Friday, October 21, 2011

Five Things I Discovered While Making This Book......

©Dianne Poinski
As I patiently (not really....) wait for the first copy of "simple grace" to arrive, I want to share a few thoughts and feelings that popped up while I was gathering the photographs that appear in this book.

The collection of 41 images, all made in the last fifteen years, were created using two different processes. Because of this, the book is split into two parts.

The first part represents the period of time I shot film, printed in the darkroom and hand colored with Marshall oil paints. Digital images, hand colored with PanPastels, are featured in the second half.

It was fun to look back and see where things had changed and where they had remained the same. Here is a list of 5 discoveries I made along the way:

#1 - I have always liked to photograph the backs of flowers................

©Dianne Poinski

©Dianne Poinski

#2 - I really like this blue vase..........................

©Dianne Poinski

©Dianne Poinski

 #3 - You have a much broader array of flowers to photograph if you are not doing art festivals from March until October. Looking over my older photographs, I noticed a lot of tulip, hydrangea and orchid images. These flowers could be purchased in most stores during the winter months of January and February - which is when I did most of my shooting "back in the day". I was too busy getting ready for shows during the spring and summer to notice the wide variety of potential subjects available, not just in the stores, but all around the neighborhood. The list of flowers missing from my portfolio during this time include: peonies, sunflowers, morning glories, poppies, echinacea and fresh roses from the backyard (you cannot compare store bought roses to cut garden roses - EVER).

©Dianne Poinski


#4 - I wish I had a scanner 15 years ago. Many of my early images were never photographed. It wasn't until decent scanners became affordable that I was able to document finished work quickly and easily. Quite a few did make it into the copy stand and photographed, but just as many did not.

#5 - Finally, scheduling a gallery show is a great motivator. If I had not had that show in September, I might still be photographing, hand coloring and saying "maybe next year".  Instead I am waiting for the FedEx truck with anticipation and a little bit of fear.

By next week the book will have been delivered and I might even be ready to "put it out there". It will totally depend on what this first copy looks like............


  1. Nice idea, I'm looking forward to it.

    Where have you printed it, is it a Blurb-Book?

  2. Thanks Birgit! Yes - it will be a "Blurb Book".

  3. Dear Dianne,

    Technology today has changed much of what I do and yet I look back with some nostalgia to the darkroom days. Yet I am also a firm believer that we can merge both of these processes for some incredible prints.

    In an email you wrote that you used Blurb's book design and not inDesign to lay out your publication and was surprised by this. I would like to know more about any adjustments that were necessary on your part in order to achieve the desired results. ALso did you go paperback or hardbound?

    Since you posted this today, I can only imagine that your class yesterday was a complete success as I knew it would be.

    Take care and get a little rest or the stress of waiting for the UPS truck will wear you down.

    Warmest regards,

  4. I enjoyed your reflection on process Dianne--so interesting to look back and see your own footsteps, as it were--or in this case, the backs of flowers! I feel like there is so much personal value in this, i.e., your observation about the type of flowers you bought because of prepping for shows. I am excited to see the book--will it be for sale this December?

  5. What a wonderful process to look back over your work! Real beauties here.

    I know what you mean about scanners - even if you had one though, you may have been disappointed. I had an expensive one, but it was hard scanning oversized work and even the expensive ones weren't as good as the cheap ones now! It really was so much harder back then getting our work documented and seen, wasn't it? I was just digging through my negatives and chromes and ran across envelopes of 4x5 negs of my work - and even then, they just didn't capture the delicate nuances of hand-colored work and then paying for a drum scan of the 4x5—outrageous!

    Technology today has opened things up so much. I feel like an old fogey saying this - but people starting in photography today, just can't imagine how hard it was to do simple things even like putting text with an image! oops, I'm slipping into a side rant here. ;-)

    It really is wonderful to see you continuing with hand coloring and using today's technology so creatively.