Printing A PLAIN VIEW

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It all began with making the exposures beginning in January of 2017  

I made my last exposure for the series in Hedley, Texas off Highway 287 on April 2, 2017

Just two months later I was exhibiting prints from the series in Fort Worth, and a month after that in Austin

Following some trips to Los Angeles later that summer, I started working on the layout of the book back home in Texas, which took about five or so weeks 

Once the image flow was there, my friend and fellow photographer Steve Reeves and I began the arduous process of proof printing, for which we used his Epson 9900 pigment inkjet printer 

Getting everything right for book presentation took us about four weeks 

The proof prints are what we used to compare the offset prints to. They are the ‘guide,’ and so to get everything right with the proofs was important 

When the book page sheets come off the press (in this case, McCoy 100# matte text stock), they are placed on a slanted table and visible by daylight-balanced overhead lights  

It is there that we do our side-by-side comparisons; the book pages against our proof prints  

Any corrections happen there, with the pressman making whatever necessary adjustments for better correlation between any given print and its corresponding proof

A new run would then be made and we’d compare again 

Until it fit

I’d ‘ok’ the sheet and we’d wait for the pages to be printed and the next section of the book to be prepped for printing (about an hour downtime)  

Printing took about a week-and-a-half, and I was present for every last sheet 

We finished printing February 10

The pages were then transported from the printing plant in Dallas to the bindery in San Antonio, where I would oversee that process 

It was important that this book be made in the U.S., and specifically Texas, where all the photographs were made. With so many photography and art books being outsourced, my plan is to keep all FP book production in the States 

It makes books more expensive, but it’s worth it to me. It’s worth keeping book-making in my own backyard where I can oversee each stage of the, as I’ve learned, very involved process 

It’s been a busy run, this project, and a year in the making. And a lot learned and digested on the book-making end of things

This is to date my most fulfilled publication as a photographer and I’m quite proud of the outcome

And so I appreciate the support

The first edition of the book is made up of 2000 copies: 200 hardcover with slipcase and companion 8 x 10 print (sold out), and 1800 softcover (available next month)

The meat of the two books is identical, with only the covers being different  

The book is 12 x 10, 180 pages, and 111 photographs selected from the nearly 300 I made over the course of my twenty-five days roaming Texas  

All photographs were made with expired 4 x 5 Kodak color films and my Graflex Speed Graphic view camera  

From the beginning of dreaming up Film Photographic (@filmphotographic) as being some platform or another for film photography/photographers, I knew I’d eventually start publishing under the FP name. Thrilled it’s now happening. Many more books to come, and featuring a variety of photographers 

Thank you again for your investment in what we’re doing with Film Photographic  

(photo by Daniel Driensky) 

Jason LeeComment