A week or two ago I bought Sean Tucker’s Collection IV. If you don’t know who Sean Tucker is you should really go to his YouTube channel and watch a few videos. The important videos are not the “how-to” videos but the ones where he discusses various things surrounding photography … and life in general.
The book consists of 90 photos from last year, 45 b&w and 45 colour. The photos are presented one per page without caption, so you’re free to interpret them as you want. There are also a few quotes between the photos, not many but a few.
So, what do I think about the photos? Some of them are excellent, they make me start thinking about how I can take ideas from them and play with composition & exposure. Many of the photos are also good lessons in learning to see the images that are all around us but that we usually ignore simply because we don’t “see” them. There are a few photos that I don’t feel any connection to and my reaction is mainly “Meh”, but that is perfectly OK. It’s Sean book, he has selected the photos and I don’t have to like all of them, they speak to him, but they don’t need to speak to me.
I like this book and buying it is, in my opinion, well-spent money (I bought Collection III last year) and I’ll probably buy this year’s collection if he decides to make one.
I think the perhaps most lesson from this book isn’t stuff like composition, exposure, etc. For me, the most important lesson is that we should all do something with the photos we take. Instead of just leaving the photos on your computer/phone, it’s way more fun to do something with them. You could publish them on a website like this one, but even more fun is to make prints or books. Last year I did three or four photo books, and it was really fun, the process of selecting what photos that should be in the book, figure out in which order they should be presented and finally the layout is really fun. I’m not very good at it, but it’s very fun. I hope I’m able to create at least three more books this year.
One person with strong opinions of photo books is Daniel Milnor who works at Blurb and if you watch his YouTube channel you will get some motivation for making your own photo books.