The Photographer's Coloring Book
You’ve just finished up a morning photowalk in an old part of downtown, and you see a small, inviting store across the street. At first glance you think it’s a café, but the sign above the door says Rare & Interesting Books.
You make your way over, and push slowly against the heavy wood and glass door, which rings a little bell above the door as you enter.
You step slowly into the darkened interior, and note the aged wooden shelves, beautiful tungsten lampshades, and untold masses of well-worn books that cover the walls from floor to ceiling.
A kind-eyed old man greets you from behind the dark wood counter to the left. “Good day. Come on in. How may I help you?”, he inquires welcomingly.
“I just want to look around a bit,” you reply, trying to sound as polite and friendly as he did.
“Take as long as you like,” he says. “And if you need anything, just tell Whiskers,” he says with a chuckle, pointing at a half-asleep cat lying on a leather chair in the corner.
Then he turns and disappears into the dark recesses of the store, behind the towering shelves of books.
You head into the maze, meandering slowly through the narrow aisles, your eyes running over the titles of books from bygone eras. Hundreds, nay thousands of tomes, each with a story to tell, a lesson to teach, some wisdom to impart.
One book in particular catches your eyes. The cover is dark blue, and is covered with interesting drawings.
You carefully pull it off the shelf and hold it in your hands. The fine linen cover was clearly printed with love, by someone who knew what they were doing.
The Photographer’s Coloring Book, it says. Intrigued, you quickly flip through it to see what’s inside. Your eyes are instantly filled with visions of delicate, intricate illustrations. Cameras, lenses, film canisters, maps, and more.
Wait a minute. This deserves a closer look.
You flip back to the front, and start to go through it slowly, page by page.
About this Book is followed by Why a Coloring Book About Photography? and then by Coloring Tips.
Then, the fun begins. 30 individually-crafted illustrations, purpose-made to be colored by a patient, diligent lover of photography.
And every single illustration has a story on the back side, describing variously the inspiration, meaning or process behind the design.
You note the wide variety of subjects, all somehow related to the enduring art of Photography. Each page is perforated along the inside edge, allowing you to neatly remove it before or even after you color. The book is the perfect size to carry along in your bag on the bus, when traveling, or to keep on your desk as home.
You close your eyes and briefly envision the dozens of hours of relaxing coloring you could do with this one little book. This is perfect – you’re going to get it.
You look for the old man, but he is nowhere to be found. In a flash of brilliance, you softly call out, “Whiskers!”
You hear a muffled chuckle from a few rows over and slowly the old man makes his way out of the maze and back behind the counter.
“Did you find something interesting?”
“Yes, I think I’m going to get this one. I’ve never seen anything like it”.
“Ah, yes. The Photographer’s Coloring Book,” he says knowingly. “So much more than meets the eye. You will greatly enjoy this."
You smile at the old man, pay for the book (a paltry sum for such a masterpiece, truth be told), say a soft “thank you”, and turn towards the door.
As you swing open the door, the little bell above it rings gently. You pause, and stop to look back at the old man, already absorbed back into his tidying behind the counter.
You have a strong sense that you will be back, but you don’t know when.
“Thank you,” you say loudly enough to draw his attention again. “I’m really glad I found this place, and this book.”
He looks up at you. He cracks a soft smile and nods slightly.
“My pleasure,” he says. “Have a wonderful day.”
I hope you enjoyed this little piece of creative writing - a fanciful story to explain the origin of the concept behind this book.
The Photographer's Coloring Book is out now and available on our site.