Doug Stockdale's Singular Images

June 10, 2017

Preparing Bluewater Shore for bookstore submissions

Filed under: Bluewater Shore - artist book, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , — Doug Stockdale @ 12:32 am

Bluewater Shore limited edition artist book

Bluewater Shore, self-published 2017 copyright Douglas Stockdale

A couple of days ago I was preparing to make another series of bookstore submissions for Bluewater Shore, my limited edition artist book. In looking at my “press photos” for this book, I realized that I needed to have a set of photographs showing the book’s cover, with and without the slip cover. So it was time to set-up the studio lights and make a few exterior photographs. I also realized that I did not have any interior photographs of the book that might illustrate how the book and pages work together as a “flip-book”. That extended my studio session by only a little bit and I like the results, above and below.

Btw, Bluewater Shore is still available for sale as the edition has not been completely sold out yet. If interested, check out the book review by Gerhard Clausing and an overview of this artist book that I posted earlier, here.

Cheers!

Bluewater Shore with clear slip cover

Bluewater Shore limited edition artist book_page_1_Ready_for_a_Holiday

Bluewater Shore limited edition artist book_page_17_Hula_Party

June 6, 2017

Mentoring – New service for artists, photographers and organizations

Filed under: Art Market, Projects/Series — Tags: , , , , — Doug Stockdale @ 8:41 pm

12-27-16_Seagull_protest_092646-03_San_Diego

Seagull protest, 2016 copyright Douglas Stockdale

In the art business there is a service market segment that I was not really aware of until recently: Mentoring. In my biotech world we would call this same type of service consulting and I have come to understand is essentially the same kind of service; having a skill or expertise that can help others. I suspect that mentoring is just a nicer sounding word and a code word for consulting. I liken it to: “is that person over there nude” or “are they naked”? (hint: Artistic models are nude, they are NOT naked)

That artist, photographers and art professionals are providing mentoring services was under my radar. As I have become more familiar with the term and services, mentoring appears to be more prevalent than I was every aware of and see that this service is offered by many individuals. It’s when you buy a silver Honda SUV you suddenly realize that there are a lot more of this style and color out there driving around than you had ever realized.

My introduction to mentoring came about during and immediately after my LACP book design workshop as those attending the workshop kept asking me about my availability to continue mentoring them on their book project. They in turn told their friends how I had helped them to edit, sequence and layout out their book project which sparked additional inquiries into my availability to mentor them as well. The lights finally came on and it all clicked for me. Okay, maybe I am a bit slow, but I am a biotech professional and I did not come up through the MFA educational mill.

As a biotech design and operations guy with a MBA I have been consulting for over twenty years and I really know that particular consulting world, just not the artistic monitoring world. So I did a quick study about artistic mentoring with some friends who were very gracious to help me come up to speed quickly, especially when they realized that I had a very through understanding of a small artistic niche; all aspects of book design and development.

I am now an artistic mentor! I just had not realized that all of the pro-bono help I have been providing other artist, photographers and organizations for the past five or six years on their book development projects was really providing a mentoring service. The difference is now I have a fee (consulting rate) structure for my mentoring. I currently have three personal clients and one organizational client that I am helping with various aspects of their book programs. Nice.

When I went back to my web site to add mentoring as an artistic capability I realized PhotoShelter, my web service backbone, was not very non-photo friendly. It has great infrastructure for showing and selling photographs, just not very conducive for pages about services. After an inquiry with PhotoShelter during which they admitted this weakness they did provide me a potential work-around that appears to be a good start on how to make my mentoring services available. So I have created a new Bio page and a specific emphasis on my availability for mentoring.

I did check with my friend Susan Burnstine’s website on where & how she advertises her mentoring service to get some additional advertising pointers. Unlike Mary Virginia Swanson, another friend of mine, Susan is somewhat vague and not very specific about her mentoring. Different from my biotech world consulting in which you are very specific about the types of consulting services, skills and experience that you offer. Thus the web advertising is an aspect that is a work in progress in which I am starting out. I think that one of the similarities between artistic mentoring and biotech consulting is “word of mouth”; if you can help make good things happen for someone, the word quickly starts to get around and which I am quickly finding out. Very nice.

So if you have a great idea about a potential book project but realize that you might need some assistance to get your project either self-published or to a publisher, let me know and see if I might be able to help you to get’r done!

Note: the seagull photo above was made at the end of last year on one of my drives down to San Diego and during one of my rest stops along the coast to check out how the adjacent seascape was looking. I found that the juxtaposition of the seagull on top of this specific sign was a bit humorous since this bird was apparently begging for treats from those who were likewise taking in the seascape view.

Cheers!

May 30, 2017

Shipping more Bluewater Shore

Filed under: Bluewater Shore - artist book — Tags: , — Doug Stockdale @ 4:40 pm

05-08-17_Bluewater_Shore_packages_101352-02_post-office

Bluewater Shore Packages, US Post Office, 2017 copyright Douglas Stockdale

Yikes! I was side-lined with the flu for the past couple of weeks and I was finally able to get out of the house just in time for Memorial Day. Today with the post office back in full operation it is time to take the packages over and start the journey to some new homes. nice.

Meanwhile I have a long laundry list of tasks that I need to finish as a result of being sick, nevertheless I will take it one task at a time and what I don’t finish today I will then start on tomorrow. My secret to keep my life in a low stress mode.

Cheers!

 

May 23, 2017

Artist versus Photographer

Bluewater_Shore-Big_raft

Big Raft, Bluewater Shore, 2017 copyright Douglas Stockdale

Recent events related to the self-publishing of my limited edition artist book Bluewater Shore is causing me to rethink how I might describe myself to others: artist or photographer? Okay another option might be artist/photographer. I am probably reconsidering this whole classification subject because of my preparation on the subject of “Branding” for my Marketing Your Photo Book workshop coming up at LACP in July.

So here’s whats been happening; I have been reaching out to some photographic friends and editorial acquaintances who helped me with the promotion of my earlier artist book Pine Lake to spread the word about my recently self-published Bluewater Shore. I did not anticipate all of the rejections based on the fact I am using family archive photographs as my source material versus the fact that I did not actually take the original photographs. I am not sure what has happened or shifted in the past four years, but it seems that a lot more photographic folks are being more discerning as to what constitutes a “photographic” book.

They response that Bluewater Shore is an artist book, not a photographic book, since I am using vernacular photographs which I found to create my narrative versus being a “pure” photographic project in which I created (photographed) the original photographic source material similar to my book Ciociaria. Or maybe I have pitched my Bluewater Shore story incorrectly? Now that I take a closer look at these magazine and web-zines I see that artwork similar to what I created for Bluewater Shore is not being featured.

So maybe you are wondering; what’s the big deal? For me it might be that I have been envisioning myself as a “photographer” when I made this declaration back in 2008. Realize that for about 15 years before that I was a painter so I thought that this was a big deal that I was dedicating myself to photography as my creative medium. I also did not think it was a big deal to create my two self-published books Pine Lake and Bluewater Shore since I was using photographic material. Wrong!

Turns out what I perceived I was doing is not matching up with the outside world’s perception. I think there was hints of this difference while I was talking with those who attended my exhibit space at Photo Independent for my launch of Bluewater Shore but at the time I was not picking up on it. Duh!

This takes me to the Stockdale Paradox (okay, this was from Admiral James Stockdale, un-related); which states “Retain faith that you will prevail in the end, regardless of the difficulties” while at the same time “Confronting the most brutal facts of your current reality, what they might be“. So the brutal facts of my current reality is that I am deemed to be an artist and I am NOT a pure photographer. Which is probably good to know and understand.

This is a not a seismic shift of who/what I think I am; but what this does is to better prepare me for where/who I make submissions of my artwork. I still feel that I am part of the pure photographic community since that is the space I created both of my photo-investigations In Passing and Ciociaria. Nevertheless I will go across those pure photographic boundaries when I am inspired to do so and I need to understand the implications when I do.

Another aspect of this is that curators, art directors and others appear to more comfortable with classifications. So am I an artist or an artist/photographer? I guess if I have to chose one it would appear that I am an artist and one who uses primarily photographic source material, mine as well as others. Done.

Maybe this is a seismic shift after all as I now need to look at all my photographic reference sites, e.g. LensCulture and here on Singular Images, and make some adjustment tweaks to my biography; artist, educator and mentor.

Cheers!

May 4, 2017

Bluewater Shore book launch at Photo Independent

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Photography by Jessica Sterling, copyright 2017

Well I thought I was going to post this a bit sooner after the Photo Independent exhibition, but all of the post-exhibition follow-up needed tending to first. Such as taking more orders for Bluewater Shore, (which can be ordered here) finishing the production of this artist edition, then start mailing the pre-orders, contacting other editors about book reviews and of course contacting book stores about carrying Bluewater Shore. Time flies when I am busy, busy, busy.

First, the exhibition and book launch of Bluewater Shore was great and I had a great time connecting with other photographers, making stronger relationships with acquaintances and starting some new connections. Even sold some of my edition, which of course was the sweetest part of the deal for a book launch.

At the last moment before driving up to Los Angeles on Friday afternoon for Photo Independent  I was able to print six of my 15 x 15″ image prints from Bluewater Shore as part of a portfolio and unexpectedly ended up discussing some potential commissions as a result. My purpose for the prints was to help stop traffic and start a discussion about my book, but there was some strong positive responses to the vernacular photographic prints. So it will be interesting to see where this leads.

I also had a chance to spend time talking with Roger Ballen who was the featured photographer for Photo Independent. As a result of my Editorial role with The PhotoBook journal, we had been in email contact and book discussions over the years about his publications, so this was the first chance we had to meet and have a discussion during the events. Ballen also provided some creative book signings for a couple of his books that were in my collection. Very nice.

I provided a book discussion on Sunday morning as a result of being a jurist for the Photo Independent Book Competition which went very well. My principal focus was on discussing the design and layout of the competition’s winning books and a couple of the honorable mentions.

Also coming news, I will be doing portfolio reviews at LACP’s Exposure 2017 in Santa Monica next July 16th at the dnj Gallery and finalizing as guest curator for the L.A. Photo Curator photographic competition next September. More details about these two events shortly, so stay tuned!

In closing another reminder that the 20% discount for an early-bird registration for my two LACP photo book workshops, Marketing Your Photo Book, July 22nd and Introduction to Photo Book Design Oct 1st & 8th, are still in available for another couple of weeks.

Cheers!

Doug

Stockdale - Bluewater Shore - Photo Independent 2017_photo_Clausing.jpg

above, discussing Bluewater Shore, photography by Gerhard Clausing, copyright 2017

below, Roger Ballen signing one of his books from my collection

Roger_Ballen_book_signing_Photo_Indpendent_2017

 

April 15, 2017

Bluewater Shore – limited edition artist book

Bluewater Shore limited edition artist book

Bluewater Shore with clear slip cover

Bluewater Shore (book with poly slip-cover) Copyright 2017 Douglas Stockdale

Bluewater Shore is a semi-fictional visual narrative about a young woman’s holiday, an exciting unescorted trip to the shore with friends, which is set in the late 1940’s and investigates a new sense of independence for women that occurred during and following World War II as well as American culture, family, and memory. The limited edition artist book was developed from repurposed vernacular photographs from the artist’s family archive and the concept was partly inspired by Kodak and Ansco promotional booklets that were available with dime/drug stores film processing in the 1950’s and into the 1960’s.

Concept, development & design: Douglas Stockdale copyright 2017

Flip-book, stiff covers, prong binding, hand-inscribed cover, hand-inscribed poly slip case, 32 pages, 16 black & white photographs, size: 7 ½” x 6” (190 mm x 155 mm)

Self-published artist book, limited edition of 99 + 5 A/P; price $47.00 USD (44 €, 37.5 £, 5,230 ¥,)

Printing: Fultone© digital lithography by Dual Graphics, (Brea, CA), hand-bound by the artist.

Additional photographs: www.douglasstockdale.com (Bluewater Shore – artist book)

Bluewater Shore can be purchase here.

Official book launch: Photo Independent, Los Angeles, CA April 21- 23, 2017

Cheers!

Bluewater Shore limited edition artist book_page1

Bluewater-Shore_on-the-shore

Bluewater_Shore-the_Wise_guy

Bluewater_Shore-Hula_party

Bluewater_Shore-Big_raft

Bluewater_Shore-Show-offs

Introduction to Photo Book Design Workshop – final thoughts

04-08-17 LACP Intro to Photo Book Design workshop KI6A5544 limited edition hand made book

LACP Introduction to Photo Book Design Workshop, Douglas Stockdale with workshop members, photo by Nikki Washburn

Now that the LACP Introduction to Photo Book Design workshop is complete,  a few closing thoughts. First, this was an intense workshop, a ton of information to pass along in conjunction with those attending heavily engaged in developing their rough book dummy. I will admit that there were a couple of items on the agenda that in retrospect that I did not dive into deep enough. Since I know that I will be leading this workshop again (see below), I am making some notes and slight adjustments to the outline.

It appears from the workshop feedback for my surprise limited edition hand made book that we self-published at the start of the workshop (members holding their editions, photo above), did have the impact that I had hoped for. Making this book energized the workshop as to the potential for self-publishing and took away some of the mystery of book publishing. Nice. Also raised the bar for producing this booklet in future workshop!

The one week break between the workshop sessions had a big impact on those attending to return home really dig into the development of their book dummies. The resulting dummies that were shared on the start of the second session were amazing and the energy each person brought back to the class was very contagious. The book dummy’s were as varied and diverse as those attending the workshop. The photographs below are of the participants who completed their rough book dummy, a big step forward for each.

By the way, did I mention that I was equally inspired to create my first dummy for my Middle Ground project? I brought it to the workshop and shared it with the group after everyone had an opportunity to have their dummy’s critiqued. I enjoyed my feedback as well and I will be posting more about this dummy and project in the weeks and months to come ;- )

Some really good news? I will be repeating this workshop with LACP next Fall, probably in early October and a second one-day LACP workshop is now in the works: Marketing Your Photobook. As advance notice the Marketing workshop is being planned for Saturday, July 22nd at the LACP facilities in Los Angeles and more information to follow soon!

Cheers

LACP Introduction to Photo Book Design workshop144831-01_Gerhard_Clausing

LACP Introduction to Photo Book Design workshop_144845-01_Safi_Shabaik

LACP Introduction to Photo Book Design workshop_144902-01_Christine_Riedell

LACP Introduction to Photo Book Design workshop_144916-01_Hannah_Kozak

LACP Introduction to Photo Book Design workshop 144929-01_Tomas_Gasper

Bluewater Shore – Final Press Checks

Filed under: Bluewater Shore - artist book, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , — Doug Stockdale @ 4:04 am

04-14-17 Final_Press-check_Bluewater_Shore_085737-01_Dual_Graphics_Craig_Evans

Final Press check, Craig Evans, Dual Graphics, copyright 2017 Douglas Stockdale

At one point a couple of years ago I was not so sure that this event was going to happen; working on the press-checks at the printer for the pending publication of Bluewater Shore. And here we are.

There were a couple of scheduling hiccups this past week, so while we had hoped to be doing the pres-checks at the beginning of the week, here we were doing it today. Before this, I had a chance to evaluate the soft proofs, but today I was looking at the printer and examining printed sheets as they came off the digital litho printing press, aka, hard-proofs or in this case, actually a press-check.

Fortunately I had already provided some match prints that I printed earlier on my Epson 4800 on Epson paper, so when we looked at each printed sheet (below in the light box) I could compare this to my match prints. Out of 16 printed sheets, I found that a slight increase in contrast (more density) was required for only three of the plates, otherwise spot on. Since we were using the Fultone printing process (two inks: Grey + Black) developed by Dual Graphics, the black and white images looked amazing. Granted that due to my intent, I had “aged” the images and backed off on the contrast to simulate a faded photograph, but these looked truly like old photographs. We also used a slightly off-white luster paper that works really well with this book.

We also evaluated the color and heavier stock for the book’s cover and this looked great as well. Only thing left was a confirmation to ensure that the holes would be drilled in the right location for the prong binding.

I provided my approvals and all systems were GO! The printing should be completed tonight, then the secondary operations to trim, score and drill the holes. Right now we are looking at a completion date of Wednesday, which is going to be a bit tight for having the finished books bound and inscribed for Photo Independent Friday afternoon, I will not need to finish them all, but have enough for the exhibition. Might bring a few parts with me and if a lull in the action during the exhibition, assemble a few more books.

This artist book will be literately hot off the press!

Cheers and hopefully see some of you at Photo Independent next weekend in Los Angeles. Give me a shout out if you plan to stop by ;- )

04-14-17 Press-check Bluewater_Shore_080938-01_Dual_Graphics

04-14-17 Press-check_Bluewater_Shore_085431-01_Dual_Graphics_Craig_Evans

April 7, 2017

Pre-order Bluewater Shore

Bluewater Shore with clear slip cover

Bluewater Shore (cover, with clear slip-case) 2017 copyright Douglas Stockdale

It is now time to pre-order a copy of Bluewater Shore prior to the formal book launch at Photo Independent (Los Angles, April 21-23, 2017) for a special pre-launch price of $40.00 USD (includes shipping and handling within the USA) (Note: this pre-launch price has now ended). The book price will increase to $47.00 at Photo Independent. This is my version of a crowd-funding for this book project!

Introduction: A semi-fictional visual narrative about a young woman’s holiday, an exciting unescorted trip to the shore with friends which 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 limited edition book was developed from repurposed vernacular photographs that are in my family archive and the concept was partly inspired by Kodak and Ansco promotional booklets that were available with dime/drug stores film processing in the 1950’s and into the 1960’s.

A book that investigates American culture, time, memory and nostalgia. This is a sequel to Pine Lake, my 2013 artist book which was recognized by Elizabeth Avedon as one of her Best Photographic Books for 2014.

Concept, development & design: Douglas Stockdale copyright 2017

Flip-book, stiff covers, prong binding, hand-inscribed cover, hand-inscribed poly slip case, 32 pages, 16 black & white photographs, size: 7 ½” x 6” (190 mm x 155 mm)

Self-published artist book, limited edition of 99 + 5 A/P; price $47.00 USD (44 €, 37.5 £, 5,230 ¥,)

Fultone© digital lithography printed by Dual Graphics, Brea, CA (USA)

Additional photographs: www.douglasstockdale.com (Bluewater Shore – artist book)

I will need you to email me and let me know that the check is in the mail (or we can do a PayPal invoice for credit cards) for the number of copies you want; doug@douglasstockdale.com

I think you will find this to be a very charming story about what might have happened with this band of brave, young, adventuresome women.

Cheers!

Note: First my sincere thanks to all of you who pre-ordered Bluewater Shore, your enthusiastic response was wonderful is very much appreciated! 25% of the edition was gone in two weeks and this allowed me to prepare for the book’s launch at Photo Independent on April 21st. Thank you!

Bluewater Shore limited edition artist book

Bluewater Shore limited edition artist book_page1

 

 

April 5, 2017

Bluewater Shore – Next steps to self-publish

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Show-offs! (Bluewater Shore) 2017 copyright Douglas Stockdale

Since my last update on the development of my limited edition photobook Bluewater Shore, I continue to be very busy with getting the printing completed at Dual Graphics, starting the pre-publication selling, arranging for books reviews and making pitches to some select book shops to stock and sell it.

First, printing the book at Dual Graphics (Brea, CA); we are currently tweaking the gray tones for the Fultone printing of the interior pages. Fultone printing was developed by David Gardner to improve on the duotone printing then available in the mid-1980’s, but his efforts duly impressed Ansel Adams & John Sexton that Fultone printing by Dual Graphics (at that time called Gardner Lithographic) was the best black and white book printing in the US and where they have their books printed. Since then a whole series of black and white photographers have been going to Dual Graphics to use their Fultone printing process. We are also fine tuning the color and font of the book’s exterior. I may be at Dual Graphics later this week on-press for the actually book printing. I am looking forward to that!

Since I just set my selling price after a stop at ARTBOOKS in LA last weekend to check out the competitive landscape of similar book prices, I am now able to start my campaign to pitch booksellers to stock Bluewater Shore (just received my first confirmation) in conjunction with pre-publication discount and a standard post Photo Independent book sellers discount.

Likewise in conjunction with my budding newsletter process, I am now starting to reach out to my family, friends and contacts to offer a pre-launch discounted price for the book (see below for details). This is essentially a mini-kickstarter program to pre-sell as many of the books as I can to fund my launch at Photo Independent (and pay for the final publication costs).

I have been in touch with (“pitching”) a couple of magazine and on-line zine publications about featuring Bluewater Shore. It can be a little longer process to get accepted and then published by the Editorial teams, so I needed to start that as soon as possible. I have already anticipated that for some magazines that they will only feature “original” photographic work, so my artist book which uses re-purposed vernacular photographs is a bit of an artistic stretch for them (yep, already have my first rejection slip!)

At the moment, I am anticipating that I will have the printing complete by mid-April and then I need to complete the prong binding and hand inscribe the book, book covers and the outer shell. Stay tuned!

One serendipitous outcome of this project; since I am using my family archive to draw on for the content and sadly since my parents (and their brothers and sisters) have passed, I do not know all of the identifies of those in the photographs. Photo above is my dad who plays a cameo role in the book, but then my cousin Jack just emailed me to tell me that he’s the young kid in the foreground. I suspected it might have been him, but I did not know for sure. So now I do. How cool is that?!

Regarding the above photograph, what interested me, besides the subjects, was the vernacular nature of this photograph. The the framing was off-kilter, a trade mark of an amateur photograph, and the spontaneity of the subjects. A classic candid vacation photo which I felt was ideally suited for this summer holiday narrative.

Btw, if you have become interested in purchasing Bluewater Shore, I do have a pre-publication sale going on right now (sort of a personal Kickstarter program), which is $40.00 USD (includes shipping and handling within the USA). The price increases to $47.00 USD on April 21st at Photo Independent (Los Angles). So I can honestly say that this is a limited time offer! (contact me off-line: doug@douglasstockdale.com).

Cheers!

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