Doug Stockdale's Singular Images

June 2, 2017

Life Guard Station #13 – featured in YourDailyPhotograph today

Filed under: Middle Ground, 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!

Bluewater Shore limited edition artist book_page1

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Introduction to Photo Book Design Workshop – final thoughts

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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

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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 ;- )

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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!

April 4, 2017

Photo Book Design Workshop – Limited Edition Book!

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Introduction to Photo Book Design book 2017 copyright Douglas Stockdale

Last Saturday on the first day of my Introduction to Photo Book Design workshop with LACP, I finally had an opportunity to make my surprise reveal; as part of the saddle stitch binding demonstration, each person in the workshop completed a limited edition, hand-made book (aka artist book) which was also their course outline! I had printed all of the covers and interior pages, then showed the class how to slightly score the cover with a bone-folder to ensure a clean fold, then fold and order the interior pages (3 sheets), and finally each one completed the saddle stitch binding with the long reach stapler of their own edition copy. Perfect!

I had been working on this book idea for the workshop since the Christmas break and thought that if each person were to leave with a limited edition book, it should be pretty cool workshop take-away as well as under score the point that creating limited edition books can be fun. So every couple of weeks I would advance this book concept; designing the covers, what I wanted for the Colophon in the inside back cover, developing the course outline which would become the text for the interior, the sequencing of the workshop, thus the sequencing of the pages and corresponding text. With some additional feedback from a couple of those who had signed up, I realized that I needed to refocus the key objective of the workshop which resulted in a new sequence of the course outline.

I wanted the resulting book to have stiff covers, so I printed the covers on double-sided Epson Presentation Matte photo paper (8-1/2 x 11″, subsequently folded once) using my Epson 4800 for the exterior which had one photographic image (aka plate) and then the interior text was printed on my Epson Workforce (WF-7620), a desktop printer/copier that I use for printing documents. For the interior text block, I used some #20 Staples copier paper (8-1/2 x 11″, subsequently folded once), also printed on the Epson Workforce desktop printer.

The text layout was created using MS Publisher (2013) and the two-page column template. This template design keep the resulting gutter clear of text after folding the sheets to create the pages of this book.

As a part of the workshop discussion about book dummy development, I also shared the various book dummy stages that I used to develop this book; hand-written text, pages taped together, and versions up to the polished printed dummy that I used to write the notes for how I needed to re-sequence the book after changing my objectives for the workshop.

Colophon: hand made photobook, edition of 12, this being the first edition, copyright 2017. Stiff cover book with 12 pages, size 5-1/2″ x 8″, design & printed by me, assembly and binding by the workshop class.

So tell me, how cool is that!

Cheers!

 

March 20, 2017

Bluewater Shore – Final Development in progress!

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Ready for a Holiday (Bluewater Shore, artist book, self-published, 2017) copyright Douglas Stockdale

Very exciting news; last week I have a sponsor for my limited edition artist book Bluewater Shore!

For the past six days I have radically shifted gears to finalize the development of my project: book & cover design (same as Pine Lake), tweaked a couple of the images, created a set of production proofs and pre-production high resolution files, created a set of web ready images and just posted these on my web site, fine tuned my introduction (below) and put together a little press release flyer that provides an overview of this artist book which I was able to start handing out at the LACP open house this last Saturday. Yep, I’ve been a busy guy ;- )

Bluewater Shore Introduction:  A semi-fictional story about an American rite of summer. This is a visual narrative about a women’s holiday, an exciting trip to the shore with friends. This 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 good news is that I have been mulling over this book project for the past couple of years after self-publishing Pine Lake. Sort of had this on a slow-simmer; so the concept and what I want to accomplish was pretty well thought-out, thus when I received the go-ahead, I had the planning complete so I just needed to update all of the files and book dummy.

At the moment I looking at a book launch for Bluewater Shore at Photo Independent (April 21-23, 2017) at which I already have a table reserved. Also starting an interest list, so let me know (doug@dougalsstockdale.com) if this project might be one you would like to support and purchase one of the 99 limited edition copies. Very close to setting the final price, so that will be announced shortly.

Cheers!

 

March 2, 2017

Fortress America – a political folly

Filed under: Middle Ground, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , — Doug Stockdale @ 6:49 pm

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Middle Ground, San Diego, 2016 copyright Douglas Stockdale

I have enjoyed a short breather from my Middle Ground project, an investigation of “Fortress America”, a sarcastic visual parody of the current political desire to build a HUGE wall to protect America from the desperadoes of the South. I touched on this project briefly during my interview with Aline Smithson for Lenscratch, but none of photographs from this project were included (I think that this is my bad, as I meant to, but not sure that I actually provided one)

So a quick recap: I now think that I have all of the photographs to finish this project (which means I will not be acquiring the 50mm Distagon for a film version of this project), now heavily into editing and I think that time is of the essence to get this project completed. I do not think it will stop the political folly, but this might help with the discussion as to why this wall is such a stupid, impracticable and expensive idea (I don’t think that this concept worked for China or most recently in Berlin). Yes, a billion dollar wall that can be overcome by a used $25.00 ladder. sigh.

One idea for an artist book (and hopefully a trade edition) is to design, print and bind the interior pages as an accordion (Leporello or Concertinas). The results will create a continuous line of the barriers (photographs), thus another layer of visual parody about The wall.

Okay, back to work!

Cheers

 

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