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  • Writer's picturesarahhawley

Books as Art

Books from Above

I love reading books in the summertime. As someone who has been a student for many years now, I always look forward to reading a good book or two in the summer, that is not a textbook or any other kind of academic literature. Every summer I look forward to picking up a book to read that I can enjoy while at the cottage, in a hammock, a comfy lounge chair outdoors or even curled up on the couch at home. What I love most about reading in my free time is the break from technology, the stories that feed your imagination and their ability to take you away from your daily routine.

This year I have done a lot of reading over the summer and I have unintentionally focused in on the theme of creativity. This season I have read On Photography by Susan Sontag, Steal Like An Artist and Show Your Work both by Austin Kleon, Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art and quite a few issues of various photography magazines. When I finished reading a book, I would photograph it and share it on Instagram. All these books were wonderful to read and I recommend them to anyone interested in creating.

Some books were borrowed while other were purchased and added to my ever growing personal library. With all of these books lying around, I started a project photographing books from different perspectives and editing the images using different styles and techniques. I experimented with sepia, black and white, and with a cinematic flare. Recently, I discovered the new cinematic pre-sets in the latest update for Adobe Camera Raw and I absolutely love this collection of pre-sets. I wanted to focus on the mood that these images provoked and I also wanted the perspective in each image to influence the viewer’s interpretation, to make people stop and spend a few moments to take it all in so they could really think about what they are looking at.

Book Stack

Books are items we spend time with to read and share information. I wanted that to come across in the photographs, so using light and an artistic approach to capturing the images became an important factor. After all, books are a work of art though they may not be recognized as such because they’re not a traditional visual art form, they use a different media. I have huge respect for anyone who takes the time to produce a book. It takes an enormous amount of time, planning, collaboration and effort to assemble a book and I have even started to think that it is a project I would like to do someday.

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