There has been some response to my request for feedback from the Thames Valley Group. John Umney and Carol Street have kindly made some comments on the group’s Facebook page. I have copied John’s here: (Carol made much the same points)
Richard, I’ve enjoyed following this project and talking to you about it, my thoughts are: The text in the introduction contain typo’s and the alignment perhaps needs attention to make it easier to read/flow. I know it is tempting to fill the page with an image, but are you sure that is helpful in conveying what it is you want to communicate – the images look technically very accomplished. There appears to be a mix of personal and historical commentaries that are associated with the images – I found that confusing and not helpful. My view is to keep the historical and let the viewer conjure their own narrative from the images and text. I like the ‘drawn’ effect of the map and how its size (large) emphasises its importance both as a journey and as a locus for the narrative. You may know this work by Michal Iwanowski http://www.michaliwanowski.com/clear-of-people/4577315405 but whilst Michal’s journey has a different underpinning I think there is much to consider in relation to your project here. And one last thing, I wonder if there are too many narratives here? You, your father, your grandfather, your uncle?? I think the project has a lot of potential, as I’ve said before and I look forward to seeing where it goes.
It seems that John and my tutor are both confused by my narratives. I have identified this as the most significant change that I have to make before printing and assembling the book. As the journey was borne out of my family connections along the route, I decided to try and clarify this by providing fuller explanations of the relationship of each member of my family to a particular photograph, clarifying where there is both a personal and historical connection.I have also looked again at the fonts I’ve been using and now have clear distinction between my texts and scanned and pasted texts.
Following on from my Tutor’s comments on the first three prints, I have replaced these with prints that have more interest. I’m hoping these will work better with improved captions.