Doug Stockdale's Singular Images

December 29, 2008

In Passing – Blurb 2nd Edition Tweaks

Filed under: Books, In Passing, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , — Doug Stockdale @ 12:12 am

After I had recevied my first copy of the Second Edition In Passing, I realized that I had missed a formatting mistake on one page. So then I had to decide, do I want to correct the mistake and reload it back up to Blurb which will result in getting a new locator number or not.

I am probably the only person who is going to notice the subtle error, which is having a page number on the same page as the image, while all of the other image pages do not have the page number. Pro and con, pro and con.

Then I decided that one of the really fine aspects of the whole print on demand thing is so that you can quickly make changes if you missed something. And not have to live with 1,000 copies of my mistake.

So I made the correction to the page. And then I went through my first copy, now a proof copy or artist proof (A/P) and decided if there were any other tweaks that I would like to make. So I did; I down sized the photographic titles from a 16 pt font to a 12 point font and I increased the font size of the book title on the spine.

So I deleted the first production proof  of the Second Edtion off Blurb and uploaded the final version. And I was immeadately assigned a new locator number for the book. darn.

And I had a chance to air my issues with the folks at Blurb regarding that fact that in doing this (making corrections and reloading the file), I lost any potential links due to the new locator number that was assigned for my second edition changes. I would like the option that if after reviewing the first printed book, you can make some changes and reload the book file and use the same book locator number.

And so now on to other things….

Best regards, Doug

December 27, 2008

Happy Holidays

Filed under: Photography — Doug Stockdale @ 10:32 pm

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Untitled, 2008 by Douglas Stockdale

I hope that you all are having a nice holiday season, as those that celebrate the New Year in a couple of days, the very best for your New Year. Don’t forget to take it one day at a time.

I have been recharging my batteries and taking some time with my family. We celebrate Christmas, but this year was totally about time with the family. No new camera equipment or similar stuff, but just some time to appreciate each other.

I did find myself with my mind wondering, and in that openness, I came across some phenomena that was extremely visually interesting out on the ocean. So I started to explore it, so far mostly capturing the photographs. So I hope to spend some more time over the next couple of weeks tweaking some of the images, such as the one above, to further explore the light, color and patterns. It reminds me of some of my near abstract acrylic paintings that I was working on in the late 1980’s.

Best regards, Doug

December 18, 2008

Time for the Holidays

Filed under: Photography, Projects/Series — Doug Stockdale @ 1:12 am

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untitled, Xitang, China 2008 copyright of Douglas Stockdale

Just to let you all know that I will be writing a little less frequently, while I take some time to enjoy the Holidays with my family.

Currently working on a slightly different body of work from China, urban landscapes of Xitang (Xi Tang), a water village (Hutong) about an hours drive south of Shanghai. Tentatively titled Mingxinpian, which literally translates as Picture Post Cards.

There is something about the resulting planes, forms and space that were created by the fallen snow that I find absolutely captivating.

Happy holidays and I wish you all the very best for the New Year, Doug

December 15, 2008

Photographic Series

Filed under: Photography, Projects/Series — Doug Stockdale @ 9:19 pm

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Untitled, JiaShan, China, 2008 copyright of Douglas Stockdale

Words can have an emtional impact and I am guilt of sometimes not paying close enough attention. Such that when I am working on a body of work, this case the photographs from China, I sometimes interchange the two words project and series. For most, probably not a big deal.

But I was reminded in a recent post by Kjell Andersen, for those whose day job is in the technical project management world, a “project” cares a lot of overtones and hidden baggage. Yes, a project does imply being somewhat organized and understanding that there is a sequence of tasks to accomplish. But in a technical project management day-job, there is a very strong emphasis on time schedule. Very strong pressures by a bunch of usually senior folks.

In my case, folks are not interested in paying for a consulting firm if they do not have too. So when the project is really fouled up, now the completion date is late and going to be later, then we are asked to come in and work  some wonders. We usually can, but it is very stressful. Thus, I was reminded that when I now use that same project word with my photographs, I have some emotional triggers and carrying some unneeded baggage.

Not a good idea when you are attempting to be creative. There is no deadlines for being creative and probably just the opposite, as creative also means things getting messy.

So for here on out, projectmanagement is my day job, while with my photographic endeavors, I will work on a series of photographs. The word series does not have that same emotional baggage for me. It is a looser or softer word to define what it is coming together. It allows me more latitude and releases me from some of the get ‘er done self imposed time restraints.

Ahhhh, that does feel much better. And I find that I am now looking at some of these images a little differently, pulling some of the photographs out of obscurity, that are a bit vague, but now equally meaningful. nice.

Like the one with this post, trees which were planted to hide the traces of a recent Hutong demolition and now a pending redevelopment.

Best regards, Doug

SoFoBoMo 2009

Filed under: Photography, SoFoBoMo — Doug Stockdale @ 7:47 pm

The fuzzy month for SoFoBoMo 2009 have been selected, which will allow for the 30 days of maddness to occur between the begining of May until the end of June, 2009.

So I have some time to think if I will join in this year, probably depending on a suitable series that has my attention at the time. My one big lesson learned from the first SoFoBoMo 2008 is not to try it with film and your local professional processing house.  Especially if need to allow for about 4 hours of digital spotting per photograph for after I scan it. Oh, yes, and for the three hours to scan each negative. Yikes, was that stressful, and then have to bailout with the digital.

With the amount of Blurb books that I have been working on, the book development is not that daunting at the moment. I just need to remember to keep my text limited. And to remember that during the fuzzy period that I need to develop a second how-to book because I am trying to work out some technical issues. I hope that those issues are now behind me.

But last years series for SoFoBoMo, which was created close to home, did connect for me. So I think that I will explore that idea for a while.

Best regards, Doug

BTW, as these and other SoFoBoMo thoughts are published, I will try to remember to link them on the right in the SoFoBoMo catagory archive.

December 13, 2008

Dec 13 2008

Filed under: Photography, Projects/Series — Doug Stockdale @ 5:44 pm

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momentarily untitled, JiaShan, China 2008 by Douglas Stockdale

At the moment, I just seem to be floating. Probably a little spent, having just published the second editions of both of my current books, In Passing and Sharpening Photographs for POD Publishing. Perhaps feeling that same kind of let down after SoFoBoMo 2008. Not that I had anticipated publishing the second edition so soon, but the Sharpening book had a bunch of grammar, sequencing and other updates needed. (UPDATE: I just noted that my first edition Sharpening book had received Blurb’s Staff Pick designation, which is the best endorsement that Blurb provides for the books they publish, so I hope the second edition receives a similar endorsement)

For In Passing, it was a realization that my first edition was not up to its full potential, some photographs needed a major overhaul, tighter editing, better paper to utilize and improve the overall design. But now hopefully done with both for a while.

I also realize that I am again, a little overextended in my writings. So my blog Photo Exhibit is now “on holiday”. Rather than this blog be just my reviews, I am thinking about opening it up to other bloggers who would like to contribute reviews of photographic gallery exhibits in their regions. But the fact is, I don’t have the time to get out to the various galleries to eyeball them and write a succinct review. So good idea, but flawed in my ability to execute. But I will keep my options open until after the first of the year before I pull the plug on it. So anyone interested in becoming a gallery reviewer and become part of the unpaid editorial team?

Yes, today is my day to ramble along on what suits me.

So far, I am enjoying the writing of my other new blog The Photo Book. The logistics are much better, I can obtain the books locally or they are delivered to me. Then a matter of reading, reflecting and writing. A win-win-win situation;- )

Last, I am now reviewing all of my photographs from China now that I am reconsidering my project Re:Development. And just because an image seems to work with a triptych does not mean it will work as a single image. So the whole series is in flux and reconsideration. Since I had cropped all of the images into squares to work with the triptych concept, I am now reviewing each image to determine which should take advantage of the entire frame or stay cropped.

At the moment, the image above seems to work better cropped, while the image I posted a couple of days ago, here, just has to be horizontal to take full advantage of that landscape, as the cropped version was totally unusable. Yes, my opinion, but today, that’s what counts.

For me, the photograph above is symbolic for me of the Chinese people in their society and culture. Thus I use these symbols to represent the presence of the unseen but every present Chinese people in China. So I need to explore that concept a little further. But that no doubt means that I am imbuing the photographs with some latent meaning, which is another consideration to evaluate.

Ah, if it is not one thing, it is another.

Best regards, Doug

December 11, 2008

Sharpening Photos for POD Publishing – 2nd Edition

Filed under: Books, Photography — Doug Stockdale @ 11:23 pm

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I am very happy to announce that the second edition of my sharpening book for POD publishing has been completed, uploaded and now available for purchase here.

Even though I have changed the title a wee bit, it is still my second edition Sharpening book nevertheless. I had the wonderful editorial help from my friend Dave Olmstead to eliminate my crummy use of grammar. Remember, the first edition was created in just one day when I was really aggravated with my first production proof of In Passing, so hopefully I get some allowances AND I was in the middle of trying to complete my SoFoBoMo 2008 project. Yikes.

What I had not noticed until recently is that my first edition Sharpening book had received a Blurb Staff  Pick. Now I am hoping to receive the same Blurb recommendation for my second edition. Thanks Blurb team!

So this new edition has the grammar and spelling fixes, more comparative photographs to illustrate my points, a little more experience to draw from and share and the photographs re-arranged a bit to help illustrate the effects (Thanks to Laura Russel, 23 Sandy Gallery for those great recommendations).

Okay, so go check it out and let me know your thoughts from what you read in the preview. I have kept the first edition on Blurb with a referral to the second edition. I do not expect anyone to purchase the first edition, but there are a number of Internet and other blog pointers and links to the first edition book that I want to preserve for the time being.

Best regards, Doug

BTW, one tiny complaint. When you upload to Blurb, you upload the file that has all of the photographic images with the output sharpening for the laser half-tone printing process.  But then Blurb uses those same photo file for a internet presentation. And the photograhic files were not been optimized for the internet, so they are way oversharpened and regrefully it shows. sigh.

December 10, 2008

Creative transparency

Filed under: Photography, Projects/Series — Doug Stockdale @ 11:45 pm

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First, this is not about how to creatively use transparency, which is an interesting subject in itself, but about the transparency of my own creative process.  For those who have been reading along, you all know that I write about my ups and downs of creating a photographic series.

For some folks, they need to cloak their creative ups and down is secret, which is their choice, but I have learned more when writing about what goes right and what goes wrong. That is just the process which seems to work for me. Kinda like my photography, I do what I like to do and I hope you enjoy it too.

BUT (you just gotta like those but’s, eh?) sometime I work on a series and it seems that it is TOTALLY for me, or in the case of my recent Re:Development triptychs, the series of three images, don’t communicate my point very well (if at all). In this case, I was intereted in getting a point across, thus the way I created the series as all triptychs does not seem to have the desired impact.

To modify the Serenty Prayer about the development of a photographic series, I know I can explore creative options, but I need to have the ability to understand when it is working and when is not, and the wisdom to know the difference.

My series Re:Development in a triptych presentation format was not really working that well. A lot of the images, in retrospect, are much stronger (like the one above) when they were not cropped square and placed into an adjuacent contex with two other images to form a triptych. Nevertheless, let me state that I also think that the triptych format works really well with some sequences.

Although I am now reworking the series again as singular images, I am also going to retain some of the triptychs as well. As my friend Miguel suggested a while ago (wish I would have listened a little better the first time), create the series with the single images and add in a couple of combination triptychs, just not make the entire series in a triptych format.

Thus, like I have done with my series In Passing, I am in the process of re-examining the 120-140 photographs of my final cut for Re:Development to pull together a comprehensive body of work. Now thinking about which photographs to use, pairing and sequencing for a book, to tie this all together.

Okay, enough transparency for a day, now back to finishing the second edition of my Sharpening for POD publishing book. The edits are back (Thanks Dave!) and now a final review, add another photograph or two and hopefully upload to Blurb tomorrow.

Best regards, Doug

December 5, 2008

In Passing – received my Blurb 2nd Edition copy

Filed under: Books, In Passing, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , — Doug Stockdale @ 10:42 pm

I received my “production proof”, or the first printed copy of In Passing from Blurb a couple of days ago, so I have been going over it in detail.

So first thoughts: larger size is very impressive, as is the image-wrap hardcover book. At 80 pages (40 sheets), it is on the minimum size for the hardcover binding, as the binding back is wider than the thickness of the pages, thus a little stress on the cover at the binding edge. I had reviewed Jonathan  Smith’s Bridge Project which has 152 pages, and fills out the hardbound binding really nicely. Nevertheless, the 80 pages does work, but it will be interesting to see how it holds up over time.

I think that the 100lb luster “premium” paper adds a tremendous amount to the books appearance and the look of the duotone photographs. I noted a big difference in the color photographs of Ben Roberts One More Night, a Blurb book which is printed on the same premium paper. The premium paper is a large added expense, but I think the premium upgrade is worth it.

There are still some niggling details, but not worth getting into. Overall, expect for the cost, it is really nice and a huge improvement over my smaller softbound first edition. And since I stopped selling the first edition, I think that there were a total of two printed, so how is that for a small limited edition? And my copy is not for sale;- )

Best regards, Doug

December 3, 2008

Conceptually Innovative

Filed under: Photography, Projects/Series — Doug Stockdale @ 5:10 am

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Riverside County, CA 2007 copyright of Douglas Stockdale

In thinking about my post yesterday regarding my attempts to deal with Pictorial Space, I think the idea of just trying to work with the spacial aspect was that it just is not exactly conceptually innovative. Nothing new, eh? And not exactly innovative or cutting edge.

At one time, I thought that for a body of work, a series of photographs, to be considered contemporary, that conceptual innovation should be part of the consideration. That idea of change for changes sake. To experiment and explore a concept. So I guess the concept I am exploring is space. hmmmm.

Well, I guess the idea now is just to proceed and see what happens next, eh?

Best regards, Doug

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