IN FOCUS

 
  • Posted On:
    April 1, 2015
    I have been on press all day, starting at 9:30 AM. 12 hours later and I have proofed 8 signatures. A signature is one sheet of printed paper that, once folded, will result in 12 pages of the book. Each signature must be printed on both sides. I will be checking a total of about 22 of these signatures for a total page count of 252 pages. It is going very well so far with minimal tweaking. I cannot overstate the importance of doing good prepress work earlier as it really makes the printing a much easier task. The first two signatures usually set the tone for the others. I'm always a bit nervous doing this because so much is at stake for the publisher (Turnstone Press) and myself. I end up looking at the color fairly critically and looking for any potential marks, blemishes, etc. Once I am happy, I sign off and the rest of the signature gets printed. About 1.5 hours later, I return to do the same thing. It will take approximately 35 consecutive hours of printing to complete the book. Needless to say, it will be an all-nighter!

    Shown above is master printer Darrell Hildebrand checking out a signature. Darrell is retiring next week after 27 years in the business! I have worked with Darrell on a few books over the years. Wishing you well in your future endeavours Darrell!
    Posted In:This And That
  • Posted On:
    March 31, 2015
    Printing a book can take a while, depending on the physical size of the book, how many pages in the book, how many books are being printed, whether there are any special processes required, etc. Assuming everything runs well, I plan to be 'on press' for about 37 consecutive hours or so. I hope to get in an hour or so of sleep between some of these press checks.

    While in Altona, I shall be well taken care by Friesens . They provide their clients with very comfortable spaces to relax, sleep and eat. I always take time to check out the new books they printed since my last visits. Looking forward to this.
  • Posted On:
    March 21, 2015
    I spent this past Monday and Tuesday at Friesens in Altona, Manitoba doing the prepress work for my upcoming book 'Ontario'. It was a hard two days of sitting at the computer ensuring that all the images in the book will translate in print as closely as possible to my vision. While I processed all the images on my calibrated system in my office, we made a number of conversions necessary for printing on the offset press. This included converting from the RGB to CMYK color space, adding a printer profile as well as a paper profile, sizing the images, tweaking the color and contrast after the conversions (if required), checking for any 'dust spots' that might have been missed earlier and applying any sharpening (if required). 'Prepress wizzard' Ray Friesens was in full control, implementing any changes I thought might be required. Pictured above is Ray in front of the main monitor displaying the current image we were working on, with the monitor to the right showing the page spread layout in InDesign and a matching color proof on the left. This is the sixth book that Ray and I have worked on and I have to give Ray much credit for making these books as good as they are. Doing due diligence on prepress makes the printing of any book a much easier and enjoyable task. Today I spent the better part of the day proofing all the text once again in anticipation of color proofs to come in a few days. Next Wednesday and Thursday (and possibly Friday), I return to Friesens to press check the book as it comes off the presses!
    Posted In:This And That
  • Posted On:
    March 21, 2015
    I spotted a pair of snowy owls perched on the hydro lines near Altona, Manitoba on my way to do the prepress work for my Ontario book on Monday morning. The sun had not yet risen and the sky was cloudy so I made a few documentary images of the male and female owls. Later in the day, the clouds cleared and I decided to return to the area after dinner to see if I might spot the owls again. The female snowy owl was nowhere to be seen but the male was perched very near where I first saw it in the morning. I made the first image about 30 minutes before sunset and the second one (bottom) just a few minutes before the sun dipped below the horizon, which imparted a lovely pink/yellow cast to the bird. Both images were made with the new 300mm F4 VR lens coupled with the new 1.4x teleconverter (lll). Along with the new Nikon D7200 DX camera, this combination (630mm) gives me a very sharp, workable, powerful, flexible and affordable handheld system for capturing wildlife.