February 3, 2015
The Ontario book is mostly behind me now. The photographs have been selected, laid out and prepared. All the text has been written and now I wait for the call to drive to Altona, MB to do the prepress work to make sure that the images print as close as possible to what I have envisioned. Once we receive the proofs and check them over, I will return to Altona to print the book. Press checks are always a little stressful because that is when you see the final product on paper (signatures) before the book is actually assembled. About a week later the book should arrive in Winnipeg at which point the distribution to book stores and boutiques begins. Marketing has already started but will jump into 'high gear' once the book is printed. We will start with book launches in Winnipeg followed by a book tour to various cities throughout Ontario. Producing books is a lot of work; I guess that's partly why a book is called a 'labour of love'!
My publisher Turnstone Press has planned a book launch at McNally Booksellers in Winnipeg for April 9. More info about book launches coming soon.
December 21, 2014
For the better part of a week, I struggled over which images would be included in my ONTARIO book. In the end, I selected about 10% of the original 2,300 images I had preselected. Part of the difficulty was choosing images that would work well opposite each other on a page spread. I was mindful of the geography, the seasons, colors, format and big landscape vs intimate views vs closeups, which proved to be a difficult task indeed. However, I achieved what I set out to do. Selecting the images and laying them out is the most difficult part of producing any book but it is also the most enjoyable, with the exception of producing the images and the actual experience itself. I meet with my publisher in a couple of days to finalize the layout. The next tasks include writing a preface, the captions and the stories behind the photographs. Plenty of work left to do!
Above are a few additional images that will appear in the book.
December 13, 2014
Now that the 'Alberta' book is mostly behind me, I am immersed in the production of my 'Ontario' book! I have been thinking about doing this book since 2005 just after I released my 'Canada' book. I seriously began photographing for this book in 2008 after publishing two other books: 'Georgian Bay' (2008) and 'Muskoka' (2010). When Key Porter Books went into receivership in 2011, those plans fell through. Luckily for me, I had retained the rights to all of my books and Turnstone Press of Winnipeg (publisher of my 'Prairie and Beyond' book) agreed to take on the Ontario project.
While the 'Canadian Prairies' has become my adopted home, I was born and raised in Sudbury, Ontario. That's where all my childhood memories are. While attending university and up until I left Ontario for Alberta in late 1978, I managed to experience much of the Central region of the province (what the politicians call Northern Ontario!). In the late 1990s, I traveled through many parts of southern Ontario to produce a number of business/tourism books for cities like London, Hamilton, Kitchener & Waterloo, Cambridge and Guelph. I even collaborated on 'Healing The Landscape' book (2001) about the reclamation of the Sudbury Region. When I moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1985, I then began to explore Northwestern Ontario. Through the various trips back and forth from Edmonton / Winnipeg to Sudbury to visit family and friends, as well as all those business trips, I accumulated a significant amount of imagery of the province.
This week I rummaged through a filing cabinet of Ontario slides and short-listed 400 slides. I then searched for high res files on my hard drives, found 560 and copied them to a folder for further consideration. Then came the task of going through 8 hard drives of RAW unprocessed images to select another 1300 images. My first round of editing resulted in a first selection of 2,260 images. In the next couple of days, I will edit the 2,260 photographs down to about 250 images, thus rejecting 90% of that initial selection. It's not an easy task to be sure, especially when many of these are my favorites. But there is only room for so many images in a book and one must be ruthless during the editing process. Images will be chosen for various reasons including: geographic representation, variety of subject matter, landscapes vs intimate views, wildlife and plants, seasons, time of day, color, horizontal vs vertical, etc. I will then spend a great deal of time matching or pairing images on a 'page spread' so that the images complement each other creating continuity, visual flow and harmony. I thought you might enjoy some insight into what goes on in producing a book. I hope to produce the best Ontario book yet!
Attached is a small sampler of some of the images from different regions that will probably be included in the book. Wish me luck !
September 29, 2014
'Turnstone Press' caught up with me a few months ago to chat about photography, how I became involved in the medium, life on the road, book publishing, my latest book 'Prairie and Beyond' and more. To learn more, read the INTERVIEW.
February 19, 2014
Over the course of the last few months, I have been creating new images in the Saint-Boniface neighbourhood of Winnipeg. To be exact, I have been photographing the remains of the old Saint-Boniface Cathedral (the Fifth Church) which burned on July 22nd, 1968 as well as the new Saint-Boniface Cathedral (the Sixth Church) which was completed in 1972. Did you know there were 6 churches built on that site? I most certainly didn't. This last church was designed by our very own 'architecte extraordinaire' - Étienne Gaboury. Most of you probably know that Étienne designed a number of iconic Winnipeg buildings and structures such as the Esplanade Riel Bridge, The Royal Canadian Mint, l'église Precieux-Sang (Precious Blood Church), le Centre culturel Franco-Manitobain, the Manitoba Remand Centre and the Videon Cable Building amongst many others.