Doug Stockdale's Singular Images

March 15, 2018

Middle Ground – Revised & expanding artist statement

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


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 ( for Middle Ground. More news about the final price and fund raising campaign shortly!


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


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 ( 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!)



December 31, 2017

Best creative wishes for 2018!


Morning walk, Trabuco Canyon, 2017 copyright Douglas Stockdale

On the brink of 2018 I think is a nice time to reflect on the achievements (and maybe even some of the screw-ups) of this past year, while looking forward to the opportunities and possibilities of the New Year.

So what do I have a chance to pat myself on the back about for 2017?

A bunch of things are just the continuation of my on-going artists and photographic projects; writing my random thoughts for this blog, providing photographic/artist book reviews for The PhotoBook Journal, portfolio and submission reviews for LensCulture, portfolio reviews for Los Angeles Center for Photography (LACP), curating the photobook submissions & curatorial talks for Photo Independent, and providing mentoring to other photographers/artist on the development of their book/projects. Likewise I continue development of long term photographic/artist projects; Memory Pods, Middle Ground, Instant Nomad and Gardening for Ordinance.

Bluewater Shore; self-published my limited edition artist book  which was launched this spring at Photo Independent. I had been developing this artist book for the past four years, so it was really great to finish this publication, which was recently selected by Elizabeth Avedon as one of her Best Photographic Books for 2017, and made Viory Schellekans Best Photo Books of 2017. (Also a few copies of this edition are still available, so contact me if interested;

Guide to Self-publishing an Indie Artist Book; an unexpected self-published book that I received a commission to complete in time for it’s launch at the Medium Festival of Photography this fall. This book draws heavily upon my Introduction to Photo Book design workshops.

Introduction to Photo Book workshop; In conjunction with Los Angeles Center for Photography (LACP) last spring, I led the first of two workshops this year for LACP. We are already planning the next workshop with LACP for fall of 2018, so watch for more details next year. These workshops have also led to more mentoring for photobook development with individual artist/photographers and organizations.

So what lays ahead for 2018? As the photograph above hopefully implies; an uncertain future on a path that only a few walk, with some potential hills (ups and downs) lurking ahead with the end of the path obscured by the trees. There’s also the thorny cactus lurking just off the trail.  Okay, it’s a bit of a classic metaphor, but I enjoy it all the same.

One goal for 2018 is the (self) publication of Middle Ground this spring (working on the book dummy during the holidays). Continue development of the other photographic projects. In discussions with my Associate Editor, Gerhard Clausing, about a ten-year anniversary photobook for The PhotoBook Journal.

On a personal note, I still need to lose another 5 pounds this year (did lose 10 pounds this fall) and get my blood pressure further down with modifications to my diet (a bit less wine, reducing the amount of salt, more fish, fruits and vegtables) in conjunction with frequently daily walks of a duration that is at least an hour. For the later, I am now venturing more off the beaten path that has led to the start of another photographic project about walking (I have a working title, but more about this in 2018 as I tweak the project’s artist statement). Maybe two walking project since I have been walking both the nature trails and the local ocean beaches, as well the local neighborhoods. I will continue to follow my muse and really interested to see how this all will develop!

So as we prepare for the New Year, I wish you all the very creative best for 2018!



December 30, 2017

Bluewater Shore – Best Photographic Book of 2017

Bluewater Shore limited edition artist book

Bluewater Shore, limited edition artist book 2017 copyright Douglas Stockdale

I am very honored that my limited edition artist book Bluewater Shore was just selected by Elizabeth Avedon, the renown NYC book designer, as one of her Best Photographic Books for 2017.  Concurrently, I am really excited that Bluewater Shore is also included on Viory Schelleken’s Mega-List of Best Photo Books for 2017. Wow!

A very, very nice way to end the year and a beautiful start the New Year.

As a result, since I still have a few copies of the Bluewater Edition available, I am going to offer free shipping for the next two weeks. Contact me for details;


btw, I need to update the links for this blog, but we have family visiting, thus I will work on this another day ;- )

Bluewater Shore with clear slip cover

November 1, 2017

Douglas Stockdale – Guide to Self-Publishing an Indie Artist Book

Filed under: Art Market, Books, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , , — Doug Stockdale @ 9:37 pm


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

My self-published Guide was formally launched at the Medium Photo Festival in San Diego, CA last week end. A copy was provided for each person who registered for Medium, compliments of my book sponsor, Dual Graphics, the book printer located in Brea, CA. As a result, over half of the first edition is gone! Even signed a few of these during the Medium event over the weekend.

As I have been writing about this previously, the Guide is was meant to be a short and sweet yet very practical step-by-step to guide someone thru the complex self-publishing process of an artist book. It is ideal for someone who has a lot of illustrations; be that photographs, drawings, paintings, etc. This book is drawn from my various book design workshops, experience with working with my publisher for Ciociaria in Rome and the various photobook discussions with other photographers and artists I have had over the years as the Editor of The PhotoBook Journal. So far, the feedback has been really great.

I cover the five stages of self-publishing include: Book Pre-visualization, Marketing (market size & edition quantity), Book Development, Book Design options and finally Book Production and how these five stages are intertwined during the process. The book development chapter explores the process of developing an artist project with the intent of making a book as well as editing and sequencing the images using a book dummy.


What I think is another interesting aspect of this Guide is the inclusion of three paper samples (Uncoated Italian paper, Gloss and Satin/Luster papers) which the same photograph is printed to help with understanding the implications of printing, paper and illustration interact. There are examples of both color and Black & White images, with the Black & White images printed with the Fultone (Duo-tone) Digital Lithographic Process, which at the moment is only being offered by Dual Graphics. You will not obtain these beautiful Black & White printed pages from Blurb!

What I find interesting and I think is visually apparent below is how the photographs look on the uncoated Italian paper, which is very similar to a matte inkjet paper, as compared to the adjacent gloss paper with regard to detail and contrast. Having these various papers in the Guide, one can actually feel the difference between these papers, a key aspect of a book object.



One nice aspect of this Guide is allowing me to feature some of my photographs from my photobook Ciociaria, photo-documentary In Passing and my Foundations folio. I would have preferred to use some of the Black & White images from Bluewater Shore artist book but I had to defer to my publishing team (and sponsor) in a selection of photographs that exhibited a greater tonal scale. Especially since I still have a few of the Bluewater Shore edition available for sale.

So if you are interested in obtaining the Guide, these are available from me for $19.95 each plus shipping ($4.50 in the US; and $15.00 USD outside the US). Email me and as I utilized Paypal, thus credit cards are an option.

Cheers, Douglas




September 29, 2017

Book dummy: Guide to Self-publishing an Indie Artist Book

Filed under: Art Market, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , , — Doug Stockdale @ 3:41 pm


book dummy, Guide to Self-publishing an Indie Artist Book 2017 Douglas Stockdale

Well today I just posted on Instagram the photo above revealing what my book commission is about that I have been working so diligently on for the past three weeks. Not that I was looking to write a how-to, but there are some side benefits to this project. I have been in a heavy writing, now editing mode in that this is going to be published sometime next in mid-October and I anticipate being launched at the Medium Festival in San Diego at the end of October.

The cover photograph of a stack of photobooks was photographed by Scott Mathews, which I will discuss a bit more next week when things calm down. Meanwhile, still in the midst of the heavy copy editing with my Text Editor Gerhard Clausing and getting a technical review of the pre-press, printing and binding text with Craig Evans at Dual Graphics. Sometimes the final editing gets a bit complicated as the various copy versions move back and forth between reviewers, so we are doing a final review of the whole thing today.

Making progress as the final copy should be heading to pre-press for loading into InDesign late today. Yes!




September 2, 2017

Gabriela Cendoya reviews Bluewater Shore


Review 2017 copyright Gabreiela Cendoya, screen shot, Bluewater Shore copyright 2017 Douglas Stockdale

Yesterday I woke to find that Gabriela Cendoya, a very well known photobook reviewer in Spain, has just published a review of Bluewater Shore on her blog GabrielaCendoya. Although she will on occasion provide a book review in English, the Bluewater Shore review is provided in Spanish. If your Spanish is a bit rusty, the review easily converts with the use of Google translate.

So I have taken the liberty to provide a few excerpts, but do not let that hinder you from reading the review in it’s entirety!

Las fotografías de Bluewater Shore, en blanco y negro, de finales de los años 40, tienen el sabor de una cierta despreocupación (insouciance, dirían los franceses), pero sobre todo de una libertad feliz. (The photographs of Bluewater Shore, in black and white, of the late 40’s, have the flavor of a certain disregard (insouciance, the French would say), but above all a happy freedom.)

Como en la obra de Shakespeare, el verano es propicio a los encuentros mas diversos. (As in the work of Shakespeare, summer is conducive to the most diverse encounters)

Mas que de memoria familiar, Douglas nos habla de libertad y emancipación de las mujeres, en un relato abierto en el que podemos intuir muchas aventuras. (Rather than family memory, Douglas speaks of freedom and emancipation of women, in an open story in which we can intuit many adventures.)

Bluewater Shore, en su formato encantador, su nostalgicas fotos envejecidas, es un perfecto acompanante al melancolico final del verano, ese momento sonado de gozo y libertad.
(Bluewater Shore, in its charming format, its nostalgic old photos, is a perfect companion to the melancholic final of the summer that dreamed moment of joy and freedom.)

Thanks to Gabriela for a wonderful and insightful reading of Bluewater Shore. I really enjoy the fact that this artist book has a broad and universal appeal and that it has the capability to connect with readers regardless of their background and culture.


This is where I state that although Bluewater Shore is selling at a very nice pace that there are still some limited edition copies still available. So message me (

August 18, 2017

Books at Arcana: Books on the Arts


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.


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!



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

Older Posts »

Blog at