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Chris Orwig: There is so much that I enjoy about photography, whether it's getting out in the field and capturing a moment and creating the photograph or reviewing those images after the fact or making my own prints. But above and beyond all that, I also really like enjoying other people's photography in book form. You know, I've highlighted a few of Rodney's books, and there's an interesting trend. Here was his first book. It's pretty big. Then this one was a little bit smaller and then even smaller. And now here back in California, we have his most recent book.
It's just such a completely different size and scale, and that kind of fascinates me. What we are going to do is open this up. And I am excited to open up this book because while I was in New York-- I was able to get it there-- we talked a little bit about the book, he signed it, and he also wrote a few words in the book. Now, I don't know what he wrote, and I can't wait to see what it says. Rodney Smith: This is a book many, many years in the making. I am not quite sure why it took so long, but the three previous books I have done--well, the first one was sort of a standard size, 9x12 coffee shop, just a coffee table book.
But the last two books were quite small, and so everyone was always saying, oh, you know, your pictures look so good big, I think we should do a really big book. So that was the precipice for producing such a big, sort of heavy, tome, because the last two were small. And I did this book, again, starting a number of years ago, with a thought that perhaps it was time to move on from this type of picture, and maybe there would be some other thing in the future.
I don't know. At this point, I still don't know. I don't know whether I am finished with something, or I am really just exploring it further. It's sort of more of a question than an answer. So that's sort of where the title came from. The designer is a person named David Meredith. Walter Thomas, who is this really eccentric and brilliant copywriter, wrote all the text, and it's quite funny. I would also say to do a book like this today, you have to be either slightly insane or in love, or perhaps both.
I mean, it's such a labor of love. There is so much work: the paper cost, the printing cost, the binding cost; just doing everything to the highest level is really, really almost impossible. I mean, you would not get a trade publisher to do this book. Now, there are trade publishers who want to publish this book in a much smaller version, at a much smaller cost, but it's not the same book. I mean, we really worked very, very hard on it.
Chris: The End. The end is but a beginning. And I am going to flip this around so I can read it. I have the edition number and a signature, and here are his words, and I am really just reading them for the first time. But he says, "Often some of the nicest and best things come from unexpected sources. You're definitely one of them.
I thank you, and I'm so happy to know you." And as I was saying before, it's fun to see this in my space. This is kind of--this is special for me. I think as an artist, as a photographer, it's easy to get caught up in it. I could just keep going and going, but I won't. I'll stop here for a minute. You know, I think there is so much to celebrate and appreciate in photography, and the final artifact, the print, really is among one of my favorite things.
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