Doug Stockdale's Singular Images

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

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September 12, 2017

L.A. Photo Curator – Boundaries – Call for Submissions

Filed under: Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , — Doug Stockdale @ 12:08 am

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Middle Ground 2017 copyright Douglas Stockdale

I am very excited and honored to announce that I am a guest curator for L.A. Photo Curator with my call for submissions on the subject of Boundaries.

Call for Entry: Boundaries with guest curator Douglas Stockdale

Deadline to enter: October 11, 2017

“How do we establish and understand boundaries and how might these be visually represented?”

Boundaries, real or perceived, and the related concerns over these are almost universally evident; political, economic, business, gender identity, race and regions.

I am looking for photographs that investigate all aspects of how boundaries are a part of our lives.

Boundaries (definition): borders, demarcation, territories, space, personal, political, religious and cultural.

I am also very proud that part of your submission fee will provide support for my charity, Orange County Alzheimer’s Association.

I am looking forward to your submissions!

Cheers,

Doug

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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

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!

 

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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July 29, 2017

The Photographer’s Guide to Marketing and Self-Promotion

Filed under: Art Market, Books, Photography, Workshops — Tags: — Doug Stockdale @ 3:47 am

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Maria Piscopo – The Photographer’s Guide to Marketing and Self-Promotion

While developing my Marketing Your Photo Book workshop, I came across Maria Piscopo’s The Photographer’s Guide to Marketing and Self-Promotion. Since this title was in its fifth edition I figured that this book has stood the test of time and photographer have kept buying it and thus might be worth checking out. What I anticipated was this is a generalist guide for a broad spectrum of photographers, not specific to the needs of artist and photographers who were marketing a small niche product like a published book. My background includes graduate level marketing classes that was part of my focus while I was getting my M.B.A. but since that course work was even more general, so maybe Piscopo’s book might help with some photographic market specifics that I might not be aware of. Last, this might make an interesting reference book for those attending my workshop.

Well it turns out that Maria Piscopo’s book is intended entirely for professional photographers while the fine art market is treated as a side-line and provided a short chapter in the back of the book. I had expected a little better organization of the content, but at least many of the parts for a Marketing program appear to be present. Much of this book is about the very business basics (and I do mean basics) of professional photography; business licenses, business ethics, getting organized, using a computer (e.g. bookkeeping), and the internet for event, wedding, and commercial. Writing a Marketing plan does not occur until almost the end of the book, something I might think would be the first thing to do if you have a Marketing book. Which is to say, this book is not a very good guide for Marketing and you might be better off with a college basic Marketing text book.

On the other hand, if you are very new to having your own business and you have not done this before and yet you think you might want to be a professional photographer, this book might be of some help to make sure you have most of your business bases covered. This will not be a reference book for my Book Marketing workshop and not to say that occasionally there are some little gems buried in the book, just finding these can be more frustrating that what it is worth.

Publisher: Allworth Press (NY), Fifth Edition, copyright 2016

July 19, 2017

Portfolio Reviewer for LACP last weekend

Filed under: Art Market, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , , — Doug Stockdale @ 11:06 pm

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Dawn Watson, dnj Gallery, Santa Monica, CA copyright 2017 Douglas Stockdale

This last weekend I was a guest portfolio reviewer for the LACP EXPOSURE 2017 portfolio reviews and on Saturday I was held at the dnj Gallery in Santa Monica’s Bergamont (Arts) Station.

Overall it was a great experience as a portfolio reviewer as I was introduced to some very intriguing and well thought out photographic projects. It should probably come as no surprise that many of the photographers and artists were interested in spending time with me regarding my assessment about these projects being published.

One of the most frequent questions I am asked before one of these events; how does one prepare for a portfolio review? Since the review is scheduled for only 20 minutes, everyone is always surprised in how quickly this time slips by. First just about everyone brings too many photographs and supporting materials probably in the hopes that a reviewer will be able to see it all and still have time to provide some wise advice. Nope that usually does NOT happen.

Second, as a portfolio reviewer I start each discussion with three requests: tell me about yourself, tell me about the portfolio we are going to review and what is it you would like to obtain feedback from me about your project that might help you to move it forward?

Reviewers would like to know a little bit about who they are talking to; not your life story, but a quick 2 minute bio, which I call an elevator speech. Same for the portfolio (maybe a photographic project), for the photographer/artist to provide some context as to what is going to be reviewed, again perhaps 1-2 minutes, another elevator speech. Last, what is it you need from the review? Some examples: feedback on the editing of the photographs, are the images technically acceptable, could this sequence or series work in a book layout, are the photographs consistent with the artistic statement, etc.

Third, plan on reviewing only one portfolio with each reviewer, you can bring more portfolios, but you will only have real quality time to spend on one with each reviewer. In most portfolio reviews the artist/photographer might be meeting with a series of different portfolio reviewers and it is appropriate to select a portfolio that is relevant to a specific reviewer. In my case, most wanted me to review their book dummy’s or portfolios that they were thinking about having published.

Fourth, plan on having less than 15 prints in the portfolio to have reviewed. In many cases we did not get through all 15 prints during our 20 minute session. You should want quality time/discussion for each image and how these images relate to each other. This exchange takes time when it results in a give and take discussion.

Bring something to take notes and one photographer recorded our review session. Each portfolio reviewer is an individual with a point of view, which may be very different from yours, so don’t become defensive if the reviewer does not see or understand what you are trying to communicate with your photographic prints. One key purpose of coming to a portfolio review is to get a broader exposure to your work and have others talk about what they see. If you are doing more talking than listening, then you are not going to obtain the full benefit of this occasion.

Last, leave something behind, perhaps as simple as a business card (yes, one person left me with one of their books) to help the reviewer remember who you are (I did 12 portfolio reviews on Saturday and names and projects began to blur at the end of the day) and then follow up with a nice email note a couple of days after the event.

Reviewers are there to help you and if they can point you in a direction or make an follow on introduction, they usually will. I had a short list of introductions and follow-up items that I had promised and these are just about completed, as it takes a few days to get organized. Also realized that these are good events to network with the other photographers and artist who are participating in the reviews as you never can tell what might come up during a side discussion.

Note: I had not realized at the time I took the photograph of Dawn Watson, above, that the large red photograph behind me was going to reflect so much pink color on Watson’s self-published book. Below is a better representation of her book “Trees” ( & thanks to Watson for providing a better photograph) and a nice follow-up email regarding our review time together. well done.

Cheers!

Dawn_Watson_Wild Things Live Here-3

 

July 7, 2017

Marketing Your Photo Book – Workshop at LACP

Filed under: Art Market, Photography, Workshops — Tags: , , — Doug Stockdale @ 8:37 pm

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Photograph 2016 copyright Douglas Stockdale

Just a brief followup reminder from my earlier announcement in April that there is still space available for the LACP (Los Angles Center of Photography) workshop Marketing Your Photo Book which I am leading. Marketing and selling a photobook has similarities to photographic prints but there are enough nuances that if not addressed can end up with you having boxes and boxes of books in your garage, not in your audiences hands. You don’t want to have your first photobook become your last photobook.

Marketing Your Photo Book – This is a one-day workshop being held on Saturday, July 22nd (Note: schedule change: workshop will occur Sunday, October 29th) in Los Angeles. This workshop is is intended for photographers and artist who are preparing to publish their work in book form, whether self-publishing or working with an established book publisher. I will provide creative and practical approaches to marketing your photo book.

The morning will be spent understanding your publishing objectives and how that translates to a marketing plan. This will include discussing the basic elements of a marketing plan; what is being published and sold, who might purchase it, where to sell it, how to price it and how and when to promote it. Issues to be discussed include; how soon to start working on a plan, book economics and buyers price points, buy or create a mailing list, selling self-published books, and do’s and don’ts of using social media and web sites. During the workshop, I am planning a series of breakout sessions to enable development of each person’s specific marketing plan for their book.

Let me know if you have any questions,

Cheers!

PS Marketing is a big aspect of my mentoring services ;- )

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