Doug Stockdale's Singular Images

January 11, 2017

Saddle Stitch Fastener – Workshop demo

Filed under: Books, Photography, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — Doug Stockdale @ 4:05 pm

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Saddle Stitch Fastener copyright 2017 Douglas Stockdale

I have bought one new item for 2017 (and I am still looking for that used 50mm CF Distagon for the Hasselblad), which is pictured above, what is called a Saddle Stitch Fastener, or a stapler on steroids. I will be using this book binder for my LACP Introduction to Book Design workshop later this spring to demo how to make a saddle stitch binding for a small book. The saddle stitch binding is one of the two book binding methods I will be demonstrating during the workshop.

This binder is stated to handle up to 20 sheets, so I would consider this lightweight equipment, which is a good start for my publishing company. It is an idea method to create a simple book dummy to work on the sequencing and pairing of the images for a book. This is also a popular way to create a small edition book, as I have a bunch of intriguing photobooks in my library that are bound together with saddle stitch binding, such as those by the New Zealand photographer Harvey Benge.

I also have an great idea on how I will be making a small limited edition book with the class during  the workshop as a fun start and will become a unique class takeaway. I have already completed the book dummy for it and I need to work-up the interior text, probably about 12 interior pages in all. I will print the stiffcover with my Epson printer using a double-sided Epson matte photo paper and print the interior sheets with my desktop letter printer. I think it will be an interesting surprise for those attending on the first day of the workshop.

And I may be making a few other small edition books as a result. Lots of possibilities!

Cheers!

December 28, 2016

2016 in Review

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Loss (Memory Pods) 2014 copyright Douglas Stockdale

For me it’s always a nice treat at the end of the year to look back at what has occurred; achievements, progress in the my development of my conceptual projects, lessons learned that might help inform me and keep me on a progressive creative path in the year to come.

First, 2016 was about making new photographic friends and deepening the existing relationships. The photographic and artistic community is really great in how encouraging everyone is towards supporting each other’s creative endeavors. That is always the best part of looking back at the year that was.

One of the highlight of the year was in September when I was juried into the Irvine Fine Arts Center (IFAC) 2016 All Media, which was curated by Dan Cameron and I received an Honorable Mention (above), the only photograph of the exhibition that received recognition. A really nice validation that my Memory Pods project is progressing as I had hoped, which I will continue developing in 2017.

I was invited to became part of the LensCulture submission review team (aka consultant, a true paying photographic gig) in August and I have completed close to 200 portfolio submission reviews in 2016. This has become a great opportunity to become familiar with an interesting and diverse international group of photographers and their photographic work.

Photo Book Independent; in April I was one of the photobook jurors for the photobook exhibition and subsequently provided two curatorial talks during the exhibition while also exhibiting my own photobooks and photographs at this event. It appears that I may be involved in Photo Independent 2017 event as well ;- )

For the Los Angeles Center of Photography (LACP) Exposure 2016 I joined them as a portfolio reviewer in September and subsequently I will be leading a photo book development workshop for LACP next April, 2017. This is going to be a fun workshop!

As the Editor of The PhotoBook: my book-blog-zine passed one million views and provided a milestone 400 photobook reviews; an amazing eight years. I also increased the staff of this blog-zine with the recent addition of Gerhard Clasusing as a book reviewer. I am looking forward to all of the creative photobooks yet to come in 2017.

Social media; my experiment with Instagram (@douglasstockdale) this year appears to be proceeding in a slowly growing but successful manner. So I now a presence on Facebook and Instagram in conjunction with this blog. I also became the co-Editor of the Facebook page for The Photo Exchange which led to the development of a closed group on Facebook for the members of this group.

Infrastructure changes with the transfer of my photographic web site to a new platform hosted by PhotoShelter that is focused on providing photographic content. This should take care of my web site requirements for a while and I need to remember to update it from time to time.

I also spent some time at some local photographic events, such as photo l.a., which is coming up soon next month, and down in San Diego at the Medium Photographic Festival.

And of course I was working on some photographic projects, such as continuing my development of Memory Pods, concluding Lest I Forget, and starting a new project Middle Ground.

I think 2017 will be even more fun! See you all next year ;- )

Cheers!!

December 16, 2016

Early bird discount for photobook workshop ends this Saturday

Filed under: Art, Art Market, Books, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , , — Doug Stockdale @ 4:24 pm

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LACP Introduction to Photo Book Design, photo Douglas Stockdale

The early-bird registration discount of 20% for my Introduction to Photo Book Design workshop that I will be leading next April over two weekends will be ending midnight this Saturday, December 17th. This creative workshop is sponsored by Los Angeles Center of Photography (LACP).  So if you plan to be in the Southern California area (aka best-coast), time to check this workshop out and take advantage of this discount.

Could even be a wonderful Christmas present for someone special ;- )

Cheers!

 

December 3, 2016

Jason Fulford & Gregory Halpern – The Photographer’s Playbook

Filed under: Art Market, Books, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , , — Doug Stockdale @ 8:44 pm

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Copyright 2014 Jason Fulford & Gregory Halpern published by Aperture

While in Santa Fe and visiting the photo-eye book store, I had an opportunity to get a copy of Jason Fulford and Gregory Halpern’s book The Photographer’s Playbook. The subtitle reveals the essentials of this book; 307 (photographic) Assignments and Ideas, which are distilled from 307 photographers, curators, photographic academia and workshop leaders, including Aline Smithson, Mark Steinmetz, Jim Goldberg, Stephen Shore, John Gossage and many more. From my perspective, this book draws heavily on a few photographic academia programs for BFA and MFA photographic programs.

It appears that the book is focused on young and inexperienced photographers who are searching for the reason to be a fine art photographer (as part of a BFA/MFA program) or for a photographer who is stuck in a dry spell as to how to find conceptual ideas to development next. If you have the technical side of photography down then working through a bunch of these assignments could provide you with an equivalent BFA/MFA education as to the conceptual projects you work on. What may be missing is the group critiques offered in the academic programs and instructors that might challenge you (alternatively a best friend that can continue to say “No, try again, dig deeper”). So find a small group photographic/artist peers that you can count on to be candid and talk/show the work/assignments, a group who can say “Very cool, I see where you are going, keep at it, dig deeper”

To be candid, there are some ideas within this book that are similar to other ideas I have developed over the years to help me consider photographic options and move my concepts forward. I will continue to write about some of them, such as my post earlier this morning about experiment-play (games), a frequent idea (27 different variations) that is recommended in this book. In my case, experiment-play was what I was doing that led me to my Memory Pods project that I have been working on for just about three years now. Recently, experiment-play is what inspired me to start the Middle Ground (aka Life in the Slow Lane) project earlier this year.

To be fully transparent, as a portfolio reviewer for LensCulture, we also provide some resource recommendations as part of the portfolio review and this book is one that I recommend to photographers who have a photo technique but appear to looking for a project to apply their process.

Cheers!

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November 12, 2016

Just Announced: LACP introductory book design class next Spring

Filed under: Art Market, Books, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , , , — Doug Stockdale @ 6:58 pm

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Douglas Stockdale 2016 photograph by Ella Webb

Surprise! Not often you will see my mug on this blog. The special occasion is that Los Angeles Center of Photography (LACP) just added my profile as one of the LACP instructors for a introductory book design class I have developed and will be leading next Spring.

The workshop has just been formally announced, so check out the class details and if in the LA area next Spring, please consider joining the book making fun. The class is going to occur over two consecutive Saturdays; April 1st and 8th, from 10am to 6pm.

Oh yeah, the class size is limited to ensure that I don’t become overextended and everyone gets the help and assistance they need.

Early Bird Sale also now in effect; save 20%!

If you have any questions, please leave a comment or contact me.

Cheers!

 

 

October 3, 2015

Flying by the seat of my pants

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Untitled (Over Oz, Michigan, 2015) copyright 2015 Douglas Stockdale

I keep getting asked how I am able to create my interesting aerial landscapes that I share here, such as this one and the one I posted yesterday. So here is the story about how I photograph landscapes while flying by the seat of my pants, thus I guess you could describe this article as a mini-photo workshop.

Since I fly frequently on assignment, I fall into that category of being a frequent flyer (yep, over 2 million miles on just one airline, and yes, the airlines does keep track). The favorites seat for most frequent flyers is an aisle seat towards the front of the airplane. On the other hand, I also go for the front of the plane, but a window seat that will be facing North (e.g. on the left of the plane leaving southern California). Two reasons, I want to be in front of the wing to maximize an unobstructed visibility of the passing landscape and if you are facing South, you will deal with the effects of constant sunlight. Most aircraft have been around a while, which means scratched windows, both inside and out which creates issues with flare and terrible reflections.

The creative corollary is that if you like to deal with the effects of sun as part of your image development process, then go for it and select the South facing window seats; I for the most part, don’t. Another reason to choose a South facing window is if you have a late afternoon flight and you think you might catch an aerial sunset, which at times can be very striking. But then I am not usually chasing sunsets.

As a last alternative, I may have to end up with a window seat at the back of the plane. If the plane engines are configured on the wing, then I try to get as far back in the plane as possible, as the hot engine exhaust can create a soft blur in the resulting photographs (optical diffraction caused by the hot rapidly moving air). Again, the corollary is that this optical effect can be used to creative purposes, but I prefer to get as straight of an image as I can, then work my creative options post-production in PhotoShop. I find it much easier to add a layer to an image and if I decide the effect does not work for me, to then delete the layer and start over again.

As to when to photograph, I think that there are three basic flying conditions; take-off, in-flight and approach on landing. For me, the best of these three conditions are the approach for landing as I am more interested today in the middle landscape, and not as much with the high altitude (30,000 ft plus) broad landscape. On approach, the aircraft will slow down to perhaps 150 mph, rather than the 350 mph plus while cruising. Unlike the take off which can be a rapid climb, the approach is a slow decline lining up with the runway, taking upwards of ten minutes or more in duration, which creates a lot of photographic opportunities. My other trick is to try to look far enough ahead to determine what might come into view by peeking out the window in front of my window, if I can. Even at 150 mph, the composition opportunities are rapidly fleeting.

One of the nice aspects of digital capture is to do a quick sanity check to see if you are picking up any unwanted reflections in the image, as the angle you photograph out the window can pick up some subtle’s that might not be evident in the viewfinder. Not unusual to find my hand or interior of the aircraft being picked up on the interior window reflection if not careful. Basic rule of thumb is to place the front of the lens flush on the window, because as soon as you start to tilt the lens down, the higher the probability you will pick up some window reflections. Since I usually do aim the camera down to capture the passing landscape, I complete a quick check on what angle I can use without picking up unwanted reflections. Always some compromises.

My last piece of advice is to have your camera ready after boarding, not in a never-ready case or in a backpack, as the images are literally fleeting and there is not much time to react to what is rapidly unfolding outside the window. Thus I like to take at least one or two images while the plane is still docked and starting to move out on the tarmac. It gets the creative juices flowing.

Cheers!

April 5, 2009

PhotoFest09 – The results

Filed under: Photography — Tags: , — Doug Stockdale @ 5:08 pm

The workshop went really well yesterday at the LBCC PhotoFest09, great participation (like they had a choice with my workshop breakout assignments!) and super enthusiasm. The best part was all the personal feedback on how they were able to betterconceptualize their projects that they had envisioned, but had struggled to get their arms (minds) around. nice.

Jeff Smeding and Ann Mitchell and the PhotoFest09 team were supportive and a pleasure to work with. And we are already talking about my participation for next year. BTW, Ann also publishers her photographs in her daily sketchbook of ideas, Impermanence. A good read.

I also had the opportunity on Friday to audit the Print on Demand Workshopthat was provided by Amanda Keller Konya, who is also an instructor at LLBC as well as Cerritos City College and the Julia Dean Workshops. It was a great presentation and I took away a couple of pages of notes to modify my own POD book workshop. Always interesting when you bring different folks together and what unique insights that they bring to the process, always a learning opportunity. And I found that Amanda is also a friend of Aline Smithson, who writes the wonderful Lenscratch.

And best of all, I am recharged to finish my own project, Insomnia: Hotel Noir. And I decided that a good goal for this project is to complete the Blurb book in time for this years Photo.Book.Now competition, sponsored by Blurb, and principal jurist is Darius Himes of Radius Books.

And regretfully, I did not bring a digital recorder for my presentation, as I was thinking that I had enough things to juggle for this presentation. In retrospect, I am a free roamer during my presentations, I don’t like to be anchored to a podium, so not sure what the quality of the recording would have been like. And it just occurred to me, I did not take an souvenir photographs of the occasion either. Yikes, see I told you I had enough things to juggle;- )

Best regards, Doug

March 20, 2009

LBCC PhotoFest – Developing a Photo Project – Full

Filed under: Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , — Doug Stockdale @ 8:21 pm

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JiaShan Waterway with Hutong Boat  photograph copyright of Douglas Stockdale

Last night we had the annual print exchange at the monthly Photographers Exchange meeting at the Irvine Fine Arts Center, which was a lot of fun. I donated a small limited edition photograph of JiaShan Waterway with Hutong Boat that included my personal chop mark (chop mark not shown in the above photo). I added an Ellen Butler color photograph to my personal collection, so thank you Ellen.

When it was announced during the meeting that I was providing the half-day workshop at LBCC PhotoFest, a couple of folks stated that they could not sign up for my workshop because it was already full. And so a quick check over at LBCC this morning, and so it is. I had been rather consumed getting my other Portland workshop prepared, that I had not been checking into the status of my LBCC PhotoFest Workshop.

Well, I guess I had better fine tune my presentation draft and finalized the couple of breakout sessions that I have planned. Nice, two consequtively sold out workshops.

Best regards, Doug

March 17, 2009

Workshop notes

Filed under: Photography — Tags: , — Doug Stockdale @ 12:32 am

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23 Sandy Gallery, Portland, OR

My Developing a Print on Demand Book Workshopin Portland at the 23 Sandy Gallery over the weekend went very well. The more normal Portland weather for this time of year, overcast and spitting rain and drizzle, made for a great day to be in doors.

Since the workshop occurred during the Photo+Book exhibition at the gallery, there were a  lot of interesting examples to look at for ideas during the breaks. And Laura’s husband cooked up a wonderful Lasagna for lunch, which really hit the right spot. nice.

I also found myself making a bunch of notes for changes in the Workshop, some minor tweaking with some adds and deletes. I also recieved some good ideas about improving my work flow, such as I had been modifying the book photographs in Photoshop by assigning a color profile (e.g. from Adobe RGB to sRGB) versus using the Convert function (Image>Convert to Profile).  One of the great things about workshops is the interactive learning that takes place with the side conversations.  So a thanks goes out to Joe Sawicki for that one.

And Laura and I are already discussing the next Workshop, as there are a bunch of folks who expressed an interest but then found out that it was already Sold Out. So we are looking at the calanders again for later this year.

Last, I was able to acquire at the gallery a stack of the current Photolucida’s Critical Mass books that have become available, including Camille Seaman’s The Last Iceberg, Amy Stein’s Domesticated, Louie Palu’s Cage Call, Donald Weber’s Bastard Eden, Our Chernobyl, and Hiroshi Watanabe’s Findings. All of course these will be reviewed over the next couple of months on The Photo Book.

And so I ended up toting back a ton of books, the ones that I acquired and additional copies of mine that I had produced for the workshop, just in case. So if you are interested in a signed copy of In Passing or my Sharpening for POD books, let me know. If you want to use a credit card, I’ll send you a paypall link you can use.

Okay, now to start drafting my Workshop presentation for LBCC PhotoFest. Oh, and I might have started on a potential new series for NW Oregon. I need to think a little more about this before I say any more.

Best regards, Doug

March 9, 2009

Portland Workshop: Sold Out

Filed under: Photography — Tags: , — Doug Stockdale @ 9:25 pm

I just received word from Laura that my workshop for next weekend is Sold Out and then some. nice.

I spend most of yesterday finishing the workshop PowerPoints and printing them off as handouts. When I woke up this morning, I had some inspiration about a couple of more things to add to the presentations. So I will update a couple of the PowerPoints tonight, but those will be in the presentation, just not in the handouts.

And I have received inquiries from a couple of other groups about providing this same Photographic Book POD Workshop. This is somewhat similar to what happened for my consulting practice over the years, I provide one workshop and others find out, and over time, more invitations start to trickle in.

The workshops seem like a lot more fun than trying to get the stock photography stuff up and running. So for the moment, I think I shall defer to what I am more passionate about; teaching, coaching and sharing. I’ll come back to the stock photo option if I need to at another time.

And so my thoughts are turning back to the development of my Insomnia series and preparation of my next workshop at LBCC PhotoFest on Developing a Photographic Series. (and yes, Gordon and Anita, I have been looking at the different Digital Recorders to buy, but I make no promises as to what I will do with what I record)

Best regards, Doug

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