Ready for a Holiday (Bluewater Shore, artist book, self-published, 2017) copyright Douglas Stockdale
Very exciting news; last week I have a sponsor for my limited edition artist book Bluewater Shore!
For the past six days I have radically shifted gears to finalize the development of my project: book & cover design (same as Pine Lake), tweaked a couple of the images, created a set of production proofs and pre-production high resolution files, created a set of web ready images and just posted these on my web site, fine tuned my introduction (below) and put together a little press release flyer that provides an overview of this artist book which I was able to start handing out at the LACP open house this last Saturday. Yep, I’ve been a busy guy ;- )
Bluewater Shore Introduction: A semi-fictional story about an American rite of summer. This is a visual narrative about a women’s holiday, an exciting trip to the shore with friends. This is set in the late 1940’s and investigates a new sense of independence for women that occurred during and following World War II.
The good news is that I have been mulling over this book project for the past couple of years after self-publishing Pine Lake. Sort of had this on a slow-simmer; so the concept and what I want to accomplish was pretty well thought-out, thus when I received the go-ahead, I had the planning complete so I just needed to update all of the files and book dummy.
At the moment I looking at a book launch for Bluewater Shore at Photo Independent (April 21-23, 2017) at which I already have a table reserved. Also starting an interest list, so let me know (email@example.com) if this project might be one you would like to support and purchase one of the 99 limited edition copies. Very close to setting the final price, so that will be announced shortly.
Trubuco Canyon 2017 copyright Douglas Stockdale
This week one of the photographic groups I attend, The Photographers Exchange, is having the annual print exchange meeting (at IFAC on Thursday, March 16 starting at 5:30pm). Except with a slight twist; everyone who brings a print will leave with some else’s print, it is just the print you leave with maybe different than the one your heart truly desires.
This turns into a fun and wacky meeting; first all of the prints are laid out and everyone has a change to pick their top three prints. The print with the highest score allows that photographer who brought the print to choose one of the other prints. The photographer whose print is just selected, then gets to choose one of the remaining prints. and so it goes and typically as the night wears on, the selection of the available prints becomes more and more limited.
The idea strategy (my version): bring a nice matted print that most would like to ensure that this print gets selected early in the evening which in turn would provide me with a larger group of prints to select from. Has worked pretty decently in past years and I have left with some interesting photographic prints from my friends. A slight variation is that if the print that I really desire’s most was no longer available and the photographer also liked my print (but again, did not obtain it), we will do a post-meeting print exchange.
The print I will be bringing is featured above and is an open edition, 6″ x 6″ inkjet with archival white matte (11 x 14″) ready for framing. I think its a winner ;- )
So if you are in the O.C. area on Thursday, I hope you can make it (and bring a print! the only requirement to attend). There will also be some pizza, veggies, & soda.
Ciociaria published by Punctum Press (Rome, Italy)
For those on the Left Coast, Los Angeles Center for Photography (LACP) is having a Spring Open House on March 18 & 19th, 2017 at their L.A. facility; 1515 Wilcox Ave., Los Angeles, California.
I have been invited to present, discuss and sell my photobooks and I will have a table from 2 to 5pm on Saturday, March 18th. I will have copies of Ciociaria and one or two copies that are left of Pine Lake. I have still have a couple of issues of LensWork #74 in which my portfolio In Passing was featured.
And of course I will be discussing my Introduction to Photo Book Design workshop that begins on April 1st. I have told that there are a few remaining spots still available for this dynamic two-Saturday workshop.
If you are in the area, I hope you can drop in and say hello.
Middle Ground, San Diego, 2016 copyright Douglas Stockdale
I have enjoyed a short breather from my Middle Ground project, an investigation of “Fortress America”, a sarcastic visual parody of the current political desire to build a HUGE wall to protect America from the desperadoes of the South. I touched on this project briefly during my interview with Aline Smithson for Lenscratch, but none of photographs from this project were included (I think that this is my bad, as I meant to, but not sure that I actually provided one)
So a quick recap: I now think that I have all of the photographs to finish this project (which means I will not be acquiring the 50mm Distagon for a film version of this project), now heavily into editing and I think that time is of the essence to get this project completed. I do not think it will stop the political folly, but this might help with the discussion as to why this wall is such a stupid, impracticable and expensive idea (I don’t think that this concept worked for China or most recently in Berlin). Yes, a billion dollar wall that can be overcome by a used $25.00 ladder. sigh.
One idea for an artist book (and hopefully a trade edition) is to design, print and bind the interior pages as an accordion (Leporello or Concertinas). The results will create a continuous line of the barriers (photographs), thus another layer of visual parody about The wall.
Okay, back to work!
Today I was featured on Aline Smithson’s Lenscratch in the Mixtape “profiles of movers and shakers in the fine art photography world, often reviewers at portfolio events and taste makers in their own right”. This is the third time I have been featured on Lenscratch by the wonderful Aline.
I think that this honor is mostly a result of being the Editor (maybe Editor-in-Chief with the recent staff editions to this Journal) of The PhotoBook and now a submission reviewer for LensCulture as well as portfolio reviewer and workshop leader with LACP.
The PhotoBook is helping to promote photobooks by a wide and diverse group of photographers over the past eight plus years. There are now over 400 contemporary photobook reviews that includes almost as many photographers. This blog even earned the million eye-ball award last summer, a nice achievement for something that I had initially founded just to share my interest in the wonders of a book object. Now it is helping to support the photographic community.
Nevertheless, I think that this blog is also a testimony to the fact that I can also take a photograph or two, create a body of work worthy of a publishing as well as investigating some conceptual ideas that result in an artist book or exhibition.
Lenscratch has an interesting selection of photographs that I have created over the years, including a very early self-portrait that Aline coaxed from me. So rather than trying to duplicate her fine effort, go check it out ;- )
Btw, I am also starting a mailing list for a quarterly newsletter, so if you are interested, drop me a line requesting to join; firstname.lastname@example.org (yes, for some reason I still cannot seem to get the WordPress Widget to load on this page that would allow you to sign up directly. sigh)
Copyright 2017 Douglas Stockdale
We just completed our annual ski trip to Vail, Colorado. We drove out from Southern California with Zach and met up with Chad in Vail, who came up from Denver. Drive out through California, Nevada, Utah and then into Colorado was breath taking as usual, but no stopping on the way for photographs. What I have noted over the years is that the places I would be interested in stopping to photograph there are no safe or easily accessible passage ways. Drive back was equally beautiful, but different weather conditions; overcast, drizzly and sometime snow-showers, but all the hills were turning green due to the recent rain.
This year with the increased snow, the skiing was just about perfect; clear blue sky (makes it much easier to see the bumps on the hill with the yellow tint googles), temperature in the high 30’s (F), and no wind. We skied out legs off! Regretfully at the end of the week I started hot-dogging and now have a colorful bruised hip to show for it.
Photo above was on the slopes of Vail, while below is Gore Creek that flows through Vail, below that was during the drive we took to ski at Copper Mountain one day, them skiing at Vail and finally a view out our window of our place. Really nice change from Southern California, as we came to visit the snow, not to stay.
2016 International Photo Book Competition jury (yours truly in the white shirt)
I am very pleased and honored to be selected as one of the jurors for the 2017 International Photo Book Competition. This will be the second consecutive year that I have had this delightful opportunity. The diversity, quality and range of subjects that were submitted last year was almost overwhelming and at the end of the day I was emotional worn out, while being extremely jazzed by the intriguing photobooks that were submitted. My one regret is that there were so many submissions that I really did not have the chance to delve into and spend what I feel is quality time with any of the books. Yes, when I momentarily stopped the jurying process because I was beginning to spend a little too much time with a title, I started getting the collective evil eyes.
Similar to last year, in addition to the winners being available (& for sale) at Photo Independent, I will be providing two curatorial book discussions during Photo Independent. This was equally enjoyable with the give-n-take discussions with those who participated. There will a sign-up for my talks probably in early April.
So if you have a published photobook (by a publisher or self-published), please consider this juried opportunity.
Always open to questions,
San Clemente, CA 2017 copyright Douglas Stockdale
So my latest experiment-fun that I have been playing around with is photographing the ocean, surf & sky when I happen to be driving near and subsequently posting on Instagram (@douglasstockdale) as my Weather & Surf Report. As you might imagine, we live close by and my daughter lives even closer, so this becomes a frequently opportunity, especially when I need to drop off someone at the San Clement train station which is just yards away from this ocean beach. I enjoy watching the surf, the smell of the salt air, and the various sounds of the surf and beach, but I was not really drawn to photograph it until recently. Not sure that I want to do a long exposure or in black & white, but perhaps documenting this natural landscape (while the local coastal train zooms by behind me) in color.
I have not been that consistent in my framing, but experimenting with options; leaning towards a lot more atmospheric sky than the ocean & beach.
See what develops, eh? Meantime, having some fun.
Trabuco Canyon I, copyright 2017 Douglas Stockdale
Between the recent rain storms in Southern California, we decided to take a short walk (yeah, not really a hike) through part of the Trabuco Canyon we live adjacent to. Must admit, I am still drawn to the irregular shapes of what we call the lazy Sycamore trees that are found in this canyon. The jumble of spaces, lines, textures and masses are really visually interesting to me, so I decided to have some experimental-fun with this landscape (again). I also could not help working on a variety of framing and presentations; full frame, square (Instagram posting), rectangle, color, black & white, straight, interpretative, layering of effects. Since I no longer consider myself a nature landscape photographer, I did not feel like it was necessary to have a particular “artistic” visual style, but just to experiment and have some photographic fun.
And I have ;- )
Saddle Stitch Fastener copyright 2017 Douglas Stockdale
I have bought one new item for 2017 (and I am still looking for that used 50mm CF Distagon for the Hasselblad), which is pictured above, what is called a Saddle Stitch Fastener, or a stapler on steroids. I will be using this book binder for my LACP Introduction to Book Design workshop later this spring to demo how to make a saddle stitch binding for a small book. The saddle stitch binding is one of the two book binding methods I will be demonstrating during the workshop.
This binder is stated to handle up to 20 sheets, so I would consider this lightweight equipment, which is a good start for my publishing company. It is an idea method to create a simple book dummy to work on the sequencing and pairing of the images for a book. This is also a popular way to create a small edition book, as I have a bunch of intriguing photobooks in my library that are bound together with saddle stitch binding, such as those by the New Zealand photographer Harvey Benge.
I also have an great idea on how I will be making a small limited edition book with the class during the workshop as a fun start and will become a unique class takeaway. I have already completed the book dummy for it and I need to work-up the interior text, probably about 12 interior pages in all. I will print the stiffcover with my Epson printer using a double-sided Epson matte photo paper and print the interior sheets with my desktop letter printer. I think it will be an interesting surprise for those attending on the first day of the workshop.
And I may be making a few other small edition books as a result. Lots of possibilities!