Archive for the 'Cold Killer' Category

Cold Killer: More Thoughts

Wednesday, January 11th, 2006

I’ve been busy. Boy howdy have I ever. I’ve successfully pared down three of my jobs to two without taking an income hit so I have plenty of time to sit around and work on this book.

I’ve decided to scrap my original layout mock-up. It was too easy to lose the focus of the book by futzing with captions and multiple images per page. My new idea, inspired by comments two friends of mine made, is to have each page speak for itself. Every page will be a full-sized image without text (save for the header and the page number).

Secondly, I’ve chosen to make the table of contents as much a visual part of the book as the photos. I am going to illustrate the contents of the book on a map of Seattle with each page represented by a numbered circle on the map. The location of the circle will correspond to where in the city the photo was taken and the number will tell you what page to go to. It’s like a choose-your-own-adventure of glorious street art!

I am going to try my hardest to make a presentable electronic version of the book. I don’t mean a simple PDF (though there will be one of those), I’m talking about a full-fledged Flash version of the book with animations and sounds and such. I don’t know Flash but I’m willing to learn (or, at the very least, find someone else to do this for me). I just want something people can look at and enjoy without having to bind hundreds of copies of the finished physical product.

Finally, I have spent a lot of time looking at digital processing techniques to make the images pop out of the page. I really like the way the photos shine when they’re processed to look like they were taken with a Lomo camera, so I believe I am going to edit them to look as such. Here is the before image and here is the after. If you have any other ditigal editing techniques, opinions, tips, or criticisms for me, please let me know!

Beware of the Walls. My Journey Into Book Binding.

Monday, October 17th, 2005

I’ve written about Cold Killer often on other sites. I’ve even put up an entire photo album of Cold K tags on Flickr. I think more people should know about this. Judging by the amount of Cold K photos on Flickr, I’m not the only one who feels this way.

My fascination with these ubiquitous ghosts began in the fall of 2004 when I began noticing them all over the city. Sure, there were other taggers painting all over Seattle, but Cold K’s expressionless ghosts were identifiable, noticeable, and varied enough in style that they didn’t become boring. I imagine that if I owned property in the city I wouldn’t be too fond of graffiti artists but, since I don’t, and since I’ve always been a big fan of culture subversion, Cold Killer is my favorite tagger in Seattle.

So I began photographing.

I had a photography class last year during my senior year of college. I took that as an opportunity to splurge on a decent digital camera and started on my quest to document this art.

His art quickly became my own as I logged hundreds of photographs of these subjects using varying angles, exposures, and frames. It’s amazing how much more you will shoot given the digital age’s no-cost media.

I turned in my Cold Killer documentation as a final project in the introductory photography class, but felt like the project remained unfinished. I wanted the photographs presented in a more suitable manner. I wanted the documentation to manifest itself in something more tangible than a photo portfolio.

The idea for a book was born. At the moment, I am making that book.

I began laying it out last night like I promised myself I would. Here is an initial mock up of two example pages: mockup.png.

The layout process is rather tedious, but I’m quickly learning to employ the use of guides and snap-to grids in Photoshop. The pages are laid out on a tabloid sized template in landscape mode. After alotting the proper amount of paper for margins and binding, each page should end up being 7.25″ x 10.50″. I want the book cover to be constructed of something unusual… like plywood or something. There’s no end to what you can do with a book made out of plywood.

Oh, yeah. I’ve never made something like this before in my life. I really have no idea what I’m doing. I figure after countless hours of laying out pages and building this labor of love, I will, inevitably, transcend both space and time in a flurry of misplaced rage.

Keep an eye out, I’ll post updates on my progress as it happens. It will happen, I promise.