Thebaid Project Update – January 2018

Continued growth and progress as we pass the midpoint of the Thebaid Project, but we need contributions to keep gas in the tank!

This was originally posted to our GoFundMe and Indiegogo crowdfunding sites last week.

Thebaid Project Update, January 2018

Dear Friends, Supporters, and Fellow Thebaid Pilgrims,

I hope you all had a blessed Christmas, New Year and Theophany season!

No, you didn’t miss an update in December, I did! But this one is well worth the wait, covering recent travel, upcoming schedule, and two special announcements.

Announcement #1 — We are officially at the midpoint of the photography, with fifteen monasteries photographed to date, and dozens of images already selected for the book. WE’re on track to finish the photography by June (or July), and for the book to be sent to the printer soon after that, to be in distribution by Autumn 2018.

Announcement #2 — I have been in communication with a leading Orthodox publisher since just before the new year. No agreement in writing yet so we cannot share any details, but their interest in publishing the Thebaid book is yet a further affirmation of the Thebaid Project.

Sanctifying the internet…


NOVEMBER 14-19, 2017 — Monks and Nuns of New Skete (OCA), Cambridge NY. Having just celebrated their 50th Anniversary, New Skete is perhaps best known outside the Orthodox Church for their breeding and training of German Shepherd dogs. You can view my extensive gallery of images at My heartfelt thanks to Br. Christopher, Sr. Cecilia, and the communities of New Skete for their invitation and hospitality.

NOVEMBER 20, 2017 — Skete of St. John the Theologian (ROCOR), Hiram OH. This was a brief, “get acquainted” visit, to a small but historic monastic community in northern Ohio. I hope to return soon to do some serious photography, but on my blog you can get a good sense of the beauty of the chapel and grounds from the few photos made with my iPhone.

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Looking Ahead to the Finished Book

A word about the quality of the North American Thebaid book, which we plan to publish in 2018:

One of the earliest and most important decisions I made when forming the North American Thebaid Project was to learn about the printing of fine photographic books, so that I could ensure an excellent finished product.


That search led me to a world-class printer with over thirty years in the trade, Four Colour Print Group, and its pre-press subsidiary, FCI Digital.

I should mention that Four Colour Print Group and George Dick came personally recommended by journalist Genevieve Lacer, who has done two fine art coffee table books with them, which I have personally inspected and found to be of the highest quality. (They were also the lowest of three book printing quotes I received!)

When I met with George Dick, President & CEO of Four Colour in February 2016, I took with me examples of award-winning coffee table books by photographers I admire and follow, as well as my own 2014 retrospective photography book, Pursuing the Light, and George and I analyzed and critiqued them.

One edition, a little over twenty years old now, by one of America’s finest landscape photographers, showed definite signs of the pages yellowing around the edges, and to George Dick’s trained eye, it was clear the paper choice was the cause, perhaps because this was still at the dawn of printing from recycled materials, and the paper had acid and/or lignin content, which causes it to lose its pure white lustre as it ages.

With that warning example, and many stand-out features of some premium volumes used as benchmarks, we outlined the specifications required to create a finished book of the highest quality and image reproduction, with archival longevity, and identified the following:*

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