It’s the end of another year, so it is a great time to celebrate new friends, closer relationships, accomplishments and good times. So today I am looking back at 2018 about what I had hope to accomplish in 2019; both hits and misses. Just maybe that will help looking ahead for 2020, but with the fickle finger of fate still alive and well, it may just keep me steering in the right direction.
Bombing Range/Driving Range, copyright 2019 Douglas Stockdale
I had planned to continue working on my project Gardening For Ordnance, perhaps thinking that I might either obtain a green-light to publish this project. Done! I did not make any publisher submissions, but did make my first grant submission (rejected), nevertheless moving this project forward into 2020. One of 2020 to-do’s is to update my web site with the floating images and then start making some exhibition submissions.
The big change for Gardening For Ordnance in 2019 was pre-visualizing this project as a series of diptych’s, paring the government documentation created during this military sites decommissioning with photographs of the current urban landscape. To feature the dichotomy of the military jargon (government-speak) of a dangerous heath threat with the reality of living on this ex-military training site.
A new project, Mystery on Trabuco Flats, which I was justing starting to developed as a fictional narrative, stalled. Although I did work on this project in 2019 and I still have some interesting ideas about this project, nevertheless the concept and idea, as well as the story line, requires more work as I figure out who the audience might be for this finished project. So I will allow this project to percolate a bit in 2020 and see what happens.
I planned to continue the development of my Memory Pods; Mission accomplished! Photographs from this body of work were included in two group shows at my gallery, Fabrik Projects. One exhibition was the Fabrik Projects summer group show and the second is just finishing, the Fabrik Projects Holiday Group exhibition. Nice.
One aspect of the Memory Pods project that took an interesting progressive step was my experimentation with the new Hahnemuhle Metallic coated paper with these images. That has led me to float the image on the H. Metallic (use the paper to create a border), then flush frame the printed sheet without using glass (glazing) to allow the sheen and brilliance of the resulting image to shine through. One of 2020 to-do’s is to update my web site with the floating images and then start making some exhibition submissions.
My photo book blog took a really big step to become a contemporary photography magazine in 2019, re-titled (re-born) as PhotoBook Journal. In retrospect I should have considered implementing this change a few years ago, but at that time I did not have the band-width to ensure a successful transition. With the change in 2019 we have added three book reviewers along with Gerhard Clausing, who is now the Associate Editor, four persons to the support staff, and had nine featured writers. wow.
Coming into 2019 I knew my 14 year old 17″ Epson printer was on the ropes and needed to be replaced. My one big infrastructure investment for 2019 is a new 24″ Canon Pro-2100 printer (also a failed attempt to rescue a used 13″ Canon Pro-1 printer as a potential stop gap). Color me delighted! It was time for me to size-up my printing capabilities while realizing the limitations of my small studio could not function with a 44″ wide printer. Life’s compromises.
In 2019 I worked with Medium Festival to provide a two-day weekend book development workshop last March (sold-out!), which has resulted in scheduling an extended four-day weekend workshop in March 2020 (see below). Too much book material to cover in two days and we all realized that we really do need four days; cool!
Again participated as a portfolio reviewer with Los Angeles Center of Photography this summer as well as presenting my book lecture, Photo Books as Art, to Pasadena Photographic Arts (PPA).
The very best for a creative New Year!
Next for 2020: Developing a Creative Book workshop with Medium Photo, March, 19-22, 2020, a four-day extended weekend workshop in San Diego (workshop registration is now open & my previous 2019 book workshop did sell out…just saying)