Doug Stockdale's Singular Images

August 18, 2017

Books at Arcana: Books on the Arts

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Bluewater Shore, limited edition artist book (at Arcana), copyright 2017 Douglas Stockdale

Yesterday I had an opportunity to meet with Lee Kaplan at his bookstore, Arcana: Books on the Arts, which is located in Culver City (CA) and present my three books; Bluewater Shore, Pine Lake and Ciociaria.

I am now very happy to announce that a quantity of all three of these books were acquired and all are now available for sale at the Arcana bookstore! Very nice!

We had a really great discussion about photobooks, photographers, book bloggers, publishers and other book industry stuff. It was pretty diverse and free ranging discussion as one subject seemed to quickly lead into another.

I also had an opportunity to provide a quick show-n-tell about my book dummy for Middle Ground and discuss whether which is better to call the book design; leporello, concertina, or accordion fold. Kaplan defaults to leporello as probably the description that aligns best with bibliophiles, so I might need to adjust my photobook definitions and defer to the Middle Ground book as being a leporello design. Nice.

So it is now very nice that my books can be acquired locally in SoCal at this unique and impressive book store. I suspect that Kaplan will soon list these books at his various internet book venues.

Yes another very nice day.

Cheers!

August 13, 2017

Bluewater Shore – scaling up larger prints

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Big Raft, Bluewater Shore, 2017 copyright Douglas Stockdale

Recently I have been evaluating the enlargement of photographic images from Bluewater Shore beyond the 15 x 15″ prints that I can make on my Epson 4800 printer. The idea was three-fold; what did this image look like in a larger size (kinda of obvious), if a larger print might be part of my justification to acquire a larger printer (if so, what size; 24″ wide or 44″ wide) and last, how might this image look on a luster paper versus a matte surface?

Marc, one of my friends from the local Photographers Exchange group, has an Epson Pro 9900 (44″ wide) and was willing to make a 22 x 22″ print of Big Raft (Bluewater Shore, above) for me on Epson Premium Baryta paper. It turns out I was also able to evaluate his use of an I-Mac work station versus my current PC equipment (a topic of another day).

The easy question was that a 22 x 22″ print is very impressive. The hard part has always been where to put a much larger printer (with stand) in my cramped second story studio. The 24″ wide printer would be problematic, but even more so with a 44″ wide. Marc has to use a part of his living room for his Epson Pro 9900 which is not going to fly with our family. So for the short term I will need to have others print larger prints when I need these.

The Epson Premium Baryta paper is nice and with it’s slightly warm white’s seems to works very well with the Big Raft image. We also printed a smaller 9-1/2 x 9-1/2″ print on the Epson Premium Luster 260 paper which has more sheen/gloss than the Baryta. The Baryta is similar to the old Kodabromide F enlarging paper’s surface which is more like a soft gloss. Nevertheless, both of these papers show all of the defects in my photographs to a greater degree than the matte paper (Hahnemuhle Photo Rag).

The “artistic” issue is the larger print. All of the small image defects that were evident in the original photograph that I had re-photographed are now very evident with some becoming visually distracting. For the smaller size images in the book (5 x 5″), these defects add to the charm and support the concept that these are found photographs. When the images are enlarged to 15 x 15″ on the matte paper, these defects still appear okay, but in the larger size, the defects are now larger and more visible and this appears further magnified by the luster type papers which does not hide anything.

I know part of my issue, as an old-school analog photographer in the west coast tradition, prints were not to have any defects and if found after the printing; spot them out! A very modern, but not a very contemporary, way of evaluating the print quality. Old photographs can/should appear old, but how “old”?

I am now pretty sure where this is going; I will add another Photoshop layer to selective spot/tweak the defects in the image that seem to bother me most and then print this again for a comparison to determine how the change appears. I had planned to bring the 22 x 22″ print with me to a potential gallery meeting but this will now need to be planned for the late Fall sometime.

Cheers

 

August 9, 2017

Bluewater Shore at Photobook International bookstore

Filed under: Bluewater Shore - artist book, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , — Doug Stockdale @ 4:48 pm

Bluewater Shore limited edition artist book

Bluewater Shore, limited edition artist book, copyright 2017 Douglas Stockdale

Another of my projects this summer has been getting Bluewater Shore into bookstores here in the U.S. as well as in Europe. As is discussed at length in the Indie Photobook Publishing Guide that I posted yesterday, once your book is self-published, there can be an almost equal amount of work to sell it.

Thus I am very excited to announce that Bluewater Shore is now available on-line at the virtual Photobook International bookstore, here. Photobook International is located here in Southern California and is associated with Photo Independent, so my submission was a follow up to my book launch at Photo Independent earlier this year. Very nice, and I of course recommend you check it out (and maybe even buy a copy??)

Meanwhile I will continue making some book submissions to other photobook stores here in the U.S. and Europe. Perhaps similar to making submissions for galleries and exhibitions; I need to determine if there might be good chemistry between me, my books and the bookstores owner and their sales market. I can testify that for a self-published artist, this whole process takes an amazing amount of diligence.

In a related article in this month’s PDNews (August 2017), two self-published photographs discuss how they they are continuing to try to sell the photobooks that they released in 2015. Thus the dilemma of juggling my time to sell what I have published with current work that I intend to publish.  It’s all good & just part of having an artist life!

Cheers!

Doug

Artist, Educator and Mentor

August 4, 2017

Bluewater Shore in APhotoEditor

Filed under: Art, Bluewater Shore - artist book, Projects/Series — Tags: , — Doug Stockdale @ 11:22 pm

Bluewater Shore limited edition artist book

Bluewater Shore, Limited Edition Artist Book, 2017, Douglas Stockdale

While earlier discussing my experience as a portfolio reviewer for LACP a couple of weeks ago, what I did not include is that a portfolio reviewer I had the opportunity to do a little networking with the other portfolio reviewers. Emphasis on “little” as the folks with LACP kept us very busy and not a lot of free time. Thus I had some very brief discussions with Elizabeth Avedon (who featured Pine Lake as one of her Best Photographic Books for 2014), Paula Tognarelli, Executive Director of the Griffin Museum of Photography (MA), Crista Dix, Founder/Director of wall space Gallery (Santa Barbara, CA) and Jonathan Blaustein who provides book reviews for APhotoEditor and NYTimes LensBlog.

During my discussions with Blaustein, I had also provided him with a review copy of Bluewater Shore as an example of some of my current work. Thus I am very honored that he included Bluewater Shore in his recent recap of the LACP portfolio review events on APhotoEditor today. I must admit, I really like the title of his article: Best Work I saw at the LACP portfolio reviews (part 2).

Thus supporting my theory that you never know when a networking opportunity may occur, but it’s best if you are prepared. It’s not a formal book review, but I really like it as this is some good press for this artist book. I also enjoyed his side comment about my novel slip-cover for Bluewater Shore ;- )

Cheers! Doug

July 2, 2017

Bluewater Shore PR photo do-over

Filed under: Bluewater Shore - artist book, Books, Photography — Tags: , — Doug Stockdale @ 3:55 am

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Ready for a Holiday (Bluewater Shore) 2017 Douglas Stockdale

Earlier in June I had set up the studio lights to re-photograph the interior of my limited edition artist book Bluewater Shore for some bookstore submissions. Recently looking at the resulting images, one of which is below, I realized that as a result of how I had the lights setup to photograph the book’s interior, I did not really get a great representational image. Then is dawned on me; rather than have the back cover of the book facing the lights, I had it reversed and essentially allowing the book’s cover to cast a shadow on the book’s interior. Duh.

What was I thinking? Okay, so I am relatively new to using studio lights and this pretty dumb lighting set-up was pretty much a rookie mistake. So be it; at least I was not screwing up some commercial assignment in the process. I figure that this is just part of my studio lighting learning curve and hopefully I will not make this mistake again (probably another, but hopefully not this same one again).

I also edited the image on my other computer which has a better color managed monitor to ensure that the resulting images are a better representation of the book. Done.

I will update a few other articles about Bluewater Shore with these new images and then right after July 4th holiday I will start pitching a series of bookstores that sell both photographic as well as artist books that use photographic sourced material.

Cheers!

P.S. I still have copies of this limited edition artist book available and if you are interested, please message me doug@douglasstockdale.com

Bluewater Shore limited edition artist book_page_1_Ready_for_a_Holiday

 

June 10, 2017

Preparing Bluewater Shore for bookstore submissions

Filed under: Bluewater Shore - artist book, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , — Doug Stockdale @ 12:32 am

Bluewater Shore limited edition artist book

Bluewater Shore, self-published 2017 copyright Douglas Stockdale

A couple of days ago I was preparing to make another series of bookstore submissions for Bluewater Shore, my limited edition artist book. In looking at my “press photos” for this book, I realized that I needed to have a set of photographs showing the book’s cover, with and without the slip cover. So it was time to set-up the studio lights and make a few exterior photographs. I also realized that I did not have any interior photographs of the book that might illustrate how the book and pages work together as a “flip-book”. That extended my studio session by only a little bit and I like the results, above and below.

Btw, Bluewater Shore is still available for sale as the edition has not been completely sold out yet. If interested, check out the book review by Gerhard Clausing and an overview of this artist book that I posted earlier, here.

Cheers!

Bluewater Shore with clear slip cover

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May 30, 2017

Shipping more Bluewater Shore

Filed under: Bluewater Shore - artist book — Tags: , — Doug Stockdale @ 4:40 pm

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Bluewater Shore Packages, US Post Office, 2017 copyright Douglas Stockdale

Yikes! I was side-lined with the flu for the past couple of weeks and I was finally able to get out of the house just in time for Memorial Day. Today with the post office back in full operation it is time to take the packages over and start the journey to some new homes. nice.

Meanwhile I have a long laundry list of tasks that I need to finish as a result of being sick, nevertheless I will take it one task at a time and what I don’t finish today I will then start on tomorrow. My secret to keep my life in a low stress mode.

Cheers!

 

May 23, 2017

Artist versus Photographer

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Big Raft, Bluewater Shore, 2017 copyright Douglas Stockdale

Recent events related to the self-publishing of my limited edition artist book Bluewater Shore is causing me to rethink how I might describe myself to others: artist or photographer? Okay another option might be artist/photographer. I am probably reconsidering this whole classification subject because of my preparation on the subject of “Branding” for my Marketing Your Photo Book workshop coming up at LACP in July.

So here’s whats been happening; I have been reaching out to some photographic friends and editorial acquaintances who helped me with the promotion of my earlier artist book Pine Lake to spread the word about my recently self-published Bluewater Shore. I did not anticipate all of the rejections based on the fact I am using family archive photographs as my source material versus the fact that I did not actually take the original photographs. I am not sure what has happened or shifted in the past four years, but it seems that a lot more photographic folks are being more discerning as to what constitutes a “photographic” book.

They response that Bluewater Shore is an artist book, not a photographic book, since I am using vernacular photographs which I found to create my narrative versus being a “pure” photographic project in which I created (photographed) the original photographic source material similar to my book Ciociaria. Or maybe I have pitched my Bluewater Shore story incorrectly? Now that I take a closer look at these magazine and web-zines I see that artwork similar to what I created for Bluewater Shore is not being featured.

So maybe you are wondering; what’s the big deal? For me it might be that I have been envisioning myself as a “photographer” when I made this declaration back in 2008. Realize that for about 15 years before that I was a painter so I thought that this was a big deal that I was dedicating myself to photography as my creative medium. I also did not think it was a big deal to create my two self-published books Pine Lake and Bluewater Shore since I was using photographic material. Wrong!

Turns out what I perceived I was doing is not matching up with the outside world’s perception. I think there was hints of this difference while I was talking with those who attended my exhibit space at Photo Independent for my launch of Bluewater Shore but at the time I was not picking up on it. Duh!

This takes me to the Stockdale Paradox (okay, this was from Admiral James Stockdale, un-related); which states “Retain faith that you will prevail in the end, regardless of the difficulties” while at the same time “Confronting the most brutal facts of your current reality, what they might be“. So the brutal facts of my current reality is that I am deemed to be an artist and I am NOT a pure photographer. Which is probably good to know and understand.

This is a not a seismic shift of who/what I think I am; but what this does is to better prepare me for where/who I make submissions of my artwork. I still feel that I am part of the pure photographic community since that is the space I created both of my photo-investigations In Passing and Ciociaria. Nevertheless I will go across those pure photographic boundaries when I am inspired to do so and I need to understand the implications when I do.

Another aspect of this is that curators, art directors and others appear to more comfortable with classifications. So am I an artist or an artist/photographer? I guess if I have to chose one it would appear that I am an artist and one who uses primarily photographic source material, mine as well as others. Done.

Maybe this is a seismic shift after all as I now need to look at all my photographic reference sites, e.g. LensCulture and here on Singular Images, and make some adjustment tweaks to my biography; artist, educator and mentor.

Cheers!

May 4, 2017

Bluewater Shore book launch at Photo Independent

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Photography by Jessica Sterling, copyright 2017

Well I thought I was going to post this a bit sooner after the Photo Independent exhibition, but all of the post-exhibition follow-up needed tending to first. Such as taking more orders for Bluewater Shore, (which can be ordered here) finishing the production of this artist edition, then start mailing the pre-orders, contacting other editors about book reviews and of course contacting book stores about carrying Bluewater Shore. Time flies when I am busy, busy, busy.

First, the exhibition and book launch of Bluewater Shore was great and I had a great time connecting with other photographers, making stronger relationships with acquaintances and starting some new connections. Even sold some of my edition, which of course was the sweetest part of the deal for a book launch.

At the last moment before driving up to Los Angeles on Friday afternoon for Photo Independent  I was able to print six of my 15 x 15″ image prints from Bluewater Shore as part of a portfolio and unexpectedly ended up discussing some potential commissions as a result. My purpose for the prints was to help stop traffic and start a discussion about my book, but there was some strong positive responses to the vernacular photographic prints. So it will be interesting to see where this leads.

I also had a chance to spend time talking with Roger Ballen who was the featured photographer for Photo Independent. As a result of my Editorial role with The PhotoBook journal, we had been in email contact and book discussions over the years about his publications, so this was the first chance we had to meet and have a discussion during the events. Ballen also provided some creative book signings for a couple of his books that were in my collection. Very nice.

I provided a book discussion on Sunday morning as a result of being a jurist for the Photo Independent Book Competition which went very well. My principal focus was on discussing the design and layout of the competition’s winning books and a couple of the honorable mentions.

Also coming news, I will be doing portfolio reviews at LACP’s Exposure 2017 in Santa Monica next July 16th at the dnj Gallery and finalizing as guest curator for the L.A. Photo Curator photographic competition next September. More details about these two events shortly, so stay tuned!

In closing another reminder that the 20% discount for an early-bird registration for my two LACP photo book workshops, Marketing Your Photo Book, July 22nd and Introduction to Photo Book Design Oct 1st & 8th, are still in available for another couple of weeks.

Cheers!

Doug

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above, discussing Bluewater Shore, photography by Gerhard Clausing, copyright 2017

below, Roger Ballen signing one of his books from my collection

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April 15, 2017

Bluewater Shore – limited edition artist book

Bluewater Shore limited edition artist book

Bluewater Shore with clear slip cover

Bluewater Shore (book with poly slip-cover) Copyright 2017 Douglas Stockdale

Bluewater Shore is a semi-fictional visual narrative about a young woman’s holiday, an exciting unescorted trip to the shore with friends, which is set in the late 1940’s and investigates a new sense of independence for women that occurred during and following World War II as well as American culture, family, and memory. The limited edition artist book was developed from repurposed vernacular photographs from the artist’s family archive and the concept was partly inspired by Kodak and Ansco promotional booklets that were available with dime/drug stores film processing in the 1950’s and into the 1960’s.

Concept, development & design: Douglas Stockdale copyright 2017

Flip-book, stiff covers, prong binding, hand-inscribed cover, hand-inscribed poly slip case, 32 pages, 16 black & white photographs, size: 7 ½” x 6” (190 mm x 155 mm)

Self-published artist book, limited edition of 99 + 5 A/P; price $47.00 USD (44 €, 37.5 £, 5,230 ¥,)

Printing: Fultone© digital lithography by Dual Graphics, (Brea, CA), hand-bound by the artist.

Additional photographs: www.douglasstockdale.com (Bluewater Shore – artist book)

Bluewater Shore can be purchase here.

Official book launch: Photo Independent, Los Angeles, CA April 21- 23, 2017

Cheers!

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