Doug Stockdale's Singular Images

December 31, 2010

Thoughts for the end of 2010

Filed under: Ciociaria, Photography, Projects/Series — Doug Stockdale @ 9:36 pm

A Charlie Brown Christmas Tree, Fiuggi, Italy December 2010 copyright Douglas Stockdale

During the Holidays, while I am working on my own photobook project, Ciociaria, and needing to pause while the printer hummms away, it allows me time to reflect on this last year, and to ponder what 2011 will bring.

I think it is an understatement to say that this year is ending on a high note for me with my mid-December meeting in Rome with Marco Delogu at Edizioni Press for the publication my photographic project Ciociaria. A very nice milestone for a project that I have been developing for the past year in central Italy.

Which takes me to my current activities of further developing my concept, having completed the raw edit of my photographs to whittle down the potential images and I am now working on my second edit. I keep an eye during this edit process for the potential pairing and subsequent sequencing of the photographs. All of this will eventually lead to the first draft of the book dummy and subsequent meeting in Rome with the book designer. It will be nice to be included in the book design phase, as this is not always an opportunity afforded a photographer by the photobook publishers.

In reflecting back to last New Year’s day, I did not anticipate this outcome for my then budding project, but since I had In Passing published by LensWork in December 2008 and subsequently self publishing this project with Blurb, I now look at every project as a potential photobook. But up to now, my focus was on self-publishing.

In 2010 I continued with photobook reviews on my other blog The PhotoBook. I now have over 150 photobook reviews published, as well as becoming a contributing photobook reviewer for photo-eye. I already sense that the development of my own photobook is impacting my time to complete book reviews and publish them. So I will continue with my photobook reviews in 2011, but probably not at the same pace as earlier. The very good news is that there are a ton of wonderful photobooks being published, both by photographers as PIY or DIY, or by the established publishers.

For 2010, one thing that occurred was a further committment on my part for a full digital workflow, having made the decision to invest in full frame digital camera equipment and not in my analog Hasselblad system. Most of this was driven by my frequent trips to Europe and the daunting task of keeping the film safe with the increasing tougher airport security processes. My really tight European travel schedule did not seem to work well with finding professional film processing at each location, although I know that they are available, just not enough time. I also really appreciate the immediate feedback with the digital process, much like working with Polaroid of past years.

So looking ahead, the Fall 2011 publication of Douglas Stockdale Ciociaria will be where I will concentrate most of my energy, as well as starting to look for opportunities to exhibit this work. As to exhibiting my work, I might be more like John Gossage in which I have been more interested in developing my projects for publication as a photobook, than exhibition. Perhaps opportunities to exhibit this project and my other projects might be the delightful surprise for 2011.

Meanwhile, time permitting, I will continue to redevelop my earlier project Insomnia: Hotel Noir and what I want to do with my China project. And probably start working on some new project that will come out of my current travel schedule, possibly in North Wales.

Best regards, Douglas

December 14, 2010

Ciociaria landscape

Filed under: Ciociaria, Photography — Doug Stockdale @ 6:59 pm

Aucto, Italy, December 2010 copyright 2010 Douglas Stockdale

This last weekend I have added another 30 potential images to the mix for my project and photobook. It does not make this editing any easier, adding new material while concurrently trying to pare the list down. Hopefully it provides more quality material to work and as usuall for me, it also allows the project to continue developing. One element that has eased into this project are some urban landscpae studies which do not appear to be found in the urban environment, such as the image in this post. Not that this photograph will make the final cut, it does represent the slight morphing of this project. Have to stay open to the internal creative muse, eh?

Best regards, Douglas

December 11, 2010

Ciociaria – Edizioni Punctum

Filed under: Ciociaria, Photography, Projects/Series — Doug Stockdale @ 7:50 am

Aucto, Italy, 2010 copyright Douglas Stockdale

This may be as good as it gets regarding a press release, but the extremely good news is that Edizioni Punctum (aka Punctum Press) will be publishing my project Ciociaria, probably in the Fall of 2011!

I just met with the Marco Delogu, the publisher, in Rome to work out the details, which is still a bit vague until we finalize the book with the designer. But in principal, the trade edition will be a hardcover with dustcover, approximately 8 x 9 3/4″ horiztonal format, 96 pages with 45 to 55 color photographs. The text will be in both English and Italian. The first edition printing will be approximately 1,000 copies. Very nice.

So just where am in with this project? I have a ton (okay, approximately) of photographs and I have completed my first edit and now I am down to about 350 photographs. Shortly I hope to have that down to 250 and this is where the difficult starts to arise. From my previous experience in developing a photobook, as I edit my photographs I am also taking into consideration the pairing of image (across the spread), sequencing and the potential layout on the page, all within the context of the narrative I am developing. Next is to refine the photographs with the goal of whittling the number of potential images to about 100, which I will then meet with Marco and the designer to work on the final selection.

 Of course to complicate things a little, I am now back in Italy and continuing to photograph this region.

The context of my project is best illustarted with my artistic statement for Ciociaria, which is now revealed:

There is a loosely defined region in central Italy that encompasses places called Anagni, Pigilo, Fuiggi, Morolo, Acuto, Torre Cajetan, Ferentino, Fresinone and Porciano. The people of this Latin region have adopted a traditional name, Ciociaria, which is derived from a particular ancient leather sandal, ciocie, worn long ago and yet still today by a few sheep and cattle herders. I am attempting to create a poetic and interpretative narrative while I investigate the memories of this culture and region.

I am an American and I have only the slightest ability to speak Italian. I was neither raised in this region nor can I claim to be very knowledgeable of the culture or customs, I am an outsider. I have the eyes of a patient observer who intermittently over the last year has been walking, much like the Ciociaria of old, through this region as a photographer-flaneur. I do not really know the people and this culture, but I observe rituals that seem familiar to me, which tug at my own memory. This region remains an allusive mystery to me and reveals many hints of an unknown culture, with an occasional glimpse of events that seem familiar. This photo-project should not be considered an inclusive study of the entire region, but an outsider’s observations.

Of what came first, the terrain that shaped the culture, or have the people shaped the earth in their own image? Eventually, the people had the equipment and tools to shape the earth, but in the case of the Ciociaria, the terain was here first and the people adapted to this land. It still appears that the Ciociaria have a strong relations with the soil. Although there appears to be a long history steeped in the working of the land with olives, grapes, sheep, and goats, the urbanizing sprawl of the hill top cities has reached down and out into the valleys and country side.

Best regards, Douglas

December 8, 2010

Paris – New snow

Filed under: Photography — Doug Stockdale @ 7:25 pm

Paris, December 2010 copyright Douglas Stockdale

I arrived in Paris this morning just before the first heavy snow of the winter season arrived: belle neige!

Best regards, Douglas

December 7, 2010

Ciociaria – project options

Filed under: Books, Ciociaria, Photography, Projects/Series — Doug Stockdale @ 11:31 pm

Acuto, Italy, 2010 copyright Douglas Stockdale

Wonderful news! An Italian photo-book publisher is very interested in my project Ciociaria and we have now moved past the inquiry stage to the “what do we need to do to get this published” stage. very nice!

So at this time, I have a very small decision as to how to help promote the potential book; to establish a separate blog for the project as I have for insomnia: Hotel Noir or to continue to keep all of the updates linked up in my category section on the side bar of this blog? Not that this is such a big deal, but at one time, the wise wisdom being offered was to have a separate web site that was book specific to use as a clearing house for all of the book related activities.

I guess a year or so ago, I would have created a new blog for Ciociaria, but when I look at the stats for my project specific blogs and even this blog, I no longer think it is worth the extra effort, and not sure that it is as relevent today. So I will defer to using the categories on the side bar to keep track of my various posts as I wonder through this project.

Speaking of which, in additional to now working through the book concept and funding issues (more about that later, but if you have some suggestions for a obtaining a small grant that can help with publishing a nice hardcover book, I am all ears!), I am now into the heavy editing, to help distill many thousands of images into a meaning few. And also tweak the artistic statement, which will be provided in both English and Italian text.

Best regards, Douglas

Blog at