Thoughts for the end of 2010

A Charlie Brown Christmas Tree, Fiuggi, Italy December 2010 copyright Douglas Stockdale

During the Holidays, while I am working on my own photobook project, Ciociaria, and needing to pause while the printer hummms away, it allows me time to reflect on this last year, and to ponder what 2011 will bring.

I think it is an understatement to say that this year is ending on a high note for me with my mid-December meeting in Rome with Marco Delogu at Edizioni Press for the publication my photographic project Ciociaria. A very nice milestone for a project that I have been developing for the past year in central Italy.

Which takes me to my current activities of further developing my concept, having completed the raw edit of my photographs to whittle down the potential images and I am now working on my second edit. I keep an eye during this edit process for the potential pairing and subsequent sequencing of the photographs. All of this will eventually lead to the first draft of the book dummy and subsequent meeting in Rome with the book designer. It will be nice to be included in the book design phase, as this is not always an opportunity afforded a photographer by the photobook publishers.

In reflecting back to last New Year’s day, I did not anticipate this outcome for my then budding project, but since I had In Passing published by LensWork in December 2008 and subsequently self publishing this project with Blurb, I now look at every project as a potential photobook. But up to now, my focus was on self-publishing.

In 2010 I continued with photobook reviews on my other blog The PhotoBook. I now have over 150 photobook reviews published, as well as becoming a contributing photobook reviewer for photo-eye. I already sense that the development of my own photobook is impacting my time to complete book reviews and publish them. So I will continue with my photobook reviews in 2011, but probably not at the same pace as earlier. The very good news is that there are a ton of wonderful photobooks being published, both by photographers as PIY or DIY, or by the established publishers.

For 2010, one thing that occurred was a further committment on my part for a full digital workflow, having made the decision to invest in full frame digital camera equipment and not in my analog Hasselblad system. Most of this was driven by my frequent trips to Europe and the daunting task of keeping the film safe with the increasing tougher airport security processes. My really tight European travel schedule did not seem to work well with finding professional film processing at each location, although I know that they are available, just not enough time. I also really appreciate the immediate feedback with the digital process, much like working with Polaroid of past years.

So looking ahead, the Fall 2011 publication of Douglas Stockdale Ciociaria will be where I will concentrate most of my energy, as well as starting to look for opportunities to exhibit this work. As to exhibiting my work, I might be more like John Gossage in which I have been more interested in developing my projects for publication as a photobook, than exhibition. Perhaps opportunities to exhibit this project and my other projects might be the delightful surprise for 2011.

Meanwhile, time permitting, I will continue to redevelop my earlier project Insomnia: Hotel Noir and what I want to do with my China project. And probably start working on some new project that will come out of my current travel schedule, possibly in North Wales.

Best regards, Douglas

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