Book talk at PPA last night

Last night was a fun, interactive and interesting discussion about Photographic Books as Art at the Pasadena Photographic Arts (PPA). I was the presenter in the PPA’s Forum Series of artist, curators & photographer talks. A nice thank you to Douglas Hill and Bill Wishner for their invitation, who provided a very nice introduction and for being exemplary hosts for the evening. Also a thank you to those who attended and actively participated in the ensuing discussions.

I brought a ton of books from my collection and as usual, I had many more books than there was time to talk about. I think that too many books is a better alternative to bringing only a few. Regretfully, once I get going, I could, if left to my own discretion, extend this discussion late into the night and the following morning, (yuk, yuk). Although I did bring a number of true artist books, I also brought photobooks which due to design, layout, and production qualities went well beyond being a “trade” book with many of the attributes of an artist book.

One indication that I receive in the way of audience feedback when making a presentation is the interest shown by the quality and quantity of questions; there were a lot of both during this presentation, some of which side-tracked the talk, but all in an interesting and interactive discussion. This was time before and after the presentation for those attending to hold, look-at and consider the books I had brought; my bad and further confirmation that I am not a photo-journalist as I did not take a single photograph of the books on display that I discussed. sigh.

So how does all of this relate to my singular image, above? Also attending this presentation was Ann Mitchell, who is with Visual and Media Arts Department at Long Beach City College, where she has served as Chair and is now the Digital Media Program Coordinator. Ann an I were featured together in the same issue #74 of LensWork magazine. I later reviewed her photobook Austin Val Verde and then provided a couple of workshops at Long Beach City College for their summer photographers program that she was coordinating.

As a result of talking with Mitchell during this event last night I began thinking about my roadside remembrance memorial series featured in the LensWork Issue #74 (In Passing). The black and white version, below, was featured in my portfolio in that issue. Interestingly, this was my first photographic “project” in thinking about a related series of photographs that created a social/cultural narrative, as well as marked my transition from a classic “nature” landscape photographer to a contemporary urban landscape photographer. Perhaps my transition to street and documentary photography as well.

I have not spent very much time with this project recently and I believe my PhotoShop skills have progressed a bit since I last worked on this project. So it was time to look at a one of these images, Sunset, Nevada State Route 159, this morning. A couple of subtle tweaks and I think this color photograph, above, is looking better than ever. A secondary & synergistic take-away from last evenings discussion. You never can tell where your inner muse may kick you down the street.



Exhibition opening reception, August 10th, from 6 – 9pm for 2019 Summer Group Show, Fabrik Projects Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, which some of my work from my Memory Pods project is being shown. (update: it was a very nice reception and a great turn-out)

Update: Closing reception, Fabrik Projects, Summer Group Show, August 31st, 4pm – 6pm (adult beverages will be served).

Featured photograph; Sunset, Nevada State Route 159 (Roadside Remembrance) 2007 copyright Douglas Stockdale


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