Doug Stockdale's Singular Images

February 22, 2018

Project launch for Middle Ground

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Marker #34 (Middle Ground) 2017 copyright Douglas Stockdale

For the next couple of months, maybe more, I will be exclusively using this site as the platform to update my Middle Ground project status and to get this launched. The photography is complete, the project concept is fully developed, the photobook design is getting closer to finalization, and I am getting closer to having the photobook publishing costs and pricing worked out. So it’s time to really focus on the finish line and get Middle Ground published in the next couple of months! Especially while the executive office is still trying to get legislative support for this financial and political folly.

There are some related elements to this project that are still a little on the hinkey side which relates to exhibiting this project since I am primarily a book artist. Sorry to say, exhibitions are usually a secondary consideration until now. I can rationalize this feeble excuse as being the downside of my day job and trying to do the best with my available bandwidth; to do at least one creative thing right. (yeah, and now a new client project is not going to make this any easier!). So I will be writing more about this as the project develops.

I still have the idea in development for a video for this project that would be shown in conjunction with any exhibitions. I thought that would be my new 2017 project, but other than a proof of concept, it is still in the early development phase. I have the artist for the background lined up as well as a local recording studio to bring it together. It’s just about the available time and my ability to focus on this aspect. My bad.

I will still be writing about some photographic stuff, with a concentration on some of the photo technical side of things, but will be posting this information on the SoCal PhotoExchange site, where I am the Associate Editor (and founder sometime in 2009). So I hope you might want to check this out and perhaps follow me there as well. Recently I stated a series of articles about the Zone System, and reviews of the Pentax Spotmeter V, Really Right Stuff ball head, Gitzo Carbon Fibre tripod and the Canon 50mm f/1.4 lens.

For social media (Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram & LinkedIn), I will be using the following hash tags for this project; #MiddleGround, #NoNewWall and #NoWall.

Let me know if you want to be placed on the interest list (doug@douglasstockdale.com) for Middle Ground and if you can help me network for potential exhibitions, I would really, really appreciate that very much!! (expect this to part to be repeated very often!)

So as they like to say in the South; time to get ‘er done!

Cheers!

February 18, 2018

2018 Snow Ski Holiday

Filed under: Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , — Doug Stockdale @ 4:26 am

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Sandstone Creek, Vail, February 2018 copyright Douglas Stockdale

This past week was a holiday vacation for a bit of skiing in Colorado, which was a ton of fun. We had great skiing conditions as well as some “braille” skiing in almost white-out conditions, which was a bit tough when I choose the wrong trail and we ended up on a black diamond with mogul bumps in 4 inches of fresh powder. That was my bad, in more ways than one. Have done this run before, it is a lot more fun if you can see the mogul contours in advance and choose your fall line.

Nevertheless, there is one small creek that is near our place call Sandstone Creek that I have been photographing for the past 20+ years. So one afternoon near the end of the week after we choose to end the day early due to the near white-out conditions I went over to see how the creek was flowing and what else might be of interest. I thought the flat lighting might help with reducing the shadow contrasts and bright reflections.

The photograph posted above is a good indication what I now find of interest and how my photographic vision has evolved over the years; not exactly a photograph of cold running water. I was intrigued by the way the snow was slowly concealing this fallen branch, the fact there was still some color retained in the fall leaves and that this was almost monochromatic, which provided some metaphoric potential. I could also pre-visualize this in the more abstract black & white version (below) I know was going to drive me crazy as to which version I was going to really like best. Slightly different composition and framing with the black & white as well.

Very happy now with both versions.

Enjoy!

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February 4, 2018

Middle Ground – Bookdummy PoC

Filed under: Middle Ground, Projects/Series — Tags: , , — Doug Stockdale @ 5:11 pm

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Middle Ground, Bookdummy Proof of Concept, 2017 copyright Douglas Stockdale

When I found myself in the midst of developing the Middle Ground project, I also went into a book development phase. I know that a photobook of some sort was where I would eventually end up with one at least aspect of the project. I think that I just knew from the beginning that the nature of the urban landscape that I was documenting would lend itself to a leporello (accordion) book design.

So it was serendipitous that while attending a photographic exhibit in Santa Monica, I went into the Japanese paper store Hiromi Pape, that was then located in the same complex (since relocated to Culver City; awesome paper store!). While there I came across some Drihon Accordion style notebooks. Wow! A pre-made accordion book with blank pages that I could utilize to develop the book concept for my project.

Two were two great aspects of this pre-made book; first it was small enough (4″ w x 6-1/2″ h) that would allow me to carry it around for show-n-tell and second it allowed me to create an 8″ x 6-1/2″ page spread. By paper-clipping in the various images I could see how the sequence flow for the Middle Ground book design might work.

Thus was born my Middle Ground bookdummy PoC (Proof of Concept). For those with a scientific background, the idea of PoC is probably a very familiar term; the actualization of a theory or concept into some tangible that proves that this idea is feasible.

I have been carrying this around with me for the past six plus months, which is why the accompanying photographs show a rather beat up bookdummy. Nevertheless, it has been a great show-n-tell bookdummy as well as a wonderful little platform to test some book layout ideas.

Cheers!

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January 28, 2018

Middle Ground – Book dummy development

Filed under: Middle Ground, Projects/Series — Tags: , — Doug Stockdale @ 8:41 pm

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Middle Ground, trimming for book dummy, January 2018 copyright Douglas Stockdale

So with the WH rhetoric back in full gear about the absurd Trumpian-wall, a good kick in the behind to finish my Middle Ground project!

As I posted yesterday, while posting my seven day black & white challenge that in the studio I was continuing to work on my Middle Ground project. I now have a small selection of Middle Ground images, a mini-portfolio, up on my web site now. I also have the first edit printed and trimmed to size to create the book dummy.

For my photobook layout I have what I consider three layout options; alternating images f the marker numbers in a serial progress, second alternative is to include a few of the marker number photographs, still in a serial progression, or last just mix all of the images and markerts up. David Taylor in his photobook Monuments took the approach to sequence his images in a sequential progression of the monument numbers as a photo-documentary of this borderland landscape, which I find very effective (and maybe inspiration for an aspect of my project).

I had planned on making only one book dummy at this time, so having three layout options might change my thinking on this phase of the book development. Nevertheless first things first, so now assembling the first option and see how it reads. If I need to have a second or third book dummy, so be it.

Also a lot of pros and cons on the web as to when to talk about your photo project; how soon to announce it to everyone. More about that shortly. As you might guess, I have decided it is time to start ramping up my discussions about this work in progress.

Cheers!

January 9, 2018

Middle Ground – Rough Edit

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Middle Ground, Rough Edit, 2018 copyright Douglas Stockdale

While continuing to document my morning walks as a potential project, back in the studio I am developing my Middle Ground book project. At the end of last year I announced that this project is my MoPLA submission. So over the holidays I was working on the rough edit of my photo files.

The initial goal is to reduce the 1,060 photographs for this project into something more manageable. Thus I can say that I am pass Stage 1 of my photobook project per my Guide to Self-Publishing an Indie Artist Book and probably finished Stage 2, rough edit. I am currently hovering around 55 photographs to work with for the photobook layout. I have also reworked each of these image files multiple times to get the cropping, framing, color management, sharpening and contrast where I think I want it.

At the moment the goal for the book is between 20 and 26 interior images, so that means another 50% reduction for the final edit. Which I think is not bad place to be right now. The next step gets trickier; which and where of each photograph in the sequencing of the final edit.

I am still on track for a self-publishing release for the Spring 2018 publication season. Once I quickly finish the fine edit, I will still send out an inquiry to a couple of other publishers to see if they might consider this for their Fall 2018 release (maybe consider a spring 2019 release with the right deal, but I think time is of the essence for the purpose of this political satire). Still a big list of things yet to do!

Also at a place where it might make sense to upload this final selection on my web site, so more about that later when it’s completed.

Cheers!

 

December 6, 2017

MoPLA submission: Political Satire

Filed under: Art Market, Middle Ground, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , — Doug Stockdale @ 5:50 pm

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Middle Ground, San Diego, June, 2017 copyright Douglas Stockdale

A quick update; last night I did make my MoPLA (Month of Photography Los Angeles) submission and as anticipated, I went with the theme of Political Satire for my Middle Ground urban documentary project.

Besides the theme, I needed to place this photographic project in the context of an artist statement, so I had to work out the tweaks for that as well these last couple of days. Since this is a project that I am planning to publish next Spring, I was still letting the artist statement develop and perculate, but realize that I had just pushed that particular task up a bit in the schedule with the first formal submission of this project. sigh.

So here is the artist statement that I submitted:

Middle Ground is an urban landscape project which is in large part a political satire of attempts by a governmental group to institute, construct, and promote social alienation by building a wall between two adjoining countries. It is a visual parody of a current political folly; that in building a barrier in the Middle Ground that this will in turn create a (impenetrable) “Fortress America”. This investigation is meant to recall the man-built and ill-fated Berlin Wall, Great Wall of China and the current America-Mexico border wall and to reflect on the futility of such barriers. A barrier, no matter how great its size, will not impede the advance of individuals who are attempting to better themselves and their families.

Cheers!

August 20, 2017

When you know your in trouble

Filed under: Photography — Tags: — Doug Stockdale @ 10:39 pm

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South Coast Repertory (SCR) cast photo, Into the Woods, 2017 copyright Douglas Stockdale

A couple of days ago SCR had a “family day” free performance for the Young Players version of the play Into the Woods which fortunately Ella was cast as one of the “evil” step-sisters. So all the cast in costume were available for all of the parents and family to take group and individual members photographs. The “professional” photos were taken the previous day (I was not invited for that event, wonder why?).

Thus while the cast was being arranged on stage, I saw what I thought was a unique advantage point from the side of the stage to photograph Ella. From my experience as the event photographer for OCMA, I thought that I was being really carefully not to get into anybody else’s line of sight for their photographs. What I had not planned on is that enough of this young cast know who I am and when I started firing off a few quick frames, many of them turned to look at me. Not at the audience. And certainty NOT facing the Director of the play who was located on the opposite side. Opps!

Yes, I was a Bigly distraction and I quickly heard about it from the play’s Director as I was asked to move away and join the rest of the audience. Sigh.

But I had already got my shot (above)! So below a few of the formal photographs of the cast, as a group and in character.

Btw, a really, really well done performance by this young cast! A real pleasure to watch and enjoy.

Cheers!

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August 18, 2017

Books at Arcana: Books on the Arts

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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.

Cheers!

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