Doug Stockdale's Singular Images

March 27, 2017

Networking: MailChimp

Filed under: Art Market, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , — Doug Stockdale @ 6:44 pm

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Copyright 2013 Douglas Stockdale

A couple of years ago I thought that I should try to establish a formal networking newsletter to update friends, family, photographers and gallery owners as to my recent accomplishments and news. So I signed up for the free version of MailChimp. Regretfully perhaps I was not in the best state of mind at the time in trying to figure out MailChimp, which did not go so well. So I put this wonderful idea on the back burner for awhile.

A month ago I decided to look at MailChimp again. This time; read some of the tutorials. Duh! Or maybe MailChimp has improved it’s interface, either way, I found it much easier to figure out and I starting working on the back structure; creating some mailing lists. My first mailing list was for my very tolerant photographic friends, the Photographers Exchange (PX), who join me for the monthly meetings at the IFAC. They have become used to my wild and crazy ideas, so I figured that they would provide some honest feedback to my first photo-newsletter (none of them do this sort of thing). My ultimate goal was to figure out the MailChimp process for a newsletter for my other blog-magazine The PhotoBook. Anyhow, the first PX newsletter went out last month and I received a couple of nice comments, better yet, no one took me off their email list!

So at the moment I have developed four audiences/four mailing lists; each one has a repetitively unique interest in my photographic endeavors: Friends and Family (mostly non-photographic buy wishing me well and sometimes a strong interest in my photography), PX (they know most of what I am doing photographically anyhow, but it does not hurt to remind them, yuk, yuk), Photographers (who are like minded and might be interested in my exhibitions and workshops, but also includes gallery owners) & PhotoBook (photographers I have published, those interested in photobooks, bookstores & photobook publishers).

The first photo-newsletter to the PX used a “photo” template, but I quickly realized that I do not like the black background of this template; too severe. Then I stated using the white backgrounds, which works better for me. It took a little bit to adjust to using the MailChimp templates, but I figured that it’s similar to learning how to post to a blog, you just gotta jump in and start using it. I am expecting each newsletter will get better.

And perhaps just in time, I wanted to spread the news about being featured in Lenscratch (first Photography newsletter) and then a reminder about the start of my Intro to Photo Book Design workshop with LACP (first PhotoBook newsletter). And soon, publication of Bluewater Shore, as I just received the first set of PDFs for the initial design from the printer. nice.

From what I hear from other photographers, MailChimp is the way to go. At this point; so far so good and I am a happy camper with MailChimp.

If you would like to be on one of my newsletters, send me a request at doug@douglasstockdale.com

March 20, 2017

Bluewater Shore – Final Development in progress!

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Ready for a Holiday (Bluewater Shore, artist book, self-published, 2017) copyright Douglas Stockdale

Very exciting news; last week I have a sponsor for my limited edition artist book Bluewater Shore!

For the past six days I have radically shifted gears to finalize the development of my project: book & cover design (same as Pine Lake), tweaked a couple of the images, created a set of production proofs and pre-production high resolution files, created a set of web ready images and just posted these on my web site, fine tuned my introduction (below) and put together a little press release flyer that provides an overview of this artist book which I was able to start handing out at the LACP open house this last Saturday. Yep, I’ve been a busy guy ;- )

Bluewater Shore Introduction:  A semi-fictional story about an American rite of summer. This is a visual narrative about a women’s holiday, an exciting trip to the shore with friends. This is set in the late 1940’s and investigates a new sense of independence for women that occurred during and following World War II.

The good news is that I have been mulling over this book project for the past couple of years after self-publishing Pine Lake. Sort of had this on a slow-simmer; so the concept and what I want to accomplish was pretty well thought-out, thus when I received the go-ahead, I had the planning complete so I just needed to update all of the files and book dummy.

At the moment I looking at a book launch for Bluewater Shore at Photo Independent (April 21-23, 2017) at which I already have a table reserved. Also starting an interest list, so let me know (doug@dougalsstockdale.com) if this project might be one you would like to support and purchase one of the 99 limited edition copies. Very close to setting the final price, so that will be announced shortly.

Cheers!

 

March 13, 2017

Photo Exchange meeting – print exchange

Filed under: Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , — Doug Stockdale @ 5:00 pm

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Trubuco Canyon 2017 copyright Douglas Stockdale

This week one of the photographic groups I attend, The Photographers Exchange, is having the annual print exchange meeting (at IFAC on Thursday, March 16 starting at 5:30pm). Except with a slight twist; everyone who brings a print will leave with some else’s print, it is just the print you leave with maybe different than the one your heart truly desires.

This turns into a fun and wacky meeting; first all of the prints are laid out and everyone has a change to pick their top three prints. The print with the highest score allows that photographer who brought the print to choose one of the other prints. The photographer whose print is just selected, then gets to choose one of the remaining prints. and so it goes and typically as the night wears on, the selection of the available prints becomes more and more limited.

The idea strategy (my version): bring a nice matted print that most would like to ensure that this print gets selected early in the evening which in turn would provide me with a larger group of prints to select from. Has worked pretty decently in past years and I have left with some interesting photographic prints from my friends. A slight variation is that if the print that I really desire’s most was no longer available and the photographer also liked my print (but again, did not obtain it), we will do a post-meeting print exchange.

The print I will be bringing is featured above and is an open edition, 6″ x 6″ inkjet with archival white matte (11 x 14″) ready for framing. I think its a winner ;- )

So if you are in the O.C. area on Thursday, I hope you can make it (and bring a print! the only requirement to attend). There will also be some pizza, veggies, & soda.

Cheers!

 

March 2, 2017

Fortress America – a political folly

Filed under: Middle Ground, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , — Doug Stockdale @ 6:49 pm

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Middle Ground, San Diego, 2016 copyright Douglas Stockdale

I have enjoyed a short breather from my Middle Ground project, an investigation of “Fortress America”, a sarcastic visual parody of the current political desire to build a HUGE wall to protect America from the desperadoes of the South. I touched on this project briefly during my interview with Aline Smithson for Lenscratch, but none of photographs from this project were included (I think that this is my bad, as I meant to, but not sure that I actually provided one)

So a quick recap: I now think that I have all of the photographs to finish this project (which means I will not be acquiring the 50mm Distagon for a film version of this project), now heavily into editing and I think that time is of the essence to get this project completed. I do not think it will stop the political folly, but this might help with the discussion as to why this wall is such a stupid, impracticable and expensive idea (I don’t think that this concept worked for China or most recently in Berlin). Yes, a billion dollar wall that can be overcome by a used $25.00 ladder. sigh.

One idea for an artist book (and hopefully a trade edition) is to design, print and bind the interior pages as an accordion (Leporello or Concertinas). The results will create a continuous line of the barriers (photographs), thus another layer of visual parody about The wall.

Okay, back to work!

Cheers

 

February 25, 2017

Featured on Lenscratch – Fine Art Photography Daily

Filed under: Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: — Doug Stockdale @ 12:07 am

Today I was featured on Aline Smithson’s Lenscratch in the Mixtape “profiles of movers and shakers in the fine art photography world, often reviewers at portfolio events and taste makers in their own right”. This is the third time I have been featured on Lenscratch by the wonderful Aline.

I think that this honor is mostly a result of being the Editor (maybe Editor-in-Chief with the recent staff editions to this Journal) of The PhotoBook and now a submission reviewer for LensCulture as well as portfolio reviewer and workshop leader with LACP.

The PhotoBook is helping to promote photobooks by a wide and diverse group of photographers over the past eight plus years. There are now over 400 contemporary photobook reviews that includes almost as many photographers. This blog even earned the million eye-ball award last summer, a nice achievement for something that I had initially founded just to share my interest in the wonders of a book object. Now it is helping to support the photographic community.

Nevertheless, I think that this blog is also a testimony to the fact that I can also take a photograph or two, create a body of work worthy of a publishing as well as investigating some conceptual ideas that result in an artist book or exhibition.

Lenscratch has an interesting selection of photographs that I have created over the years, including a very early self-portrait that Aline coaxed from me. So rather than trying to duplicate her fine effort, go check it out ;- )

Cheers!

Btw, I am also starting a mailing list for a quarterly newsletter, so if you are interested, drop me a line requesting to join; doug@douglasstockdale.com (yes, for some reason I still cannot seem to get the WordPress Widget to load on this page that would allow you to sign up directly. sigh)

 

January 27, 2017

Weather & Surf Reports

Filed under: Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , — Doug Stockdale @ 11:50 pm

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San Clemente, CA 2017 copyright Douglas Stockdale

So my latest experiment-fun that I have been playing around with is photographing the ocean, surf & sky when I happen to be driving near and subsequently posting on Instagram (@douglasstockdale) as my Weather & Surf Report. As you might imagine, we live close by and my daughter lives even closer, so this becomes a frequently opportunity, especially when I need to drop off someone at the San Clement train station which is just yards away from this ocean beach. I enjoy watching the surf, the smell of the salt air, and the various sounds of the surf and beach, but I was not really drawn to photograph it until recently. Not sure that I want to do a long exposure or in black & white, but perhaps documenting this natural landscape (while the local coastal train zooms by behind me) in color.

I have not been that consistent in my framing, but experimenting with options; leaning towards a lot more atmospheric sky than the ocean & beach.

See what develops, eh? Meantime, having some fun.

Cheers!

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January 8, 2017

Bluewater Shore artist book update

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Bluewater Shore copyright 2017 Douglas Stockdale

So if life is not crazy enough, I might be also looking to self-publish in 2017 my photobook Bluewater Shore, the second in my series of Holiday Snaps project (the first being Pine Lake). Honestly, this project took a little holiday when (1) it took a lot of energy to market and sell Pine Lake in 2014, (2) I did not have the investment funds to print it (even after I received a much better quote) and worse (3), I lost (okay it turns out I miss placed it) my completed book dummy for Bluewater Shore. After searching for this darn thing for almost six months I was feeling a bit deflated and although I had all of the pieces to build another dummy, I just did not feel like doing it.

Well that all changed yesterday, while looking for something else in back of my files I spied a little bit of baby blue; could it be?? Yep, there was my Bluewater Shore book dummy in the oddest of files.My bad. But finding this bookdummy was very, very nice!

So I have been back working on the digital files for the interior of this book today while confirming that the sequence that I developed two years ago still made sense. Yep, looking good! The nice thing about the conceptual intent for this narrative is that it is sequenced in a chronological order, much as you would go thru a roll of processed film after a holiday vacation, similar in narrative style of Pine Lake. Second, I now have the funds to go to print and complete that aspect. The limited edition is till going to be 100 copies, which I am still planning to hand bind and then personally inscribe each book. Since I do have all of the parts, maybe I can have this completed for the Spring book season, so stayed tuned if this artist book is of interest.

Oh, like Pine Lake, I am still thinking of adding a few little extras ;- )

Cheers!

 

January 7, 2017

New Adventure for 2017: Video

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Untitled (Middle Ground) copyright 2016 Douglas Stockdale

Something that has not really captured my attention for some time is working with video. I am of that generation in which movies were made with super-8mm film, a real bear to edit (actually had to physically splice the film together) and trying to add sound was an actual nightmare. To do movies right also meant investing in 16mm equipment, so still photograph made life so much easier. Even when I purchased the Canon 5DMk3, which has professional HD video capabilities, I did not even read the manual on how to use this feature until very recently (yes, like over this last New Years holiday while I was sicker than a dog).

So what prompted this wild & crazy idea? While photographing the Middle Ground project, I came up with the idea of doing a video of the same freeway urban landscape that I was looking at as I did the slow pokey drive in the bumper to bumper traffic.  What might that urban landscape look like as a video, as I had no idea. The idea is that the video would complement an exhibition of the still photographs to provide another visual alternative to this same project. This is in addition to photographing this landscape project with my Hasselblad (still have not purchased the 50mm CF Distagon yet), which I wrote about here.

I knew that my daughter’s brother-in-law Cameron has a sound studio in Santa Ana, but I had not realized the amount of video that he has also worked with until we started talking about it over the holidays. The reason I even brought it up with him is that Kevin, a good friend of mine, has been playing piano for many, many years and while listening to his CD it occurred to me think that this might provide a nice background sound track to my video, which it turns out, Kevin was game for. So I was primarily asking Cameron about his ability to add this sound track to my video. No problem! I then received a interesting mini-lesson in video and what I could do with my 5DMk3, which then prompted me to want to actually read the manual ;- )

2016 was my year to try Instagram and 2017 may be my year to try video. Who knew?

Cheers!

December 29, 2016

Hasselblad 50mm Distagon lens in my future for 2017?

Filed under: Middle Ground, Projects/Series — Tags: , , , , , , — Doug Stockdale @ 6:09 am

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untitled (Middle Ground), copyright 2016 Douglas Stockdale

While working on my current project, Middle Ground, I have thinking that I might want to consider using my Hasselblad and start shooting this with color film in 2017. The biggest issue is that I do not have an equivalent Hasselblad lens for the digital gear I am currently using. I have decided to work with a wide field of view for this project, selecting a 28mm focal length and field of view using my Canon 5DMk3 and the 24-105mm lens (a little scotch tape does a pretty good job of locking down the lens at the focal length that I want). Yes I could also purchase a 28mm prime lens for the Canon, but I am also a bit cheap and this works pretty well.

The closest thing for the Hasselblad is the 50mm f/4 Distagon lens and using a 1.6 factor, this lens can provide about a 31mm equivalent field of view to my 5DMk3/24-105mm. So I taped the 24-105mm lens at what is about 31mm tested it on a drive to San Diego. Part of the drive I also locked (taped) the the lens at 35mm to compare (the 60mm Distagon is about 38mm field of view equivalent). The 31mm was not too bad, but the 35mm started to tighten the pictorial framing of what I want to capture a little too much, thus confirming that an investment in a Hasselblad 50mm Distagon should work. It would be nice to borrow a 50mm Distagon to try out, but my buddies near-by do not have this lens to lend. darn.

Since I will be acquiring a used lens, which of the four different 50mm Distagon models to look for? I think that the CF will do the trick for me, a bit newer and better (lens coating) than the original C model and as I am not focusing close-up the later FLE (Floating lens element) model is probably not necessary (and save me some extra bucks as well).

So the lens hunt is now on!

Cheers

December 28, 2016

2016 in Review

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Loss (Memory Pods) 2014 copyright Douglas Stockdale

For me it’s always a nice treat at the end of the year to look back at what has occurred; achievements, progress in the my development of my conceptual projects, lessons learned that might help inform me and keep me on a progressive creative path in the year to come.

First, 2016 was about making new photographic friends and deepening the existing relationships. The photographic and artistic community is really great in how encouraging everyone is towards supporting each other’s creative endeavors. That is always the best part of looking back at the year that was.

One of the highlight of the year was in September when I was juried into the Irvine Fine Arts Center (IFAC) 2016 All Media, which was curated by Dan Cameron and I received an Honorable Mention (above), the only photograph of the exhibition that received recognition. A really nice validation that my Memory Pods project is progressing as I had hoped, which I will continue developing in 2017.

I was invited to became part of the LensCulture submission review team (aka consultant, a true paying photographic gig) in August and I have completed close to 200 portfolio submission reviews in 2016. This has become a great opportunity to become familiar with an interesting and diverse international group of photographers and their photographic work.

Photo Book Independent; in April I was one of the photobook jurors for the photobook exhibition and subsequently provided two curatorial talks during the exhibition while also exhibiting my own photobooks and photographs at this event. It appears that I may be involved in Photo Independent 2017 event as well ;- )

For the Los Angeles Center of Photography (LACP) Exposure 2016 I joined them as a portfolio reviewer in September and subsequently I will be leading a photo book development workshop for LACP next April, 2017. This is going to be a fun workshop!

As the Editor of The PhotoBook: my book-blog-zine passed one million views and provided a milestone 400 photobook reviews; an amazing eight years. I also increased the staff of this blog-zine with the recent addition of Gerhard Clasusing as a book reviewer. I am looking forward to all of the creative photobooks yet to come in 2017.

Social media; my experiment with Instagram (@douglasstockdale) this year appears to be proceeding in a slowly growing but successful manner. So I now a presence on Facebook and Instagram in conjunction with this blog. I also became the co-Editor of the Facebook page for The Photo Exchange which led to the development of a closed group on Facebook for the members of this group.

Infrastructure changes with the transfer of my photographic web site to a new platform hosted by PhotoShelter that is focused on providing photographic content. This should take care of my web site requirements for a while and I need to remember to update it from time to time.

I also spent some time at some local photographic events, such as photo l.a., which is coming up soon next month, and down in San Diego at the Medium Photographic Festival.

And of course I was working on some photographic projects, such as continuing my development of Memory Pods, concluding Lest I Forget, and starting a new project Middle Ground.

I think 2017 will be even more fun! See you all next year ;- )

Cheers!!

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