Doug Stockdale's Singular Images

May 8, 2014

Publish Your Photography Book – revised edition

Filed under: Books, Photography — Tags: , — Doug Stockdale @ 7:12 pm

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Copyright 2014 published by Princeton Architectural Press

Darius Himes and Mary Virginia Swanson have updated and revised their how-to book Publish Your Photography Book. The revised (second) edition has a stronger emphasis on Print-on-Demand, mostly focused on the Blurb publishing company, Zines and the Digital Revolution. The later may not be any longer a Revolution. There is a corresponding reduction in focus on the publication of artist books.

I am very delighted that my blog The PhotoBook is again listed in Appendix X, Print and Online Publications and Marketing Resources. Thank you Darius and Mary Virgina!

Cheers!

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February 21, 2014

Emaho magazine

Filed under: Art Market, Books, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , — Doug Stockdale @ 9:34 pm

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“American” photobook titles, copyright 2014 Douglas Stockdale.

I have been just invited by Manik Katyal, founder, editor and publisher of EMAHO magazine to be a contributor to his magazine joining he and Colin Pantall as photobook reviewers. We are still working on the details of what that means, but the short answer is that he would like to co-publish my book reviews that I post on The Photobook blog. You may also recall that Katyal featured my artist book Pine Lake on EMAHO magazine.

Katyal has also asked that I focus on American photobooks, as Pantall is located in the UK and is predominantly covering the European photobook scene. When I stated The Photobook blog in 2009, one key aspect of this project was for me to look at photobooks beyond the borders of the U.S. as I see photobooks having a intercontinental reach. So this has stirred mixed emotions, but fortunately Katyal has not asked me to be a book reviewer exclusive to American photobooks.

With the internet and social media I observe a really quick mashup of ideas and concepts being shared amongst photographers and book makers. This request to be an American specialist is an interesting one. I am in the midst of reading America Latina Photographs (1960 – 2013) recently co-published by Museo Amparo, Fondation Cartier in conjunction with Thames & Hudson. American Latina covers an extensive and diverse region, extending from Argentina and Chile north to Mexico and includes the Caribbean islands. The curators/authors devolve into question of what does the term America Latina photography signify. I think the same beguiling question encircles the idea of American photobooks. Thus expect me to be equally broad and diverse while to looking at American photobooks.

I will start by broadly defining American photobooks as those created by someone born in America, someone who has moved to and resides at least a part of their time in America and photographers who reside in places other than in America who in turn investigate the culture, landscape and society of America.

An example I have in hand is Andreas Oetker-Kast’s recently published photobook Looking for Wonderland, a German photographer who made an American road trip investigation transversing across the U.S. Likewise Andrew Phelps, an American photographer who now resides in Austria who returned his family home to investigate a region of Arizona titled Haboob. And quintessential American photographers such as the late W. Eugene Smith and his three volume opus Big Book.

My photobook reviews will not be exclusive to the American photobook, but perhaps I will become a little more keen observant as to what is being published with regard to America.

Cheers!

footnote: the photograph of the American photobook stack, above, is also an investigation into the use of my recently expanded studio space. Another work in progress, but so far, so good.

February 3, 2014

New project in the making

Filed under: Books, Photography, Projects/Series — Doug Stockdale @ 9:05 pm

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untitled (Aliso Viejo, CA, January 2014) copyright 2014 Douglas Stockdale.

Another interesting series of events that appear to be leading into a new photobook project. First, I have been using the wide format Samsung IV camera-phone to see what things looked like in these almost panoramic photographs. Then I was inspired to take some “documentary” photographs of the golf courses I have been playing lately with the Samsung. The what-am-I-doing-now variety of photographs. Relatively brainless, but kinda of interesting as to the results.

I am currently reading Paul Seawright’s latest photobook Volunteer just released by a new Irish photobook publisher Artist Photo Books. Seawright’s subject is the US military recruitment centers sprinkled around the country, but he does not photograph them directly. His viewpoint is looking away from these recruitment centers and out toward the urban landscape. It is his attempt to describe where, thus indirectly who, are the people that the military is seeking to recruit.

It is this idea of an indirect visual study that intrigues me. And thus the underlying concept for this new photographic project. I have a straw-man idea for the title, but still too soon. I need to play some more golf (hint, hint) and take some more photographs. Then see what photographic images start to accumulate.

Cheers!

February 2, 2014

Bluewater Shore & 2014 LA Art Book Fair

Filed under: Bluewater Shore - artist book, Books, Photography, Projects/Series — Doug Stockdale @ 5:47 am

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untitled (Bluewater Shore, maquette interior) copyright 2014 Douglas Stockdale

Attending the 2014 LA Art Book Fair with regard to spending some show and tell time with the Bluewater Shore maquette was a bit anticlimactic.

First, I attended on a Friday knowing that for these three day weekend events, Friday should be a little slower with a much smaller crowd, which was the case.  Thus if no one was lurking in front of the booth, there might be some time available with a friend for a quick look-n-see of my maquette. This is a sensitive moment, as the folks are primarily there to show-and-sell their books, but as friends, they can make some leeway with their time if they don’t feel pressed. Not recommended for a cold pitch when you have never met the person you want to approach. Nevertheless, after some shop-talk, I did get a couple of look-sees and some very, very nice feedback and interest. That is always nice.

Meeting up with some photobook/photographer friends who are roaming the isles is much easier and safer to approach and share. They usually have something they want you to look at or discuss as well, so a nice give and take, appreciated by both. These exchanges are generating more interest in my Bluewater Shore project.

Another of my key reasons for attending this particular event is to figure out who are the booksellers/galleries that are focusing on the true hand-made artist books. Regretfully there were not many. Let me correct that, I could not find one. Okay, maybe there is hope for one. There are rare book dealers who have created a after market for books that are now out of print, etc, and these books can get very expensive, over $5,000 and for some, well over that price. But although they have a market for high end books, they do not sell new artist books that can be very expensive compared to the commercial trade books. Even Printed Matter in NYC which attempts to be a zine and artist bookstore has a limit on their price point, preferring not to stock books that retail for more than $50.00. sigh.

So the good news, more validation for my Bluewater Shore project. (Since I am a guy, I am going to just ignore the bad news.)

Next week I am going to meet with a printer to discuss their digital versus offset litho printing and look at some options for paper stock. I will bring them the maquette for the design and layout as well as some match prints for the printing. Then they should be able to provide some print/fold/trim quotes for the single two-sided signature that I am envisioning. The elephant in the room is the low quantity of printed signatures that I need.

Cheers!

January 19, 2014

Bluewater Shore – Maquette walk-about

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

As I stated earlier this month, one of my short term objectives to finish my first maquette for this artist book was to obtain some feedback on book concept & design during photo l.a. this weekend. In fact, I did manage to obtain a bunch of evaluations on the fly with friends while attending photo l.a., then a couple more afterwards over dinner with a some other like minded friends.

Part of our discussions centered on the book’s design, layout and sequencing with one outlying image as an alternative. There was also some brainstorming this limited edition concept, the series of books that this project will be part of as well as photobooks & photography in general.

Mission accomplished! I think that I am now ready to lock down the selection and sequencing of the images and the related text to fabricate a second maquette for my graphic designer to prepare the pre-press files. nice.

At photo l.a. I acquired Gerd Kittel’s photobook Route 66, to help with the concept of what will probably be my third artist book in this series. What I did not anticipate was a little artist book brainstorming session with the woman who does the hand bindery for the Silas Finch photobooks, a conversation which may lead to a fourth book in my series. very cool.

Cheers!

January 10, 2014

New Year’s housekeeping – start of 2014

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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!

Cheers

January 8, 2014

Bluewater Shore – Maquette

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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

Cheers!

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

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January 3, 2014

New Year – 2014

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untitled (working title: Bluewater Shore) copyright 2014 Douglas Stockdale

At the beginning of the year I like to think about what I might accomplish for the coming year, with this being more of a bunch of loose-goosey planing objectives. Having worked in corporate for tooo many years, I know how rigid and constricting a plan can get. As an artist, I think that having some objectives is actually a good thing, e.g. to ensure that I try some new things and explore some wild ideas. Allow myself to listen to the faint whispering of my creative muse.

One of the fun things that evolved last year was my first artist photobook Pine Lake. All in all, I am very satisfied with this artist photobook and I had kinda realized that if this worked out well enough (translation: I sold some), that I would do at least one more, if not two. Truth is I did more than just selling some, as about all of the Edition is gone. The response to the Pine Lake book has been delightful!

Even while developing Pine Lake, I was already planning for a second book in this series that investigates memory, family, relationships, nostalgia and loss. Similar to Pine Lake, this will be another semi-fictional short story with this one based on a young woman and her girlfriends going on a holiday to the shore set in the late 1940’s using “found” anonymous photographs that perchance were residing in my family’s old photo albums.

This second artist photobook will also incorporate some lessons learned from self-publishing Pine Lake. I will elaborate on those changes in the coming weeks as I finish the design and publishing as I am still tweaking some of these changes. Nevertheless I do plan to have the actual stiff cover book about the same size as Pine Lake, what I am unsure of at this time is to also include the outer custom frame. I also want to increase the edition size in order to have copies available to send to reviewers, something that I was unable to do with Pine Lake. So this book will be similar but yet different.

For now, I am working on creating my book dummy and to my initial point above, my objective is to have a book dummy to carry around with me at photo l.a. that starts on January 17 – 19 at the LA Mart. In this case, my book dummy is not to share with any publishers but rather I have a number of friends who I usually meet up with at photo l.a. and I want to bounce this project off their creative skulls. And the best way to obtain great feedback is to have a book dummy that they can play with.

So enough of this, I need to get back to printing the test images :- D

Cheers!

December 30, 2013

Pine Lake featured in Emaho Magazine

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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.

Cheers!

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

December 15, 2013

New artist book project with pamphlet stitching

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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.

Cheers!

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