Final Piece/ Evaluation

Today I finally finished my final piece! As I said in my critical analysis I had to stick the two sides together as I was unable to print double sided at the size I wanted to. This was a bit of a pain and I was a bit worried about how it was going to turn out. However this worked better than I originally thought it would. Obviously it would of been neater and to a more professional standard if I was able to print double sided but with the time left when I was ready to print I was unable to shop around and find a better place. If I had more time I definitely would of done this, this would of made my book a lot thinner and therefore easier to fold.

I feel that my final piece reflects what I wanted within my project and definitely reflects on borders which is the theme that I have been exploring within international cultures in the UK. The pages of my book are printed on matte paper and the covers printed on a slightly thicker paper, still matte. This is quite hard to tell due to the thickness of the book after having stuck the two sides together but ideally the cover would be a obviously thicker, however it is also slightly textured so my intentions are clear. By making an accordion book this can act as a symbol for this as it can be presented both in the book form or standing up like a border. I tried other styles of book such as Japanese stab binding before coming to the conclusion that this book would work better. Although the stab bound book was neat, and probably easier to make with the time I had left and problems I had at the print bureau I decided to take on the challenge because overall this style was better suited to my project and I believed this was a stronger piece. I am happy I made this decision, and happy with my over all final piece as well.

I think the images in my book flow well, the way I have designed the two sides there is no clear start and finish, however I like this as it means I am not dictating to the audience what to think or where to start their experience. To enhance this I have decided not to include any text within the book, I was originally planning to do this at the end, but as there is no true end I have no way to make sure it isn’t read first. By not including text I think that I am allowing the audience to make their own opinions on the work and not have mine pressured onto them. However, I feel like if I was to do this project again I would have to find some way to include something especially if it was mass produced. I haven’t been able to find a solution to this, as I don’t want to effect the book and break the images up by including text. I have played around with having a slip, like Paul Gaffney’s however this just did exactly what I didn’t want and broke up the front cover. I feel like the audience do need some information, but after they have looked at the book, I am unsure of how I can do this when I am just giving in a book as my final piece. However, I found a way to include some information without giving it all away.  If this was being exhibited this could be changed as I could almost control when the audience was reading the information. The title of my book is ‘Life Within’ this gives a suggestion of borders, communities, and edges, but doesn’t give it all away, therefore the audience will have to elaborate on the title whilst looking through the book. I solved the problem of cutting the image on the front and back cover in half by using acetate instead of normal paper. This is transparent so you can still see all of the image with the title on top of it, on the back I used the Chinese translation of my title, this obviously linking it to the Chinese and in this case Chinatowns.As the book reads, one side is what I thought the border was, this then leads onto what I found on the other side of the border, this can however be read the other way and still makes perfect sense. This plays on the thought that a border can be approached by both sides.

Considering how my project has evolved since being give the 5 initial category’s, I am happy with how I have managed my time and created my final piece. Time is a big issue, any projects done to a professional standard time is no issue, however being at university there will always be a time limit, and not a particularly long one either. I haven’t however struggled to finish my work and I think its at a good standard too. By creating a timetable as part of my project proposal, this really helped, I made sure that I stuck to it by booking my train tickets when I had planned to shoot, this helped me stick to the timings that I wanted to, this helped me finish my project with plenty of time spare. When researching my project I struggled to find photographers looking at a similar subject area, however looking back on this I don’t think it is necessarily a bad thing, this allowed me to create my own project and not just copy, intentionally or not, what I was already seeing. Instead I looked at photographers that were studying one place in particular and the ways in which they did this, for example: Jeffrey Stockbridge (Kensington Blues), Trent Parke (minutes to midnight) and Anders Petersen (Cafe Lehmitz).

There are some imperfections in my book which I wish were’t there, for example on the join where I had to stick the two halves together. There is also some excess glue which has some how got onto a few of my pages in my book, this just looks messy, I didn’t however have time to reprint or redo my book. This could have been avoided if I had made a mock using the actual materials I was using, in this case from the print bureau. Ideally I would of done this before making my final book however money and time were in my way. This would of further delayed making my final piece and would have cost a lot more than I had budgeted for my piece. If I had more time to do this project I definitely would of made a second final piece and made it perfect. Maybe this is something to consider for the future.

Throughout this project I have learnt some key concepts and techniques which I have been able to apply to my own work such as Google street view and talking to strangers, something that I have always wanted to do, but been unsure of how to approach the subject. This knowledge will be useful in the future for other projects that I do.

Below is a few pictures of my final book:

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