Sly dog that Andy is, he doesn't exactly tout the fact that on Blurb, the online self publishing company Andy actually has four books. I happened to see brief mention of it on his blog (though I can't see it on his website now). Anyway, interested to see Andy's work in print and curious to see what a self publisher like Blurb could do for black and white images, I ordered Andy's "Landscape Of The Soul" I thought $49.00 a bit steep for a paper back book, but that's inflation for you. By the time I paid for inexpensive postage to Canada, it was another $16 - a bit much for casual ordering but Andy has been supportive of my work and so I went ahead.
Landscapes Of The Soul - Andy Ilachinski
The book arrived, extremely well packaged and protected. The cover has a plastic laminate over it and there was slight peeling along one edge (1 mm.), pretty normal for this kind of book binding. The paper is clean, white and has just a hint of shine. The cover images are quite "selenium" though the images throughout the book are quite neutral. All images are monochrome. Andy has arranged the images all on right hand pages which makes looking at the book in hand very easy and avoids bleed through. The images show clean whites, subtle highlights and good blacks. Shadow detail is fair - about the look I'd get on my 5000 printer with enhanced matte - very reasonable for what it is, a small volume book.
Unlike so many books of the past, the tonalities are very smooth and showing excellent resolution and are free of streaking and unevenness that still shows up in a lot of magazines.
Now for the more important part - the images. The book consists of flowing water, old windows, religious icons, and abstract macro images, all but the religious icon images show to advantage in the printing of this book, the latter with their dark detail would have been better served by duotone printing of the highest order.
I had admired Andy's window images before and there are a few of my favourites here, but I really liked the macro abstract images showing bubbles and folds and lines and were very nicely done. The flowing water images are printed in negative which works very well and you don't even think about it at first. The images are quiet, elegant, and attractive.
Overall a lovely little book of a size perfect for looking through. I'm guessing Andy will sell far fewer than he deserves to but if price point isn't super critical, you'd be doing youself a favour to pick up this book from blurb.