Archive for April, 2015


Posted in Photography on April 21, 2015 by Thomas Allen


I will be teaching a workshop on photographic constructions at the Los Angeles Center of Photography (LACP) this fall. MAKING PICTURES WITH THOMAS ALLEN,  a 20-hour, hands-on event, takes place September 18-20, 2015 following a lecture/presentation on Thursday September 17 at 7:30pm.  Register before April 30th and receive 20% off tuition. Complete details can be found here.


Posted in Photography on April 5, 2015 by Thomas Allen

Since the book is now available for pre-order, I think it’s safe to share details about a  recently completed project.


The idea to picture an open book shaped like the United States (lower 48) came from Nayon Cho (Art Director at Penguin) along with this rough sketch:


My immediate thought—”I can do this with a scroll saw!”

To do this,  I selected a medium-sized book to work with and broke the spine to make it lie flat. Next, I glued a template (with an outline of the U.S. printed in reverse) to the covers on the flattened backside. Then, with a thin, spiral-shaped blade attached to the saw, I slowly followed the guideline and made one, continuous cut all the way around.

This was the result:


This was left over:


The end product was too flat, so I glued the spine back together and rolled the pages. Here it is with the background color changed to red:


Now, if you were paying attention, you saw that the title of the book I altered is DISPATCH THE GENERAL (see the negative space photograph above). However, the text pictured in the final image is from a classic work of fiction—added post-camera (by request). To make it work, I had to remove the particular pages from my own worn, paperback copy of Mark Twain’s HUCKLEBERRY FINN, affix them to the pages of another book with a matching curl and then photograph the entire thing at a similar angle.


The end result was achieved with a bit of Photoshop magic and a whole lot of patience:



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