The trouble is that these ‘website form’ solutions are either $200 + per year (yes that’s not a typo) or the cheaper ones have terrible design and usability. This matters to me. I spent the whole morning into lunchtime looking for a solution where I could send a link to the subjects- and they take seconds filling it out- and then it gets sent to me as a PDF. In the end I opted to design my own model release as a PDF that’s stripped right back, and very clear with regards to what I’ll use the images for. I then hooked it up with an online service PDFfiller, that allows me to add interactive test input boxes, and a digital signature to sign it off. The only downside is that its an expensive service upto $40 per month. The good side is that the first month is free and only charges you if you continue past the first month.
I’ve spent two full days this week working out a method to release images simply, as well as personalising emails to invite each beekeeper to free up the images to use. Some would prefer a visit with paperwork I’m sure, so I’m catering to that too. The goal of this final project is to prove that I’ve done 450 hours of work, and trust me, that ain’t going to be a problem! I’ve been busy on this project from week one, and blogged about every portrait or hive visit. I’ve decided to made it into a A4 PDF book for submission, but also a perfect bound book that I will submit as part of hand in too. Physical is just better and I’m going to make a book like this for every major project moving forward for my own reference. FYI I’m using Angus Donaldson for my printing needs here in Christchurch, based on such great results on the They Are us zine. that they printed. In fact, with this, and a project surrounding lockdown that will be made into a book, plus the beekeeping book design for hand in, I’m spending a fair amount of time designing at the moment. I was a freelance graphic designer from 2001 – 2008 and book design has always been my favourite process, and in 2021 I’m using the fantastic Affinity Publisher software rather than being held at ransom by Adobe. Honestly, I actually prefer it to Indesign! It’s brilliant to use.
I’ve been getting more and more into art books this year and recenlty of note is a book by Anne Noble “ConversātiōIn the company of bees”. It looks at the astounding practice of leading photographer Anne Noble, set against the issues of ecosystem collapse and climate change and examining what an artist can do in response. Its creative focus is on that most important insect, the European bee. Reminiscent of an artist book in its extensive visual content, its appeal is to a wide readership curious about art, ecology, science, literature and their intersections. It is not just a beautifully designed book, it also speaks to me! I’m feeling very similar to Anne, in that I’m falling for the bees, and their wonderful place within our environment. Simply watching their behaviour and colonies develop is so compelling. I’m positive next year that I’ll set up a hive so that I can spend more time observing bees and making more art surrounding them vs the keepers. I guess that’s what this book has highlighted to me that my work is ongoing and surrounds the people of beekeeping in Canterbury, rather than the bees themselves, and that’s OK. Yet, if I start Masters next year, It’s likely that I’ll continue with the focus on with bees and environment-and that in-between art and science place. I’m now inspired to add some close up abstract imagery into this current body of work. I’ve applied for some funding to continue Masters into 2022- so fingers crossed. The image below by the way is of Lisa, a student being taught by the wonderful Kevin Gate on 35mm that is not my preferred format- but it surprised me. I’ve also attached some images from Anne’s wonderful publication.
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