Musings on Photography

SoFoBoMoGo – Butzi Edition

Posted in Adobe InDesign, Canon EF 24-105 f/4L IS, Solo Photo Book Month by Paul Butzi on March 19, 2008

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Colin Jago has an excellent post outlining his SoFoBoMo plans, including a photo of the camera gear he plans to use. (Warning to Leica Purists – prepare yourself before viewing the weird miscegenation Colin has assembled). He also outlines his basic book design decisions. All in all, excellent reading to get yourself charged up to go – read it all here.

I so enjoyed reading Colin’s post that I’ll follow his example. Other folks who feel moved to make similar posts on their own blogs might want to either leave a comment on my blog with a link, or perhaps leave a comment on Colin’s blog with a link (or both) so that it becomes a little easier to find each other’s planning posts.

So here’s my plan. This is the camera gear I’m planning on using:
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That’s my trusty Canon EOS-5D, with the 24-105 f/4 L IS mounted. I’d prefer something a bit smaller but in the end this is what I use day to day, and since it’s the most flexible setup I have at hand it’s what I’ll use. In the lower left is a Garmin Etrex Legend HCX, which will ride in my pocket on the outings so that I can geotag the exposures – that isn’t really part of the project but I want to be able to sort out locations of the photos after the fact, and it’s very little additional effort. I considered using the little Canon PowerShot G9 but it’s just a smidgen slow for taking photos of the dog, who often races about at speed, so the 5d edged out the G9 on that basis. If not for the dog issue, the G9 might have won.

You’ll note that there’s no tripod pictured. My plan is to do the entire project without a tripod. I’ve been using the tripod less and less, but this part of my plan still feels a bit weird.

Not pictured is Kodak, the golden retriever who will accompany me on the project outings and may serve as the subject some of the time. The general plan is to take daily walks with the dog, and simply photograph while taking the walks. Think of it as combining dog walk therapy and photo therapy, and making a book of the result.

The book layout will be done in Adobe InDesign. Over the past few months I’ve gotten sufficiently familiar with it that it isn’t head-bangingly frustrating, and I have put together a test book and generated a PDF, so I’m confident that will all work out with only the usual botheration. One thing I’m pleased with is that I’ve figured out how to generate PDFs that show a two page spread (left and right hand facing pages) as one unit in PDF viewers, so that I can have text on the left page and the photo on the right page, and paging through the PDF is very akin to paging through a physical book (Colin mentions this problem in his post).

My plan is to start on April 1st. I have to hang a show on the 30th of March, so that show will be safely out of the way and not a distraction; the show comes down on May 3rd, which would be after the last day of my SoFoBoMo month. That works out nicely. If the weather is truly hostile at the start I may decide to delay a few days. I’d really like to get started, though. Has anyone else observed that it would actually be possible for a single photographer to do SoFoBoMo twice this year and not have the projects overlap? I mean, you’d have to be crazy, but…

9 Responses

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  1. Gordon McGregor said, on March 19, 2008 at 11:16 am

    I suppose in the limit you could do 12 of them in a year. But that starts feeling like a picture a day type thing, which I don’t know does much good. Quantity is certainly a good goal, but quality is probably a better aim.

    Or do you just mean one book at the start of the fuzzy month and one at the end of the fuzzy month and still be within the original planned window. Interesting.

    Somehow those two books could compliment each other too – ying and yang, light and dark, funny and serious.

    Colin also took his lens cap off. This is a useful tip.

  2. Paul Butzi said, on March 19, 2008 at 11:28 am

    No, I wasn’t trying to suggest doing 12 of them a year. More that you could do one at the start of the fuzzy month and then another right behind finishing at the end of the fuzzy month.

    Yes, Colin took his lens cap off. Leave the cap on when I’m not making photographs.

    More to the point, my camera is loaded with a 4GB CF card, formatted and ready to go. Colin’s film is still in the boxes, for pete’s sake. So my advice to Colin is to load the darn camera. This is also a useful tip. 😛

  3. Colin Jago said, on March 19, 2008 at 11:33 am

    “Colin also took his lens cap off. This is a useful tip.”

    As a rangefinder user, I have been known to specialise in ‘inside of lens cap’ photography. Paul presumably doesn’t need a lenscap song owing to the whole ‘why has it gone dark’ phenomenon.

  4. Colin Jago said, on March 19, 2008 at 11:35 am

    “So my advice to Colin is to load the darn camera.”

    The boxes were dummies. I store all ten rolls in the camera.

  5. Paul Butzi said, on March 19, 2008 at 11:39 am

    The boxes were dummies. I store all ten rolls in the camera.

    Uh huh. Right.

    Well, in that case, it’s not a lens cap. It’s a clear protective filter. It just *looks* like a lens cap from the front.

  6. Martin Doonan said, on March 19, 2008 at 12:03 pm

    That exchange made me chuckle.

    I’m nowhere near loaded & ready to go. Cards need formating from last week and I’m off shooting at Easter.

    My gear here: http://doonster.blogspot.com/2008/03/sofobomo-gear.html

    (also linked at Colin’s).

  7. Chantal said, on March 20, 2008 at 7:25 am

    I’m starting a couple days early…on March 29. I outline my project here: http://chantalstone.wordpress.com/2008/03/20/my-sofobomo-project-march-29-april-29-2008/

  8. SoFoBoMo plan « Red Skies at Night said, on March 21, 2008 at 2:23 am

    […] Colin Jago and Paul Butzi’s example, here is my plan for […]

  9. ejeschke said, on March 21, 2008 at 2:27 am

    My plan here: http://redskiesatnight.com/2008/03/20/

    This is gonna be fun!


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