ve done a color photobook since 2011.

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