Doug Stockdale's Singular Images

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!

 

October 5, 2018

Photo Independent 2018 exhibitor

Filed under: Art, Art Market, Memory pods, Middle Ground, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , — Doug Stockdale @ 5:15 am

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Loss, Memory Pods, copyright Douglas Stockdale

Truly an interesting weekend and now the following week as I just found out that I have an opportunity to exhibit at this weekend’s Photo Independent 2018 being held in Los Angeles. I will be sharing some exhibition space with my book printer, Dual Graphics, thus my stronger emphasis on my artist books that I will have for sale; there are still a few editions of Bluewater Shore left, as well editions of Middle Ground and copies of my Guide to Self-publishing an Artist Book.

Yikes, still less than seven days notice; so I have to say there is some value in having some of my art already framed. There are some limitations on size and where/how to hang, so I quickly determined that I have four pieces (including the photo above that was awarded Honorable Mention at the IFAC 2016 All Media exhibition), that will work within the confines of this exhibition space in conjunction with my artist book sales.

Printer update; appears that my old Epson printer had a slight bit of temporary coherence, but then lapsed back into its printing coma. sigh. So evaluating alternatives and will there will be a bunch of printer discussions with friends at Photo Independent. I know that I would really love to have a 42″ wide printer, but there is absolutely no studio space for this size printing monster and since I am not selling this size prints yet, a nice dream. Perhaps more realistic is an upgrade to a 24″ wide and I can move some things around; it should be a tight fit, but do-able.

One thing I have come to understand for my book projects; I need a smaller printer to make test prints for the book dummy, etc, thus also looking at a 13″ printer since the 24″ wide printers have issues handling/printing paper smaller than 8-1/2 x 11″.

Last, with all of the past nozzle clogging issues of the legion of Epson printers that I have had, giving very serious consideration for a Canon printer.

Okay, still some things to do to prepare for this weekend.

If you are attending Photo Independent, look for me walking the isles or hanging out at the Dual Graphics/Douglas Stockdale exhibition booth.

Cheers!

September 21, 2018

Mystery on the Plano Trabuco – initial feedback

Filed under: Art, Photography, Projects/Series, Trabuco Flats Mystery — Tags: , , — Doug Stockdale @ 3:23 pm

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Untitled, Mystery on the Plano Trabuco, 2018 copyright Douglas Stockdale

One of the nice aspects of belonging to a small photographic group that meets monthly is the opportunity to show recent work in order to obtain some feedback. Which is what I did last night with a mini-exhibit of five 16 x 20″ prints from my new project Mystery on the Plano Trabuco. Top line: very encouraging!

Having only started to develop the photographs for this project within the last couple of weeks, I have been using a couple of different options to create my mysterious images.  Thus I wanted to see what these photographs might look like in a mini-exhibition format and to get some reaction to the project and work.

One update from the previous post is that I made a series of book dummy’s to evaluate how the images might work in this book design concept and it appears to me that I need to lean into a horizontal book design. To that end, all five images I exhibited, including the photograph above, were in a horizontal format.

It was interesting to me to be able to have these photographs under the exhibition lights and step back to visually assess the impact for myself in conjunction with the groups comments. I try to listen to the overall evaluation and not necessarily on the merits of the individual photograph at this stage of a project development. Perhaps unlike a MFA critique, the folks do not drill down on the pros and cons of each image in the context of my artistic intent, but if I listen carefully I can obtain an overall sense if the images are getting the emotional traction I am trying to establish. Which I think I did, as there were comments as to the mysterious nature of the images, the underlying emotional darkness and how some of the images gave folks the “creeps”. Nice.

Unlike some presidential folks in the WH, I will admit that there were photographs that both direct hits and other images that did not connect as well, if at all. The image above did resonate with the group as it was frequently singled out for comments. So two of the five photographs that did not work for them (or me in this context), one of which looked really awful, and for these two, I am going back to the drawing board; I will start over in how I manipulate these two image files.

In addition everyone was very pretty positive about this project and the manner I was choosing to develop the images. That or perhaps they are getting used to the wild and crazy book/project ideas I continue to bring to these group critiques. They also offered some great comments as to how the overall body of worked together, or how certain images did or did not look consistent or not in sync with my concept. And of course a few questions were made in an attempt to try to solve the Mystery. Wonderful feedback and a fun discussion.

I highly recommend that you find a small group of creative artist that you can share your work with and expect some candor in their evaluations and comments. I have found that this is a really nice reality check while developing a project or body of work.

So I guess that’s five steps forward and two steps back. Which is just fine for me! I consider this a really nice start for this project.

Cheers!

Doug

P.S. At the moment the photographs are sized at 16 x 20″ on 17 x 22″ paper and one of the members of this group, Marc Plouffe, provides professional printing services, so we are going to collaborate on how some of these images might look up-sized. First step is to evaluate a 22 x 28″ image printed on 24 x 30″ paper. So no statement as to sizes, editions and pricing of the project photographs at this time, but hopefully figure this out soon.

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!

 

September 10, 2018

Mystery on the Plano Trabuco – new project

Filed under: Art, Photobook, Photography, Projects/Series, Trabuco Flats Mystery — Tags: , , — Doug Stockdale @ 10:23 pm

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Suspicious circumstances, site #5, 2018 copyright Douglas Stockdale

Okay, this has been a crazy two weeks. Which has provided me with an unexpected new project with the working title of Mystery on the Plano Trabuco. So how in the heck did this all happen?

With the publication of my recent limited edition artist book, Middle Ground, I was at a bit of a cross roads as to which of the other two projects that I already had in the works to take forward. For my Memory Pods project, the plant cycle was finished for this year, so I was not concerned about creating more photographs for that project. Tara Wray had expressed an interest in this body of work for her TooTired project, so I had begun to edit Memory Pods body of work as I have not spent much time due to the publication of Middle Ground.

Meanwhile, I planned to continue poking around the local area with my cameras for the Gardening for Ordnance project. Accumulating and expanding on that project’s body of work. While poking around in the local park, I came across something that in retrospect the O.C. Sheriff’s office calls “suspicious circumstances”, but when I met with a bunch of the Sheriff officers to inspect what I found (first reported here); they stated that it looked like an old, collapsed shallow grave. Good grief! Since I was not a photo-journalist, my initial thoughts were to make some quick survey photographs and then move on.

At this same time I was writing a review of Julia Borissova’s limited edition book for The PhotoBook Journal and recalled her earlier limited edition book Dimitry, about mysterious circumstances surrounding her Russian subject and subsequent stories. hmmmm, inspiration hit; why not create something similar about what I had recently found? It was a brand new mystery to be investigated!

When I returned to check out what the Sheriff’s office did to close their case at this site and take some additional photographs, I then found another SIX sites similar to the first. Yikes! So I reported this event last weekend, here. Since then, I have completed some research about cadaver dogs that were used to sniff out the area; apparently these skilled dogs can find human burial sites that are really, really old, perhaps 200 years old. So appears that these might not be human burial graves as the reason for digging these mysterious sites. Actually that’s a bit of relief.

Nevertheless, still very much a mystery. And now I have a new project. So next to start working on an artist statement, pre-visualiztion of the new artist book design, back to take more photographs and tweaking the resulting images. I am currently posting some potential images on Instagram (@douglasstockdale) under this project name.

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 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 7, 2018

Middle Ground/En Medio Tierra – Fabrik Projects opening

Filed under: Art, Middle Ground, Photobook, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , , — Doug Stockdale @ 12:27 am

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Douglas Stockdale, Middle Ground/En Medio Tierra, Fabrik Projects, May 2018 copyright Douglas Stockdale

I have to say that it is a really, really nice warm & fuzzy feeling to walk into a commercial gallery and see your name up on the wall. And my work hanging on the walls. A wonderful validation of my concept and then the subsequent execution for this project. Makes all of the months that I quietly and diligently worked on this body of work seem worth while.

The exhibition officially opened yesterday and will run through June 2nd. Since I dropped off my art work on Thursday and the exhibition was hung on Friday, I had not seen the final exhibition results yet. I had a good idea of how it should look like, but I did not have my eye-balls on it yet. So during my Saturday morning walk yesterday I decided that I just needed to drive up to L.A. and see it! One of the nice advantages of a local exhibition; just take a little time to drop in. Which I did just before the official opening in the morning, so I had some time to walk this exhibition with just Kasey Taylor, the gallery associate, and myself. Take in the full effect. Yeah, I liked it!!

While there I also had a chance to pick up a short stack of the Fabrik Projects announcements for my exhibition. Nice. And I have already started to hand them out and hopefully my grin was not obnoxious. A lot to smile about.

I have proposed a surprise ending to the exhibition to the gallery team and so far there is a lot of interest so I will see how that develops over the next few days. Stay tuned!

Cheers!!

P.S. One of the ideas that the gallery had was to exhibit the book-dummy for my Middle Ground/En Medio Tierra as a work of art of itself. Part of which is shown in the photograph above, just a section of the 21 feet that this artist book extends out to. Which is one of the reasons for this leporello book design; a mini-exhibit from the artist book. So cool that the Fabrik Projects team got that.

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

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