With the contract signed and returned on book number two, now comes the difficult task of choosing the 250 photographs for publication.
Of over 1500 photographs that I have in my archives of the 1st Battalion in Malaya, I’ve now got to whittle them down to just the above amount. It’s going to be no easy task, as I really want to concentrate on showing as many aspects of the operational life of the Battalion as possible.
I have many pictures of lads clowning around in camp and nights on the town in Kuala Lumpur, but I really want to show the gritty, ‘in the jungle’ stuff that is seldom seen. I want to also show the brutal side of their campaign and that’s going to involve showing a few dead terrorists and some pretty gruesome photographs, and I want to give equal coverage to both regular and national service soldiers who served there, and this needs to be the case for NS officers as well.
I want to cover as much of the daily routine and patrolling as possible, leaving out as much of the formal parades and snaps taken on troopships; though they’ll be in there, but in a much smaller proportion.
I’m starting to select the photographs into groups: patrolling, weapons, camp life, vehicles etc., and then I’ll start to add the ‘generous’ captions that have been requested.
It will take some time and I will then need to ensure they are all of the same size and quality for the printers, but I’ve only got a couple of months to get them all together, so they’ll be some long nights after work making some difficult choices as to what goes in, and what stays out.