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A beautifully-boxed portfolio, Íslendingasögur, condensing the best of seven years of my Icelandic nature photography.
A beautifully-boxed portfolio, Íslendingasögur, condensing the best of seven years of my Icelandic nature photography.
127 backers pledged $7,135 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$7,135

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The Goal

My aim for this project is simple: To complete my Icelandic body of work, and to produce from it a well-crafted, limited edition boxed portfolio as an artifact of that work.

My intent is to work with Dreaming Mind Bindery, an amazing organization in the San Francisco Bay Area, to produce the cloth-covered portfolio boxes. The prints themselves will be produced at my studio on archival materials. The set will include at least twelve prints, each roughly 14x10 inches. A primary use of any additional funds raised by this project will be to increase the number of images, perhaps to sixteen, for not only the boxed portfolio set but also the small books and eBook editions.

History: How I Came to Iceland

In 2006 I took an expedition to Greenland and Svalbard, and discovered that that journey would leave me "off the ship" at Keflavik, Iceland. Having wanted to explore Iceland for years, I realized there was no way I could just fly home, and I spent a long week traveling around the country and photographing.

My results astonished me--not only was Iceland a beautiful and photogenic place, but there was a consistent set of colors and themes--far different than my previous work, far different than my work from various parts of the US, Patagonia, and the Arctic. Something was working. I went back again in 2007, then again in 2010, and then again in 2012, and during that time presented some of that work in a pair of well-received exhibitions.

The Opportunity

Earlier this year, I was awarded an artist residency at Gullkistan in Southwest Iceland, for the month of January 2014. This is an incredible opportunity,  as it provides a warm room, bed, and studio space for me to work in, however....

Project Expenses

However, there are additional costs. Air travel came in at US$1233, and I was able to bring the cost of a 4WD rental down to USD$1135. I've budgeted a total of US$550 for gas/diesel expenses, and US$506 for the creation of the first portfolio box. These figures do not include the costs to produce other awards or their shipping, Kickstarter fees or a number of incidental equipment purchases that trip will require.


The Daily Residency Blog

I expect to be able to blog daily during January 2014 recounting my experiences, processes and challenges in completing the "shooting" part of this project. Access to this daily essay will be available to all donors either via blog and email. Upon my return from Iceland, I'll continue posting (but probably not daily) there to provide additional updates on the production of the limited edition portfolios, as well as the other rewards.

Update (taken from Update #2, includes stretch goal so replicated here)

First, again, thank you. Hitting my funding target in 46 hours was amazing. There was, I kid you not, jumping up and down.

Thank you.

And now, in fine Kickstarter tradition, it's time for a stretch goal. I believe that the portfolio, small book, and eBook are going to be wonderful even at the specifications give above, but I know from experience that moving to a fourteen-image group of work, rather than a twelve, will almost certainly allow me to create an even richer experience in the portfolio, the small book, and the eBook.

So:

Should we hit $4500, I'll expand the portfolio, small book and eBook rewards to a fourteen image set of work rather than twelve. In addition, I'll include a copy of the eBook at the print, small book, and boxed portfolio award levels.

And as of October 14th, this stretch goal appears to have been met.  Hooray!

Risks and challenges

The first challenge that remains is an artistic one, creating additional images to fill the remaining gaps in this body of work. With the full month-long residency I've been offered, and with the large amount of work already "in the can", I believe this goal can easily be met.

Working in January in Iceland to complete those images will come with very real challenges and dangers--the roads in the area I'll be living in are only plowed twice a week, and icy and impassible roads will likely slow my work at some point in the month. I have, however, worked in Iceland in January before, and with solid cold-weather gear, caution, and a 4WD vehicle I believe these challenges can be met. Moreover, I hope the long winter nights provide opportunities to include the elusive aurora within the project.

Production of the final portfolios will involve a good deal of work. Most of that work is of a type I've had experience with as a printer and photographer, the exception being the production of the presentation box. By working with Dreaming Mind, who has decades of experience in the field, I believe that these risks are minimal.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Thank you!

    Also includes access to the daily residency blog, or, if you prefer, the same new essays and images via email.

    On the blog, I'll be talking about everything from the day to day process of photographing and coping with the environment to larger issues of portfolio selection and my broader thoughts on the Icelandic landscape.

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    Pledge $6 or more About $6

    A hand-written thank you postcard from Iceland! Plus access to the daily residency blog. And, as always, my thanks!

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    Pledge $16 or more About $16

    A set of eight desktop wallpapers from Iceland, four images from my existing Iceland work (2006-2012), four images to be selected from the work done during my 2014 residency. Plus access to the daily residency blog. And, as always, my thanks!

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    An eBook (PDF) of Íslendingasögur, including images and descriptions of the work. Plus access to the daily residency blog. And, as always, my thanks!

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    Pledge $49 or more About $49

    A small (roughly 5"x7" pages) printed book of Íslendingasögur, including both images and descriptions of the work. Plus access to the daily residency blog. And, as always, my thanks!

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    Pledge $85 or more About $85

    A small fine art print (roughly 8x10 inches) of any of my Iceland images (either from previous work or from the work done in January 2014). Plus access to the daily residency blog. And, as always, my thanks!

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    Pledge $90 or more About $90

    You asked for more, we delivered!

    A small fine art print (roughly 8x10 inches) of any of my Iceland images (either from previous work or from the work done in January 2014). Plus access to the daily residency blog. And, as always, my thanks!

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $99 or more About $99

    Book release party! You and one guest will be invited to a small reception announcing the release of Íslendingasögur. This informal reception will be held in the San Francisco Bay Area.

    You'll also receive a small (roughly 5x7 pages) printed book of Íslendingasögur, including both images and descriptions of the work. Plus access to the daily residency blog. And, as always, my thanks!

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    A 90-minute portfolio review of up to 20 images of your photographs, held either in person (at my studio in San Jose, or at another mutually agreed location in the Bay Area) or via on-line via Skype. (In the case of on-line reviews of physical work, you are responsible for shipping costs of your work to/from my location.) You will also receive an eBook edition of "The Tuesday Composition", my 72-page book on photographic composition. Plus access to the daily residency blog. And, as always, my thanks!

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    Pledge $175 or more About $175

    A large fine art print (roughly 18x12 inches) of any of my Iceland images (either from previous work or from the work done in January 2014). Plus access to the daily residency blog. And, as always, my thanks!

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    Reward no longer available 5 backers
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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $180 or more About $180

    You asked for more, here they are!

    A large fine art print (roughly 18x12 inches) of any of my Iceland images (either from previous work or from the work done in January 2014). Plus access to the daily residency blog. And, as always, my thanks!

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    A 3-hour printing workshop at my studio in San Jose. Bring your digital images, and learn some basic techniques for great prints. Also includes an eBook edition of "The Tuesday Composition", my 72-page book on photographic composition. Plus access to the daily residency blog. And, as always, my thanks!

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    Pledge $400 or more About $400

    A huge fine art print (roughly 30x20 inches) of any of my Iceland images (either from previous work or from the work done in January 2014). Plus access to the daily residency blog. And, as always, my thanks!

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Spend a day in the field with Joe! A one-on-one day in the field at a mutually agreed location within 100 miles of my studio in San Jose. We'll photograph from morning through sunset, and talk about composition, trip planning, equipment, photographic techniques, and more! Includes an eBook copy of both Íslendingasögur and The Tuesday Composition, plus access to the daily residency blog. And, as always, my thanks!

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    Pledge $850 or more About $850

    Íslendingasögur, number 1 of an edition of 12. The completed portfolio will include twelve signed and matted photographs within a beautifully made cloth-covered portfolio box.Plus access to the daily residency blog. And, as always, my thanks!

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    Pledge $975 or more About $975

    Íslendingasögur, number 2 or 3 of an edition of 12. The completed portfolio will include twelve signed and matted photographs within a beautifully made cloth-covered portfolio box. Plus access to the daily residency blog. And, as always, my thanks!

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    Pledge $1,100 or more About $1,100

    Íslendingasögur, number 4, 5 or 6 of an edition of 12. The completed portfolio will include twelve signed and matted photographs within a beautifully made cloth-covered portfolio box.Plus access to the daily residency blog. And, as always, my thanks!

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    Pledge $1,250 or more About $1,250

    Íslendingasögur, number 7, 8, 9 or 10 of an edition of 12. The completed portfolio will include twelve signed and matted photographs within a beautifully made cloth-covered portfolio box. Plus access to the daily residency blog. And, as always, my thanks!

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    Pledge $5,400 or more About $5,400

    A three-day landscape photography workshop, for you and up to three of your friends, to be held at a mutually agreed location and set of dates in the continental United States. This package includes up to $1200 in expenses for my own travel and lodging costs, which should be sufficient for most venues, but does not include overages, nor your food, lodging, or transportation. Includes eBook copies of both Íslendingasögur and The Tuesday Composition for each participant. Plus access to the daily residency blog. And, as always, my thanks!

    (Estimated delivery time reflects my hope that we will chose a mutually convenient date within 2014.)

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    Pledge $8,400 or more About $8,400

    A five-day landscape photography workshop, for you and up to five of your friends, to be held at a mutually agreed location and set of dates in the continental United States. This package includes up to $2000 in expenses for my own travel and lodging costs, which should be sufficient for most venues, but does not include overages, nor your food, lodging, or transportation. Includes eBook copies of both Íslendingasögur and The Tuesday Composition for each participant. Plus access to the daily residency blog. And, as always, my thanks!

    (Estimated delivery time reflects my hope that we will chose a mutually convenient date within 2014.)

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Funding period

- (22 days)