Doug Stockdale's Singular Images

January 30, 2013

Photobook design

Filed under: Books, Ciociaria, Photography, Projects/Series — Doug Stockdale @ 9:30 pm

Ciociaria SOVRACOPERTA.indd

Ciociaria copyright 2011 Douglas Stockdale published by Edizioni Punctum

I recently read a post from another photographer asking other photographers if they have any regrets with a photobook that they published. For me, three small details come to mind that I wish I could retrospectively tweak. 

First I would like to have listed my web site in the credits and regretfully I was offered a chance to edit this and I missed it. My bad.

Second, I should have deviled into more about how this project was a part of my ongoing investigation into memory and its preservation. As I wrote my essay, I have only myself to blame for what was stated. My advice, if you are considering the publication of a project and you intend to include your own essay, start developing it early, such that you have time to allow to mature. Then have others read it and provide feedback as to the message they perceive. (Yep, I did not do that well enough, as I had only one review of my written narrative).

Third and last, both Marco and I should have also taken credit for the design of this photobook. Marco agreed to this project while looking at my early galleries, but it was my book dummy that sold the final publishing, a direct reflection of my editing, image pairing and sequencing. For the final book design, fortunately I was provided the opportunity to again provide image pairing and probably 80% of the image sequencing, as Marco concentrated on the leading and first quarter of the photographs in the book’s photographic sequence. As you might suspect, photographers are not always allowed a say in the book design process by a vast number of publishers.

It was also my idea for the page layout for the paired photographs, with the left image surrounded by traditional white margins and the facing photograph a full bleed. For the pairings, I was able to provide changes as to which photographs were paired up and which side of the spread the photographs were positioned. I was able to provide input, if not approval, of the book cover and dust jacket design and graphics. Lastly, I also had a say in how the images were cropped if that became necessary, as it did with all of the full-page bleed photographs. So perhaps I was a bit shy about suggesting this change in the design credits, but looking back, I think that being listed as a part of the design team would have been fair.

I suspect that I will get these parts correct for my next book, but I will probably miss something else. Meanwhile as I work on my current photobook project, I have the book design that I want well in mind.


OCCCA Exhibition catalog available

Filed under: Ciociaria, Photography, Projects/Series — Doug Stockdale @ 6:07 am


copyright the artists, 2013 published by Orange County Center for Contemporary Art (OCCCA)

When I arrived at the OCCCA to pick up my framed photograph that was in the “Give Us Your Best Shot” exhibition, I found that an exhibition catalog was published and available. In due fashion, the catalog has the photographers listed alphabetically with their exhibition photograph and a brief statement. Nice.

The stiff cover catalog is available for $10.00 from OCCCA. As a photobook reviewer, I would have preferred that they included the date the catalog was published, the exhibition dates and perhaps some information about the theme of the exhibition.

But then again, this is my first publication for 2013, a great start for the new year.


January 29, 2013

Photographic Abstraction

Filed under: Flow of Light Brush the Shadow, Instant Nomad, Photography, Projects/Series — Doug Stockdale @ 4:37 am

06-22-07 RSM_7996 108

Untitled (RSM) copyright 2007 Douglas Stockdale

Okay, I started to write about abstract photography as it might relate to my image above, then I realize that all I was writing was bull dung. So I deleted it. All photographs are abstract. period.

This is an image that I made to investigate memory and probably appears “more” abstract than some of the others, in that it is more challenging for the viewer to read. Now my question is how does it fit within my project “Flow of Light Brush the Shadow”?

Perhaps a little more ambiguous than some of the other photographs for this project but at the early stage of my investigation, I think pushing the boundaries is fine.


January 25, 2013

Allowing a concept to develop

12-03-07 Riverside_2609

untitled (Riverside) copyright 2007  Douglas Stockdale

Always interesting to me as to if you allow an idea or concept to develop, what might become of it. A case in point was the project I was working on in China at the end of 2007 then became a means to a process that I continued to employ elsewhere.

In China, they do not allow non-locals to drive, thus you can not obtain an Avis or Hertz rental, but rely on either a taxi or obtain a car & driver. Maybe obvious, but in China if you are unable to read the Chinese characters (no English alternatives), you will become total lost, like in a New York minute. So I joined a car pool with my client and finally started taking photographs from through the windows at the back of the van. Nice thing about digital, immediate feedback! And although at times the resulting photographs appeared kinda abstract, the results were interesting. So I continued experimenting, adding a 2x and 3x neutral density filter to extend the exposure durations.

I then decided to continue this experimentation on another project that I was working on in the Inland Empire of SoCal, specifically along the I-15 in Riverside and the adjacent small towns.


January 23, 2013

Open to Serendipity

Filed under: Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , , — Doug Stockdale @ 1:38 am


America, My Way copyright 2012 Matej Sitar

Perhaps without seeming too glib, but being open to chance and serendipity may as easy as keeping an open mind. I wish it were that easy.

This past weekend, there was a convergence of serendipity that it was even hard for me to miss. As I wrote yesterday, I have been working on one of projects that examine memory and its preservation, while this particular project seemed to expanding on how memory may be linked to dreams. Just as I was to depart for PhotoLA for the day, Matej Sitar’s America, My Way arrived. The quick essence is that Sitar is investigating a journey, but with three possibilities in three books that can also be mashed up to create additional narratives. Very cool and I immediately knew that this publication would require more time.

Then arriving at PhotoLA, I spend time with John Jenkins, publisher of Decode Books and one of his new books was an investigation that was in three phases, similar to chapters without the obvious markings and text that asserted this. Although this book was interesting and presented me with another option, it also gave me pause to think more about Sitar’s book as a more elegant and conceptual solution.

Right after my discussion with Jenkins, I ran into Chris Pritcher at his Nazraeli Press booth who was pretty excited about his new book series: 6×6. Essentially six boxes of books with 6 books per box, each box of books encased in a slip cover, each book by a different photographer.

hmmmm. So here I was with two, if not three, different ways I was investigating memory based on my time in China. It was becoming obvious to me that rather than one book with a really odd mash-up, breaking my concept into two or three books similar to Sitar’s was a plausible solution. So I am now re-editing this body of work to how this might look. And so far, so good. nice.


January 21, 2013

Synthesis – allowing a concept to simmer

Filed under: Flow of Light Brush the Shadow, Photography, Projects/Series — Doug Stockdale @ 11:27 pm

04-19-07 LianYunGang_2942 10x8

Untitled (LianYunGang) copyright 2007 Douglas Stockdale

I will have to admit; I have been allowing the work that I completed in China a few years ago to simmer for some time. I sometimes take a little longer duration to sort out how I want to present one of my conceptual investigations. Looking at my body of work from this period, it appears a little divergent and at odds, a mashup of sharply focused photographs amongst some very blurry photographs, with an ambiguous undercurrent with all of them. To help sort out my concept, I journey about them here, with the act of writing as part of my process.

As a result, sometimes it all kinda of gels, as this project seems to have this past weekend. Part internalization, part discussion, part observing and then serendipity seems to provide the glue. Not very rational, but I try to remain open to the process.


January 17, 2013

Memories & Dreams – #3079

01-27-08 XiTang_3079

Untitled (XiTang) copyright 2008 Douglas Stockdale

My photographs are my memories. At the time of exposure, this is not what I actually saw but much closer to what I was feeling in the moment. Over time this blurred image has become more closely aligned with my indistinct memory of this time and place.

It appears real to me.


January 16, 2013

Memories & Dreams #1731

01-17-08 PingHu 1731

Untitled (PingHu) copyright 2008 Douglas Stockdale

As a photographer, I sometimes wonder that if in the process of capturing images, I sear these images into my cranium, creating a memory and subsequent dreams?

The photograph above, although I can’t associate it with any specific dream, is an image that I can easily recall. This was a city sculpture that announced that you had arrived at PingHu (China), which was in the late stages of construction. When we earlier drove past this location late in the morning, there would be a fascinating array of workers climbing this structure, reminding me of an image that Hiroshi Watanabe had published in his book “Findings”. Nevertheless, the following morning it was early enough that the workers were not yet crawling on the scaffolds and we passed close enough for me to create this relatively distorted and ambigious composition.

Now I am unsure of which project to associate it with, but I do feel confident that it will find a nice home.


January 15, 2013

Memories & Dreams – #1540

01-14-08 PingHu_1540

Untitled (PingHu) copyright 2008 Douglas Stockdale

An interesting aspect of my dreams, and probably likewise true about my memories, is that these are not entirely rational.


January 14, 2013

Memories lead to Dreams

01-14-08 PingHu_1548

Untitled (PingHu) copyright 2008 Douglas Stockdale

I have not deviled very much into the other aspect of memories, that memories, good or bad, can lead to dreams. Dreams are experiences that I have with those that are the most troubling and unpleasant a nightmare.


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