A PhotoAccess weekend workshop sponsored by blurb
Sean Davey's report on a great weekend of photo book making
Eleven keen photographers met up on Saturday morning to participate in the inaugural Blurb Bookmaking Weekend Workshop held at PhotoAccess at The Manuka Arts Centre in Canberra. The class was fortunate to have Blurb’s Australian Community Representative, Garry Trinh, visit from Sydney for the two-day workshop.
Many of the world’s great photographers refer to the book format as the best way to view photographs; the sequencing, flow, design and size all helping to deliver what the artist strives to deliver to his/her audience. However for a long time, book publishing has been an expensive pursuit, one that has been out of reach for many independent photographers. Print-on-demand technology has been gaining solid traction in the last few years, and now numerous companies offer the opportunity for people to design and produce their own books, and to have as little as one book printed. As the worldwide market for photography books grows at an astounding rate, so too has the quality of books on offer and variations available for different applications. Beautiful, one-off hardcover coffee table books can now be made from the family holiday, a final year art project, a wedding, or a series of photographs that has been ten years in the making. The advancement of print-on-demand technology has truly democratised the book publishing industry, giving everyone the chance to have his or her own book made. In today’s day and age, everyone can be published.
Garry started the workshop off with an introduction to the Photobook and some great examples of self-published books that have been printed on demand using the Blurb Book Smart software. The participants seemed very excited at the different styles of books that were shown, all in different size formats, with differing layouts and paper stocks. Garry ran through the different design templates that Blurb offer, allowing people to customise their books from the very outset of their book projects.
Garry Trinh showing how he sequences and edits his book projects using actual prints. Photo: Sean Davey
The class was entertained and sometime mesmerised by the books that Garry showed. Not only were the designs so different to each other, but the variety of work that people had published seemed to give everyone the confidence to go ahead with their own projects. The workshop group were extremely supportive of each other’s work, something that was sustained throughout the entire weekend.
The group had a rather interesting break in the Saturday’s class when an almighty roar was heard, coming from outside. Garry stopped talking mid-sentence as a large branch gave way from one of the huge trees on PhotoAccess’ grounds. The class was shocked as we all thought that the crash was surely a car crash! We all took the opportunity to go outside and investigate the damage. It was rather a unique event in the history of photography classes at PhotoAccess.
After lunch on the Saturday Garry introduced the class to one of his personal book projects Australia Day and then brought out actual photographs, yes small 6”x4” prints! which he then proceeded to lay out on the floor. Garry asked the class to come and stand behind him while he explained the importance of editing and sequencing with actual prints rather than using files on a computer screen. Garry spoke about the themes and issues that he was exploring in his book and that how after looking at the pictures and pairing up certain images with others, the project started to grow beyond what he had originally intended. This gave participants the confidence to allow their book projects to have an aspect of organic growth and not to try to control them completely from the outset. The Saturday class absolutely flew by, and luckily for workshop member Catherine, the falling branch missed her car by only a few centimetres (literally!).
What sounded like a car accident was, in fact a large branch giving way on a tree outside the teaching room.
Photo: Garry Trinh
On Sunday morning Garry and I arrived at PhotoAccess a few minutes before the scheduled start time of 10am. “I won’t be surprised if the whole class is waiting for us at the teaching room,” Garry said to me as we walked back from our morning coffee. And sure enough he was right, when we arrived the entire class was waiting at the front door, a collective enthusiasm practically visible on everyone’s faces. We started off Sunday morning with a short presentation that I gave with some of my recently acquired photography books, including books published by German publisher Steidl and American publisher Nazraeli Press. I also made a presentation of my favourite photography book of all time, Sentimental Journey, Winter Journey by Araki Nobuyoshi.
Sunday was really about getting people involved in the production of their own books and Garry and I gave a lot of one-on-one tuition and guidance to participants about book size, typography, image layout and sequencing. By lunchtime on Sunday most people were well and truly into their books on a seriously involved level! Quite a few participants did not actually leave the teaching room on Sunday, preferring to have lunch at their desks and continue with their book projects. It was so great to see the dedication of the participants and how much they brought to the class. I actually had to drag Garry away so that he could have a break and some thing to eat before the final session on Sunday afternoon.
Participants Fran Steinbacher (l) and Dave Wong working on their books. Photo: Sean Davey
As four o’clock neared and the class came to a conclusion, the enthusiasm for the workshop only seemed to get stronger. We asked for some volunteers to show off their books and, while at first most people were rather shy, a few participants did indeed offer their book designs and projects to the class for review. It was a great way to see what others were doing and to offer encouragement and support to each other. Even before the workshop had ended, numerous participants approached Garry and me, expressing their gratitude and delight with the course. Undoubtedly the bookmaking workshop was a resounding success.
Workshop participants making their own books with the Blurb Book Smart software. Photo: Garry Trinh
Even as we packed up the teaching room, Garry and I continued to discuss photo books as well as the astounding success of the two-day workshop. I mentioned to Garry that PhotoAccess would definitely be interested in holding another workshop later on in the year, for which Garry was very enthusiastic.
An email received on the Monday following the workshop from participant Catherine McDonough:
Sean and Garry,
Thank you for a fabulous weekend that was productive and inspirational.
Between the two of you, you gave us an excellent overview of the photographic book today, the tools to make our own, and insight into taking, editing and selecting particular photos for a purpose.
Both Anne and I learnt so much and left on a high.
We both appreciated the energy you contributed to the workshop and hope you will do it again so others can experience the same thrill of photo books.
Thanks once again and well done.
The Photobook is having a resurgence, no doubt about it. Websites are encouraging the discussion and promotion of the photo book in various forms. This is of course fantastic for photography in an online age but one of the original goals of the photo book club was to facilitate physical meetings, much like a traditional book club.
The Photo Book Club (.org) aims to promote and enable discussion surrounding the photo book format. In particular looking at old, rare and influential photography books from the 20th century onwards.
Check out the Photo Book Meet Up happening @ PhotoAccess on 1 October 2011. Bring your favourite photo books to share and talk about as well as a plate of food so we can all leave happy and full! Even if you do not have any photobooks that you would like to bring, come along and check out what other people bring.
Time: Saturday 1 October, 2 to 4 pm
There will also be a Potluck lunch (bring a plate to share) and, if people bring them, a trade/sale table for pre-loved photography books.
This collection of short films and portraits is the result of collaborations involving Mental Illness Education ACT, PhotoAccess and Tuggeranong Arts Centre.
PhotoAccess is proud of its record in community projects and we were very pleased to work with MIEACT early in 2010 on the short film project Moving Minds assisted by generous funding from ACT Health Promotion Grants. Jenni Savigny provided artistic direction and coordinated the project for MIEACT. Ed Whalan and Katie Ryan gave creative and technical support for PhotoAccess and Barbie Robinson made the portraits shown as Mindfulness. Ultimate credit for the success of the project goes to Matt, Annie, Greg, Jenni, Charmaine, Michael, Rosie, John, Lisa, Isabel, Laurie, Jo and Jacqui whose moving and honest stories make up Moving Minds. Moving Minds is published at www.mieact.org.au
We are pleased to be able to show Moving Minds and Mindfulness in the HUW DAVIES GALLERY at the Manuka Arts Centre for Mental Health Week 2010.
Look At Me - A Video Project About Healthy Living by:
Callum Scanlain, Gary Monk, Mereana Otene-Waaka, Paris Hunter, Tanya McConvell & Therese Gibbon.
Look at ME – Look at We
At the annual Australian Health Promotion Association Conference held in Adelaide this month, the title was “Grass Roots to Global - Health Promotion in Challenging Environments” with emphasis on the significance of health promotion moving from grass roots activities out into the wider community. Some speakers turned ME into WE (by mirror reversal where M becomes W), and others used different names, but all shared the same stories of the importance of moving from small community groups and needs, outwards into our broader society.
Look at ME comes straight from the heart of our community. Members of Canberra’s public housing community made Look at ME.
Initially, the participants were asked to think and reflect on their own lives and health issues. What is good health for them? What makes for a positive life?
They received tuition in basic video camera, shooting, editing and storyboarding. With the assistance of Edwin Daughtry, they then had eight weeks to put their thoughts onto film. Sound was also to be a consideration.
The resulting film is a compilation of six individual approaches to good health.
Each participant has drawn from their own experiences and worked individually to make their film. The results are not necessarily the more common health messages of eating fruit and vegetables and going to the gym enough. They are honest and raw films that address the major health concerns of each individual film maker. Actually having the strength to get out of bed and face the day; coming to grips with emotional abuse at home; and using a dog as a positive incentive for physical exercise are just some of the themes.
Some of the films are serious, others funny, yet in viewing all the films we quickly realise that positive health is a complex individual issue in the community.
For the film makers, the making of the film has had the added result of giving them a voice to raise their own health concerns. This has both empowered and given them a sense of belonging. Their health messages have become a voice for our wider community. Good health is multi-faceted, involving social, emotional, physical and intellectual aspects. All factors need individual consideration.
The film makers hope you enjoy their film Look at ME which should really read Look at We. For all of us, continuing good health is an important and complex issue that must not be ignored.
Southside Community Services was pleased to partner again with PhotoAccess on the Look at ME project. I want to acknowledge the support and assistance of Edwin, Ed, Kerry and David and the importance of our partnership to the strong outcomes we have achieved over some years now for the community we work with.
With more than a reverential nod to Katsushika Hokusai and his 100 Views of Mt Fuji, PhotoAccess is pleased to announce its major Centenary of Canberra project, 100 Views of Canberra.
Supported by the ACT Government’s Community Centenary Initiatives Fund, 100 Views of Canberra is a project inviting Canberra region photographers to submit images showing Canberra in all of its guises—the public face, the homely, the grungy, the youthful and everything that makes our vibrant contemporary city tick.
100 images by 100 photographers will be selected for an August 2013 exhibition in the HUW DAVIES GALLERY at the Manuka Arts Centre accompanied by a high quality book.
Entries will be received from 9 July to 30 November 2012.
Terms and conditions and instructions for submitting entries, including image requirements, are in the 100 Views of Canberra information sheet you can download here.
Entry is free but entrants must be or become PhotoAccess members and agree to comply with the PhotoAccess Constitution and Code of Conduct. If you are not a current member you will need to apply for membership and pay the $20 membership fee at Enrol Now.
If you are a current member or have applied for membership and paid the membership fee you can submit one image and your brief biography and artist statement by email to 100Views@photoaccess.org.au (copy this address to your email account)
Please put 100 Views of Canberra in the subject line.
We look forward to seeing your take on the Canberra only Canberrans really know.
Conversations: Sunday 4 September, 2 to 3 pm
The first event in our new Conversations program will be on Sunday 4 September. It will focus on photography as personal documentation or photographic diary. Jocelyn Rosen (her Night and Day exhibtion opens on 25 August) and Amy Mills (No More Tears, also opening on 25 August) will be in the gallery for the discussion.
Photographer, Jamila Toderas, and our Education and Projects Manager,Sean Davey, will chair the event and all members are welcome to bring work of a similar nature to share as well as to ask questions.
Enquiries may be directed to email@example.com or by phoning him on 6295 7810 during our business hours (Tuesday to Friday 10 to 4).
FOCO 2011 is three exhibitions and a competition for photographers of all ages and levels of skill. It is an initiative of the ACT Multicultural Arts Officer (ACT Community Arts Office) supported by the ACT Government and the Australian Government’s Regional Arts Fund to help share the stories of immigrants, including the places they came from, the people they left behind and their dreams of a new life.
The exhibitions will show at Belconnen Arts Centre, Tuggeranong Arts Centre and the Civic Library from 11 February to 6 March 2011.
Two prizes are being offered: a Big Print Award ($900) and the PhotoAccess Community Award.
Entries must be submitted by 4 pm Friday 4 February 2001.
Follow the links below for more information and an entry form, or call the Multicultural Arts Officer on 6230 5994.
HUW DAVIES GALLERY 1–18 July
In 2009 PhotoAccess partnered with Billabong Aboriginal Corporation to provide skills and creative development opportunities for local Indigenous photographers. The project was supported by the ACT Government’s Strategic Indigenous Arts Development Initiative. Jennifer Martiniello was the coordinator for Billabong Aboriginal Corporation and Ed Whalan was the teacher and coordinator for PhotoAccess.
'4 Emerging Indigenous Photographers' is an exhibition by participants in that project and our third NAIDOC Week exhibition by emerging Indigenous photographers. It continues the longer program of NAIDOC Week exhibitions, including projects leading to exhibitions of digital stories, begun in 2006 and assisted under the ACT component of the Visual Arts and Craft Strategy.
The most striking feature of this exhibition is the diversity of subject interests shown by the artists, perhaps unsurprising considering their ages and backgrounds. Nic Radoll and Tyrell Kamira Sams are 15 year old school boys. Lyndy Delian and Jo Kamira are mothers with successful careers in the arts, law enforcement and business. The unifying thread is the contemporary, fresh and adventurous approach they bring to making photographs and their obvious love of colour. Some images reflect subjects and colours generally associated with Indigenous places and issues, and many do not. The artists share thoughts on photography and their motivation in the brief statements that follow. I hope we will hear and see more work from them in future PhotoAccess members and other exhibitions.
PhotoAccess is proud to present '4 Emerging Indigenous Photographers' for NAIDOC Week 2010 and acknowledges the support of the ACT Government, Billabong Aboriginal Corporation and Stephen Best from Macquarie Editions in presenting this exhibition in the HUW DAVIES GALLERY at the Manuka Arts Centre.
Image: Kerry Baylor, 'Breach'
This limited edition print portfolio is 16 images donated by artists associated with PhotoAccess as board members, board advisors, staff, course tutors and exhibiting members to commemorate the PhotoAccess 25th Anniversary in September 2009.
Macquarie Editions printed the portfolio with UltraChrome HDR pigment inks on 310 gsm Canson Infinity BFK Rives 100% rag in a numbered edition of 25, with one artist’s proof.
Boxed sets have been acquired by private collectors and Canberra Museum and Art Gallery. Seven boxed sets remain for sale. Images numbered 11 to 20/25 are for sale individually and a number have been acquired by private collecors.
Proceeds from the sale of the edition help PhotoAccess continue its work providing community access to the photo based arts through exhibitions, courses and special projects.
The portfolio would not have been possible without our supporters.
Stephen Best is a PhotoAccess member, master digital printmaker and owner of Macquarie Editions. His first solo exhibition, Coast, was shown in the HUW DAVIES GALLERY in 2007. Stephen has printed a significant number of exhibition images for PhotoAccess members and other artists around Australia and is renowned for the quality of his work.
Abell’s Kopi Tiam Restaurant at Manuka
Lorna Sim is a partner in Abell’s Kopi Tiam restaurant and a long-standing member of PhotoAccess. She and Abell Ong have supported and shown photography in the restaurant for many years and are very pleased to be associated with PhotoAccess and the commemorative print portfolio.
Barbie Robinson is a member and staff member of PhotoAccess. Her exhibition 256 Shades of Grey was shown in the HUW DAVIES GALLERY in 2005. She is supporting the edition in memory of her mother, Beb Bartholomew. Beb came to openings at PhotoAccess and sat happily in 'her' chair at the front desk sipping champagne and people-watching. She loved encouraging and supporting people she saw as 'having a go'. She had a special affection for PhotoAccess, observing a supportive environment for both its staff and its artists. Ed Whalan was her particular pin-up boy because of his role in introducing Barbie to the intricacies and boundless delights of photography.
HUW DAVIES GALLERY 6–15 July 2008
An exhibition during NAIDOC week by emerging Indigenous Photographer Otis Williams.
Opening Sunday 6th of July from 2pm
Exhibition runs until July 15
River by Jenni Kemarre Martiniello, Wiradjuri Echoes by Duncan Smith and Telling My Story by Renee Smith is the second NAIDOC Week exhibition in a PhotoAccess program helping Indigenous artists to develop skills in digital storytelling.
Our aim is to assist artists to take their work and stories to wider audiences.
The program is assisted by funding from the ACT component of the Visual Arts and Craft Strategy, an initiative of the Australian, ACT and other State and Territory Governments.
Jenni Kemarre Martiniello is an award winning poet, writer, visual artist and academic of Arrernte, Chinese and Anglo-Celtic descent. She was awarded the Canberra Critics Circle Award 2000 for Literature, and was an ACT Creative Arts Fellow for 2003. Jenni has published five books and her poetry, prose and essays have been published nationally and internationally.
Duncan Smith is a Wiradjuri Man from the Wellington/Dubbo area of Central Western New South Wales. Wiradjuri Echoes, Duncan’s Digital Story is about connection to family—past, present and future.
Renee Smith’s traditional country is around Tingha in New South Wales. This is her maternal grandmother’s country, the Anaiwan/Gamilaroi. Her father is from the Wiradjuri tribe which spans western New South Wales and parts of Victoria.
Ed Whalan was the tutor and project coordinator for PhotoAccess. Neville O’Neill, ACT Indigenous Arts Officer, provided project support.
PhotoAccess is pleased to present River by Jenni Kemarre Martiniello, Wiradjuri Echoes by Duncan Smith and Telling My Story by Renee Smith in the HUW DAVIES GALLERY during NAIDOC Week 2007.
The Tocumwal Archive is a collection of stories and photographs, about living in the houses that were moved from the Tocumwal air force base in New South Wales, to the Canberra suburb of O'Connor. The base was built during the Second World War as an inland defence against Japanese invasion. As camouflage, the sleeping quarters for air force personnel were built in the form of houses. After the War, the acute housing shortage in Canberra gave the houses a new purpose. From the late 1940s, about 200 of them were transported to the growing suburbs of Ainslie and O'Connor. In O'Connor they were located in two groups of four cul-de-sacs meeting at a central park and bounded by Macarthur, Macpherson, Miller and Tate Streets. The area is listed as an Australian Capital Territory (ACT) heritage precinct. Collection for the Archive began in 1996 with a PhotoAccess project supported by the ACT Heritage Council. Stories and photographs are archived according to the donor's name. Ongoing community collection and maintenance of the Archive is encouraged. The Archive is open for research use and the contribution of material at the ACT Heritage Library in the Woden Town Library. The Tocumwal Archive website is hosted by PhotoAccess and was initiated as part of Party in the Park , a 2005 ACT Heritage Festival event co-ordinated by Northside Community Service. It features a fraction of the material held in the Archive.
For privacy reasons house numbers and full names are not included with recent stories and photographs featured on the website.