I spend my morning in bed eyeing through Isabella Thaller’s photography book Voyage and dreaming of excluded beaches, wondering what lava stones smell like and imagining the sounds of a busy morning traffic of Bangkok. A beautiful travel photography book comes in very close second to packing your own bags and heading off exploring your favorite parts of the world – especially with as inspiring and charming as this one.
There is something both magical and eerie about Voyage, with its other worldly landscapes, dreamy silenced cities, and fleeting personal encounters. It feels like peering through Thaller’s personal journal, more so than a traditional travel book, raising questions she was nice enough to answer.
D&P: Where did you travel and how did you plan your itinerary. Looking back, is there anything you would change about your trip
Isabella: I planned a rough itinerary a few months before I started my trip. I didn’t know exactly how long I was going to travel but I wanted to visit Southeast Asia, Oceania, Central and Latin America. I stuck to the key points on my itinerary but made detailed decisions on the go. I ended up going to Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, California, Costa Rica, New York and Iceland – for a quick stop on the way back. Although 9 months seems like a decent time frame to visit these countries in, my itinerary felt quite packed. Constantly being on the move, meeting new people and seeing new places gets a bit tiring after a while. That’s why I’d probably spend more time in one place if I’d do it again.
D&P: You traveled alone, was this an advantage or a disadvantage when taking photographs
Isabella: When traveling alone, we often take on an observing role, which I think heightens the perception and sharpens the eye for interesting motives. When I’m with someone I often don’t want to interrupt an experience by taking a picture. So, I think, traveling alone was definitely an advantage when photographing.
D&P: 90 photographs made it into the book, but how many were left out?
Isabella: There were thousands of photographs at the beginning of the rigorous selection process.
D&P: Do you have a favorite photo in the book, one you keep going back to?
Isabella: A few actually. One of them is the picture from the Tongariro National Park on pages 108-109. I like to remember the moment when I took this photo. It was quite a steep hike to get up there, so enjoying this view was especially rewarding.
D&P: Where are you heading next?
Isabella: I’m not sure, there is so much to see… After every trip I take, I actually end up with a couple of dream destinations more on my list.
D&P: The paper you chose to use for the book is beautiful and perfectly adds to the mood of the photos. How did you choose the materials for the book and where was it printed?
Isabella: The cover was produced by Viadukt Screen Prints and the core was printed on an Indigo Press at Digital Laut in Vienna. After I decided that Indigo was the way to go for such a small edition of photo books, I had a few test prints on different paper stocks made. The Mohawk Superfine iTone Paper came out the best. It was important to me to use uncoated paper to support the natural feeling of the images – although most printers advice against it when it comes to printing photographs. According to the test prints, I then created a specific color profile to simulate the characteristics of the paper on my computer when preparing the photos for print, that helped to bring out contrast and colors even more.
D&P: How can one get their hands on a copy?
Isabella: Only a limited edition of books was produced so far. However, anyone interested can contact me directly on firstname.lastname@example.org
Images © Design&Paper & Isabella Thaller