Thebaid Book Update: AAC News, Text Deadline, Pre-Press image proofing

The Thebaid Display at the OCA All American Council in Baltimore, July 18-22

Dear Friends and Supporters, Fellow Pilgrims All,

Much news to share since mid-July, so let’s get to it:

The OCA’s All American Council, July 18-22, was a great opportunity to put The North American Thebaid Book Project in front of people for a whole week. I was invited by St. Tikhon’s Monastery Press to join their large vendor’s booth, and was given an entire table to anchor my display. STM Press had printed some handsome Thebaid Sample Booklets to share, and I brought my large (20″x 30″) canvas prints of some of the very best images to anchor the display. Two easels enabled us to have these large images facing both directions of the main aisle, and it was genuinely rewarding to talk with interested visitors about the project. We took some pre-orders for the book, and some folks donated directly to STM Press to help underwrite the printing costs, all of which helps us to the goal line. Thank you to everyone who stopped by the booth!

The new statue of St. Tikhon, Patriarch of Moscow, carved on site from a tree which had recently died.

Following the AAC, I spent a week at St. Tikhon’s Monastery working on the book, and this daily interaction between myself and press manager Fr. Mikel Hill was very productive. In addition to my week at St. Tikhon’s I made a couple of stops at other regional monasteries and in general had a very productive mid-summer as we continued to prep the book for going to print.

My weekly production calls with STM Press resumed after my week-long working visit, and I’m very pleased to announce we are on track to complete all the text by September 15, and will be having the text files proof-read after that date. This is a major milestone, which will be followed immediately by our review of the image sequencing and layout decisions. This will be our final review of the entire book to optimize the flow of the photographs and make the visual narrative as strong as it can possibly be.

There are other steps also on the agenda, including final design elements, special graphic additions, and especially generating physical pre-press proofs to ensure proper reproduction of the images, many of which have a broad dynamic range, deep shadow detail, specific color gamuts, or heightened Black & White contrast and tonality.

My thanks to all who have recently pre-ordered the Thebaid Book. (I just received notice of another pre-order this morning!) Please note that we will stop taking pre-orders for the Deluxe Limited Edition once we send the book to print. This leather-bound version, with ribbon marker, will be signed and numbered, and will be limited in quantity to the number of pre-orders (plus a few extra copies for our Thebaid Team), and will not be available through any retail or online stores. If you’re interested to learn more, head over to the Thebaid Store to check out the options, which include quantity discounts.

As always, my heartfelt thanks to all our many supporters and those who have pre-ordered. Many of you have been waiting patiently for the fulfillment of this project since we launched this epic photographic pilgrimage six years ago, in September 2016! We are absolutely thrilled to be seeing the publication of the book getting closer every week, and are dedicated to getting it into your hands as quickly as possible. Please pray for us as we labor to get the Thebaid Book over the finish line.

Watch for more updates soon as we check off these various pre-press deadlines!

PS – Also in my summer travels were trips to Jordanville and St. Gregory Palamas in Hayesville, Ohio. Here are some examples of the images I made at these two monasteries. Click to enlarge, as these thumbnails are cropped to fit into the gallery format:

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