About this project
Hi, I’m Ralph Nelson - I’m a photographer.
For those of you who may know my name, you are either family or it's because I’ve spent the past forty plus years working as a still photographer in motion pictures.
And with that in mind, if you would like to see some of my film work or a list of my credits, click on the links on this page.
My website: www.ralphnelson.com
My film credits: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0625125/
Photography is not just my profession, it’s a labor of love and my career has taken me all over the world. I’ve met and worked with some very talented people, been a part of movies that you probably know, and overall had a great time.
So although I’ve now retired from motion pictures, I still love taking photos – which brings me to this, a Kickstarter appeal to produce the first book of my personal photos -- and unlike any of my previous work, this has nothing to do with actors or movies.
And this book combines two of my lifelong loves – nature and photography.
All of the photos are of botanical subjects.
And every photo was taken with an iPhone.
So naturally, it’s titled, BOTANICA iPhone photos.
My longtime friend Ray Bradbury wrote the introduction. He had seen an early portfolio of the work and I was sad to learn of his passing while I was working on the final edit.
WHY AN iPHONE?
Well, it’s really simple - throughout my career, I’ve always used the latest and greatest cameras and traveled with enough overweight equipment cases to supply a small army, but for this project I wanted to limit myself to a single format, a single camera, even a single lens.
I wanted the same simplicity of my first camera from some 50+ years ago - a Brownie Hawkeye.
Which brings to mind a quote from another old friend, Ernst Haas.
"There is only you and your camera. The limitations in your photography are in yourself, for what we see is what we are."
So I chose the iPhone.
It fit all of those requirements while at the same time offering the advantage of what Steve Jobs called “insanely great technology”.
Instead of limiting my choices, the iPhone allowed an entirely new range of possibilities that enabled me to take photos that would have been otherwise impossible, and I think that when you see the book you will have a better idea of what I mean and maybe a better appreciation of the photos you can take without exotic cameras.
Also because it was always with me, the iPhone was the perfect camera for this assignment.
ABOUT THE BOOK
All of the photographs have been selected and the design and layout are now complete.
BOTANICA will be a coffee table size -11X13”- hardcover book with 162 pages. There are 81 photos.
There is one image per page and on each of the facing pages is a quote relating to beauty, flowers, light and life by well known authors, philosophers, scientists and sacred texts.
Although I’ve been working on this book for the last year (that is, taking the photos and editing), because it deals with my love of nature, it has been a lifetime in the making.
Although my career was based in Hollywood, at heart I’m still the same barefoot farm boy whose first love has always been - and always will be - the exquisite mystery that surrounds us all. Some call it nature. Others say it’s the work of God.
Either way, I’ve been enthralled and mystified by it all my life, and even though as a young boy I never used words like enthralled and mystified, I certainly felt it. So now, more than a half century later, even if I sometimes use bigger words and a better camera – or an iPhone – I still feel the same magic when I take a photo. Even after all these years, magic is the first word that comes to mind when describing photography. Cameras and smartphones are everywhere and nearly everyone is constantly taking photos, so it’s easy to forget that photography really is magic. There is just no better way to describe it.
And to be able to use that magic to preserve images of the beauty and mystery that surrounds us? Well, it just does not get any better than that.
As you can imagine, publishing is an expensive process and that’s why I’m here on Kickstarter hoping to enlist your support.
To paraphrase Shakespeare, your generosity is twice blessed. It benefits us both. With your pledge of support, I’ll be able to publish the book and you will have the satisfaction of knowing that, as a supporter, you played a critical role in making it possible.
In return for your support, there are a number of rewards, including a signed copy of the book. There is a limited edition slip case version as well as signed prints and note cards. A full list of the rewards is shown on this page.
There are two ways to show your support. In addition to your pledge, you can also help by spreading the word. Tell family and friends, use social media, share it on Facebook or Twitter, because the more who know about the book, the more likely this project will succeed.
Thank you very much for both your interest and support. I look forward to sharing the book with you - and with your participation, the chance to share it with others.
Please check back here for progress updates.
A note on how to use Kickstarter to make a pledge:
To make a pledge, click the green “Back This Project” button. You will be asked to enter your pledge amount and select a reward. Then, you will go through and must complete the Amazon checkout process. If the project is successfully funded, your card will be charged when the book reaches its funding deadline. The book is expected to be published around January 2013 and will ship shortly afterwards.
Risks and challenges
All of the initial risks are taken care of as the project has been self-funded to this point. The book layout and design are complete and ready to go to the printer.
The book will be available and released January of 2013.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Support this project
- (30 days)