As you may have read from my previous post regarding Pleasure Beach, I picked up James Shaw’s i keep missing focus but that's okay because they're nice photos anyway. Both of these zines are printed by Amazon and as such, the quality control is equally excellent, though the contents of the zines are very different.
Before we consider the contents of this publication, I first wish to reflect on the print quality, paper choice and binding method used; it’s all brilliant. The finish of this zine is great. It’s difficult to describe, but there’s nothing to criticise: the cover is an appropriate thickness to differentiate from the internal paper, the internal paper is slightly textured, the perfect bound method makes it appear more premium than the price suggest. I tend to recommend supporting independent services for the better of the film or print community, but I can’t really argue with the quality of it. If you’re considering of mass producing a publication on a budget, I would recommend viewing James’ video on how he outsourced the production of this zine here.
The contents of this zine is where it really stands out. As you can assume from the title, the images included on the page are all slightly out of focus. It’s not a bokeh-junkie’s dream, rather it’s almost infuriating at how close it is to being in focus. After you experience the first few pages, you settle into the narrative of the publication, and then you begin to appreciate the images subjectively.
The first thing I began to appreciate is how our mind interprets these images. For example, this image of a Burger King is clearly an image of Burger King. Sure, I can read the sign, but it draws attention to how our brains interpret said scenes and fill in the blanks. There are many examples of this throughout the book, though I shall leave you to experience these for yourselves should you choose to purchase it.
This second image highlights the second thing I really appreciate about this zine: the colours. James has been so deliberate and considerate of the placement of colours on the different pages, and it forces you to appreciate them in a new way. This image for example is evidently a little girl playing in, what is assumably, a water fountain at night. Even though the image isn’t sharp, you get a real sense of the textures of the water, and the colours are really aesthetically pleasing. This has to be one of my favourite images from the publication.
As for the rest of the images, I’ll leave them for you to discover yourself. If you would like to pick up a copy of i keep missing focus but that's okay because they're nice photos anyway and Pleasure Beach, then please follow the links to them on Amazon. I managed to pick up both of them for less than £10.00, which is certainly less than what I would expect to pay for such zines. I’d highly recommend them both.
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