Doug Stockdale's Singular Images

November 12, 2018

10 years of photo book inspirations

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Guide to Self-Publishing an Indie Artist Book, 2017 copyright Douglas Stockdale

As many of you know, in addition to writing this photo-blog in which I discuss my photographic projects and other odds and ends, I am also the Editor of The PhotoBook Journal. I started The PhotoBook Journal (TPBJ) shortly after starting this blog back in 2008 when I noticed that there was an extremely strong response to the book reviews of the photobooks in my personal collection. At that time there was really only one other photobook review site by Jeffery Ladd, which he has since ceased contributing to. So now 10 years have passed and we just passed the 500th photobook review! That’s a big Wowzer!!

Meantime, I have continued to acquire more photobooks in my collection, as well as receive donations (aka submissions) for consideration, photobooks that either I could not afford or not sure I would acquire. I realized that one aspect that I could provide with TPBJ is to review a broad and diverse range of International photobooks to expand the potential creative consideration for artists, photographers and collectors.

In turn this diversity of books has also inspired my photographic and photobook practice. I will also admit that writing the TPBJ has forced me to think a little clearer about the intent of a photographic project. Likewise I think the editorial responsibilities have drastically improve my writing skills; no longer an engineer writing a cut and dried specification or technical report, but now thinking of how to create an informative and inspirational narrative. Wow. I think my high school English teacher would be stunned by the transformation.

Likewise, I have been able to hold some of the most inspirational and brilliantly designed and printed photobooks that have published over the past 10 years. I also think that we have also helped to launch a few photobook artist careers, as the only prerequisite for consideration on TPBJ is a well thought out and executed photobook project. Thus many, many photobooks that personally inspire me for my own book practice; the books in my collection set the bar pretty high as well as provide some very creative alternatives. This led to Ciociaria being published by Edizioni Punctum (still available), and my three self-published limited edition artist books; Pine Lake (sold out), Bluewater Shore (just a few left) and this year, Middle Ground (still available).

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Middle Ground, published 2018, copyright Douglas Stockdale

Which in turn has lead to my photobook design workshops and subsequently to mentoring other artists, photographers, and publishers as to how to move their personal or business practices forward. Such as the photobook by Christine Kaplan, On My Walk, that I provided the book design and editing which she self-published this summer. The workshops and mentoring led to the publication last year of Guide to Self-publishing an Indie Artist Book last year & which is still available ($19.95 USD plus postage; message me if you would like a copy of this or the others doug@douglasstockdale.com)

All in all, the last 10 years has been an inspirational and wonderful ride; thanks for supporting me on this interesting artistic journey!

Cheers,

Doug

November 1, 2018

Book workshop with Medium Festival of Photography

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Guide book dummy, 2017 copyright Douglas Stockdale

I am very excited to announce that I will be providing my Photo Book Design Workshop in conjunction with the Medium Festival of Photography next March 16 and 17th, 2019. This two day workshop will take place in San Diego at the Lafayette Hotel & Swim Club. A great location to be in March.

You can register now at: https://www.mediumsandiego.org/developing-a-creative-photo-book/

This two-day Workshop is an opportunity for artists and photographers currently working on or planning to start a project that will result in a book publication. Whether you plan to make book submissions to a publisher or self-publish your artist book, this workshop is meant to help you create a book that meets your vision.

The goal of this workshop is to discuss each photographer’s vision, mission and objectives for the publication of a photographic project and then to gain an understanding of how these conceptual aspects translate into a book object. Fundamental to the book development process is learning aspects of the editing, sequencing of the body of photographs and in the context of a book design to shape and narrate a story. The purpose of this workshop is to provide photographers with the building blocks to move from a complex unorganized mass of images into a refined edit and subsequently sequence to create a pre-visualization of their book concept.

I hope you can join me for a fun and intense two days learning the basics of book development and how this will help you move your project forward. Likewise, the editing and sequencing methodology you will learn is equally applicable to creating a strong review portfolio or organizing a gallery submission.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Cheers!

 

September 12, 2018

Introduction to PhotoBook Design – October LACP workshop

Filed under: Art, Art Market, Books, Photobook, Workshops — Tags: , , , , — Doug Stockdale @ 4:36 pm

Introduction to Photo Book Design with Douglas Stockdale (Two sessions)

Introduction to Photo Book Design workshop

Los Angeles Center for Photography

Next month, October 7th and 14th, I will be repeating my popular two-day workshop in conjunction with the Los Angeles Center for Photograph (LACP). This workshop focuses on the fundamental development of a book; understanding the artists intent and how that then translates into a book object in the editing, sequencing and layout of the book supported by the book’s design attributes.

The two-day goal of the workshop is for each person to leave with a first rough draft of their book dummy of their personal photographic project. I will provide both creative and practical book design options and project critiques to help those attending to move their book publication forward.

After a morning of studying limited edition artists’ books, trade books and zines, the remainder of the first morning will be spent understanding each artist/photographers publishing objectives. Subsequently I will include discussions on the elements of book design, essence of project editing, image editing and sequencing, the purpose of a physical book-dummy, concluding with a hands-on fabrication of a saddle-stitch dummy book/zine.

The second session delves further into the book dummy development and includes discussions about the business elements of (self/indie) publishing a book, critical book production elements and making a publisher submission. The remainder of the day students will continue working on the development of their dummy book as a collaborative project as well as some one-on-one time with each participant.

The feedback I have received over the years is this workshop has been critical to many artist and photographers for their publishing success; helping provide clarity on their project and providing creative book design options. So whether you are developing your very first book or your book project is one of many, I think you will find our time together to be really inspiring.

I hope you can join me for this fun and yet intensive workshop.

This workshop is being held at the LACP facilities: 1515 Wilcox Ave, Los Angeles, CA

Let me know if you have any questions,

Cheers!

 

June 12, 2018

Feedback – Artist talk at Fabrik Projects

Filed under: Art, Books, Middle Ground, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , , , — Doug Stockdale @ 6:10 pm

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Douglas Stockdale, Artist talk, Fabrik Projects, photos by Kasey Taylor

Having an opportunity to having an open discussion with those interested in your work is a great chance to create a dialog as well as get some really honest feedback from your work. Really honest. Yes, there was what one person called afterwards a little bit of a “heated discussion” between a couple of individuals who had different takes on this project.

For my part, talking about myself and my project is not the easiest thing to do, makes me a bit nervous, so I did not think that I provided the most eloquent presentation, but almost everyone else thought that my talk and subsequent discussion was very informative. Perhaps this event for me was similar to participating in a portfolio review, except it was live, on-stage and with a whole lot of people involved, all providing input at the same time while I did not have a chance to write notes. A bit intense.

So some take aways:

First and foremost, when asked what others thought that this project was about before I told them about my concept, they almost all agreed; an urban landscape that was mysterious and since they could not figure out the place, ambiguous, and in the consistent way it was presented, very intriguing. They were all really curious and wanted to know more. Which was totally in line with my initial framing and idea for this project. So that was pretty cool!!

Regretfully what no one was talking about was if this body of work could be considered a political parody of the Trumpian Mexico border wall. Or if it could be a metaphor for injustice or political/social/cultural issues rising out of blocking and stopping segregation or other types of impediments. I think that this point underlies one of the issues of conceptual art, sometimes it works, sometimes it does not. Especially if the concept is abstract enough and the underlying idea is not presented in a way to visually connect the message with the images, which I understood was one of the concerns with my project; it does not shout-out a strong political protest narrative.

Nevertheless, having my underlying concept did help me in how I created this body of work and I believe helped to inform me on the artist book design and layout. I also appreciate that this concept helped me create an intriguing and mysterious body of work.

So some other things that came to light; here in California the concrete structures that are the base of these barriers are called K-rails, while apparently everyone else in America call these structures Jersey Walls or Jersey Barriers. Interesting.

Many of the beautiful blooming plants that I photographed, such as the one on the cover of my artist book, are Oleander, which is actually a very poisonous plant. The physical barrier is actual multi-faceted and more complex than I had realized, thus creating another dimension to my project that I was unaware of. Perhaps another reason for this project appearing mysterious and having another darker dimension and undercurrent as to what appears as beautiful.

All in all, it was a really wonderful opportunity for some interesting feedback on my project, which I appreciated very much. Oh, and if you are now more interested in my artist book, editions are available from Fabrik Projects, Arcana book store (Culver City) or from me.

Cheers!

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May 29, 2018

Artist talk June 2nd at Fabrik Projects

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Middle Ground exhibition, photograph by Don Webb II

One of the requests that apparently reoccurred during my opening reception is for an artist talk about this exhibition and artist project. The artist talk is now scheduled to coincide with the exhibition closing reception at 4pm on Saturday, June 2nd (2018) at the Fabrik Projects gallery.

To talk about myself and my art projects is not always the easiest thing for me to do. To write about it as I have on this blog is okay, perhaps something I am more comfortable with in that I have an opportunity to develop what I write and the edit before I commit to publishing it. Even then when I have some second thoughts, I can come back and edit what I wrote. I am also very comfortable teaching a workshop about a subject that I am very familiar with, such as my book development class with LACP. Talking about myself and my art projects, perhaps not so much.

What does help if I start taking some notes to outline what I want to convey, then leaving plenty of time for questions and answers. I am going to try to cover the basics about this artist project: what, where, when, how and maybe the most critical; why. I also suspect that this will be a walking talk, not a formal group sit-down, which will help me a little bit more in that it’s a bit easier for me if I can walk and talk about the exhibition.

The photograph above is the exhibition space that I had envisioned for this project in how the photographs (barriers) would ring around the room and thus surround the viewer. One of the many exhibition trade-offs; larger prints but then less images in this space. It will be interesting to get some more feedback during my talk as I already plan to defer to some open ended questions for the group.

Location: Fabrik Projects; 2636 S. La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles (near Culver City)

Artist talk & reception: Saturday, June 2nd,  4 -7pm

Cheers & hope to see you there!

 

May 23, 2018

LACP exhibition opening Friday, May 25, 2018

Filed under: Art, Books, Middle Ground, Photobook, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , , , — Doug Stockdale @ 6:59 pm

America

America, Middle Ground/En Medio Tierra, 2016 copyright Douglas Stockdale

I was pretty excited that two of my photographs from my Middle Ground/En Medio Tierra project were selected by Scott B. Davis for the Los Angeles Center of Photography (LACP) annual Fine Art Exhibition. The two photographs are America, above and the photograph San Diego Port of Entry, below.

The theme for this year is Expanding Boundaries. Although my project has as it’s primary subject a series of barriers, a form of physical boundary, the series also documents how these barriers are deteriorating and include passage ways that allow access. Thus providing an element of hope to individuals in order they might contemplate that they can overcome any barrier that they might encounter in life.

The exhibition opening is this Friday, May 25th, 2018 at the LACP facility in Los Angeles from 7pm – 10pm. LACP is located at 1515 Wilcox Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90028

The LACP exhibition will is available for viewing from May 25th thru June 22nd.

I am equally excited that this exhibition of Middle Ground/En Medio Tierra is overlapping the full exhibition of this body of work at Fabrik Projects. Another two-fer for this body project! As a reminder, my artist book of this body of work is available from me or from Fabrik Projects as well.

San Diego Point of Entry

May 10, 2018

Artist book making: now fully engaged!

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Books in Boxes, Middle Ground/En Medio Tierra 2018 Douglas Stockdale

After meeting with the Dual Graphs pre-press team to provide the final tweaks and approval of the art work, the job went to the press. I also did a quick assembly of the hard copy prints to create a trial book dummy just to really, really sure that everything was going to plan.

Well my book not only has gone to press, I also picked up the various boxes of sheets and covers to start my self-publishing book production! Earlier this week I drove up to Dual Graphics in Brea to pick up my printed book parts that I would be using to hand make my limited edition artist book Middle Ground/En Medio Tierra. I was taken back a bit when the guy at will-call pointed at a pallet of boxes and stated that it was my print job. Fortunately it was a small pallet and I was able to load all of the boxes into my SUV.

I then laid out the 11 boxes of the leporello book parts along with two versions of the cover in sequence in the garage. wow.  Then after a quick inspection of the printed sheets, I brought these into the house and set up my book “production line” in the dining and living room. With a book interior that stretches out over 21 feet, I needed all of that space for this book binding effort.

It is taking a little while to hand glue each of the leporello connections for each book. So this might turn out to be my month of May project. Yesterday, I took two of the first books up to Fabrik Projects in order that they have a finished book to show and take orders, if not sell these. I am working on the next batch for the artist opening on Saturday evening and then start filling the book orders.

Yes, the book is still available and if you are interested, I will still cover the US shipping cost and part of the International shipping cost. So here (again) are the artist book publication details:

Self-published, publication date; May 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

So ping me if you are interested in a copy of this edition! doug@douglasstockdale.com

Cheers!

May 4, 2018

Middle Ground/En Medio Tierra – Trial Proof

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Middle Ground/En Medio Tierra book binding 2018 copyright Douglas Stockdale

After spending the morning at Dual Graphics looking at the hard proofs earlier this week, I returned with three interior sets to develop a couple of Trial Proofs (T/P) of the assembled artist book.  FYI, the T/P is a version that is made during the developmental stage but which the printing is not right yet, a term from the printmaking practice when a plate is inked and then proofed to see if the resulting image is acceptable. When the resulting image is acceptable and ready to print, this would be an Artist Proof (A/P).

This also gave me an opportunity to practice my gluing technique so that I did not totally screw up the appearance of a book. One take away; this is going to be a slow process. The second? This might also be the last leporello artist book I assemble! It’s going to really look awesome, but what a pain to get everything just right. sigh.

Why it’s an artist book, as each one is going to have some unique differences.

We also decided to exhibit in the gallery my extended book dummy, all 21 feet, as a unique work of art. Then hang underneath the book dummy a finished edition book. This should look pretty cool. The team at the gallery are doing the final print and book hanging today. I dropped off prints and books yesterday, but the walls of the gallery were still being prepped for painting from the last exhibition.

Opening tomorrow: Fabrik Projects, 2636 S. La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles

Exhibition: May 5th – June 2nd

Artist reception: Saturday, May 12th, 6 – 8pm

Artist book is still available for purchase from me.

Looking forward to seeing the exhibition!

Cheers,

Doug

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 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 not been printed until next week, the book images are from my book-dummy.

Cheers!

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Douglas_Stockdale_Middle_Ground-En_Medio_Tierra_1

Douglas_Stockdale_Middle_Ground-En_Medio_Tierra_2

Douglas_Stockdale_Middle_Ground-En_Medio_Tierra_4

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Douglas_Stockdale_Middle_Ground-En_Medio_Tierra_top_view_leporello_design

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)

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