It’s time to write some captions

Yesterday morning the UPS truck pulled up to the house and left a rather large box. Inside was this collection of objects:


There's a large pile of papers—the printed spreads of the entire book in its first-pages stage—and two CDs. "First pages" means these aren't final, but for this book, due out some time next year, they're at probably 85% complete, maybe 90%. Some photos are final; some are placeholders; some are missing (just white boxes). We still have to adjust some of the primary text: cutting here, adding there. It's definitely time to get serious about captions and about replacing the placeholders with real images and filling in any tiny remaining missing items.

The CDs peeking out contain, as the marker printing on them says, FPO pics. FPO means "for position only," and these discs hold the photographs we shot along with the real images of the fibers, the ones that have all the identifying labels in place. These will make it possible to write captions for those photos without going completely bonkers.


Which white yarn was this, and where did the fiber come from?


Ah, YES!


(Thanks again, June!)


This job won't be done by tomorrow. There are quite a few pages.


That last number (on one of the pages reserved for the index) says 438. See that big, black clip? It's not really big enough or strong enough to hold the batch together. It tends to slip off, leaving the front and back pages clipped together and everything in between fanned across the floor. However, it's already done its job of getting this hunk of paper transported from one desk (and computer) to another.

It'll be pretty quiet around both Carol Ekarius' house and my house for a while. We'll be turning, and writing on, page after page. . . .


Hmm. There are 1421 reference photos on the CDs, identified by shooting numbers (like JPolak-363-2023.jpg) rather than placement within the book (like page-327) or subject matter (like Ramgouillet-info). This is logical, but not helpful for the work at hand. Image JPolak-363-2023.jpg actually contains the clues I need to be able to write the Myotonic Goat captions, a fact that I can only discover by opening the image and enlarging it on the screen so I can read the labels; then I rename the file so I can easily find it when I come, in due time, to the page where it appears. . . .

I spent last evening at the coffee shop (between two nice bike rides in the dark) locating and grouping the 452 image files that relate to the fiber-specific photographs (as opposed to the animal photographs, the "fiber in use" images, and so on). I got a few identified and named, and will continue that task this morning at the library.

Yes, I leave my office to work on things like this. I'm far less likely to be interrupted by other matters demanding my attention, so progress is faster. Faster is much better; otherwise an exercise like writing the captions could drag on until after the new year, and the book's supposed to be sent to press by then.

Once I put together book images and the identification data from the reference photos (making notes from the photos on the pages), I'll need to go back to my working records to be reminded of the particulars of processing each fiber. With hundreds of samples spread over more than three years, I can't keep all the details in my head for instant recall.

This job won't be done by the day after tomorrow, either.

It's a good thing I find the topic fascinating.


8 thoughts on “It’s time to write some captions”

  1. Thanks, Susan, I think I’ll get up for a stretch right now. So far I’ve only found three images (in the 452 group, although I’m not done yet) where we forgot to put in the i.d. tags.

    For a few, I can figure out what’s there and what needs to be said. If I had to do it for all of them . . . well, there’s no way.

    The design *is* gorgeous! Even in rough printouts with crop marks and white margins (that won’t be there in the printed books).

    I am so excited to be working on this, even with the necessary drudgery.

  2. Hi Deb, I have enjoyed reading about the process – concept to photo shoots and now to editing. Being a book on fiber is enough to gain my interest but to have seen the process, I feel as thought I’ve watched a niece grow. ^_^ Can’t wait for the release! ~Cheers!

  3. I’m delighted to hear the glimpses are interesting. I’m still at it here. . . .

    That business of how to identify the skeins in the final images had to be planned from the start of The Project, more than three years ago. ESPECIALLY for the very white and very black fibers. Even *with* the tactile input, it can be challenging to discern one from another.

    (Is that Bleu du Maine, or Rouge de l’Ouest? The sheep look very different, despite similar history, and the wools unspun have some differences, but once the yarn is made. . . .)

    Take away the ability to feel the fibers, as in a photograph, and you need clues to keep the information accurate.

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