The Online Darkroom Store

Tuesday, June 3

Help Make "Fair Witness" a Success

Click above for Dave's entertaining video explaining his street photography Kickstarter project (Kickstarter link at the bottom of this post).

There's a risk that we're all starting to get Kickstarter fatigue but every now and then a new project comes along that is genuinely worthy of support. Such is this latest crowd sourcing initiative launched today by US photographer, David Lykes Keenan, who gave up the software business he founded to pursue fine art photography full time just eight years ago.

Fair Witness is a collection of 70 of his classical street photographs - taken throughout the US and central Europe - and all in the observational genre that I love rather than the jump-in-front-of-someone-and-mug-them-with-a-camera approach that leaves me cold. Dave's seeking to raise $24,000 to fund the publication of a book of his images.

Parade, NYC, 2011 (pg 55)

He said, "Fair Witness has been the focus of my photographic life now for more than three years. This Kickstarter campaign has been almost a year in the making and, if it is successful, the Italian publisher Damiani Editore will make the book part of their Spring 2015 catalog.

"The idea for the book came to me in the form of a serious challenge from Eli Reed. Eli, a 30 year member of Magnum Photos and a professor of photojournalism at the University of Texas, happened to live in Austin while I also lived there. Unbeknownst to me, he had been following my PAW (Picture A Week) galleries on my web site for some time.

Lion Tamers, New York City, 2008 (pg 47)

"Once I accepted his challenge, Eli mentored me, assisted me in early edits, introduced me to the first publisher I spoke with, and has generally encouraged me. I am happy to say that he and I are now good friends.

"Eli and I will be teaming up for a street photography workshop as one of the rewards for this campaign.

"I wander big city streets among people who have relaxed into the chaos, and they were mostly unaware of my presence. I look specifically for humor, irony, pathos, unusual juxtapositions, curious faces, and real or imagined stories. Each of the photographs in Fair Witness occurred in my path, unplanned, and would have evaporated within seconds, if I had not been ready with my camera.

Flag + Skull, New York City. 2009 (pg 175)

"Taking the artist-funded bull squarely by the horns, I have launched this Kickstarter campaign to raise the roughly $20,000 required to bring Fair Witness to the bookshelves. If the campaign is successful, the print run will be 1000 books."

Funeral Home, Austin, 2008 (pg 85)

There are various incentives for people supporting the Fair Witness project including limited edition silver gelatin fibre prints - the only way you'll ever be able to get a real print of any photographs in the book. All the details you need to know about can be found at Dave's Kickstarter page.


Herman Sheephouse said...

Isn't paying to publish rather a thing of the past? has the guy not heard of Blurb or Lulu?

I am not being critical, however, I think you or Omar could set up a campaign to raise money to get books published . . there's as equally good photography published on OD every week Bruce.

A couple of weeks back, I saw one of the finest little photobooks I have ever seen - it was by the Scottish photographer Peter Goldsmith and it was a very limited home-made run for the Maggie's Centre at Ninewells hospital. It was beautiful and touching and simple and was filled to the brim with atmosphere. It probably cost hardly anything to make, but its sum far exceeded the cost of its parts.

You don't need a gazillion dollars to make something which moves people - if the work stands on its own, then it will get out there.
And yes I understand that things need to get published, and I hope the bloke achieves his goal, but to be really honest there's a million other 'street' photographers (on the rangefinder forum for instance) who are as equally as deserving of publication.

Soapboxes away!

Antonio Aparicio said...

I have this inherent dislike of anyone that calls themselves a "street photographer". There is no such thing! Nice pics though.

David M said...

Thank you for this link.
He seems to have a nice eye but I'm still thinking about subscribing.
He's offering "archival digital prints" and "limited edition silver prints" to subscribers. The silver prints will be made by Digital Silver Imaging, and not by Dave himself.
So, I looked at DSI's website.
They seem to stand on the border of your preferences, balanced between the heroic hand-carved, steam-powered, blood-sweat-and-tears craftsperson of the Dark Side and the scaly, alien, button-pressing tentacle of the ink-squirting, soul-sucking, image-gobbling cyborg.
What do you think? You seem like a reasonable and thinking sort of chap.
Excellent site – wish I'd found it sooner..

John Carter said...

My mother-in-law self published a book 25 years ago and it was $16,000. So this seems like a bargain to me especially with the cost of reproducing the prints. I'm still thinking about donating.

Bruce Robbins said...

"They seem to stand on the border of your preferences, balanced between the heroic hand-carved, steam-powered, blood-sweat-and-tears craftsperson of the Dark Side and the scaly, alien, button-pressing tentacle of the ink-squirting, soul-sucking, image-gobbling cyborg."

Love it, David! That sums it up neatly. Personally, unless a silver gelatin print is handmade in the darkroom then I don't see it being all that different from an inkjet print. But that's just me.