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 a 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, providing a very nice introduction and for being exemplary hosts for the evening as well as those who attended and like-wise 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 all of these. I think that is a better alternative to bringing a only a few and having too much time. 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.

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 single 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. And we were featured together in the same issue #74 of LensWork magazine, I then later reviewed her photobook Austin Val Verde and then provided a couple of workshops at Long Beach City College for their summer photographers program she was coordinating.

As a result of talking with Mitchell during this event last night I began thinking about my In Passing project featured in the LensWork Issue #74. Interestingly, In Passing 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 “nature” landscape photographer to a contemporary urban landscape photographer. I continued to work on this project after the LensWork publication and eventually the working title morphed to. become Lest I Forget.

I have not spent very much time with the Lest I Forget project 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, Route 159, Nevada, this morning. A couple of subtle tweaks and I think this 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, Route 159, Nevada (Lest I Forget) 2007 copyright Douglas Stockdale

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