Host a Photography Show by Ripping Apart Old Books (aka Photo Gold Mines)!

Extra photos for bloggers: 1, 2, 3

Lately we’ve been seeing lots of cheap (and free!) books around town.

Sure, some of those books might be filled with boring old words, but after some careful investigation, we’ve also discovered that many of these books are full of fantastic photos!

So we wondered: How often do super great photos go unnoticed just because they’re tucked away inside of books?

If there’s photo injustice anywhere, we’re hot on the case.

Naturally, we found a way to flip photo injustice around on itself.

Ready? Get your (so called) “junky” books out (and put away your most treasured texts), we’re gonna teach ya…

How To Curate a Photo Show in Your Livingroom by Tearing Apart an Old Book!

p.s. Now that Facebook has a movie, we wonder if Photojojo will ever have a movie, too! (You’re all invited to the screening FYI.) N-e-wayz, “Like” us on Facebook!

What you’ll need:

before This one is pretty simple! All you’ll need to transform your house into a fine art gallery is:

  • Any book with photographs in it
  • Scissors or an X-acto knife.
  • Anything you want to use (string, nails, frames, tape, etc…) for hanging the photographs (We used Fotoclips and thumb tacks.)

Step 1: Finding the Perfect Book:

before One of the great things about this project: the book you choose doesn’t have to be a photography book!

Photography books can be hard to find, especially for free or very low prices.

Picking a book on one of your favorite subjects or locations is a sure way to get a book with images you’ll really connect with.

We picked The Incredible Machine, a book about the human body. (It was only 50 cents at a local thrift store!)

Step 2: Rip Out Every Page You Like.

beforeThat’s right. We said it.

You have our permission to rip your book up!

Page through your book, and remove every image that catches your eye right away.

Don’t worry about whether they’ll be perfect or not, just cut out any image that catches your attention!

Step 3: Pick your top images.

before Now that you have so many images to work with, you can start to refine your selection.

Go through your grouping of photos, deciding which ones you’d want to display and which you’d rather leave behind.

When you choose the images you think you might want to display, use a papercutter or your scissors to cut off the excess text, blank space, and other nearby photos on the page.

Step 4: Narrow down your selection

beforeNow that you have a large group of images that have been trimmed and look ready to display, try to lay them all out somewhere you have enough space to see them all.

From there you can start to see similarities in certain groups of photos, which can help you pick which ones will be best to display on your wall!

(We were surprised that we used a book about the human body and still found that most of the photos we chose were related to technology and photography! :P)

If you’re not sure how many is too many, try narrowing your show down to 40 images total and go from there. (If you’re curating a gallery on flickr, the maximum is 18 – perhaps a magical curatorial number?)

Step 5: get ready to hang the show!

before Just because you’re hanging photos doesn’t mean you have to worry about finding expensive ways to hang up your new collection!

For our example, we used Fotoclips and thumb tacks, which made things super easy (and nice to look at, too!)

You might want to try hanging your photos with plain clear tape or artists tape, sticky putty, some cute mini-hanger photo clips, string, or just about any kind of clip.. even clothespins!

Step 6: Enjoy and change often!

Now that you have curated your very own photo show, you can officially curate some more!

Invite your friends over for some wine, cheese, and photo appreciation.

Try leaving the remains of your book nearby with some scissors to get some collaborative curating happening!

You might want to suggest everyone get together for a magazine photo swap, or invite your friends to submit their own artwork the second time around!

Want To Do More?

(Here, we cut up an old book about space called “Galaxies”, cut out all the sweet black & white science it had to offer, and framed them in the brightest frames we could find :)

  • Don’t stop with just photos! One of our favorite kinds of books to cut up are textbooks for their beautiful scientific illustrations! Next time you see a beginners photography book for sale, grab it and host an exhibition featuring photos of old photographic equipment and techniques!
  • Try our tutorial on how to make a cardboard ring frame and cover an entire wall with cardboard ring framed photographs!
  • Have a book full of black and white photographs and want to give them some new life? Try using brightly colored frames (like we did above!)OR, if you’re daring enough, color in the images yourself!
  • If you’re ready to take it to the next level, why not try making your own photography magazine? Companies like MagCloud can help you publish your own magazine almost as easily as you can rip images out of a book!