Monday, February 17, 2014

CNBlue 1st Photograph Collection: Blue Travel Review

In September 2013, CNBlue released their first photobook with the theme of travel, leading them to have their photoshoots in Australia. This book is written entirely in English, with many complex sayings sprawled throughout the pages and few grammatical errors.
The front cover has the famous Sydney Opera House in the distance, along with lots of text that's well-formatted to look like a fancy magazine. The top left has a "01" meaning there are potentially more photobooks in the future? The title of this photobook is "Blue Travel," which is very fitting to the band and the concept of this book. In gold are "Nostalgia," "Shelter," "Experience," and "Healing," which is like the table of contents.
Here is a close up of the book's main purpose, which is printed several times throughout the book. The focus is on each member's interaction with traveling in Australia. The book is divided into a section per member, with their theme being what travel means to them. Nostalgia is for Jung Yonghwa, shelter is for Lee Jonghyun, experience is for Kang Minhyuk and healing is for Lee Jungshin, which are all pretty deep and meaningful insights.
There are roughly 40 pages of gorgeous photos per member. These photos focus on each member as they enjoy the beautiful and quiet setting surrounding them. Each member had his own location, with Yonghwa at a serene desert, Jonghyun seaside, Minhyuk roadside and at a grassy park, and Jungshin at a park and on the street. My personal favorite selection of photos is Jungshin's (bottom right), because his photos show such playfulness and are beautifully composed. Each section starts with that member's theme printed on two pages, along with a short description of his theme (top left). There are also some photos of just the breathtaking scenery, like the desert (top right). Many of these photos show an air of coolness and confidence like from high end fashion ads, like Jonghyun's (bottom left).
The last 20 pages bring the members back together at the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge. This section opens with a group photo (sans the members' heads) with "Blue Travel" sprawled across the pages. Most of these photos are individual shots, but there are a few group photos. Even while they are at a tourist location, the band still manages to look cool!
Each of the member's sections include many meaningful sayings in English that reflect that member's feeling about traveling. The left is from Yonghwa's section, the top from Jonghyun's, and the bottom from Minhyuk's.
The back of the book contains a cute envelope with the behind-the-scenes DVD. This DVD is for regions 1 and 3 and automatically includes Korean and English subtitles. It's only 11 minutes and 36 seconds long and doesn't include much behind-the-scenes footage. This DVD is mostly of the members modeling, as if the photos from the book are coming to life. Roughly two minutes is dedicated to each member during his individual shoot, then the remaining 2 minutes are of the group taking photos at the Opera House and Harbour Bridge.
The photobook also comes with one of four postcards. These are honestly the cutest postcards ever, because they're actually like postcards! The front side is a glamorous photo of one of the members and the backside is in the format of a postcard, with a printed, handwritten message by that member. Here is Jungshin's postcard.

I have always loved CNBlue's photobooks because they're well-formatted and very elegant, like a high end fashion magazine. Even if/when I'm not a fan of CNBlue any longer, I will still enjoy glancing at these photos because they're honestly works of art. While photobooks clearly have nothing to do with CNBlue as musicians, I like that it feels that FNC isn't just trying to milk Boice's money, but rather give them quality artwork in return. Overall, I really love this book and it'd be perfect as one of those coffee table photobooks.

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