Saturday, May 16, 2015

Picture Perfect

To color or not to color. That is the question.

True, color photographs add a dimension to a book that black and whites can't. But also true, color photographs add cost. When the fly fishing book ended up 194 pages, the cost of publishing in color tripled over the cost of publishing in black and white.

Decisions, decisions, decisions.

To color or not to color.

We chose not.

To begin with, our book is about story, life stories of these twenty-eight men, not that color photographs wouldn't enhance their stories. But since several members of earlier generations had only black and white photographs, a fraction of the pictures would be in black and white anyway.

Cap Wiese

There is a certain air of distinction in old black and white photographs. The photograph of Cap Wiese came to us only in black and white, so we had no choice.

Cecil Harman

Look at these two photographs, the same ones of fly fisherman, Cecil Harman in Gunnison, Colorado...Black and white vs color.

When color is removed, you see the person and the story and not all the peripheral trimmings. It is almost a truer picture.

Well, that theory usually works. Look at the two versions of this photograph that didn't make the book in the end. It's of a group floating down the Green River in Utah. On the bank is a deer. 
See it? Or did you have to find it first in the color version?

The overwhelming majority of photographs we used in the book are personal snapshots the fishermen had taken of them in action as opposed to professional portraits. We did that on purpose. We wanted organic, natural. That we got. Even the posed photographs of the men holding the catch of the day are Kodak Moment glimpses into the story of their lives. 

When it was all said and done, our decision was to keep the price at an affordable level, ten dollars. After all, the purpose of publishing this book was to tell the life story of these men. If the cost is extraordinarily high, then fewer people would purchase it. And fewer people would read it. And the stories don't get told.

These stories are too precious to sit on a shelf in a bookstore.

Just saying.

Catch of the day,


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