Doug Stockdale's Singular Images

September 22, 2017

Book commission – editing in progress

Filed under: Art Market, Books, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , , — Doug Stockdale @ 9:36 pm

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Book commission, edits 2017 Douglas Stockdale

A couple of days ago I blogged about the working on the text formatting process for this book commission. In the meantime Craig and I worked out a text layout design and a method to work together on how to complete this aspect of the book.

While working on the rough edit of the text and in order to provide myself with a little breathing room while trying to solve some concerns I have about the flow of the narrative, I have started some editing of the text. Yes, the infamous red-lines! One aspect of doing the red-line edits is it provides a bit more clarity for this section, in this case the Introduction, while giving me some ideas of how to resolve where I had a bit of writers block.

The other aspect of starting the red-line edits is realizing that it is also time to bring someone on board as a final editor of this heavy text project. Thus my buddy Gerry Clausing, who besides being the Associate Editor for The PhotoBook Journal is now the Editor for the SoCal PhotoExchange, has agreed to help me out as a text editor. I hope to have something for him to start with by the middle of next week. I need to progress beyond a rough edit of this writing so that I do not drive him crazy.

Meanwhile I have another buddy, Scott Mathews, working in his studio on the various options for the photograph to use for the book’s cover image. More about that shortly.

So far, so good!

Cheers,

Doug

 

 

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September 20, 2017

Commission book dummy phase 3

Filed under: Art Market, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , , — Doug Stockdale @ 10:20 pm

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Commission book dummy, text layout alternatives, 2017 copyright Douglas Stockdale

At the end of last week I posted about having a better defined book dummy; a straw man for the amount of pages I might need and well into the process of using post-it notes to signify what attributes of this book commission were going to end up where in the book.

I also stated that I was writing like a wild man and I was pretty sure that no-one was going to be impressed by a photograph of my keyboard (if someone is, let me know!). Nevertheless, what I am writing at some point needs to land inside the book. So last night I met up with Craig Evans, a layout designer, who is going to convert my writing using InDesign into what will eventually become the printed page. So first thing this morning I received a PDF of 30 pages of writing in a potential text layout for this book. Concurrently I had used MS Publisher to create a test page with the two-column layout we had discussed and I had envisioned for this book. I needed to have an idea of what my word-count was going to be per page which would then help me know a little more about the page-count should be.

So in the photo above are the two pages side-by-side within the book dummy of these two versions, each with a slightly different size and style of font, as well as a slight difference in header and paragraph spacing. I suspect we are going to dicker over the text layout so more. Nevertheless, we agree on many of the layout aspects, but when printing a book, it is all in the details.

Meanwhile, I am back to writing the rough edit once again.

Interestingly I have the photographs that I am going to use in my notes and we are also discussing the size, location and what paper we are going to print these on. More on that probably next week as we are really flying towards the publication deadline. Yikes.

Cheers,

Doug

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 8, 2017

Starting a Book-dummy – Book Commission

Filed under: Art Market, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , — Doug Stockdale @ 9:39 pm

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Commission dummy, trim size , copyright 2017 Douglas Stockdale

When developing a photo/artist book I am a very firm believer in the creation of a book-dummy to be able to pre-visualize the final published book. It is very hard to look at a monitor or screen to obtain how a potential book feels as an object. How the book will open, how the papers will turn, the texture of the paper and the weight of the book as it lays in your hands and at some point in this development, how the combination of ink, paper and image will appear. Creating a book-dummy will just take me that much closer to the final printed book.

For the new book commission we needed to come to an agreement as to the potential trim size as this will impact the layout of the text and photographs. Fortunately there were two basic sizes already predefined; 9-3/4″ x 7″ and 12″ x 9-3/4″ in either a horizontal or vertical format. We quickly agreed for this book project to work with a horizontal 9-3/4″ (W) x 7″ (H) format design. Taking this one big variable out of the rest of the book development equations (decisions) is really, really nice.

As a result of this format decision I was able to very quickly cut down some paper to the right trim size versus my first version yesterday.  This stage of book development is still very rough so I used scissors and not the paper cutter (saved a little time as my two paper-cutters are stored elsewhere) to trim the paper down. Still not sure how many pages just yet thus cut up a few sheets to start framing the layout. At this stage I am also using some big paper-clips to hold the mess of pages together. The binding of the book-dummy can become a lot more formal a little later in the book development process.

The pre-visualization is in process and I am in turn starting to become more focused.

Other self-serving stuff that I need to keep repeating (yuk, yuk):

Getting things ready for the Introduction to Photo Book Design workshop at LACP in a few weeks, which starts on October 1st.

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).

Cheers!

September 7, 2017

Book Commission

Filed under: Photography, Projects/Series, Uncategorized — Tags: , , — Doug Stockdale @ 5:25 pm

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Copyright 2017 Douglas Stockdale

I am very happy to announce that I just received a book commission from a company that I have been mentoring on photobooks. This is going to be a bit of whirl wind affair in that the book has to be developed, printed and launched by the end of October.

Although this is going to be a how-to book, it will pave the way for a photobook that I have currently in development.

Since this project needs to develop quickly, I will provide frequent updates here for those who want to follow along. I will need to figure out how many pages for the intended content and what the design might be. I am currently working out with the sponsor as to what we want to accomplish, so first step is to create a blank dummy while off-line getting confirmation of the requirements.

This much I know for sure, it will involve a lot of writing by me. As if September was not already looking busy, such as getting things ready for the Introduction to Photo Book Design workshop at the beginning of October along with some other stuff about to be announced.

And of course I still have a few copies of the Bluewater Shore edition that are available (and another book review that will be posted soon). So email me (doug@douglasstockdale.com) before these are gone!

Cheers!

September 5, 2017

Introduction to Photo Book Design – Fall workshop – LACP

Filed under: Art Market, Photography, Projects/Series, Workshops — Tags: , — Doug Stockdale @ 10:36 pm

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Introduction to Photo Book Design – This Fall (October 1 and 8th), 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 object. 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 students’ publishing objectives and how that translates to a book object such as editing and sequencing a project for a book. Subsequently I will include discussions on the elements of book design and the purpose of a 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) publishing a book, photo book production 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.

I hope you can join me as these are intense, yet fun, workshops.

The workshops are being held at the LACP facilities: 1515 Wilcox Ave, Los Angeles, CA

Let me know if you have any questions,

Cheers!

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

 

August 8, 2017

Beta Reader & Editor – The Indie Photobook Publishing Guide

Filed under: Books, Photography, Projects/Series, Uncategorized — Tags: , , — Doug Stockdale @ 6:47 pm

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copyright Eanna de Freine (The Velvet Cell) 2017

One of my summer projects has been working with Eanna de Freine on the development of his Indie Photobook Publishing Guide as a beta reader, editor as well as providing a self-publishing Case Study (one of 10) for my Bluewater Shore artist books.

A number of friends have been suggesting that I write something similar to de Freine’s guide, but realizing the amount of time and effort to complete this task, it was much easier to help someone else do the heavy lifting of writing this.

As de Freine is Irish and living in Berlin, he has a strong European self-publishing perspective in conjunction with many of the other European editors (Clare Rowland, Tom Westbury, Euan Ross, Kalen Lee, Domenico Bruno Lobkowitz, David Flynn, Gabriele Harhoff and Uwe Bedenbecke). Thus one aspect that I provided was my experience of self-publishing in the U.S. (e.g. that in the U.S. we do not usual refer to page sizes as A2, or B1, but expressed by dimensions in inches, not centimeters) and having reviewed many of the books that he discussed in my role as the Editor of The PhotoBook Journal. As the Editor of TPBJ I also get to sometimes ask some probing questions of the various authors over the years when there was some information that I needed about the self-publishing process.

Likewise, it was also a great opportunity to discuss more of my background during the development and self-publishing of Pine Lake and Bluewater Shore as a Case Study. I am joining the self-publishing case studies by Rohan Hutchinson, Gabrielle Harhoff, Nuno Moreira, Sebastien Tixier, Dustin Shum, Christophe le Toquin, Matej Sitar, Sandra Koestler and Diane Vincent. I had previously reviewed both Matej Sitar and Diane Vincent’s self-published photobooks. A little more publicity for Bluewater Shore is always a nice dividend.

If you are interested in this FREE e-book (PDF), then follow this link: http://upvir.al/ref/D7856028/

I do have to warn you that to finish the download process for his PDF, you will need to email three friends with a link, which of course provides de Freine with some additional emails for his newsletter. There really is no Free lunch ;- )

Cheers!

Btw, Bluewater Shore, Pine Lake and related prints are still available, so email if you are interested in obtaining more information: doug@douglasstockdale.com

August 7, 2017

Solving “Crunchy” photographs

Filed under: Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , , — Doug Stockdale @ 12:18 am

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Seaweed, San Clemente beach, June 2017 copyright Douglas Stockdale

A month ago I was discussing about my on-going summer beach series that I was posting on Instagram and when I was looking at the resulting print from this post, it appeared kind of “crunchy” (below). The foreground where the seaweed was has some odd halos and the I think the image was not smooth and continuous looking, especially as I was printing the image at 11 x 11″ and 15 x 15″.

In thinking about this I realized that on my monitor the photograph looked fine, but when I was saving it to a jpeg, I have a practice of adding one more un-sharpening to account for the softening by the jpeg conversion. Since this is a Samsung image, perhaps the last un-sharpening, which was not an issue for a Canon 5DMk3 image file, could be problematic for the these smaller files?

In returning to the original PS image and then repeating the steps to save the image as a jpeg but this time without sharpening & then subsequently reopening the file; presto! No crunchy image without halos! I had fallen victim to mindless file sharpening. So lessons learned (yes, also a re-do on some similar recent Samsung photo images)

Just to make sure you are not thinking that all of the visual changes between the two images is due to just not sharpening I also made some other image modifications. I decided that the soft blur effect in Snapseed for the photo below was also a bit over the top, as this was when I was still experimenting with this effect and I applying it a bit strong. Nevertheless I liked the softening effect of the pier to keep the viewer interacting with the seaweed and breaking surf. So for the image above, I added a slight Gaussian blur to the top third of the image to soften the pier. Last I reduced the overall contrast of the photograph while still attempting to keep a slight overcast appearance.

Cheers!

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