Musings on Photography

SoFoBoMo status update

Posted in Solo Photo Book Month by Paul Butzi on December 8, 2008

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Ok, here’s the current skinny:

  • I have renewed the domain registration for sofobomo.org for three years. I figured last year I’d give it a one year whirl and see if anything came of SoFoBoMo. This time around, it’s clear that there are a fair number of people interested, so I’ll take advantage of the lower rate and extend the registration for longer than one year. Yes, this implies that unless SoFoBoMo craters really badly this coming year, we will continue beyond just this next year. Or something.
  • Bernie Sumption will be once again doing the website work. Bernie says he can have on-line signup on sofobomo.org in January. So we’ll be doing signup there, and not repeated last years messy “leave a comment on this post” thing. Good news!
  • It looks very much like we will be able to host pdf files on sofobomo.org this year, so folks won’t have to go through the whole second party hosting (issuu, etc.) again this year. More news on this later, I expect.
  • Based on feedback from everyone and taking into consideration giving Bernie a bit more time to get all the website ducks in a row, the fuzzy month for SoFoBoMo 2009 will run from the start of May through the end of June.
  • It would be nice if folks who participated last year (both those who finished and those who didn’t) who were inclined would write up brief snatches of text (say, three paragraphs or so) along the lines of “What I got from participating in SoFoBoMo 2008” which we can host on the SoFoBoMo.org website, on a “Why you should consider participating” page.

Start your planning now. Got ideas, comments, suggestions, complaints? Post them as a comment here.

13 Responses

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  1. forkboy said, on December 8, 2008 at 2:06 pm

    Okay…..the first time I saw this SoFoBoMo thing was on Gordon McGregor’s site. And now that I’ve RSS subscribed to yours I’m seeing it yet again.

    Do you think it’s possible to explain, in layman terms, what exactly is SoFoBoMo and whether or not a rank amateur to photography, such as myself, should consider joining in the fun?

  2. bill said, on December 8, 2008 at 2:22 pm

    I bet I’m more of a rank amateur than you, and I enjoyed looking at the results of the last sofobomo that I’m determined to have a go.

  3. JH said, on December 8, 2008 at 2:44 pm

    I’m debating whether to try SoFoBoMo or not. The results from 2008 were impressive, and participants seemed to have fun, so it is tempting. In any case, the period you are suggesting for it in 2009 is really nice in terms of potential photography subjects.

  4. Bernie Sumption said, on December 8, 2008 at 3:22 pm

    I’m publicly committed now, I’d better actually do it :o)

  5. Gordon McGregor said, on December 8, 2008 at 4:36 pm

    @Forkboy
    In laymans terms, SoFoBoMo is a challenge, to yourself, to make a book from start to finish, in a month.

    It isn’t a competition, you aren’t judged against anyone else. It is just a challenge to yourself to finish.

    To qualify, you take 35 images or more, finish them and assemble them into something that looks like a collection within a PDF file.

    That at the basic level is it. What you might gain is some increased knowledge about what a project looks like, or how books are made, or maybe you just get motivation to make 35 pictures you wouldn’t have otherwise taken.

    Most people shot to a particular theme (that they picked themselves) so that the 35 images hung together as a project one way or another – and that can teach you about telling a story or exploring a theme with your camera. Some collected the images as a slideshow and were done. Others researched a bit more about publishing and how books are designed, or learned about typography. Some people learned about book binding and physically made their own books. Others learned about online publishers and used those to create a finished printed book – but remember, the PDF is all that’s required to be considered a ‘finisher’

    Mainly it is about putting a stake in the ground, committing to something and finishing it in a reasonable period of time. The time constraint really helps focus the mind to finishing the book. You don’t waffle about images you might take next month being better – no time for that. You just get it done and get it finished.

    You could take part in SoFoBoMo the first week you ever picked up a camera – there’s no requirement on talent, or technical ability. If you finish the project, you’ll be a big step up from where you started, where ever that start might have been.

  6. julie said, on December 9, 2008 at 6:17 am

    I recently picked up a useful saying that springs to mind when thinking about SoFoBoMo – ‘Done is better than perfect’!

    I can’t believe we’ll be coming up on it again in a few months already. Better get thinking…

    I did a post mortem on my blog a few weeks (or maybe it was longer) after I finsihed last year so I may be able to use the bones of that for the site.

  7. Martin Doonan said, on December 9, 2008 at 3:21 pm

    An interesting date – right about the time I’m due to move. I’ll see if I can think of something interesting to write for the site.

  8. Bill said, on December 12, 2008 at 1:58 pm

    I’ve signed up for the Open University course T189 “Digital Photography Creating and sharing better images” – It’s due to start in May and runs for 10 weeks, I thought I’d try and use some of the images from that.

  9. Art said, on December 12, 2008 at 3:08 pm

    I’m glad you’re going to have this event again. I think this is a great way to get out and shoot some pictures in a project based format.

    When you say you submit a pdf book. If you decide to make a real book using one of the online options do you still have to post a pdf book?

    Thanks for the opportunity to participate.

  10. Anil said, on December 14, 2008 at 11:56 pm

    Great to hear that we have a fuzzy month May to June for SoFoBoMo 09! Looking forward to participate again this year.

  11. Rosie Perera said, on December 24, 2008 at 8:23 pm

    I never finished last year, but I plan to try again. At least I did take the time last year to learn Adobe InDesign, so that was one benefit I received, even though I didn’t finish my project. It was also worth participating to get inspired by all those who did finish and their beautiful work!

  12. Bryan Willman said, on December 24, 2008 at 11:20 pm

    Lessons Learned:

    No matter *how simple* some new technical bit seems to be (a camera mount for a bicycle, how hard can it be?) – it is really much better to get it well debugged long before you are going to start on SoFoBoMo. Otherwise great stress will ensue.

  13. Rene Hales said, on January 13, 2009 at 6:47 am

    I want to try this. I have been really wanting to move toward book making and this will give me a push in that direction.–Rene


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