The Woods

The Woods © Emily Shur

I meant to write this when the Photography Book Now winners were announced, but life has been a bit hectic lately between shooting and the amount of time I’ve spent sitting on my butt in front of my computer processing images.  I used to complain about always coming and going to and from the lab, but now I’m in full on zombie mode with Capture One and miss my trips back and forth to The Icon.  At least in my car I could make a pit stop at The Coffee Bean.  Now I’m just a prisoner held captive by an army of CR2 files.  Alas.  Anyway…

So, my book The Woods won first runner up in the Portfolio category.  Very exciting.  I actually entered this book in last year’s competition and got no love.  No honorable mention…no nothing.  I tweaked the book a bit before going to Review Santa Fe this summer, and I entered the new version in this year’s contest.  Voilà!  I took out all of the Japan images and decided to make a book dedicated to that work on its’ own.  That book is Shizenkan, and it received an honorable mention in the Fine Art category.  Awesoooooome.  Quick side note – two of my favorite books in the entire competition also received honorable mentions in the Fine Art category – Echolilia/Sometimes I wonder. by Timothy Archibald and The Last Road North by Ben Huff.  I’m actually surprised either or both of these books didn’t receive a higher honor.

I wrote the foreword in The Woods a while ago, and when I read it now I don’t think it’s the most eloquent piece of prose ever written.  Basically, ‘The Woods’ is a metaphor for a safe place; a place where we as photographers go when we take photographs that are true to ourselves and our process.  To me, that freedom is a huge luxury.  It doesn’t happen that often, and I guess that’s why I’ve only managed to compile a group of 60 images from the past 10 years.

I’m going to be blunt and put this out into the world.  I really, really want to publish a book of my personal work at some point in my life.  Hopefully sooner rather than later and hopefully more than one.  If the Photography Book Now competition gets me any closer to achieving this goal; if someone in publishing takes a look at my books and sees some potential, that’s all I can hope for.  Congratulations to all the winners.

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