Doug Stockdale's Singular Images

May 24, 2016

Lest I Forget – New Direction

Filed under: In Passing, Lest I Forget, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , — Doug Stockdale @ 2:57 pm

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Tracks copyright 2016 Douglas Stockdale

Earlier this month I had a mini-exhibit at Photo Independent and subsequently posted that due to some really good feedback, that I was going to radically alter one of my in-process projects. So a little bit about that today, not that I have everything figured out, but that I have a new sense of direction.

First, the back story; I had been photographing roadside memorials for some time starting in late 2006, initially getting a portfolio of images (In Passing) published in LensWork magazine in 2008. I continued to work this project as black & white images of the memorials as an investigation into loss and remembrance. I had been thinking that I want’d this project wrapped up neat and tidy in a book.

Thus I was recently exchanging emails with Sara Terry who publishes the Aftermath Series and her annual book of War is Only Half the Story. There are a number of parallels with her Aftermath series about the consequences of war and my project, the consequences of a horrific accident. I also discussed with her that this year, it seemed like it was harder for her to get her annual funding through Kickstarter. Fortunately Sara was two tables down from me at Photo Independent so we had plenty of time to talk about her funding and exhibiting issues with her Aftermath series books and her advice about my In Passing – Lest I Forget project. It was no surprise that the aftermath photographs, although extremely socially relevant, are not images that sell or exhibit well.

Sara also pointed out that although the In Passing project was solid documentary work, the photographs were not “mine” in the same sens as my Memory Pods project. Meaning that my Memory Pods photographs had a uniqueness that was entirely due to how I created the photographs, which came from an inner desire to tell a specific story. She felt that I was not a documentary photographer per se, and that maybe I need to think about that the In Passing project was a developmental touch-stone and move on, unless I could make it mine.

Sara provided the necessary catalyst to see what was bothering me about trying to push the In Passing project forward, trying to incorporate additional images, while I was already working in a different way to photograph and narrate a project. Thus I am making a complete break from the In Passing project (black & white photographs of roadside memorials) to investigate other aspects of loss and remembrance, still using the working title of Lest I Forget.

A new image for this series is included with this post, above one version that incorporates some of the image manipulation aspects drawn from my Memory Pods project, while below is what I would call the hard-edge (relatively un-manipulated) version. I think that a consensus would say that the image below appears more contemporary, although the image above with the post-exposure manipulation would look almost identical if I had used my lens with a wide-open aperture.

The good news is that I do not need to decide which of the two versions I might use at this point, but consider both versions as I work on this project.

Cheers

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May 13, 2016

Douglas Stockdale – Photographer’s statement

Filed under: Art Market, Photography — Tags: , — Doug Stockdale @ 1:08 am

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Ciociaria copyright Douglas Stockdale

One of the take-aways from Photo Book Independent was that I need to really consider exhibiting my photographs. When more than one person states that my photographic work is exceptional and I keep getting comments that my “work” prints are exquisite, I think I am ready for taking the next step in my artistic progression.

One of the many things that I need to consider is a very brief statement about myself. Okay, this is not something that I uber comfortable with, but a necessary part of the artistic process. So here is the thing; I am not a MFA artist, or have you already figured that out? A bit of difference between MFA and MBA whereas the the MBA focused was on business not artistic practice. Interestingly there is also the business of being an artist, but seemingly not held in much esteem by other artists or many galleriest (although there are some folks who run galleries seem to like the idea).

As a non-trained artist with only a few under-grad two-dimensional art classes under my belt, I sometimes get a little bit of anxiety. Especially when my day-job career is biotechnology and pharmaceutical drug development and manufacturing. Thus I realize that I need to leverage that difference as to why that makes my vision, as well as me, unique. So instead of trying to hide that personal angst of a non-artist background with smoke and mirrors, to step out and let it be known. What’s the worst that can happen, eh?

So here is my current brief artist statement (aka the elevator speech):

Douglas Stockdale (American, b. 1949) is a native Pennsylvanian and a graduate of an industrial design program from Michigan State University with a MBA from University of LaVerne. He is a veteran pharmaceutical researcher (part of the team the determined that AIDS was transmitted by blood plasma and a virus that could be easily heat inactivated) as well as a photographer and an International photobook critic and curator. His work has been published by Edizioni Punctum and featured on LensWork, Lenscratch, photo-eye and Silvershotz and many notable on-line platforms. His work has recognized by Elizabeth Avedon and is in the collections of the Museo d’Arte Contemporanea di Roma, Reminders Photographic Stronghold and the Indie Photobook Library. Douglas Stockdale is the founder/editor of The PhotoBook and currently lives and works in Southern California.

So what do you all think?

Cheers!

May 11, 2016

Photobook post-exhibition assessment

Filed under: Art Market, Books, Photography — Tags: , , , — Doug Stockdale @ 4:14 am

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Photobook Independent, Raleigh Studios, Soundstage #14, 2016 copyright Douglas Stockdale

At the beginning of this month I participated in a book exhibition at Photobook Independent, held in the Raleigh Studios on their sound stage #14, located in Hollywood, California. Always interesting to poke around a Hollywood studio after hours during the weekend and observe the infrastructure for the allusions we see on the small and large screen.

I had the largest table, 8 foot long, thus I had the opportunity to display both my published books as well as some 15 x 19″ work prints for my in-progress project. In retrospect, I did not need to have an artist statement for each book and project. Just a little too much in the way of hand-outs, although these were requested from time to time, I could have held these back under the table and provided them on request. Although I had business cards with my contact info, I would have been better served having one or two photo-cards with just my web site url and email. On my list for next time!

One really nice aspect of participating was the banter and discussions with those friends, like Susan Burnstine, who had a table near mine, as well as an opportunity to make some new friends and connections. I had been in trading emails with Sara Terry (below), but it was really nice to meet her in person and get some really sound advice for a couple of past and current projects. Even better when Sara really liked my artist book, Pine Lake, and we did a swap with her for recently published artist book. I had some really great discussions about my work with a few folks who stopped at my table as well, which provided some much needed feedback.

So I will be making some minor changes to my Memory Pods project while making a major change for a past project, In Passing and the related associated Lest I Forget project. More about all of that in the months to come.

This was also an event that I served as a judge for the photobook competition and subsequently provided a couple of walking discussions, bottom photography by Nancy Albright, of the exhibited books as a guest curator. Nice.

Cheers!

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May 4, 2016

Silvershotz magazine features Pine Lake

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Pine Lake, self-published artist book, copyright 2013 Douglas Stockdale

I am really stoked and honored to announce that my artist book Pine Lake was just featured in SilverShotz magazine; Volume 10, Edition 8 (May 2016). The Silvershotz article includes the background for my semi-fictional story about an American summer rite of passage: a guy’s get-away fishing trip and has eight photographs that include the cover(s) and some of the interior pages. Really nice.

One more copy of this limited edition found a wonderful home during Photobook Independent this last weekend, so just a couple more of these artist books remain available.

The recent attention on this artist book is inspiring me to finish Bluewater Shore, which I had a work-print portfolio with me at Photobook Independent to share and discuss. This pending artist book generated some really good feedback.

Cheers!

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