Doug Stockdale's Singular Images

April 24, 2018

Middle Ground/En Medio Tierra – Pre-order now

Filed under: Art, Books, Middle Ground, Photobook, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , — Doug Stockdale @ 6:40 pm

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Middle Ground/En Medio Tierra (book dummy) 2018 Douglas Stockdale

I am very excited to announce that I am now ready to accept pre-orders for my artist book Middle Ground/En Medio Tierra! The books will be ready to ship by the middle to end of next month. As I shared before (transparency!); I am doing the binding and it may take me a little while to do all of the binding for each of these artist books.

So here are the artist book publication details:

Self-published, publication date; May/June 2018 (concurrent with exhibition at Fabrik Projects, Los Angeles, CA)

Stiff covers with flap-over French fold, Leporello book design

Pages: 66 pages (blank verso)

Photographs: 31 Images, color

Printing: 4 color lithographic printing

Leporello binding: hand-bound by the artist

Book design and layout by the artist

Artist book, edition size 99 + 5 A/P

Book trim size: 6-1/2” x 8-1/4” (165mm x 210mm)

Acknowledgements & Colophon, without essays, captions or pagination

Cover paper: 18 pt C1s Tango

Interior paper: 80# GPA Uncoated Text

Text: English and Spanish

Retail price: $59.50 USD

I can process your book orders through Paypal. Until May 5th, for those in the United States, the price will include my shipping costs. For Europe, I need to add an additional $15 to the cost of the book (if it turns out that it is more, I will absorb it).

Note: since the book will has not been printed until next week, the book images are from my book-dummy.

Cheers!

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April 15, 2018

LACP Faculty exhibition opening reception April 13, 2018

Filed under: Books, Middle Ground, Photobook, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , — Doug Stockdale @ 5:10 pm

04-13-18 Douglas Stockdale America photo by Gerhard Clausing

Douglas Stockdale & framed “America” 2018 copyright Gerhard Clausing

Last Friday had a wonderful evening at LACP for the Faculty group exhibition opening reception. Top line; it was nice to see my Middle Ground print on the wall, a continuing validation of this project. Second it was really enjoyable to see some friends in that we do not usually have a chance meet-up often enough. Lots of shared stories and updates. Also wonderful to hear from some past workshop participants and current photographers who I am mentoring on the progress that they are making artistically. More information about this reception can be found at Clausing’s SoCal PhotoExchange post.

It was also a chance for me to obtain some more feedback on my Middle Ground book-dummy, which was really interesting and insightful as I listened to their comments and suggestions. First, a confirmation that the soft/fuzzy lower left corner of my images created by the back bracket issues of the Canon 5DMk3 needed to be addressed (this really irritates me every time I need to work on these images as a result of the inadequate Canon camera body construction). Thus my big project for yesterday was identifying which images needed modifying, typically with a slight different cropping that emphasized the right side of the image to crop out the bothersome lower left issues. That resolved all but one image and now I am figuring out which image to use as a replacement.

Today making the final changes for the book printing files for the printer, revised images for the book dummy and new Epson exhibition prints.

All of this while under a little bit of a deadline as I have appointment tomorrow morning at a gallery in Culver City (LA) about a potential exhibition opportunity. So stay tuned, as I may have some exciting news very soon.

Cheers!

04-13-18 Douglas Stockdale - Elaine D'Mello photo by Gerhard Clausing

Networking with Elaine D’Mello (photo; Gerhard Clausing)

April 1, 2018

Kickstarter, GoFundMe or ??

Filed under: Art Market, Books, Middle Ground, Photobook — Tags: , — Doug Stockdale @ 9:48 pm

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Middle Ground, book dummy 2018 copyright Douglas Stockdale

So while my Canon 5D Mk3 is undergoing “flange back” repairs at Canon, I will have some time this week (hopefully repairs complete this Friday) to evaluate some fund raising alternatives to produce Middle Ground.

The big-daddy of book fund-raising appears to be Kickstarter with it’s all-or-nothing process. Seems like the big contender to Kickstarter is GoFundMe with it’s process of you get what-ever you can raise. Both have various fees, so that has to be taken into account for the amount being raised, so if I up the ante by 10%, I should have the fund-raising expenses mostly covered.

I will have to admit that since I will do the binding of Middle Ground book the actually printing expenses for a small volume leporello book are not that bad. Nevertheless, pre-selling the book to have most of the expenses covered is nice. Likewise, both of these programs might also broaden my presence and open some new book and print markets for me.

I have been following a couple of recent photobook Kickstarter projects (I will also have a couple of really nice photobooks as a result) which have recently been fully funded. This gives me an indication of what incentives and rewards seem to work better than others.

I cannot start a Kickstarter program until I obtain the 5DMk3 and it’s capability to provide HD video, which an info-video appears to be a necessary part of Kickstarter. I might need some help with making this info-video as well, so something else to noodle this week.

The GoFundMe from what I have seen are individuals liking what you are doing and then supporting you get there, with a lot of social driven causes. What I don’t see in most of the GoFundMe projects are any kind of rewards, e.g. books and prints, for your donation such as you find on Kickstarter. So having rewards might be an alternative if I were to go that route.

I have been reviewing some other artist fund-raising programs, but most of these do not appear to help the sponsor achieve their financial investment goals. Not a great prospect for investing the time.

So I have the week to work on this fund-raising strategy, which pushes out my publishing date a little bit.

Cheers!

March 28, 2018

En Medio Tierra – Middle Ground

Filed under: Books, Middle Ground, Photobook, Projects/Series — Tags: , , — Doug Stockdale @ 10:03 pm

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Middle Ground, book dummy 2018 copyright Douglas Stockdale

When I was re-examining my Middle Ground project in the context of how symbolic the subject was to the issues facing the DREAMers, I realized that another way to underscore this concept was to have the book’s text in both English and Spanish.

A gringo process to complete the translations is to go to Google translate, but I understood that this process could only provide a starting approximation. Thus I leaned into my cousin Ashley and her husband Ralph Hernandez to help me get the Spanish (Espanol) translation correct, or as they say, what sounds right to the Spanish ear.

For the most part I did not want a literal translation of my English words, especially the book’s title, but I still needed something accurate for the book’s Colophon/Colofon.

Thus we played with some various alternatives and synonyms for the book title as to what might be related to both the words Middle and Ground would work with my concept. So after some back and forth, we settled on En Medio Tierra as “in (between) the middle ground (earth)”. Ralph, who will be the Text Editor for my edition, had the final say and now we were good to go for the book’s title!

Cheers,

Doug

PS Let me know if you want to be placed on my growing interest list (doug@douglasstockdale.com) for Middle Ground. More news about the final price and fund raising campaign shortly!

March 25, 2018

Middle Ground Book-dummy #4 – ditto

Filed under: Books, Middle Ground, Photobook, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , — Doug Stockdale @ 3:31 pm

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Middle Ground, Book-dummy #4 2018 copyright Douglas Stockdale

Last weekend during my LACP mini-seminar on photo book development using my book-dummy #4 for the Middle Ground project, this book design really gelled for me. It was now time to move forward to the next phase; book printing. Fortunately Craig Evans, my printer representative for Dual Graphics, was also exhibiting at the LACP event so we had an opportunity to meet and allow me to discuss the final design tweaks with him.

Evans asked me to make a second copy of the book-dummy #4 (affectionately called “Ditto), and add post-it notes for reference to what was going where. He suggested to plan to meet up later in the week and bring my pre-press image files. I was ready to move from a physical book-dummy to the e-design (probably InDesign) in preparation for going on-press.

After assembling and gluing the previous book-dummy’s, I was pleasantly surprised that Ditto came to life relatively quick. I am still learning the ropes about binding a leporello book, but I feel that I am coming up the learning curve.

Thus week I completed the pre-press image file changes: sized each digital file to the image size for the printed page (now termed a plate) at 300 dpi, converted to sRGB from AdobeRGB and saved as high quality JPEG image (quality 12), and then labeled as to which plate number for the book printing.

I also prepared the draft Colophon as one of the few text pages, as well as the interior title page. As stated previously, I may only have the book title printed on the book’s spine. Now time for a little consideration as to the appearance of the back cover;s exterior, which might just repeat my name and web site at the bottom. All of this was delivered yesterday to Evans.

Next step in preparation for the printing is to have the InDesign completed and reviewed as a soft-proof PDF. Still a bit more to do, but getting a whole lot closer!

Reminder: Let me know if you want to be placed on my growing interest list (doug@douglasstockdale.com) for Middle Ground. More news about the final price and fund raising campaign shortly!

Cheers!

March 17, 2018

Middle Ground – Book-dummy #4 for presentation at LACP tomorrow

Filed under: Books, Middle Ground, Photobook, Projects/Series, Uncategorized — Tags: , , — Doug Stockdale @ 12:57 am

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Middle Ground, Book-dummy #4, 2018 copyright Douglas Stockdale

One of the take-aways from the leporello book-dummy kit that I had received from the printer was some additional design tweaks to the cover. Two days ago I received a couple of samples of the revised cover design; I think a Winner is in the House!

To complete this dummy, I had to tip in the anticipated photograph for this cover, above, then glue in the leporello pages and simulate the interior cover page. One of the final design tweaks is to decide if I want to have the project and my name on the front cover or only printed on the spine. As it appears now, above, without text on the front cover, it appears to have a unobstructed look at one of my subjects, which I think is in alignment with my concept for this project. Now thinking, maybe add a paper belly band with the additional text?

I have some ideas of how to further strength the book design with some very minor tweaks and I am looking forward to meeting with my printer, Dual Graphics, at the LACP Spring event tomorrow.

So I am getting ready for my first show-n-tell with what I think is the final design (the presentation at PADA earlier this month was with the pending book design, and first book talk about the project) for this project. I have to pinch myself that I am on the edge of getting this project published after an intense year and half working on it. Since I am still considering a Kickstarter to raise the funds for printing, I will be taking names for the growing interest list again tomorrow.

Kinda weird holding this book dummy knowing that this could essentially be the first real example of the final intended book. The interior pages are still off the copy machine, so these pictures don’t look so great, but provides the look of what the leporello design will approximate. Lessons learned from an earlier book-dummy; use thin copy paper so that I don’t increase the depth of the interior to the point that it does not fit within the cover! This is getting really exciting.

So I am looking forward to my two LACP presentations tomorrow, a mini-seminar on Photo Book Pre-visualization and moderator for the Photo Book discussion panel on How to Get Your Photo Book Published, while getting some more feedback on this book and project.

Reminder: Let me know if you want to be placed on my growing interest list (doug@douglasstockdale.com) for Middle Ground. More news about the final price and fund raising campaign shortly!

March 15, 2018

Middle Ground – Revised & expanding artist statement

Filed under: Books, Middle Ground, Photobook, Projects/Series — Tags: , — Doug Stockdale @ 9:56 pm

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Marker #34, Middle Ground, 2017 copyright Douglas Stockdale

Earlier this month I had posted about how I was obtaining some feedback on my project Middle Ground which kinda of set me back a tiny bit regarding my artist statement and the underlying concept. But in a very good way.

I have known that frequently artist, including photographers, are not the best persons to fully understand the full extent and meaning of their own art-work. Which is not to say that we do not have a focus (luv that term for photographers) on what we are attempting to document or subject to investigate for a project. Usually we have a reason to embark on a specific artistic endeavor, but we may not fully understand all of the artistic and aesthetic nuances of the project. I think this may be due to the emotional blinders we inadvertently have as a result of being too close to the project.

Thus the reason behind what I have always been a proponent of getting your work seen by others, then carefully listen (which means you are not talking or planning your rebuttal) to what is being said. For me it was having the work on my project advanced to a certain point of development (yes a bit of pride or insecurity of showing raw work and potentially getting slammed) that I felt I understood it well enough to clearly articulate where I was coming from and heading towards. So now I am starting to get some critical feedback, which has mostly been constructive.

Case in point; is my concept was entirely creating a visual satire on a pending WH wall just because somebody made a presidential campaign on building a bigly one between the U.S. and Mexico?

I had thought so, but I am now getting to understand that this could also be a symbolic wall or barrier for other broader social, cultural, political, economic and religious issues. That my subject is a urban-barrier that is actually located entirely within America, it could be symbolic of the recent internal political barrier(s) erected by the WH to block, impede and otherwise stop the DACA Dreamers from reaching their goals of acceptance and potential citizenship. Wow.

Thus my project which at one point in the beginning appeared to be addressing a very specific issue has become much broader in concept and scope. In some ways, when this project was really focused on one idea, it was nice and tidy. By making this concept much broader in scope creates a bit more messiness, which I am adapting to. Just continuing to try to get my head around it. So at this point, I will take it one part at a time to get this artist book out there and see how organically it grows from there.

So in the meanwhile, I have modified my artist statement to expand on the symbolic nature of this urban-built structure as to the broader social, cultural, political, economic and religious issues we are facing as a country.

Let me know if you want to be placed on my growing interest list (doug@douglasstockdale.com) for Middle Ground. More news about the final price and fund raising campaign shortly!

Cheers!

March 13, 2018

Book-dummy kit from printer for Middle Ground

Filed under: Art Market, Books, Middle Ground, Photobook, Projects/Series — Tags: , , — Doug Stockdale @ 9:52 pm

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Leporello Book-dummy kit, Middle Ground, 2018 Copyright Douglas Stockdale

You know that when you are self-publishing a new book you are getting very, very close to the final design when you receive a book-dummy kit from the printer, who in this case is Dual Graphics, in Brea. This is a leporello book-dummy kit, for Middle Ground.

The book-dummy kit is pretty basic; interior sheets that are made with the intended printing paper for the book’s publication, in my case a glossy paper (Verso Paper, Sterling Gloss, 100# book), one of the papers that I had included in my Guide to Self-Publishing an Indie Artist Book. Since this is a leporello book, each sheet has six pages plus a half-inch wide tab for binding (gluing). So I was able to take eleven of these interior sheets, glue these together in series and have an interior mock-up dummy completed for my book design. Nice.

There are also mock-ups of the book’s cover, which in my case is going to start with stiff-covers. After constructing the interior leporello dummy (above), it was apparent that we had not allowed enough for the width of the spine to accommodate for the thickness of this stack of paper. The interior sheets were hand creased and folded, so the on-press production process is going to provide a tighter and more compact stack of paper, nevertheless, I still need a bit more width for the spine.

The cover stock was still a bit on the light side, so since we need to redo the cover samples, the printer is going to provide a heavier stock (18 point) up to the maximum their presses can handle.

Another design tweak is to increase the size of the cover just a tiny bit more to allow a nicer interface with the interior leporello block, since these will be hand bound by me. I need to allow for a little more exterior coverage just in case.

At the moment, I need to complete the Middle Ground Book-dummy #4 for my presentation this weekend at LACP. As part of my book presentation, Photo Book Pre-Visualization, I will use this book dummy to illustrate my point. Also a chance to promote the pending publication and add to my interest list! Also, still time to sign up if you would like to join me at LACP this Saturday (March 17th).

Since Dual Graphic will also have a table this weekend at LACP, it will be a chance for me to work with the printer off-line as to how this book dummy is coming together and determine if we need to make any further design tweaks.

Busy, busy, busy! The fun just never ends!

Reminder: Let me know if you want to be placed on the now growing interest list (doug@douglasstockdale.com) for my Middle Ground limited edition artist bookIf you can help me network for potential exhibitions (pop-up weekend, month long, what ever!), I would really, really appreciate that very much!! (expect this to part of my update to be repeated very often!)

Cheers

 

March 11, 2018

Middle Ground – Revised edit – again

Filed under: Books, Middle Ground, Photobook, Projects/Series — Tags: , , — Doug Stockdale @ 9:38 pm

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Middle Ground, revised edit, March 2018 copyright Douglas Stockdale

At this point the realist side (aka the practical engineer) of my personality is kicking in. While I would really, really like to have a large commercial (trade) photobook of the leporello design published, I am not sure that I can obtain the financing for this book in advance of its printing. I have been thinking about a Kickstarter program to make the trade book happen and while that idea is still lurking, I am now working on a scaled down version of this project, both in book size and book quantity, that I can self-publish.

Which is leading to the development of my Middle Ground book dummy #4 that I hinted at earlier. The edit for this new dummy is a work in progress, see photo above. I have the maximized size of the book from the printer for a digital litho printed leporello book, essentially six pages per blank, with a small end tab for the binding process. The trim size is now 7-7/8″ wide x 6-1/2″ high. This will provide a very nice image size and when the leporello is fully opened, the pages will extend about 15 feet, still an impressive length.

To reduce the printing cost I have redesigned the book with one photograph per page (printed on front side only of the leporello), for a total page count of 66 pages from the previous 132 pages for the trade book. The main reason for the new edit is that instead of viewing one image at a time there will be two images per spread and I need to consider the interplay of the paired images. The overall sequence is thus slightly modified but I have the same visual intent of the progression.

For the revised photobook my intent now is to self-publish a limited edition artist book, with the edition size of 99 books, plus artist proofs and a few extra for advertising and display copies. To keep the costs in line, I will be performing the hand binding for the leporello, which means there are 11 glue joints that I need to perform to complete each book. To ensure that the leporello lays correctly, this will be a slow and tedious process, which means that the book cost will not really reflect that amount of my labor going into each book, but each book will be personal and probably a bit unique as a result. This book binding process will take a good bit of time, so I need to decide to do all of the binding before I start shipping or ship the books as I make them, probably a couple of books per day?

Let me know if you want to be placed on the now growing interest list (doug@douglasstockdale.com) for my Middle Ground bookIf you can help me network for potential exhibitions (pop-up, weekend, month long), I would really, really appreciate that very much!! (expect this to part of my update to be repeated very often!)

Cheers!

March 6, 2018

Middle Ground – Book Dummy #3

Filed under: Books, Middle Ground, Photobook, Projects/Series — Tags: , , , — Doug Stockdale @ 1:14 am

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Middle Ground, Book Dummy #3, leporello design 2018 copyright by Douglas Stockdale

This is an update on my artist project Middle Ground and the background story of why I created my third book dummy. In one regard I am very happy with this book dummy as this is the very first time I created a leporello book from scratch.

But first, why a third book dummy? A quick recap, the first book dummy was a proof of concept that helped me further visualize this project in a book form. What I quickly realized is that I did not like the loose and unhinged covers, that I like the covers connected with a spine. What I did like is how my concept for this book was developing; that by carefully cropping each image, I could create a continuous line with the top edge of the border wall as the leporello unfolded. Very, very nice!

The second book dummy was made at scale of what I intended the book to look like with the interior images an impressive 12″w x 9-1/2″ h. Now this looked great. The other design aspect was whether to include a small white margin around each photograph, which I had included in the book dummy #2.

To help with that design question, I created this book dummy #3 in which the images are trimmed with a full bleed. In checking with my prospective printer, I found that I still did not trim enough of each image off to simulate the book printing process. But it was enough to understand that I had one important image that was at risk with a full bleed printing process. Perhaps I did not need to create a complete book dummy to understand this aspect, but I also wanted a scaled-down version to be able to carry around with me (book dummy #2 is too big and too  awkward to carry around).

The fun part of building this entire book from scratch was playing with the wrap around cover (below) in which one of my images will extend from the front to the back. I am also realizing that in order to do this, I need to seriously crop the image and may not visually work as I intended. So this is another design issue to wrestle with; what to do with the outside covers.

I am now in the midst of getting some final printing quotes and we are working on some alternative designs for the interior layout and covers. This may lead to a Book Dummy #4. But after watching to Oscar’s last night and how Jordan Peele re-wrote his screen play like 20 times, the fact that I might need to do Book Dummy #4 is like a walk in the park (plus, did I mention how fun it is to build a book from scratch?)

Equally interesting is in a discussion with a Mexican photographer/book artist friend, in addition to having the colophon in both English and Spanish (España) also understanding how Middle Ground symbolically investigates the issues of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and the Dreamers. So more shortly about how that will be broadening the scope of this project.

Let me know if you want to be placed on the interest list (doug@douglasstockdale.com) for Middle Ground, which delightfully is steadily growing and if you can help me network for potential exhibitions, I would really, really appreciate that very much!! (expect this to part to be repeated very often!)

Cheers!

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