Doug Stockdale's Singular Images

October 15, 2018

Mystery on Trabuco Flats – Sacred datura – a dangerous flower & plant

10-03-18_Sacred_datura _KI6A9775-01-02_1000px

Sacred datura, Mystery on Trabuco Flats, 2018 copyright Douglas Stockdale

For my project Mystery on Trabuco Flats, as well as another project Gardening for Ordnance, I have been photographing a local wild weed that blooms during the summer. The small vine-like bushes with their white flowers make for an interesting visual contrast in the wild park area; a bit of local beauty among the other not so pretty weeds and wild grass. I had assumed that this was another of the many none native plants that arrived in conjunction with the local urban sprawl.

For the Mystery on Trabuco Flats project I thought that this white flower appeared quite similar to a white Lilly that is sometime found in conjunction with funerals. Thus these flowers might create another metaphoric layer to this project, especially if the flower(s) was not in perfect condition but bug eaten, decaying and falling apart.

When a friend asked me if it was the Scared datura that I was photographing I did a quick check (as you might guess, I am NOT a botanist) to confirm that it indeed was the Scared datura (species: Datura wrighti) I was photographing. The morbid surprise was to find out that this is a poisonous perennial plant and ornamental flower native to the southwestern North America. Yikes!

Serendipitously I have been actually photographing something quite dangerous. This plant does not yell Danger, Danger! (Unlike the rattlesnake a few weeks ago). So this potential metaphoric flower appears to have more of a darker potential than I had ever envisioned. Very pretty, but also deadly. cool!

I suspect that photographs of this flower will also be a pretty subtle inclusion in my story, as I am assuming that very few are aware of the danger that this flower and plant present (as I understand, not to be eaten, not even a tiny little bit). Especially when I consider that I had no idea of its exsistance; never hearing of this flower and plant before. Which is unlike the various warnings for poison oak, the close relative to poison ivy, which is common to this southwestern region as well. In retrospect poison oak will make a bad intensely itchy rash, but I don’t think it will kill you. sigh.

At one point I thought that these strange flowers were actually too pretty for my dark story, but now very happy I persisted in this visual investigation. You never can tell what strange twists just might occur. wonderful!

And I was thinking that I might pick a few of these flowers to place into or adjacent to some of my suspicious sites. Yikes!! Now very happy I did not touch these flowers or plants.

So for my visual narrative will these flowers be potential clues to solve the mystery?

Cheers!

Doug

 

September 8, 2018

New project about found shallow grave sites

09-08-18_KI6A9158_8x10

OC county park, September 8 2018 copyright Douglas Stockdale

I had stated in my Summer 2018 update earlier this week that I had found what the local OC Sheriff’s office is calling a “shallow grave” that falls under their category of “suspicious circumstances”. Although I am not a photo-journalist, I have now decided that perhaps this site and surrounding area might be a potential project, perhaps taking an inspiration cue from the artist books created by the Russian artist Julia Borissova, such her book Dimitry.

Thus the start of a new project, with the working title Mystery on the Plano Trabuco. So more about this project and potential artist book shortly. Meanwhile, some new events have changed things a bit about this site.

So yesterday I checked with the OC Sheriff’s office and found out that they were not going to investigate what I had found any further. Being the curious type, I went back to this shallow grave this morning to see what might be have occurred there. Hmmmm. No digging or other others probing of this site. So while there, I might take a few more photographs for my new project.

So while walking around to create a large environmental context for this site, I found a SECOND site of what appears just like the first; another old, collapsed shallow grave. YIKES!!

I could not believe its. Another one! Looking like I was going to be making another call to the OC Sheriff. Then I stated thinking, if two, maybe more?? So I started a very wide criss-cross walking pattern over this field. With the early morning light and the long shadows, I discovered another FOUR. WTF! Now SIX of these.

Diffidently need to call the OC Sheriff’s again. Wow, wow, wow.

So I made another call to the OC Sheriff and they wanted to see these additional sites, so another walk in the field to show the officers what I had found. They really only wanted to see two more to confirm there are multiple sites in this field. They also shared that they have already had the cadaver dogs run this field and did not get any “hits”. So appears that this is curious, but that the OC Sheriff’s are probably not going to do anything further, even with the fact there are six of these suspicious old collapsed shallow gave sites. Btw, what I also realized after the fact; the third of these sites I showed the officers was NOT one I found earlier today, so that takes it up to SEVEN of these sites in this field. Wow! And the Sheriff’s office does not appear that they are going to do anything further. hmmmmm.

Okay, that really confirms for me that there is a Mystery on the Plano Trabuco!

March 9, 2018

Mentor-ship opportunities thru LACP

Filed under: Art Market, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , , — Doug Stockdale @ 10:17 pm

02-28-18 Stockdale during Photo Book Presentation for PADA by Karen Schuenemann

Douglas Stockdale, Palos Verdes Art Center, 2018, photograph by Karen Schuenemann

I am very honored and excited to announce that I am part of the inaugural LACP (Los Angeles Center of Photography) Mentor-ship program that was just formally launched by this LA organization. This builds on my recent LACP experience as a workshop leader for my Introduction to Photo Book Design (next workshop is two weekends next Oct), Portfolio Reviewer, mini-program presenter and discussion panel leader.

LACP is proud to announce our new Mentorship Program. We have hand-selected Master Photographers and Photography Professionals for this program who have the skills to guide you on your particular photographic journey. Through one-on-one meetings over the course of a year or six months, you can develop skills, complete a project, hone a portfolio or book or learn marketing strategies to ultimately pursue your photographic dreams.

This is a an opportunity to work directly with me over the span of up to a year on the development of a photographic project(s) including concept, editing, sequencing, layout and design which is equally applicable towards an effective project, portfolio or a published book.

I am joining a wonderfully diverse mentoring team associated with LACP, including Elizabeth Avedon (NYC), Susan Burnstine, Julia Dean, Crista Dix, Greg Gorman, Aline Smithson, Sara Terry and many more. As might be expected, my expertise is with photographic projects that may eventually lead to developing a photographic book.

As stated by LACP; “Whether you have an idea for a project, a project that is just getting started, or one that is complete, but needs a little help getting it out in the world, our Mentors are there to assist you and to help you realize your goals. The right Mentor can help you get your endeavor off the ground and on it’s way.” amen.

There are provisions for those local to LA and from afar to take advantage of this mentor-ship opportunity thru LACP. As might also be expected the pricing of this program is a bit more attractive to become a member of LACP. Full details of the LACP mentor-ship program are available here.

So if you are intrigued in the possibilities of how I might help you with your photographic project or career; check it out,  or if you want to know more, drop me a line (doug@douglasstockdale.com).

Cheers!

January 9, 2018

Middle Ground – Rough Edit

20180108 Rough_edit_evaluation_123810-01

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!

 

October 3, 2017

Intro to Photo Book Design workshop outline – Second Edition self-published

10-02-17_Introduction_to_Photo_Book_Design_111726-01_Course_outline_second_edition

Introduction to Photo Book Design workshop outline, 2017 Copyright Douglas Stockdale

In the middle of last month I wrote about updating my workshop outline for Introduction to Photo Book Design that I lead for LACP. Thus this last weekend, with the help of the workshop class, we self-published the second Edition of this awesome course outline. As expected, the workshop members enjoyed the experience and this little self-publishing task reduced a little bit the self-publishing mystery.

This Edition was of course another huge undertaking; one stiff cover with three folded sheets, thus 12 pages for the course outline. Then using the long-reach stapler (home-studio book binding equipment), each participant bound their own book. The Edition size is a whooping 18 copies. These will be signed and numbered on the last day of the workshop this coming weekend. Okay, perhaps a bit tongue-in-cheek with a tiny presidential style over-statement.

One thing I had an opportunity to play with is the double-sided matte inkjet paper that is sold at Staples but made in Germany. They did not have any of the Epson double-side presentation matte in stock and having waited to the last moment to buy this, I had to improvise. This double sided paper is pretty decent, probably with a little more optical whitener, nevertheless printed nice. I can see where I am doing some experimental photo proofs, using this paper may be just fine versus using the Epson presentation matte as well as save a few bucks.

Biggest headache for the day was trying to get the double sided ink jet paper to feed through my Epson desktop printer/copier (Workforce WF-7620). The Staples paper weight of 170 g/m2 is only slightly heavier than the Epson’s 165 g/m2, so not sure what the deal was. I was using my Epson 4800 to print the image on the front outside cover and then the Epson desktop to print the copy. So I had to revert back to using the Epson 4800 to print the cover’s inside and outside copy, but even then the paper was a bit touchy going through the Epson printer three times. I now have a work around to run the paper through twice, so that should help when preparing for the next workshop.

I have found a couple of typos in the second edition, so I will see if this little self-published booklet evolves into a third edition. Ought to be making the 12 copies of the first edition all that more valuable!

Having developed the course outline earlier this year, then as editor/proof-reader for Eanne’s Self-publishing Guide, all of which came together when I wrote my Guide to Self-Publishing an Indie Artist Book. My Guide appears to be on target for release at Medium in San Diego at the end of this month.

Cheers!

 

September 29, 2017

Book dummy: Guide to Self-publishing an Indie Artist Book

Filed under: Art Market, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , , — Doug Stockdale @ 3:41 pm

Stockdale_Guide_book-dummy_2017_lowres_72bit

book dummy, Guide to Self-publishing an Indie Artist Book 2017 Douglas Stockdale

Well today I just posted on Instagram the photo above revealing what my book commission is about that I have been working so diligently on for the past three weeks. Not that I was looking to write a how-to, but there are some side benefits to this project. I have been in a heavy writing, now editing mode in that this is going to be published sometime next in mid-October and I anticipate being launched at the Medium Festival in San Diego at the end of October.

The cover photograph of a stack of photobooks was photographed by Scott Mathews, which I will discuss a bit more next week when things calm down. Meanwhile, still in the midst of the heavy copy editing with my Text Editor Gerhard Clausing and getting a technical review of the pre-press, printing and binding text with Craig Evans at Dual Graphics. Sometimes the final editing gets a bit complicated as the various copy versions move back and forth between reviewers, so we are doing a final review of the whole thing today.

Making progress as the final copy should be heading to pre-press for loading into InDesign late today. Yes!

Cheers!

Doug

 

September 22, 2017

Book commission – editing in progress

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

09-20-17_Guide_Book_Dummy_text_editing

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

 

 

September 20, 2017

Commission book dummy phase 3

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

09-20-17_Guide_Book_Dummy_text-layout

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, 2016

Leveraging an exhibition Honorable Mention

07-16-16-memory-pods_081931-01-01_depression

Depression (Memory Pods Project) copyright 2016 Douglas Stockdale

From what I have learned over the years is that I as an artist need to take the first steps to contact various curators and galleries to move ahead and ensure I get noticed. Self-promotion 101. I have to admit, and this is not popular among many artist, but being an artist also means you are a small independent business. Thus with the recent Honorable Mention from IFAC “All Media” exhibition, I need to see how to further leverage this event and obtain recognition with other curators and galleries.Which is to say, I need to contact them directly and ask for an opportunity to show my work.

This also means I need to step up my presentation of the body of work to share and discuss for potential portfolio reviews. Okay, so what does that mean? First, my current portfolio for Memory Pods is printed 15×19″ on Epson Professional Matte paper; I think the size is good but I need to be printing on my exhibition (and sales) medium, which for me right now is the Hahnemuhle PhotoRag (smooth surface), 308 gm matte, which is acid free and a great fine art cotton paper. This paper provides a better feel (heavier) and reinforces the image of a print as an art object, images look beautiful and provides for a more professional artist presentation.

So over the weekend I have been reprinting my Memory Pods photographs, but also reassessing the image regarding my intent for this image. As a result I have had to tweak the colors, etc for a few of the photographs. Thus the reprinting did not proceed quickly and now is only about half complete.

Second, now looking at portfolio presentation cases as my current black portfolio holder is okay for storage, but not professional looking. So I am evaluating a Museum-Solander case (e.g. Archival Methods) for the 17×22″ prints, which is elegant in design, archival, opens flat to obtain art work, but not cheap (little over $200 USD). On my wish list and I will see how the next portfolio review goes as to making this investment.

Third is the “leave-behind” artist card. I have a business card now, but more of a company card versus an artist business card (there is a creative difference). Also, I do not have a small art card for one of photographs. Again on my wish list, but these are not that expensive and I can buy the stock and print these myself. In the short term, I do have extra copies of LensWork that my In Passing project was featured in to leave behind and I have found that this magazine does make an impact.

The good news is that I just received a confirmation from the curator of the IFAC who would like to see my Memory Pods portfolio in the next couple of weeks. Nice as I am also considering a submission for an individual exhibition at IFAC during their 2017 open call this month.

Cheers!

September 5, 2016

Memory Pods project on web site

089 06-10-14_Memory_Pods_1142_11x11BW_Ghost

Ghost (Memory Pods project) 2014 copyright Douglas Stockdale

Sometimes I need a kick in the butt to get myself into gear.

I have been stating that I need to update my web site with more images from my Memory Pods project and now receiving the Honorable Mention at IFAC for my photography Loss from this project was enough to do the trick. Since this event and honor might get a little press on the blogisphere (courteous of yours truly), I realize that I need to have more of my project available to review, lest someone thinks I am a one-trick pony.

Okay, as of this morning; done & update is here.

One thing that I have been contemplating for my titles for this project, to use metaphoric names or a sequence number and have decided to go with names for each of the photographs. In this case, my names relate back to what I think the metaphoric image is related to, which goes against some contemporary ideas about naming your photographs. I will just defer back to my excuse that in this case, I am old school. (Okay, well I am!).

I think that this is the first time I have posted Ghost in color, as I had at one time thought that this photograph might be better in black & white. wrong. For me, much stronger image when in color.

Cheers!

Older Posts »

Blog at WordPress.com.