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Source Magazine: Thinking Through Photography - Blog Posts - Innocent Landscapes Revisited - Edit Update II - Posted by David Farrell: Mon 06 Sep 2010.

Posted by David Farrell

"Nature is never finished" (Robert Smithson). The first draft arrived promptly early last week and I have been musing without much amusement since. Its always interesting that even though one might work with paper proofs at the correct final size a strange translation occurs when paper gets bound and ideas become a physical reality in book form. Inevitably one questions what language was being spoken before the binding but lets start with a positive. The colour and reproduction is reasonably good and I would advise anyone hoping to use the Blurb method to read the colour management section on their site before embarking. One small gripe is that above 60 leaves one cannot use the premium paper so the stock is light and easily creased but I was aware of this. Presumably this is due to binding issues.

Overall there are a number of niggles that I have already returned to rewire. One of my concerns with this draft is the limitations of working within the templates provided by Blurb - (Note to self – learn InDesign over the dark winter nights) - although that said some of the mistakes are simply due to my incorrect sizing of images as either too big or too small within the sequence, as well as some basic sequencing issues. Perhaps the main problem, and always the universal problem, is the fact that there are possibly too many images and yet this is made difficult to address by the fact that duration is one of the key themes of this work so one needs a certain weight in each season. I have already trimmed a number and moved some around and I will run the printed version by some readers to see if there are repeating comments and observations and if any of them align to some of the changes already applied.

I have also modified the text section due to some possible recent developments (next posting) so overall the deck has been shuffled to some extent. Apologies if this is a bit dry and factual but talking about a book draft in this manner is a bit like the hearing a funny story you don't laugh at – you had to be there. One option I do have is to radically remove the scaffolding of the season narrative and prune like feck – it is certainly worth a look but I must be careful as while less is more, sometimes less is a lost opportunity, particularly in a work that attempts to explore almost an entire year digging and scraping a patch of bog for an elusive secret that is presumed to be true. For who knows where truth lies until one finds it. I remember thinking a year or two after the publication of Innocent Landscapes had I, with my so called documentary truth, photographed a big lie? or had time layered the living memory of those involved in these events with brambles and ferns making honest recall an impossibility. So in the current parlance of grades and grade inflation my first attempt is an F+. A fail but I feel good about it. For who knows where truth lies until one finds it and there is always the autumn repeats I will have another go, I will keep returning until they stop returning.

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