Doug Stockdale's Singular Images

November 7, 2017

7 Day Black & White Challenge

Filed under: Photography — Tags: , , , — Doug Stockdale @ 3:04 pm

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Compass 2017 copy right Douglass Stockdale

A few days ago I was tagged for the 7 Day Black & White Challenge; Seven days. Black and white photos of your life. No people. No explanation. Nominate someone.
I was nominated by Kellie Webb and over the seven days I am to nominate someone else to pass this along.

Since no explanation is required, then not much that I need to say. I sure have enough Black & White photographs to chose from, but I did see that this was an opportunity to experiment and work on something new (to me). So I investigated a couple of personal items to see what I might do with them that could be metaphoric, i.e. the use of the small compass above. Perhaps a little inspired by the arrival of Cig Harvey’s photobook “you an ORCHESTRA you a BOMB” for review, where she frequently isolates and zeros in on some personal objects. I also think of Keith Carter’s photographs, which he investigates similar ideas in Black & White, while Harvey utilizes Color photographs for her investigations.

A kind of fun little exercise and other than the photo of Cooper, bottom that was captured on Halloween, these were all made on the same day. Here are the remainder of my 7 day postings:

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11-05-17_Duck_115720-03

11-05-17_Fishing_115637-02

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September 14, 2017

Commission Book dummy phase 2

Filed under: Art Market, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , , , — Doug Stockdale @ 11:45 pm

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Commission book dummy, saddle stitch 2017 copyright Douglas Stockdale

For those who have been following me on the development of this book commission, it has been a crazy week. I am now back to developing the book dummy. Last Friday I mocked-up a potential book dummy to the proper book trim size using some stationary that I had cut to size which I was holding together with some large paper clips.

Over the weekend I was able to order some some semi-gloss printing paper (80# White Recycled Velvet), cut to the book’s trim size (still 9-3/4″ x 7″H) bound with a basic saddle stitch to hold it together. I also had a similar printing paper, but using the cover stock version (slightly thicker) to simulate the potentials book’s stiff-cover.

As a straw-man for the book’s interior, I had it constructed from 10 sheets to provide 40 pages (4 pages per each sheet) plus covers. Since I have a long-reach stapler, I can add or subtract pages from the dummy as I progress.

I already realize that I will need pagination, so I penned the page numbers onto each page. I am also thinking that I will mix the printing papers for this and use both a glossy and a luster paper stock for the photography and probably this 80# recycled Velvet for much of the text, so I have started adding sticky notes as to where the different papers will be used.

The form of this book is starting to quickly take shape and line-up a little closer to my pre-visualization of this book.

Concurrently, I am writing like a wild man the text for this book. Pretty sure you do not want to see a photograph of my keyboard!

Cheers!

Doug

September 13, 2017

Introduction to Photo Book Design workshop – class work-book edits

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Introduction to Photo Book Design, self-published 2017, Douglas Stockdale

In preparation for the next two-day workshop  Introduction to Photo Book Design that I will be leading for LACP, I am in the process of making the edits to my first self-published work-book that I use for this workshop. This will soon become the Second Edition of this work-book, while the First Edition is now in the hands of the hands of the first workshop participants from earlier this year.

As in past workshops I lead not only do those attending learn something as I do as well as what is working and what is not for the group. There are a lot of changes to consider as the whole book publishing market and process is constantly evolving. That in conjunction with the feedback I received on the workshop expectations. Thus as my workshop needs updating and it’s necessary to make some tweaks in my course outline work-book.

My process for making changes is to use sticky-notes as to what I need to edit as illustrated above. This may appear like a massive change, but it is essentially tweaking some fine points. Expand that, deleted this, modify how I discuss this aspect and add this into the mix.

The work-book will be assembled and bound on the beginning of the first day of the workshop by those attending to help illustrate how easy it can be to self-publish a book. There is no question that photobooks can become very complex works of art as a book-object, but the underlying concept is pretty straight forward. Part of how I try to create some fun into this intense and practical workshop.

So come join me!

The workshop is being held at the LACP facilities: 1515 Wilcox Ave, Los Angeles, CA

Let me know if you have any questions

Cheers,

Doug

P.S. Other self-serving stuff that I need to keep repeating: I still have a few copies of the Bluewater Shore edition that are available (and another book review for Bluewater Shore that will be posted soon). So email me (doug@douglasstockdale.com) if you are interested in more information. Note Pine Lake is no longer available.

September 5, 2017

10 years of photo-blogging

Filed under: Art Market, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , — Doug Stockdale @ 12:49 am

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Frosty Morning, LaHutte, Switzerland, copyright 2005-2017 Douglas Stockdale

Okay, it’s actually been a little over ten years ago that I started photo-blogging, which was in April 2007, with this being my first post. I thought it might be charming to revisit the same Swiss winter landscape, this time in color. More about this photo in just a moment.

First, a big thank you! for those who have followed me and my photographic posts over the many years.

Since this was Labor day, I thought it would be a great occasion to update this blog. While making the changes I noticed the side panel and that I had started photo-blogging over 10 years ago. Opps! A bit late in this important shout-out, but photo-blogging is not what it once was. As is Facebook, Instagram and a few other versions of social media deemed important to an artist career.

So some quick stats; in the past 10 years I have made over 1,000 posts (actually 1,080) and this blog has been viewed over 130,500 times. In comparison my book review blog, The PhotoBook Journal, has over a million views which is just approaching 10 years.

I will admit that a few years back in 2013 I came to closing down this site and during that time I was not adding many posts, but nevertheless I stayed the course. I suspect that I will continue to post on this blog as it is a defacto web site that probably gets seen as often than my web site. It is also interesting how some really old posts and related photographs from Singular Images still comes up in a lot of Google searches.

Frosty Morning was photographed early in my digital conversion period as I was still hauling around my Hasselblad film equipment, nevertheless I was at that time start to poke digital capture and explore it’s possibilities. The camera I used for this photograph was a 4 Mpeg Canon G2, a nice little rangefinder that I affectionately called my faux-Leica. I believe that I also had a twins-lens 6×6″ with me on this trip as well with 120 color film and in looking back, the photographs I enjoyed all came from the little Canon G2. Where the G2 was suppose to be the back-up, it quickly became the primary.

I had been using Photoshop since 1991 when it first came out and another couple of other digital photographic software programs before that. So I was not a stranger to digital. At the time of this photograph (2005) I was more interested in the software and digital printing capabilities and only starting to determine if digital (camera) capture might be a worthwhile alternative to analog film.

The occasion for this photograph was during an assignment that I was working at a site bit further up this Swiss valley in La Chaux-de-Fonds. I would fly into Zurich, catch the express train to Biel and then switch to the local red train to La Chaux-de-Fonds which would slowly meander through the valley and stop at every small station in between. You could jump off the train at one of these small villages, walk about and then catch the next train heading the same way one hour later. This is the photograph I made on one of these stops in the winter of 2005. I still enjoy this photograph for the quite winter composition as well as the memories it brings back.

Cheers!

 

September 2, 2017

Gabriela Cendoya reviews Bluewater Shore

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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.

Cheers!

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 (doug@douglasstockdale.com).

August 13, 2017

Bluewater Shore – scaling up larger prints

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Big Raft, Bluewater Shore, 2017 copyright Douglas Stockdale

Recently I have been evaluating the enlargement of photographic images from Bluewater Shore beyond the 15 x 15″ prints that I can make on my Epson 4800 printer. The idea was three-fold; what did this image look like in a larger size (kinda of obvious), if a larger print might be part of my justification to acquire a larger printer (if so, what size; 24″ wide or 44″ wide) and last, how might this image look on a luster paper versus a matte surface?

Marc, one of my friends from the local Photographers Exchange group, has an Epson Pro 9900 (44″ wide) and was willing to make a 22 x 22″ print of Big Raft (Bluewater Shore, above) for me on Epson Premium Baryta paper. It turns out I was also able to evaluate his use of an I-Mac work station versus my current PC equipment (a topic of another day).

The easy question was that a 22 x 22″ print is very impressive. The hard part has always been where to put a much larger printer (with stand) in my cramped second story studio. The 24″ wide printer would be problematic, but even more so with a 44″ wide. Marc has to use a part of his living room for his Epson Pro 9900 which is not going to fly with our family. So for the short term I will need to have others print larger prints when I need these.

The Epson Premium Baryta paper is nice and with it’s slightly warm white’s seems to works very well with the Big Raft image. We also printed a smaller 9-1/2 x 9-1/2″ print on the Epson Premium Luster 260 paper which has more sheen/gloss than the Baryta. The Baryta is similar to the old Kodabromide F enlarging paper’s surface which is more like a soft gloss. Nevertheless, both of these papers show all of the defects in my photographs to a greater degree than the matte paper (Hahnemuhle Photo Rag).

The “artistic” issue is the larger print. All of the small image defects that were evident in the original photograph that I had re-photographed are now very evident with some becoming visually distracting. For the smaller size images in the book (5 x 5″), these defects add to the charm and support the concept that these are found photographs. When the images are enlarged to 15 x 15″ on the matte paper, these defects still appear okay, but in the larger size, the defects are now larger and more visible and this appears further magnified by the luster type papers which does not hide anything.

I know part of my issue, as an old-school analog photographer in the west coast tradition, prints were not to have any defects and if found after the printing; spot them out! A very modern, but not a very contemporary, way of evaluating the print quality. Old photographs can/should appear old, but how “old”?

I am now pretty sure where this is going; I will add another Photoshop layer to selective spot/tweak the defects in the image that seem to bother me most and then print this again for a comparison to determine how the change appears. I had planned to bring the 22 x 22″ print with me to a potential gallery meeting but this will now need to be planned for the late Fall sometime.

Cheers

 

June 2, 2017

Life Guard Station #13 – featured in YourDailyPhotograph today

Filed under: Art Market, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , — Doug Stockdale @ 4:41 pm

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Life Guard Station #13, May 2017 copyright Douglas Stockdale

I am very honored to be featured in YourDailyPhotograph today with a special limited time offer (today!) for the photographic print of Life Guard Station #13, May 2017.

Archival pigment print: 15″ x 15″ on 17″ x 22″ Hahnemuhle matte.

This is part of a series of coastal photographs that I am making along the Southern California shore line. This location was in Dana Point on Doheny Beach.

Cheers!

May 23, 2017

Artist versus Photographer

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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!

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!

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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

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