What an Endless Book is and why I do it
In summer 2016 I came along the idea of an Endless Book. The point is to make a complete illustration every week of the year and in the end get the whole book. Illustrations can be made by computer, photographs, watercolors, crayons, markers, paper or clay, or be any kind of collage or scrapbook pages. The important condition is: the illustration on the previous page has to follow into the next page illustration without the visible seams or rough blends.
I loved this idea very much but didn’t dare to start. I looked at the shots made by a Russian still life photographer Dina Belenko and admired how many details are in her photos, how thoroughly she captures them. Her photographs always tell super interesting stories. I thought, what a beauty, it’s such a pity I don’t have all those tiny jars, vintage scissors, and other objects. Now I understand that the main point that kept me from starting then was longing to have THE SAME detailed picture as Dina. But it would be plagiarism for sure.
So last week I dared to do the project no matter what. I want to develop myself in seeing and manipulating still life shots. This type of photography is a U-turn for me who’s been involved in shooting portraits, events and landscapes and cityscapes for several years. I may not have a lot of beautiful stuff, like vintage cups or spoons, small paper airplanes or dinosaurs. I even don’t have a professional lightning system. The props I don’t have I’ll compose in Photoshop or make myself, for example of paper. The things I have right now I’ll put to work. That’s it. Nothing stops me now. Even my fantasy had created a number of ideas right when I felt I CAN do it.
Finding a theme for the Endless Book
I’ve been thinking about the theme for several days. Illustrations for a book? A song? Songs of an artist? Thought about Nightwish and Offspring which are my favorite music bands. But then I realized that what I really want to shoot is everyday objects that are among us. The word “among” stuck to my mind and then transformed to the theme “Realms Among Us”. Then I had a thought that it would be fun to try to picture something abstract, something a human eye doesn’t catch, something that we know and feel through our imagination and mental perception.
That was the turning point for me finally to shape the theme: “Realms Inside Us”. What’s inside us, human beings? Well, let’s not talk about organs and tissues but more about abstract stuff :D. What we feel, how we feel, how we think…
I’ll picture emotions, states of mind, for example, passion for exploring, curiosity, romantic stuff, etc. With the help of ordinary material things that surround us in everyday life I’ll show the immaterial side of a human being, each of us separately and all of us simultaneously.
Dared a huge challenge
I’m going to make and publish one photo a week, for the whole year, so that’ll be 52 pages of “Endless Book: Realms Inside Us”.
I do realize it’ll be a hard path for me to learn still life shooting since I’m a portrait and event photographer. I also need to learn Photoshop much deeper to be able to add composite pieces. This project is a huge challenge for me. But I now have a strong passion for doing that. I also dream of a photo exhibition in the end of the project.
So here’s the first picture for the project: “Hunting for an Idea”.
Backstage: The world didn’t stop when the lamp fell down
Some backstage info. When I started shooting I thought I had decided which result I want to have and how to achieve that. But it turned into almost 5 hours of experimenting with light and props. A big halogen lamp that was put on a chair that was itself on the table, so when I hooked the lamp wire and the lamp successfully fell down… Ugh… But then it continued working and the world didn’t stop spinning :)
Tips for further shooting: plan the position of light carefully beforehand!
The next photo will be in a week. Stay tuned :) You can subscribe to new posts via the form in the block to the right of this text. Or follow me on social media: the icons are at the very bottom of the page.