publishing

Vineyard book finally published!

Over the course of the past year, I have given my readers updates regarding the progress of my book project about a vineyard. Specifically, it’s about Baltimore Bend Vineyard, near Waverly, Missouri and the seasonal changes and activities over the course of a year. It’s been a fun journey!

Technology has certainly come along way since I started photographing three decades ago. But more importantly, this technology now allows the photographer or writer the ability to publish their books without the hassles and expense of finding a publisher willing to advance your work. On-demand publishing brings to anyone interested in publishing their work the ability to do so without printing thousands of copies. This new technology and business model allows one to print only one copy of their book, or hundreds. The author is total control, which I find very nice.

Below are the front and back covers of my second monograph: Journey Through The Vineyard: A Photographic Year At Baltimore Bend.

© 2010 Terry Ownby

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Vineyard Project Update

It’s hard to believe that a year has passed since I started my vineyard book project! For all practical purposes, the photographing is finished and now I’m focusing on writing the text. My goal for completion of the book is by the end of the year. In the meantime, I’m hoping to sit in on a publication design class starting next week to help refine my Adobe In Design capabilities. This week I finalized shots inside the winery and the tasting room and here are a few samples from that session. The owners of the vineyard and winery have been a delight to work with and I’m going to miss not spending time up there! Maybe they’ll let me come up for harvest!

© 2010 Terry Ownby

© 2010 Terry Ownby

© 2010 Terry Ownby

Rewards of being a professor

Sometimes we go through life wondering if what we’re doing is worthwhile, or if what we do makes a difference. The enormity of the universe can sometimes simply be overwhelming when we consider how small we are in comparison. But, occasionally moments arrive which bring clarity to what we do and we realize we have been a part of something good. Such was the case this past weekend.

Several years ago while I was teaching photography at the Art Institute of Colorado, I had the pleasure of having an exceptional student arrive in one of my studio classes. He had just recently served in the Marines and he didn’t fit the stereotypic role of college students. He was driven to excel and that he did very well! As he neared graduation, he talked with me several times about his desire to study photojournalism and attending grad school. I wrote a few letters of recommendation and eventually he was accepted into the PJ grad program at Boston University. That made me very happy!

Nearly three years ago, after he completed all his course work, he set off to pursue his graduate thesis project, which was a lengthy cultural photo essay, in China. He’s had many adventures living, working, and photographing in mainland China, specifically in a city called Jiujiang. In order to immerse himself in the local culture, he accepted a teaching position at Jiujiang University and has produced an excellent book. So when he sent out an email stating he was coming home (in the St. Louis area) for a short vacation, I was excited when he agreed to take time from his hectic schedule to have lunch with me! To be able to sit down and share a meal with my young friend and listen to his stories and his excitement as a photographer was one of those sublime moments in my life. It made me realize why I got into teaching photography and that indeed, being a professor is absolutely worthwhile!

You can see his work at his website, by clicking here. His book, Jiujiang: 九江 Nine Rivers, can be reviewed and purchased by clicking here.

In this photo, Chad Owsley on left, and Terry Ownby. © 2010

Self-Publishing

The idea of publishing a book of images is something I think most photographers have pondered from time to time. However publishing a monograph in the past was not always an easy task, especially when so many photographers were vying for the editor’s eye. But today, that situation is changing. Now the photographer can become the editor.

What am I talking about? Good question. What I’m getting at is the notion of self-publishing through what’s known as print-on-demand technology. Currently there are a number of excellent online presses offering excellent opportunities for photographers (and writers) to get their work in print. Two that readily come to mind are Lulu and Blurb. Both companies offer an array of printing formats including: softcover, hardcover with dustjacket, and spiral bound. An added benefit with this type of publishing, is many of these companies offer marketing services where you set the selling price and they function as order fulfillment companies, sending you a check for profits on your sales. For and additional fee, many of these companies can provide you with an ISBN so you can market to third parties such as retail booksellers like Borders or Barnes and Noble.

This type of publishing can be useful to photographers in a number of ways. One way is that of providing custom, professional perfect bound portfolios for sending to potential clients. Or, you could simply publish a book and give as holiday or birthday gifts. Many portrait and wedding photographers take advantage of these services in order to present their clients with a beautifully finished product of their event. I also see this as a great opportunity for the fine art photographer wanting to produce a monograph. This is what I’ve done with part of my Incongruity series. I anticipate publishing my second book sometime later this year.

Dustjacket from my monograph Incongruity: found american cultural objects.

© 2007 Terry Ownby