After dozens of binderies worldwide begged off on their idea, essentially calling it harebrained, the Keoughs hit pay dirt. The folks at Felton Bookbinding, a small, old school Canadian bindery run by an Englishman, a Scotsman, and a Swede, were willing to take on the challenge.
"One day, after all of this had been going on for a couple of years, Keith Felton, [the founder of Felton Bookbinding] called me and said, 'You may be onto something here. Can you give us a couple of weeks?'" she says. "He sent us a prototype of what we believe is the first book to successfully marry the European classic style with the split board. It had all the European features, including the doublures and the leather joints on the inside, and it had the rugged strength of split board."
The result is a virtually indestructible binding. "The book weighs 19 pounds, yet you can take it by its covers, and shake it like a piece of laundry, and it remains totally integrated; nothing falls apart," says husband Pat. "You can't do that with any other normal book I've seen."
As for those photos, they were shot with Nikon FM2 and F5 cameras using 24mm to 300mm fixed (non-zoom) lenses, and Fuji 35mm slide film (mostly ISO 100). But if the shooters eschew digital photography (try shooting digitally in sub-zero temperatures, or finding a SmartMedia card reader 30 years from now), they don't ignore digital photo tweaking.
The Keoughs and their printer partner, Hemlock Printing Ltd., Burnaby, British Columbia, labored for four months in the prepress department. There they scanned slides, toiled over separations, and painstakingly color- and contrast-corrected the art with Adobe Photoshop.
The customized prepress room combined Hemlock's state-of-the-art scanning and proofing technology with legacy 35mm projectors and screens. "When we saw the first proof scans, we were appalled," Rosemarie says. "Then we realized that 5000o Kelvin is not what we use to look at our slides. A projector bulb is around 3000 degrees [Kelvin]."