Dank Spangle’s Photo Book #19SP

I’ve just got my new photo book in the post.

Dank Spangle’s Photo Book #19SP

You can see the book here: http://www.blurb.co.uk/b/7991468-dank-spangle-s-photo-book-19sp

I had it printed by blurb.co.uk. The results are great. Photo quality is lovely. The binding is solid. The photo paper is their Premium Lusture. It’s a lovely, subtle gloss with plenty of contrast.

It wasn’t cheap, but it is non-disappointing.

Why a book?

I wanted to see more of my pictures printed. I print and exhibit photos, but in small numbers. A photo book is a way to bring together lots of pictures. I haven’t made a book for years.

And a book makes you look at your pictures in a different way – in the selection process and in the book itself.

So there’s no theme. These are pictures I wanted to see printed.

The process

I loaded up my old Lightroom catalogues, covering pictures way back to 2005.

I made collections of candidate photos, and exported them as DNGs. No criteria, just pictures I like. Then I brought all the DNGs together into a new Lightroom catalogue and started arranging them into a book.

They pretty quickly fell into categories – architecture, people, trees, a few animals, lots of signs and graffiti.

I stared pairing up pictures on the pages, finding themes within the themes. I started excluding pictures and going back into my catalogues looking for pictures to fill gaps.

I left it for a day or two. Came back and did some more moving, replacing, reordering. Then left it again.

After several rounds of increasingly obsessive noodling, I made myself order the book.

Here are some stats about the selection:

  • There’s an even spread from ’05 to ’15, then lots more from ’16 and ’17.
  • There are photos from 15 or so cameras. Nearly 30% are from my Canon 5d Mark 1. 20% Ricoh GR. Another 20% Canon 1DSs marks 2 and 3. 15% Sony A7R (it’s not all old photos). Only about 5% are from film cameras.
  • Most of the pictures were taken at f4 and below, with a heavy weighting at around f2.8.
  • About half the photos were taken with a 50mm lens.
  • There are plenty of blurred photos in there. Plenty of photos taken at odd angles.

Do the stats tell me anything useful?


  • Technical specs don’t make photos you’ll want to print. Carrying and using a camera will. The GR is a great camera, and the one I’ve carried around the most over the last few years. The 5D is also great. I used it for a long time. Neither are my best specced camera.
  • Take photos of things from odd angles. Take lots of photos.
  • I like using film, but the quality and ease of digital wins.
  • I like wide apertures and high shutter speeds. Compensates for my tremor and I like a narrow DoF. Also I live in the UK where the sun never shines. It isn’t even shinning now and it’s a sunny day. Also I tend to lurk in dark places.

Why is it called #19SP?


  • I couldn’t think of a proper title that didn’t sound pretentious (‘Journeys In Painting With Light’)
  • I couldn’t remember how many other books I’d made
  • 19 is my favourite number
  • #19 looked too short so I added ‘SP’ for ‘Standard Portrait’ which is the format of the book

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