I made this small book of 16 photographs as a personal portfolio project. It’s a selection of images from work that has been in progress for some time. After I posted this on Flickr, some of my contacts asked if they could buy a copy. I’m honoured that others would find this project interesting and I have been happy to make copies for them. Recently, Warren in Australia asked for more details about how I made the book.
This small book is printed on 13″x19” Red River Paper Aurora Art White. This is 100% cotton rag fine art photo paper. It is an acid-free, semi-smooth paper that is 13.5mil thick and is rated as 250gsm (grams per square meter) weight. This is very heavy paper, card stock would probably be a more accurate description.
I like the way photographs print on this paper. It absorbs a lot of ink and produces a sense of dimension in the final print with its subtle depth and detail. Glossy papers seem to print with the ink sitting “on” the paper surface. I prefer the impression of depth that this matte paper provides.
Red River Paper’s Aurora seems to have the right balance of weight and flexibility. The weight and stiffness of this paper give the book durability and eliminate the need to make a separate cover to protect flimsy pages. At the same time, there is enough flexibility to allow the paper to be folded and stitched. This is Red River’s best paper.
I print with a high resolution Canon Pro 9000 MkII inkjet printer using Canon’s Chromalife 100 ink system. This ink combines the attributes of excellent longevity, durability when handled, and stable vibrant colour under a variety of viewing conditions. For me, this seems the best choice for making books.
Images are edited and processed using Adobe Lightroom and a large wide gamut monitor. Original digital image files from my cameras range from 18MB to 33MB. Lightroom is used for layout design and the calibrated output is sent to the printer. Images are printed two-up on both sides of a 13”x19” sheet. Because this paper absorbs so much ink, I usually allow up to an hour of drying time before printing the second side.
After the pages are printed, each sheet is scored with a bone folder and perforated with an awl to allow for the stitching. Sheets are then folded and assembled in their final sequence. Traditional bookbinding uses linen thread which is available in a variety of thicknesses. I have been using a fine #40/3 Egyptian cotton thread that has excellent strength and a pure white tone that matches the paper. I do the stitching with moderate tension while the book is partially folded.
After the book is stitched, the binding is clamped for several hours until ready for the final stage of trimming page edges. One slight disadvantage of using heavy paper is that its thickness makes the page edges protrude after they are stitched. I trim them to create a more finished final product.
The Bonavista Peninsula is on the east coast of the island portion of the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador. John Cabot made landfall here in his discovery voyage of 1497 and claimed “Terre Nova” for King Henry VII and Church of England. Some of Newfoundland’s oldest permanent settlements are in this area.
I find this area quietly beautiful with its rugged coastal landscape and the simple architecture of its homes, churches and outbuildings. My images try to portray a sense of this special place.
Bonavista can be ordered here