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!

April 21, 2016

Guest curator for Photo Book Independent

Filed under: Art Market, Books, Photography — Tags: , , — Doug Stockdale @ 4:08 pm

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As a follow-up to being one of the judges for the Photo Book Independent book competition, I am honored to also be providing two curatorial discussions of the juried-in books as well as the other photobooks available during Photo Book Independent.The schedule for talks, book signings and curatorial discussions has just been posted.

The first curatorial walk will be held first on Friday night at 6pm just prior to the VIP opening of the exhibition space at Raleigh Studios (yes, a functioning sound stage in the midst of the film capital). The second walking discussion will be on Sunday morning at 10:30 am just prior to the opening for the general public. I am planing on an hour discussion, but be prepared, it could last a little longer depending on the questions and answers.

For the juried-in photo books, since I was part of the judging and had developed the judging process, I am planning to provide a little back-ground on the judging criteria. How did we decide which books were interesting and provocative and which did not seem to past muster and capture our attention? If you were every thinking about submitting a book dummy or photobook to a competition, this could be an interesting discussion for you.

The good news, my curatorial discussions are FREE to participate, but the space is limited and if you want to join for what I hope is an interesting, fun and informative event, you need to sign up for it NOW: http://photoindependent.com/talks-and-book-signings/

Leave a comment if you have any questions.

Cheers!

April 17, 2016

Instagram learning curve

Filed under: Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , , — Doug Stockdale @ 6:05 pm

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3rd Street LA Art district 2016 copyright Douglas Stockdale

I stated at the beginning of this year that I am now posting on Instagram (@douglasstockdale), so I am new to this platform. I have been getting a few (very few) pointers from my daughter, but I figure if I look and play, I should get this figured out.

I was not expecting a ton of folks looking at my photographs and becoming a “follower”, nevertheless I feel like I was moving at a glacial pace. So my aha! moment yesterday was when my daughter posted a photograph with a bunch of hashtags. Duh. Okay, so I am old.

So I began to poke around Instagram this morning, as I thought hashtags were a Twitter thing. I was so wrong. So now I know and I imagine most of you already knew and now you are wondering what kinda of stone age guy I am. So I will tell you; old enough to process my analog black & white film!

The good news is that I have not posted that many photos on Instagram, so it should be relatively easy to edit in a few hashtags for each photo, which I started this morning. Now of course is the hashtag choice issue; which ones to link up to with each photo? If its not one thing, its another.

As to this photograph above made earlier this month, I noted the juxtaposition of the real bike with the background wall art while I was up in LA during the photobook judging for Photo Book Independent. By tightly framing the two, I think the resulting image creates a nice metaphor about the dreamlike experience of biking, even in the urban city. I guess you could also see this as a different narrative after noticing that the bike is chained down (restrained) and that the owner also took the bike seat with him to further deter a bike thief. As a result that this image could have alternative readings is very appealing to me.

Okay, back to working on my print portfolio for Photo Independent, which is quickly approaching!

Cheers!

 

April 15, 2016

Photo Independent – Print Portfolio progress

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Memory Pods, copyright 2016 Douglas Stockdale

An update on my progress to prepare for Photo Independent regarding my print portfolio(s) as previous discussed. First, the idea that I had to quickly prepare a print portfolio for Photo Independent was quickly stressing me out. Needing to quickly select the prints (yikes, which ones out of the project?), then matte and prepare the prints, and ensure that I had all of the outer bags to protect the sold prints was just a little too much on short notice. Yes it could not be done as I have jumped through these types of hoops in the past, but did I really need to?

I think its about expectations; if you are at an art fair then you should have prints for sale. Well honestly I do have some items for sale; a trade edition of Ciociaria, two limited editions of this book, my hand-made artist book Pine Lake, some out-of-print copies of LensWork #74 that feature my In Passing project and probably my Foundations mini-portfolio. So I think I am going to take an alternative pathway for my prints that will work best for me; bringing a print portfolio or two of work-in-progress and ask for feedback. This could be a win-win opportunity for me.

So at the moment, the first work-in-progress print portfolio will be my Memory Pods project. I have not been posting much of my photographs for this project created with the larger format Canon 5D equipment. Thus this photograph will be new. I have also been working on the artist statement for this project, which I will print and have available at Photo Independent to provide to those who have an interest in this project. I am also planning to have an interest list to capture names and emails of those who are interested in this project for follow up as the project comes closer to publication and exhibition. And of course I will need to update my web site with the images in the portfolio, which I will announce here when I have completed it.

Cool, I am doing much better already! And a back-up supply of pigment ink for the Epson printer just arrived so I feel energized to dig in and start printing. This is going to be fun!

Cheers!

April 7, 2016

Exhibiting at Photo Independent

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Memory Pods 2016 copyright Douglas Stockdale

I have just been notified that I am accepted into Photo Independent at the end of this month. I was anticipating that I would be included in the Photobook Independent, but I was just notified that I can also have a print portfolio in addition to my photobooks. Yikes, I was not prepared for that wrinkle. The event in LA (Raleigh Studios in Hollywood) is at the end of this month April 29 – May 1, 2016, so although I do not have much time to prepare, I will make the most of this opportunity.

As to which photobooks to bring and sell, that is the easy part. For the print portfolio; which one? I will have a limited space to display, so from past experience, far better to focus on one portfolio than try to show a little bit of everything. What I did learn in the past is to hold in reserve at least one smaller (both size of prints and quantity of prints) portfolio that might come up in discussion.

I have been looking to publish my project In Passing – Lest I Forget, but I am not sure that this is the right audience. So I am thinking that this will be my portfolio that will in reserve. As to the display portfolio, I am leaning towards my Memory Pods project. I really don’t have much time to fret over this as I need to start printing for the portfolio this weekend.

Such problems to have, eh?

Cheers!

 

April 5, 2016

Urban Tree – Spring

Filed under: Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , — Doug Stockdale @ 7:30 pm

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Urban Tree, Spring 2016 copyright Douglas Stockdale

Perhaps like Edward Steichen in his later years, I find myself photographing a backyard tree, as I had posted earlier here. Perhaps this could develop into a photographic project, but for now, I am content to think of this as a pleasant on-going series.

Cheers

April 3, 2016

Photobook Judge

Filed under: Art Market, Books, Photography — Tags: , — Doug Stockdale @ 10:01 pm

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2016 photobook jury team

As I announced here last month, I am part of the photobook jury team for Photobook Independent and the first photobook competition (me in the white shirt in the group photo above). More about the rest of the jury, here. The actual book judging occurred in LA yesterday.

I can’t announce any results at this time as the scoring and final evaluations are still in progress. I do appreciated that the team accepted my photobook judging recommendation to evaluate/score each photobook on the aspects of: Photography, Concept, Design and Publication.

The submissions were diverse, interesting and for me, a daunting challenge to evaluate and score. I am more accustomed to spending a least a couple of hours with just one book, least try to evaluate more than 70 in the span of an afternoon. It did not help the judging process that I occasionally would slow to really spend quality time with a captivating book  and as a result that to no one’s surprise that I was the last book judge remaining at the end of the event. Oh well.

Next, we are working on a schedule for me to provide a curatorial discussion of the winning book selections as well as the other books available during Photobook Indendent (in LA) at the end of this month. More about that event soon.

Cheers!

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