Doug Stockdale's Singular Images

January 30, 2014

Bluewater Shore – next generation Maquette

Filed under: Bluewater Shore - artist book, Photography, Projects/Series — Doug Stockdale @ 10:16 pm

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untitled (Bluewater Shore, interior with binding) copyright 2014 Douglas Stockdale

A little update on my Bluewater Shore artist book. After the really nice feedback from friends while at photo l.a. a couple of weeks ago, my plan was to proceed to the next generation of the maquette and have it ready for another round of informal reviews at LA Art Book Fair this coming weekend.

So now that I have finalized the selection of photographs and sequencing, I wanted to print a more accurate set of proof pages to replace my drafts. Since I am getting much closer to a final layout, I am ready to replace the paper clips with a little more permanent attachment of the photographs to the page. In my case, that just means I am using scotch tape, not PVA glue, because being a guy, I can still change my mind.

That’s not how this week actually went. First, I was trying to set up my 4800 printer for a special width for a revised exterior cover and the printer was not playing nice. Then I decided maybe I might need an updated software driver since it has been years that I had did any software upgrades as that might fix my problem. Wrong. Things went from bad to worse. The printer would not print anything now. And I worked on this fix for about two days, so I finally gave up and did a uninstall/install of the original Epson 4800 software. Bingo, late, late last night I was printing again. So I went on a printing marathon to print all of the interior photographs for the revised maquette. Done!

So today I swapped out the draft images for the final images and I am now be ready for a walk-about at the LA Art Book Fair this weekend. nice.

Cheers!

btw the above interior view of the maquette shows off my fine skills at manual tying off a pamphlet stitch for the sewn binding.

Instant Nomad at SFO

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untitled (San Francisco Airport, CA, January 2014) copyright 2014 Douglas Stockdale.

While looking at these two alternatives as potentials for my Instant Nomad series, the panoramic above is more in line with my intent. With a traditional format camera, I would have definitely wanted to step back to include the multifaceted perspective. Each window is providing a narrow view point and with it a unique narrative, that in turn expands with the inclusion of the adjacent window narratives. With the panoramic photograph, more windows and thus the narrative becomes even more expansive than with the 10 x 8 photograph below.

Cheers!

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January 29, 2014

Industrial Yard, Cornona

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untitled (Industrial Yard, Corona, CA December 2013) copyright 2014 Douglas Stockdale.

Continuing to look at my panoramic photographs as a part of my Instant Nomad project. And continuing to be interested in how these particular kind of panoramatic formatted photographs look.

I choose the cropping of the 10 x 8 format below to isolated and center the subject which initially caught my interest. I think that the centered subject creates a little more static and objective image, what many might say is a more contemporary view point. Interesting to me as to what objects that were included in the edges of the panoramic photograph are now lost and how this redefines the image’s description of space.

If the objects on the edges of the panoramic were of interest to me, say the blue barrels, and I had a desire to include these in the 10 x 8 image, I could of course stepped backwards (If I had the space to do this, which in this case, I did). That in turn would have then meant that the resulting composition would change with the inclusion of more foreground or area above the yellow cart. In this case, I have the central composition that I was interested as per the 10 x 8 below, but with the panoramic I have some bonus stuff.

I find both equally interesting.

Cheers!

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January 28, 2014

Instant Nomad in Corona

Filed under: Instant Nomad, Photography, Projects/Series — Doug Stockdale @ 5:34 pm

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Untitled (In n Out, Corona, CA December 2013) copyright 2014 Douglas Stockdale

Oh where to begin?

Firstly, this is another photograph that may or may not be in my Instant Nomad photobook but IS included in the project, if that makes sense. I have a ton of images I will consider as I edit, but first I need to start with a nice portfolio of photographs. While on assignment in Corona, I frequented this location a number of times and each time I was drawn to photograph a similar composition. Yep, I’m a fan of In n Out burgers; double-double, no onions but add lots of pickles. yum.

As to the meaning of this photograph, that’s your assignment.

Secondarily, the camera and format of the image. The initial “raw” capture is above and one potential 10 x 8 version is below. One thing that I did not fully anticipate when I acquired my Samsung phone is the slightly panoramic images. I like how it photographs. I like what the photograph looks like. I did not realize what a fan of panoramic images I might become.

As to the cropped 10 x 8 below, this is the “distilled” image. Since I frequently (okay, about every time) will crop or change an image, I end up with the final images in a complete range of sizes. One lesson I learned from publishing Ciociaria, the inconsistent image sizes creates havoc for the book designer. Since the designer is going to crop or change the image to suit the book’s format, I might as well make the changes first. As to why 10 x 8 (or 8 x 10)?  Short answer is that this size is one of those classic photographic formats, also a classic size that I used for some many years in the darkroom; paper, trays, easel, etc. Similar to how my friend Hiroshi defers to 5 x 5 square, even when infrequently using digital, the resulting image format is a square image. Why? Well why not?? btw, when I am photographing with film in the Hasselblad, I have been composing and keeping the resulting image 5 x 5, which just seems right.

Cheers!

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January 23, 2014

Lucy with Lauren

Filed under: Photography — Tags: — Doug Stockdale @ 4:19 pm

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untitled (Lucy with Lauren) copyright 2014 Douglas Stockdale.

A contemporary & poignant moment.

Maybe a case in which form follows function. As of late, I am more interested including individuals, whether friend, family or even strangers, in my photographs, thus my photographs are increasingly populated. When events unfold before me now, as they did during a lull in a small late afternoon get together, rather than think that it is too bad that I am sitting here without my full frame camera, I instead pull out my mobile phone, the current version of an Instamatic camera, to capture an image or two.

Since taking mobile phone photographs is such an ubiquitous event now, I am seemingly transparent. A nice trade-off.

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 17, 2014

La Huette Switzerland

Filed under: Instant Nomad, Photography — Doug Stockdale @ 7:00 am

03-2005 LaHuette trees

Untitled (La Huette, Switzerland, March 2005) copyright 2014 Douglas Stockdale

Serendipitously after reading the recent release of Brassaii, Paris Nocturne, I went looking for some of my night-time photographs of  Fiuggi that I had made in 2010 & 2011.  Then I stumbled on an unfamiliar file folder of Europe from 2005. Yep, I am sometimes easily distracted. Squirrel!

I had jumped off at the local train stop for La Huette, and can’t recall if I was heading to or from La Chaux de-fond in Switzerland. The next train would be stopping in an hour for me to resume my journey. Which was fine as it was an opportunity to be a photographe-flaneur around this village and adjacent country side. I don’t think I actually made it into the village itself but instead wandered around the edges. I was not on a particular quest as this pre-dated my project work. It was just to look and see what some of this place looked like in photographs. I recalled that this place appeared pretty banal.

When I returned home, I thought some of the images to be interesting, but I think that was when I was using PhotoShop 5.5 or 6 at time. I had lost the snow highlights in the foreground and the image looked pretty dull; low contrast and flat.

So when I re-discovered these images, I could immediately see a little more potential with a potential RAW conversion available with my PhotoShop CS3 (yep, not running the latest or most current version of PhotoShop). I was correct, there were more highlights in the foreground that I could salvage, but I had still lost a lot. I also increased the contrast range by increasing the Black slider. After the file opened in PhotoShop, I added sharpening and tweaked a Curve layer to further increase the blacks/shadows.

Now this image appears a little more similar as to what recall that I saw (Probably better than my memory of this location). What I think of as a nice singular image.

Cheers!

January 13, 2014

Mark Thomas baptism

Filed under: Photography — Tags: — Doug Stockdale @ 6:13 pm

01-12-13 Mark Thomas baptism at Church of the Angels_5

untitled (Mark Thomas baptism) Copyright 2014 Douglas Stockdale.

Perhaps one of the nicer gifts I can provide my family is when I am the official photographer for a family event. That is when I am the one who brings the “big” camera to observe, participate and document the occasion.

My Nice & mom, Ashley, was married in this same church, so I was already familiar with the lighting issues. As you might guess, that big stained glass window behind them is pretty bright compared to the interior of the church, translation: a big contrast range. With digital capture, if you lose the high lights, the details and colors of that stained glass window, it is darn difficult to get them back even with all of the Photoshop wizardry. So I knew to expose for the stained window and reveal the interior shadow detail with Photoshop and RAW capture.

And to make lots of exposures!

I think that this particular moment was pretty beautiful.

Cheers!

Note: since my exposure was based on the back-lit window, my shutter speed was faster then if I were to meter off the interior of the church. When you don’t have a tripod, that little extra shutter speed can make a huge difference, especially when you know you can improve the contrast balance of the image later in PhotoShop. nice.

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

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