Doug Stockdale's Singular Images

January 10, 2014

New Year’s housekeeping – start of 2014


10×10 American Photobooks exhibiton catalog, copyright 2013 10×10 Photobooks

Today was a bit of virtual housekeeping day, as with all of the events that crashed into the end of the year, there were some things that I did not complete that I should have. Most of these tasks are related to my personal self promotion as an artist/photographer, but in the end, the cobblers kids don’t have shoes. Yeah, those subtle things that I need to do for myself go to the sidelines while I complete the tasks at hand; ship books to bookstores, send out invoices, attend book fairs, respond to editorial requests about my books, etc.

So in order of what I did today  (since I kinda hear you asking), is 1. update my web site with the shout-outs regarding my artist book Pine Lake, 2. update this same web site with some 2013 accomplishments (you probably get the idea that keeping a web site updated is viewed as a necessary pain. Yep!), 3. finishing some Facebook shout-outs regarding my photobook Ciociaria and last, 4. publishing a commentary on the 10×10 American Photobook exhibition catalog in which I am featured. sigh.

The three publications which featured Pine Lake at the end of the year were easy to copy & paste into the web site. Yes, this blog is more interactive and easier to use repository of links, etc., so the links are over to your right under the category of Web Ink.

Same for a few updates to the my CV on the web site. My book Ciociaria was accepted into the Indie Photobook Library (IPL) a donation that was made possible by the support of Ella and Zachary Webb.  hmmm, Pine Lake would be another possibility for IPL, so I am now looking for a sponsor who might want to help make this happen.

And last is the review of the 10×10 American Photobooks catalog that includes my selection of photobooks for this series of exhibitions.

Okay, Done!


January 8, 2014

Bluewater Shore – Maquette


Artist photobook maquette cover, Bluewater Shore, copyright 2014 Douglas Stockdale.

A couple of days ago I started a discussion about my next artist photobook for 2014, Bluewater Shore, which I have just finished the first maquette in preparation of getting some feedback from friends at photo l.a. next week.

First, in the photo of the marquette above, the artist photobook dummy appears kinda of chunky, but that is due to my creative process. At this point in time, I have not finalized the selection of the interior photographs, nor the sequence. The image size and margins on the page will be the same as those I used for Pine Lake. Thus after I developed the marquette’s framework, the photographs are being held in place with paper clips (you can see them at the edge of the page) to facilitate changes. Thus, the thickness is a bit unwieldy. When I am pretty sure of the image selection and sequencing, then I will probably tape the images into place.

One change that I am making to Bluewater Shore  is the book binding process of the interior block to the book cover and I am using another manual process; pamphlet sewn stitch. For the Pine Lake artist book, I had used an aluminum prong binding process, almost identical to what was used by Kodak and Ansco for their promotional processing booklets. The downside to the manual prong binding process was the tedious punching of the holes and getting the alignment of the holes correct. Since I was using a hand paper punch, I could only punch three pages at a time. I busted a couple of these punches when I pushed the amount of pages to hole punch. One result of the prong binding was another reason to keep the edition size of Pine Lake to 25.

With the pamphlet sewn stitch, still a very manual process, it is keeping me literally in touch with each and every photobook that I am making. Even the ice pick tool to make the holes for the pamphlet stitching is from the same 1940′s period as the found photographs, or maybe even earlier. A very subtle, essentially unseen, and metaphoric book binding process.

The colors for Bluewater Shore were selected from those used in the same late 1940′s period as my short story is set in. The Canson 300 gm cover is a Sky Blue and the waxed Irish linen thread is a wonderful pink, aptly called Bubble Gum. You can still find these two colors in many of the bathrooms and kitchens of the 1950′s and probably 1960′s houses in the US. My parent’s house in Michigan comes quickly to mind. Oh yes, these were two of my mom’s favorite colors as well, thus another symbolic element.

What I did determine during the construction of this maquette is that my HP desktop printer can not process the 300 gm cover stock. This heavy paper jams the paper feeder and it jams it really well. Thus back to my Epson 4800, which I had suspected that I would need to use and I should have started with it to begin with. sigh. Some lessons are harder to learn than others.

A big change for Bluewater Shore will be that this artist photobook will not have the matching hand made wood frame and cover as did Pine Lake. Since I want to increase the edition size and keep this artist book reasonable priced, I need to make some changes, this probably being one. One thought is to have a large edition of just the stiff-cover book, and a smaller edition of the hand made frame and stiff-cover book. Nice thing about being an artist, I can change my mind on this.

Another change I am making is the printing of the interior pages. With Pine Lake, I had utilized laser printing from a local quick print shop. hmmmm, an area for improvement.  For Bluewater Shore, I will be using an offset lithographic printing process, probably two color. Still working the print, fold and trim details out with a local printer. I will have the printer also fold and trim to a saddle stitch style (without the saddle stitching) so that the signatures will be ready to stitch to the cover. I also plan to increase the limited edition size to 100 or more.

Another draw back to the small edition of Pine Lake was the limited samples available to send out for reviews; there just weren’t any. Thus Pine Lake ended up being under the radar a bit. So for Bluewater Shore, I want to have enough copies to send out to my fellow photobook reviewers to generate some buzzzzzzz. Or at least I hope it will get a little :- D


oh, as to the contents of the maquette, here’s a tease:


December 30, 2013

Pine Lake featured in Emaho Magazine


Pine Lake copyright 2013 Douglas Stockdale.

I was thinking earlier today that I should finish the year with a post about what my objectives were for next year and thoughts about this past year.

But then Manik Katyal, the Editor-in-Chief/Publisher of Emaho magazine disrupted my great plans with his article about Pine Lake. So how cool is that?!

I have to admit, what a very, very nice way to end the year. So check it out here.


Oh, and there are only a few copies of Pine Lake left now.

December 15, 2013

New artist book project with pamphlet stitching


Untitled (Union Ice Picks) copyright 2013 Douglas Stockdale.

While I was developing my artist book Pine Lake, I had started selecting photographs for what will probably be the second artist book in this series about memory, family, nostalgia and remembrance. I am also going to make some changes for this next book, one of which is to produce a limited number of flip books in conjunction with the artist book. I will self-publish both versions and for the stand alone flip-book, I am planing to incorporate a pamphlet binding process.

For the pamphlet bind, it is essentially uses a stabbing tool (awl) to pierce through the interior picture block and outer covers (three holes minimum) and then sewn with an inter-looping pattern and tied off inside the book. Okay, I have never done this before, but how hard can this be to learn, eh?

The awl tool that is prescribed for the paper stabbing has a long slender pointed steel rod fixed to a wooden handle. hmmmm, where had I seen something similar in my grandfather’s steel tool chest? Yep, there in lay three very old ice picks, two of which were pretty grungy and were a pair that I had avoided touching for some twenty years. Time to clean ‘em up!

My biggest concern is the condition of the tips, as they need to be both sharp and straight, which neither of the three are even close. Since I will be working with some very old photographs for this project, perhaps not as old as the ice picks, to use these ice picks in conjunction with creating these books I think would be very symbolic.

So time to figure out how to clean these three little guys up! Another fun aspect of these artist books, more trouble to get into.


December 13, 2013

Book definitions on The Photobook blog

Filed under: Art, Books, Photography — Tags: , , — Doug Stockdale @ 7:32 pm

While I was reviewing some recent photobooks, I realized that I have been using some book design and publishing jargon that may not be as well known to photographers and readers of photobooks. I think for many folks, the book printer (and bindery) may be a black box; photographs and essays go in and pretty soon a ton of printed photobooks in cardboard boxes come out the other side. So perhaps a little bit of information to demystify some of the book design and publishing (printing) processes, especially for those like me who are very interested in creating artist books and self-publishing. Thus I initiated a new Reference page on my photobook blog The Photobook to provide definitions and links to sites (usually Wikipedia) that provide even more detail.

So check it out and perhaps it might help you understand some of the things lurking in the publisher’s black box. And if you still have some questions, leave a comment and I will try to answer the best I can.



November 11, 2013

Pine Lake – L’Ascenseur Vegetal


Pine Lake copyright 2013 Douglas Stockdale

Just a quick shout out that L’Ascenseur Vegetal, the web bookstore in France which is the European bookstore for Pine Lake has just posted their Pine Lake sales page here. Nice.

Claude Lemaire, the owner of L’Ascenseur Vegetal, was able to juggle posting this while preparing to drive up to Paris for Le PhotobookFest, at which Pine Lake as well as many other photobook titles will be available. (Thanks Claude!!) Claude has also arranged two full days of book signing events, so if you plan to be in Paris this week for Paris Photo or weekend to take in Le PhotobookFest, you need to check his schedule out.

Regretfully, I will not be in Paris for this event. sigh.


November 8, 2013

Josef Chladek features Pine Lake


A very nice surprise this morning when I discovered that photobook reviewer Josef Chaladek has  featured my artist photobook Pine Lake on his blog this morning. Very cool. So please check it out here!


Now I need to link this up on the side bar.

October 17, 2013

Pine Lake at As Issued – Costa Mesa, CA


Pine Lake, As Issued, Costa Mesa, CA  copyright 2013 Douglas Stockdale

One of the fun and interesting aspects of publishing Pine Lake has been a reason to initiate another round of discussions with book store owners. Recently I met with DJ, the owner of As Issued, which is located in The LAB on Bristol in Costa Mesa, CA, to show and discuss Pine Lake as well as my earlier photobook Ciociaria.

I am very happy to announce that As Issued will be one of the first art bookstores to sell Pine Lake, and probably the only location on the West (Left) coast. Pine Lake will be available shortly on the East Coast at Harper’s Books, East Hampton, NY.

In addition, As Issued is selling both the trade edition of Ciociaria, as well as the Ciociaria Limited Edition book + print set that I self-published in 2012, both of which are now on their bookshelves. very nice.

So for those in Southern California, go check them out, along with their other cool and interesting books. As Issued and DJ were recently featured in the Register‘s OC Magazine in their article “The Curator of Cool“.



Ciociaria on display, As Issued


October 8, 2013

Pine Lake – Introduction


Pine Lake copyright 2013 Douglas Stockdale self-published artist photobook

At the end of last week, as I stated here, it was pointed out to me that I had some prime real estate available on the interior of my custom frame cover. A very nice place to include an introduction. I had drafted the introduction, but due to some printer issues, printing the covers was delayed. thank goodness.

So now after a couple of more editorial tweaks, I have finalized the introduction and subseqeuntly printed the custom frame covers, which now reads as follows:

Pine Lake is a semi-fictional story about a multi-generational American rite of summer. This is a visual narrative about a men’s weekend away, a fishing trip.

The concept for this book crystallized when I found photographs of my grandfather fishing somewhere on a lake in Pennsylvania. I found another small photograph of him standing beside my dad holding their fishing trophies in my Grandfather’s back yard. I can only speculate as to who actually took the back yard photograph, perhaps my grandmother or maybe my mom. While looking through my family archive for more photographs my grandfather fishing I found a faded photograph of my Great Grandfather, probably somewhere in Pennsylvania, holding his fishing catch. Until that point in time, I had not been aware of my grandparent’s keen interest in fishing.  Thus my worn and faded photographs became symbols for the remaining bits and fragments of my family memories. This is an investigation of what might have been.

Pine Lake is a continuation in my series that explores memory and its preservation.

A very nice addition to this artist photobook :- D


October 4, 2013

Pine Lake – final design evolution

Filed under: Art, Books, Photography, Pine Lake - artist book, Projects/Series — Doug Stockdale @ 6:49 pm


Untitled (Pine Lake introductory text, proof, for inside cover of custom wood frame) copyright 2013 Douglas Stockdale

Serendipity, Fate, Karma, Holy Spirit; many names for what happens or intercedes and allows some interesting events to occur that has nice consequences. What follows is a short story that has resulted in a last minute and well timed addition to my artist photobook Pine Lake.

Let me start with what was suppose to happen: I would be finishing and hand assembling the full edition of Pine Lake for the book launch this week. Instead, I needed some minor foot surgery at the beginning of the week which side-lined me with a bum toe (referred to at times as Mr. Bum-toe). So the final printing of the covers was delayed.

I was to meet with DJ Jazeyeri, who owns As Issued, a fine art bookstore located in Costa Mesa at The LAB,  this week about carrying Pine Lake. So instead of bringing him an edition copy, I still only had the book dummy to show him. He decided to carry Pine Lake, as well as a signed trade edition of Ciociaria and my self-published Ciociaria Limited Edition Book + Print. cool! Then DJ asked if some introductory text for Pine Lake could be included and after a discussion, suggested that there was a great blank spot on the inside of the flap of the custom wood frame. Very interesting and a potential that I had missed. I luv this kind of collaboration!

Hmmmmm. Since I had not printed and glued the top covers on the wood frames yet, this was a possibility, so I began to think about what short introductory essay to include. A draw back was the fact that I had already announced what Pine Lake looked like and I had been accepting orders.

All the while I have been doing therapeutic soaking three times per day of my bum toe and to help pass the time I have been reading Trolleyogy, a biography of the late Gigi Giannuzzi who founded the exceptional photobook publishing company Trolley Books. I just read an excerpt where Gigi was not above stopping the printing presses when he was inspired to tweak some changes that would make the resulting book even better as to the intended vision. Well, duh, then so can I. So I hope that those who have ordered Pine Lake will not be troubled by my creative inspirational changes and the inclusion of a short introduction.

The added introductory text on the interior wood frame cover will read:

Pine Lake is a semi-fictional story about a multi-generational American rite of summer. This hand-made artist photobook utilizes photographs presented serially as would family snapshots captured during a fishing trip.

The concept for this book crystallized when I found photographs of my grandfather fishing somewhere on a lake in Pennsylvania. Then I found another small photograph of him standing beside my dad holding their fishing trophies in my Grandfather’s back yard. I can only speculate as to who actually took the photograph, perhaps my grandmother or my mom. While looking through my family archive for more photographs my grandfather fishing I found a faded photograph of my Great Grandfather, probably somewhere in Pennsylvania, holding his fishing catch. Until then, I had not been aware of my grandparent’s interest in fishing.  Thus my worn and faded photographs became symbols for the remaining bits and fragments of my family memories. I created this story about what might have been.

Pine Lake is a continuation in my series that explores memory and its preservation.


Postscript: After initially posting this, I encountered some formatting issues with my wide format printer, which was fortunate as it allowed me the necessary time to re-read the introduction. And it became apparent to me that I needed to edit the text further, which is now reflected in the current version above.

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