We first met Shane during Show + Tell Vol. 1 when he came along with his photobook dummy, Contours. During this session it came to light that Shane wished to revisit the book design and explore the various possibilities that the photobook format might have in store. Over the course of the three day one-on-one workshop we revisited key areas of Contours that Shane wished to address, primarily the image selection, sequence, use of text and cover design.

Contours documents the banlieue regions of Paris. The purpose of the workshop was to explore how best to convey the story of Contours in photobook form - how to bring the viewer through this (quasi) utopian landscape. Straddling the border between fact and fiction, new image selections injected the sequence with a sense of the surreal. The sequence itself was also revisited and reinvigorated, taking the viewer on a journey through this green belt around the city. Many other aspects were re-worked over the three days: re-positioning Adam Roberts' essay as an afterword so as not to influence the viewers initial reading of the book, re-designing the cover - shifting from the original white hardback to the more allusive green-wash image on a soft card cover to reflect the utopian landscape represented inside, and the use of red thread throughout in reference to the banlieues rouges ("red banlieues"), the outskirt districts of Paris in which Shane photographed and where, traditionally, the French Communist Party held mayorships and other elected positions. The final result was three hand bound dummy photobooks. See images of the book below. 

Contours is one of two projects (the other one being Fifty High Seasons) made in France over the same period. For more information on Contours and other works check out Shane Lynam's website here.



Shane Lynam

Imagine a country that is circular, a 250-metre wide strip that curls around the city: a kingdom of fortifications. The landscape is not monotonous; plains, hills and rivers flow over each other across the earth.

This is a story about a circular land, a 250-metre wide strip that curls around Paris. Contours tries to break the pattern of sensationalist journalism often used to depict the 'banlieue' of Paris.



  • Soft cover
  • Swiss bound
  • Coptic stitch with exposed spine
  • 176mm x 250mm
  • 80 pages
  • 38 photographs