Doug Stockdale's Singular Images

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.

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:

holiday_preparations

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!

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.

Cheers!

 

December 9, 2013

Book Fair participation

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Renee Jacobs and me (photo by Wendy Hicks) Duncan Miller gallery, Santa Monica, CA

Yesterday afternoon was a fun and interesting event being a participant at the Duncan Miller gallery Photo Art Book Fair held in Santa Monica. Actually my first time as a “exhibitor”, so thought I would share a little bit about this experience.

First, the gallery space was about the size of my living room/dining room combination, with great lighting. Although with the exhibition tables ringing the two exhibition rooms, that meant that we had to stand directly in the spot lights. That was initially a little uncomfortable,  but after removing my jacket, I was comfortable enough.

Sarah Hadley on behalf of the gallery had provided a list of things to bring and what to expect, but in retrospect, it was missing a few items. I have purposefully not made any business cards, which I was only asked twice, but not having a business card at this event was a mistake that I will shortly correct.

Take-a-ways, promotional cards, brochures, etc was not on Hadley’s list, but this is something you need to include on your check list (now mine) if you are going to participate in similar events. Lots of folks walking by and you are not going to get their card to follow up, so give them something to remember you by. There were 26 of us exhibiting, so thinking that you will be remembered a couple of months after the event is expecting too much.

This was a great experience for me to directly interact with photobook  and photography collectors as they spent time with my work. My book Ciociaria was an easy read for attendees compared to the Pine Lake artist book. Ciociaria is a contemporary and traditional published photobook which can be picked up and viewed at leisure. Pine Lake on the other hand as lots of layers and parts, not really meant for a quick read, thus not well suited for a line of attendees who are waiting their turn. Nevertheless, Pine Lake continued to receive high praises for creativity and originality as everyone who spent a little time with it remarked they had not recalled seeing anything similar. Very cool!

Since I wanted to cover a gamut of options (a range of book prices aka price points), I also brought copies of LensWork #74 in which my portfolio for In Passing was featured. And I brought one of my Foundations portfolio editions, a retrospective collection of my early black & white landscape photographs that I completed in the 1980′s.

And of course, there were a bunch of friends coming by, such as Ann Mitchell, Jim McKinnis and Sarah Lee as well as a bunch of my co-conspirators (oops; co-exhibitors) that included Renee Jacobs with her partner Wendy Hicks, Sara Jane Boyers and Kathleen Laria McLauglin.

Cheers!

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Renee Jacobs holding her recently published Paris (discreetly concealing the cover’s ta-tas) while I hold Pine Lake. By chance (yeah, after a week of planning) we had adjacent exhibition tables.

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Kathleen Laria McLauglin, author of “Color of Hay“, which I reviewed on The Photobook last year.

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Ann Mitchell, both of our portfolios were published in LensWork issue #74

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Sarah Hadley, exhibition coordinator extraordinaire, also Executive Director of Filter Festival

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December 5, 2013

Pine Lake – featured on Libro de Fotografia

This morning I awoke to a nice surprise. My artist book Pine Lake was featured by Tomas de Teresa on his Spanish photobook review blog, Libro de Fotografia. How cool is that?!

Part of his review for Pine Lake:

Douglas Stockdale, el fotógrafo conocido por el blog The Photobook ha auto-publicado un nuevo trabajo llamado Pine Lake. Al igual que en su anterior libro, Ciociaraia, Douglas continúa estudiando el concepto del recuerdo, sólo que en esta ocasión utiliza un enfoque diferente.

Tomas has been a great supporter of my photographic work, previously posting a review of my book Ciociaria as well as setting a review of Ciociaria backed with Spanish guitar on YouTube. You should check this You Tube review out!

Part of his review for Ciociaria:

Ciociaria es una región en el centro de Italia que debe su nombre a un antiguo líder sándalo. De paisajes rocosos y montañosos no posee una historia conocida, algo que ha intrigado a Douglas y que le ha movido a realizar una investigación del lugar, fotograficamente hablando.

Cheers!

November 23, 2013

Red’s Fishing Memento

Fishing_memento

copyright 2013 Douglas Stockdale.

I as I reflect on the development of my artist book Pine Lake, perhaps I was reacting to a very subliminal keepsake that I cherish. Sitting on my workstation for many years is this small fishing memento that my Dad has purchased a long time ago. I can remember this little fisherman sitting on my Dad’s work bench and at the moment, I can not recall when or where he purchase it. But I know that he treasured it, as it probably was his escape talisman, taking him back to his many fishing adventures. A wonderful little memento.

As you tell above, this is also one of the potential items that I was not going to be able to include in the Pine Lake artist book, but in a way, part of it was indeed included.

Cheers!

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