The Making of the #PhotobookDay Posters

Once again for World Photobook Day Bonifacio Barrio Hijosa has created some fantastic artwork which celebrates and reimagines Anna Atkins cyanotypes. Here Boni describes the process and asks anyone who downloads the zine or poster to share what they make (#PhotobookDay).

Download the zine here (now with instructions on folding also)
Download the poster here 

Sin tÌtulo-2

Anna Atkins’ cyanotypes are so powerful images, it seemed clear from the very first moment we should do something with them to catch the attention of anyone, to celebrate this day with us. It had to be an homage to her work.

And now it’s impossible to avoid them. So it get hader and harder to think on a poster to announce this DIY world wide event. As I was stuck with the impossibility of doing something new (well, in that moment I thought that), I started to play with the last thing I made last year. I was asked to vectorize some of the seaweed to make the poster for our local activity in the Library of Fine Arts Faculty, and I vectorized forty three seaweed. They only used a dozen or so.

I gathered them altogether and as I pass the cursor over, the outlines started sparkling. There you have this black gif.

After this childish exercise, with the outlined seaweed on the screen, it came to me the idea of putting them altogether in a way someone could cut them to, I don’t know, decorate their room. And old Burda magazines came to mind very fast. Burda is still a magazine you can buy for making your clothes through patterns. And old DIY way to dress yourself and your kids.

I was used to see them at home, as my mother was very fond of them. If you ever see the central posters spread with all those different lines shaped with circles, triangles, etc, you will understand they are an image you are not going to forget so easily.

So I had the idea, spread all these forty three seaweed outlines on a big paper and make a zine with it. It will be one for anyone to download and print it, if you are able to find the place to plot an A1. Well, that was not the problem at that moment, but to find a burda magazine to copy all these different line shapes, as my mother didn’t keep them. Finally I dismiss this possibilty (I’m still can’t understand how they drew all those lines), and concentrate on making the poster to announce the day.

I don’t know how many of you will download it and try to print it, and how many of those will be able to trace any individual seaweed and what they could do with them… still wondering, so if any of you finish yourself drowned in paper seaweed, could be nice someone make a picture of it and share it on social media :)

– boni

Posted in INDEPTH | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

World Photobook Day in Manila!

Great news from Thousandfold in Manila, Philippines who will be celebrating the anniversary of the first photobook with book launches, an inaugural photobook club meeting and a bunch more. You can find out about the event and RSVP here…

Along with the rest of the world, Thousandfold, as the first photobook library in Manila, invites you to join in celebrating The Photobook, born in 1843. October 14th marks the anniversary of the purchase by the British Museum of the first known photobook: Photographs of British algae. Cyanotype impressions, by Anna Atkins.

Posted in EVENTS, MEET-UPS | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

World Photobook Day in Coventry

To celebrate World Photobook Day in Coventry we will be hosting a book club meeting at the University on 14th Oct with photobook dummies and photobook favourites. The latest ‘box of dummies’ will be in attendance and I am asking folks to bring along their favourite photobook.

The event is open to all but there will be a limit on numbers so please rsvp to

Ellen Terry Building
Coventry University
6pm – 8pm then pub

Posted in EVENTS | Tagged , | Leave a comment

‘My favourite Photobook’ exhibiiton

As part of the festivities Doug Spowart and Victoria Cooper are organising for World Photobook day in Brisbane, they are asking for participation from photobook lovers the world over. Here is how you can get involved…

Throughout the day at MAUD CREATIVE we will present an exhibition featuring the covers of the favourite photobooks selected by photographers from all over the country. Alongside the print of the photobook cover will be a ‘Why I like this book’ statement and a portrait of the photographer reading the book in their favourite place.

To participate in this exhibition all you need to do is contribute by sending to us the following:

  • A photo of your favourite photobook’s cover
  • A photo of you reading the book in a place special to you – in bed, a comfy chair, in the backyard under a tree, at work or in a bath!! (A photobook selfie)
  • A few words, a paragraph (or two) maybe, as to why you like this book

You can use any technology to make the photos and any style or no-style – keep it as simple or as complex as you like.

We will print out these photos and your statement and Blu-tacked to the gallery wall for the duration of the World Photobook Day’s activities. This material may also be formed into a print-on-demand photobook as a record of the event. The book cover images may be selected for inclusion in a photobook-making project that will take place on the day. Some images and texts may be used on social media to celebrate the event.

Should you accept our invitation we will need:

  • Your book cover and portrait photos
  • JPEGS @ 300ppi, compression ‘8’
  • Image size around 13x18cm
  • The text file can be a Microsoft Word or a text file written into the email

Email images and text to <> by Sunday, October 11, 2015.  

Cheers , Doug

Posted in EVENTS, EXHIBITION | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The Photobook Club Rochester ( #RochesterPBC )

Rikard Osterlund and Tracey Affleck have just launched the Photobook Club Rocherster with an opening night on October 15th at INTRA. The event is free but sign up required here. More information from Rikard below…

Come along to an informal evening all about photo books. This is the first of what we are hoping will become a monthly get-together where you might be inspired by something you haven’t seen before.

To kick things off we will talk about ‘The Americans’, Robert Frank’s groundbreaking book from 1958. You are welcome to BYOP (Bring Your Own Photobook – bought or made) for everyone to look at and chat about. Anyone with an interest in the photobook format is welcome.

Date: Thursday 15th October
Time: 20.00-22.00 (turn up a bit earlier)
Location: INTRA, 337 – 341 High Street, Rochester, Kent ME1 1DA
Hashtag away on social media #PhotoBC #RochesterPBC

We have been wanting to do this for a long time and can’t wait to get a group of likeminded people together.

The organisers:

Rikard Österlund is a freelance photographer with an irrational love for photobooks, with many years experience as a photography lecturer at UCA and London College of Fashion.

Tracy Affleck is a photographer/artist and educational facilitator who works primarily with found photographs.

Posted in EVENTS, MEET-UPS, NEWS | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

World Photobook Day 2015

The day is almost upon us – October 14th, World Photobook Day. For the past few years all sorts of events have taken place to mark the anniversary of Anna Atkins ‘Photographs of British Algae’ and the birth of the photobook. This year is no exception, already Doug Spowart and Victoria Cooper have organised a great day at Maud Creative in Brisbane as well as encouraging all to share photobook selfies (#PhotobookDay). Bonifacio Barrio Hijosa has created the most awesome gif for the day…

…and I will be running an event in Coventry which is open to as many as can fit in the room (email ). There will be other events popping up all over the shop but right now there is something you can do.

I saw this and thought of you” – Share your books

It is easy to excite fellow photobook nerds with the contents of my bookshelf. Much harder to interest my colleagues, family and friends who have little interest in the medium itself – though I try, often. Many times my waxing lyrical about design and production falls on deaf ears – not that this suggests a need for further discussion and education – a more powerful force is at work here. The books that resonate are those that the reader likes – straight up – likes. It might be the project, it might be the book, it might be the photographs or the cover – who cares.

When I manage to excite someone with a photobook, someone for whom the photobook is not the perfect medium of artistic expression, I have achieved something. Not only in extending the reach of the photobook, bringing work to a new audience, but also in overcoming my own photobook snobbery. I still get something from this encounter too – the book in question might have fallen out favour and found itself relegated to the edges of the shelf, but hearing someone speaking about it passionately, and unfettered by judgement helps remind me why I bought it in the first place.

So, this photobook day, spread the love by sharing something you think someone will like, not something you think they should like. Oh, and if you get a chance, let us know the book you chose and what the reaction was #PhotobookDay.

Posted in EVENTS | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

I like it, what is it? Ron Jude’s ‘Lago’

Disclosure note: I requested and received a review copy of Lago from the publishers, MACK

Ron Jude’s ‘Lago’ is a bit of a mystery to me, but one in which intrigue manages to outweigh frustration. Putting aside the typical blurb/statement that either whets your whistle or grinds your gears for its high score on the bullshit meter…

If one considers these traces to be a coded language of some sort, Jude’s act of photographing and piecing them together becomes a form of cryptography – like a poetic archeology that, rather than attempting to arrive at something conclusive, looks for patterns and rhythms that create congruity out of the stuttering utterances of the visible world.


… the work itself is really worth a look. There are few similarities with Lick Creek Line, at least in relation to sequence and rhythm of the book, instead it might bring to mind Gregory Halpern’s ‘A’ – seemingly disjointed, somewhat claustrophobic and reading a little like the stream-of-consciousness-style books we have seen becoming popular of late. What interests me most in the photobook are the separations of images, structure of the book and the repetitions of subjects and image styles – as I spent time with the work I felt more and more that the order dictated by Western reading (left to right) was a convenience as apposed to necessity.


This book read like the internet – loosely structured and waiting for connections to be imposed. Saying this, it is certainly not as try-hard in its random nature as the likes of Roe Ethridge – Jude has, through recognisable American photographic tropes and attention to shape, texture and colour, given small links and suggestions throughout. It is though, the sound recordings that accompany the book made by Joshua Bonnetta that really bring it to life…

Accessed via a download from the MACK site, these two soundscapes (a side A and B) offer an immersive experience, giving voice to characters suggested in images and overlaying what I can only describe as a more ‘homely’ and relatable narrative onto the rather desolate images. The recordings pose so many questions about ‘reading’ that it is hard to know where to start or whether I should even be attempting to answer them – for starters, each recording is just over 20 minutes – am I taking shortcuts by spending less time with the book? The two sides – should I read the book one time with each? Sides A and B – reminding me perhaps to flip the book – start one at one end and one at another? Should headphones be used? How important are these recordings? The must be downloaded from a link so they automatically remove us from an isolating experience with the book.


I appreciate some of these questions are stupid, the use of the audio is of course open to interpretation, but some discussion surely must be present. Not least for me because my burning question from the Lago experience is – what is it? The experience I had in reading and listening was greater than the parts – but it was also disruptive as I navigated the book and sometimes skipped sections of audio on the computer. I wonder why this isn’t a photofilm, and then I wonder whether a photofilm would have held attention for the time the book does.

I found this a really exciting project and one which I really hope will generate some lively discussion both from readers and from those involved in the publication itself.

Posted in BOOKS, REVIEW | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Lessons from Morocco

I spent the first weekend of the month running a Photobook workshop in Casablanca, Morocco with a great group of students. Some of these participants were photographers, some had studied at art schools, some were passionate amateurs but all were super engaged and I learned a lot…

Images by Daniel Donnelly


The desire to make is great
– while there is some critique of a maker culture which undervalues curation and debate in favour of production, it was clear that the transition from screen to paper and images into book brought about genuine excitement.


Sometimes sharing is separating
– Daniel Donnelly (with whom I ran the workshop) and I were keen to involve an online and social element to the project –  to tweet particular moments, Facebook particular questions etc – a way to engage with communities beyond the room. It was apparent though that this took away from the intense experience of the session, removed participants and their attention – it was instead used as refference and record for the ‘real life’ experience. We didn’t push it, and I now notice how these spaces have become a great repository – extending the project longitudinally.


Competition isn’t healthy
– competition pushes us, it is a useful element of the learning process – I call bullshit – it was so refreshing to see people truly pleased for one another and their works. I want to find out how to inject some of this into an education system that constantly seeks to place people in competition – either by age, institution, or through high fees and low employment options.

These were exciting books
– it is hard to say without appearing patronising, getting giddy over the exotic or promoting the location-based photobook mining we have seen over the last ten years BUT these were exciting books. Techniques and structures were used without knowledge of their reference to previous works – they were used as they were appropriate. Images were treated as possibilities in the book and the book was treated as a possibility for the images.

11952006_10206688515225138_2471930423207877283_nThese folks would love some books
– it isn’t easy to come by photobooks in Casablanca, in fact it is almost impossible, yet their is a community hungry to see new works and old. I have been sending books to Morocco for some time, and will continue to do so, but maybe think about the next time you send out X% of your edition to reviewers and collectors – send some to a library, community or school – it will likely be far more useful.

Posted in EVENTS, NEWS, REFLECTION, THOUGHTS ON BOOKS | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment