Singular Images

April 25, 2019

Horns of a dilemma

Filed under: Art, Books, Photobook, Photography — Tags: — Douglas Stockdale @ 5:05 pm

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Library copyright 2019 Douglas Stockdale

I have a bit of a problem which can be brief summarized as being related to one of the principals of physics; two physical objects cannot occupy the same space at the same time. Realistically I did not need to complete my physics class to understand this principal. This issue is that my photobook library collection has continued to grow and now over-runs my studio space as well as some other places. So trying not to appear too much like a pack-rat I have found some creative alternative places to store my collection and regretfully one of those places came crashing down last night. Good news: no photobooks were damaged.

Bad news as this now relates to my dilemma as I need to decide what I want; a growing library collection or studio space to develop my artistic and book projects. One alternative is to obtain more studio space so that I can have both; duh. Bad news, a larger studio will substantially increase my expenses and I will need to relocate everything to a new space, which is a big pain and probably further from my home.

When my photobook collection was small the storage of course was not an issue; but once your collection is over a thousand books, this collection takes up a lot of wall spaces and then some. Yes, I have a few boxes of books as well.

Since my artistic endeavors are more critical to me than this collection I think the answer is going to be a downsizing of my library. Although I really enjoy almost every photobook in my collection, some much more than others, there are some books that I have not opened in over five years or more. So obviously if I am not compelled to spend time with these over that duration it might be better to find these a new home.

I have previously gifted most of my photo-technical how-to books to a San Diego College photographic department and doing something similar with a part of my collection would be a quick process to open up a lot of space. Nevertheless, I still have some concerns as I would prefer that this collection would stay somewhat intact, be accessible to the public and located near enough that if I wanted to use these as reference that these would be accessible to me as well.

A second alternative is to sell these to other collectors, which is do-able but will take a considerable amount of time. I can also use the funds to support the underlying cost of my new photobook magazine PhotoBook Journal. Which is giving me a gem of an idea; perhaps I can do a fund raising event for PhotoBook Journal with a portion of this collection? hmmm. Something to noodle while I repair the damaged storage area today. sigh.

So if you collect photobooks and are interested in purchasing some titles that I have reviewed for the PhotoBook Journal please message me; doug@douglasstockdale.com

cheers

March 30, 2019

Now a magazine publisher

Filed under: Art, Art Market, Photobook, Photography — Tags: , , — Douglas Stockdale @ 4:58 am

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Bookcase, copyright 2019 Douglas Stockdale

As readers of this photo-blog know I have self-published three artist books and two photo-technical books as well as founding the photo-book-blog The PhotoBook (most recently what become The PhotoBook Journal). Something that I have been considering for a long while is to convert the the photo-book-blog into a full blown magazine.

Recently I have been working with my Associate Editor to determine what and how we could improve the reader’s experience while we continue to investigate the published photographic (& artistic) narratives. The conclusion was moving us towards creating a magazine. My chief concern was about the amount of time this would require of me versus what it might take away from my own creative endeavors.

So I did the stuff a business guy was suppose to do for a potential new business; risk analysis, determine pros and cons, what might this business concept look like (Mission and vision statements), etc. I know that expanding this exciting venture was going to take more of my time, but I also know that I am greatly inspired by the artist and photographers and their books that I interact with. Final decision; oh well, I might just as well jump in and see if I stay float on this artistic pond! Everything I came up with really indicated that this was something I should do, thus forge on.

So a couple of days I took the first step and formed a publishing company that will be the backbone for the magazine. I also found a way to make this a bit painless by using a WordPress process pathway that maximizes most of past work and only required a few tweaks to make the transition. Done. Here is our formal magazine announcement for the PhotoBook Journal.

The good news is that I will continue to see cutting edge and exciting new books and have the opportunity to analyze their salient points when writing my book reviews. I just might be spending a bit more time taking the helm of this racing sloop. For the moment this magazine will be an on-line edition, pretty similar to what we have been doing, while we sort out if we want to publish it as a hard copy and if so, how often, etc. Okay, I will have to admit that’s pretty exciting too!

I just need to make sure that I carve out time to work on my own creative projects. And I won’t know how this will works out for a while; nevertheless the San Diego gallery submission that I was planning to do today is one I did not do. hmmmmm, I hope that does not become a trend. Instead I spent the better part of the day looking at and evaluating potential on-line magazine designs and templates for the new magazine. And I did find that to be both fun and extermely interesting; so it was just a different kind of creative excercise.

Cheers!

 

 

March 8, 2019

Middle Ground – Just Exploded at Grenade in a Jar

Filed under: Middle Ground, Photobook, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , — Douglas Stockdale @ 7:52 pm

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Middle Ground, limited edition artist book, copyright 2018 Douglas Stockdale

I am very honored and excited to announce that my limited edition artist book Middle Ground just “Exploded” at Grenade in a Jar Books in Santa Fe, New Mexico!

Grenade in a Jar Books is a curated bookshop that is focused on contemporary photobooks being run by Melanie McWhorter. If Melanie’s name appears a little familiar, that is probably because of her long previous tenure as the Book Manager of photo-eye bookstore before recently starting her new photo book venture.

It is very nice to have a new book representation with Melanie and her team at Grenade in a Jar Books and another opportunity for collectors to find my books.

Cheers!

Doug

 

February 27, 2019

Middle Ground – San Diego site morphing

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I-5 Southbound, San Diego, February 2019 copyright 2019 Douglas Stockdale

First, this is not meant to be an inspiring photograph as it’s a cell phone drive-by grab shot. Essentially a quick visual note about the evolving demolition of the I-5 middle plant divider as this freeway winds down along the Pacific Ocean coast in San Diego county.

The backstory is that this interesting freeway divider provided an unwilling subject for my artist project Middle Ground that led to my artist book of the same name. It is a wall of a different name located near the San Diego-Mexican border. My project’s intent was to look at this particular urban landscape to investigate a darker metaphoric (and political) condition. Somebody’s medieval bigly wall.

In probably six months all remnants of this vegetative, some places stunningly beautiful, plant barrier will be reduced to  bare dirt and then a series of concrete barriers will rise in its place. The character of this unique urban San Diego landscape will soon morph in to a boring sameness that extends perhaps the entire length of the I-5 freeway, from the Canadian border to Mexico.

I had not driven down this section of the I-5 into San Diego for probably five months, maybe more, so I was taken back yesterday with the new K-rails adjacent to the road way edge and the long patches of the endless string of bushes being hacked down. Maybe even shocked. The use of a decorative plant barrier to create a visual separation along this section of the I-5 freeway goes back to as far as I can remember.

Which also means that my Middle Ground project will become in short order a historical documentary of what once was in San Diego. I am pretty certain that no one else has photographed this middle section of the I-5 as it meanders through this norther section of San Diego county with as much diligence. Which was not my intent as I was unaware of these pending landscape changes to help widen the freeway to improve traffic conditions.

Change. In this case, a visually ugly change.

Best regards, Doug

Note; opps, published this without resizing the image; so a do-over for the photo above.

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February 13, 2019

Ten dollar limited edition photograph sale with book purchase!

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Ciociaria Book + Print Morolo Edition copyright 2011/2012 Douglas Stockdale

I have a really special offer; $10.00 for a limited edition archival pigment photograph Morolo when you also purchase the Ciociaria book (both for $65.00); essentially my Ciociaria Morolo Book + Print Edition. Ciociaria is a hard cover book with dust jacket published by Edizioni Punctum (printed in Rome, Italy). Both the Morolo photograph and the book are a set of matching edition numbers, both signed and numbered. This sale is limited by the small number of sets still available (Edition size is 25).

Morolo photographic image size is 8-1/2″ x 5-5/8″ on a 9-1/2″ x 8″ sheet; archival pigment print, signed and numbered on the front margin, with matching signed and numbered book. The Morolo photograph is not included within the book, so this is a unique urban landscape photograph that I created while walking through the Italian hillside community of Morolo located within the Ciociaria region.

I have been selling the Ciociaria book + print set for $150.00 and recently my photographs near this size have been selling for $150.00 at my gallery. So why this special offer? First, I have been considering a new series of book + prints and this revised  price is near my intended price for the new book + print sets. Second, and perhaps most importantly, my large-format Epson printer just died. Dead. Kaput. Goner. DOA. I need a new printer, thus I need to quickly sell some photographs to buy the new printer. I think that this is a really great reason for a special book + print sale! You get a really great print and book deal and I get to start printing again.

Limited Edition Ciociaria photograph + book set; $65.00

I can provide a PayPal invoice for the photograph + book, plus I need to include shipping and if shipped within California, I will also need to include the CA sales tax; contact me: doug@douglasstockdale.com

If you prefer just the signed book the copies are available from me, photo-eye and Arcana Book of the Arts (Culver City, CA) for $55.00 each.

Ciociaria SOVRACOPERTA.indd

Signed Ciociaria book (without signed and numbered photograph): $55.00

For more information about the hard-cover book, the portfolio is on my web site, and a nice book review on The PhotoBook Journal.

If you find that that the Ciociaria photographs are really beautiful and you would prefer a much larger limited edition photograph, please let me know and we can work out something.

Morolo_Edition

Morolo (Ciociaria)

By all means, if you have any questions, message me; doug@douglasstockdale.com

Standard Sales hype (hum your favorite commercial tune while reading the following): Remember, there are only a few of these Amazing book and photograph sets remaining, so don’t wait and miss this rare opportunity. ACT NOW!

Honestly, I really do appreciate your consideration. Thank you!

Cheers,

Doug

 

February 9, 2019

Brainstorming at PhotoLA 2019

Filed under: Art Market, Photobook, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , — Douglas Stockdale @ 7:38 am

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Studio E. R., copyright 2018 Mark Ruwedel

Last weekend I had an opportunity to participate as a panelist for a discussion about photo books during PhotoLA 2019. A subject dear to my heart. As a result, I completed the hour and half drive up to Santa Monic for three of the four days for this event, while usually I am only good for one day. You can see a lot in one afternoon at an art fair. All in all, PhotoLA was a great meeting place for a ton of LA photographers and be inspired by lots of photography; historical, modern and contemporary.

One of the reasons that I returned to PhotoLA so often this time is the work I am doing for two mentoring clients regarding their pending book designs I am working on. I wanted to dive deep at the four book publishers and one book store who were present, specifically looking for a couple of books that I had pre-visualized for my clients. While doing so, I also came across a very elegant and relatively simple hard-cove book that inspired me. Yes, I found myself dreaming about creating a new series of self-published photobooks, perhaps similar to Editions Bessard’s Zine Collection or Nazraeli Press’s One Photo Books. Both of these publishers include a small signed print with each book. hmmmm.

So I am doing a little book brainstorming and I have already created a blank book-dummy and some preliminary design notes; enough to be able to request a ball-park quote from a book printer for the printing and binding. With the printing quote, I will find out if I am in the ball-park for what I think these should sell for and if I want to proceed. Meanwhile, I already have a project selected that I will evaluate as to which photographs I might include in the book and an idea of which one will be printed and provided as a signed photograph to include with the book. So I should be able to finish the initial book-dummy shortly.

I think that this will provide some interesting possibilities. So stay tuned!

Cheers

January 1, 2019

Holiday working on my website – Middle Ground

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Alternative Crossing (Middle Ground) copyright 2017 Douglas Stockdale

This Holiday weekend I found myself working on an unexpected task; while making my end of the year posts, I wanted to link-up my various projects on my web-site. Except when I went to link up my recent artist-book project Middle Ground, this project was not on my web-site. What!!. Then it dawned on me, I was wondering what was missing when I made the recent SquareSpace transfer for my web site’s back-bone; now I know; I had not included the transfer of Middle Ground project.

I guess what I might call a Freudian-slip; spending so much time with this project recently I must have been on a bit of over-load and forgot it, OR a bit disappointed with how this book and project did not resonate as a social protest project against the Trumpian-fourth-century-barrier along the US-Mexico border (yes, think how effective the Great Wall of China was for the Chinese. Hint: it wasn’t).

So the fix is in and I now have the Middle Ground project up on my web-site; here. This will of course help a tad bit with some of my gallery and exhibition submissions that I am planning for this year ;- )

Cheers & Happy New Year!

Doug

December 18, 2018

Book workshop with Medium Festival – revised dates & special Discount available

Filed under: Art, Photobook, Projects/Series, Workshops — Tags: , , , , — Douglas Stockdale @ 9:35 pm

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Guide book-dummy, 2017 copyright Douglas Stockdale

First; my Developing a Creative Photo Book workshop dates for Medium have been changed to March 23 & 24th, 2017. Thus the workshop has moved to bit later, one weekend exactly, from what I had announced last month. This should still be a wonderful spring weekend to spend in San Diego having some creative and intense fun to help you move your artist book forward. You will have a chance to spend some quality time at our destination hotel for this event: Lafayette Hotel & Swim Club in San Diego.

Second, if you act fast and register before December 25th, 2018, you can obtain a 15% discount! Okay, actually you can obtain a 15% discount for any of the four 2019 workshops, including mine, being provided by the Medium Festival, which include Susan Burnstine’s “Developing the Personal Narrative”, Brandon Thobodeaux’s “Bridging Fine Art & Commercial Photography” and scott b. davis’s “Advance Platinum/Palladium Printing”. good stuff!

As a reminder about my workshop: The goal of this workshop is to discuss each photographer’s vision, mission and objectives for the publication of a photographic project and then to gain an understanding of how these conceptual aspects translate into a book object. Fundamental to the book development process is learning aspects of the editing, sequencing of the body of photographs and in the context of a book design to shape and narrate a story. The purpose of this workshop is to provide photographers with the building blocks to move from a complex unorganized mass of images into a refined edit and subsequently sequence to create a pre-visualization of their book concept.

Registration and more information can be found here.

Let me know if you have any questions, and please take advantage of this holiday discount. Just saying….

Cheers!

 

November 26, 2018

Website Switch up to SquareSpace

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Trabuco Flats, copyright 2018 Douglas Stockdale

For those who might have followed the link to my website these past few days probably had a bit of a visual surprise when you were greeted with a brand new home page. So while I was taking some time to evaluate how I wanted to proceed with my Trabuco Flats project, I decided it was also time to put into play something that had been bothering me for a while with PhotoShelter, the back-bone host for my domain name.

As an artist, I have a lot of photographs and art work to share and I must admit that PhotoShelter did a great job of making me look pretty good. Since I also create artist books and other publications to sell, PhotoShelter was not so hot. In fact they do not have an effective way to allow you to show the books, least help with sales. Even after I called their technical support, got the sorry story. Bummer.

It’s always been part of my game plan that I would work with small photobook stores to partner with in order to sell my books, thus I did not make the sales options for my web site as a very high priority until recently. In today’s artistbook and photobook market it seems that many, if not most, small bookstores get a constant deluge of new titles. Thus I realizing to effectively sell my books, I need to have the option(s) to be able to sell directly.

Thus I used the time to evaluate some alternative sites that might be able to host my domain name, have a great ability to show photographs and products (artist books) and the commerce infrastructure to take orders. I had evaluated SquareSpace when I made the earlier decision to go with PhotoShelter but the buzzzz seemed to point to recent changes in how SquareSpace could be developed (I am NOT a IS programmer! So it has to be pretty simple). It quickly appeared to me that SquareSpace was now a good potential to check all of my boxes.

One nice thing about SquareSpace that sucks you in is there FREE 15 day offer to develop your web site and see if it seems to work for you. Wow, what a difference in bringing all of my website parts together; easy. Perhaps even the Big Easy. Also an improvement in how they manage and subsequently display photographs and art work. Still a few quirks in how SquareSpace does things, but since I have been poking a lot of blog sites, etc for my social media, I assumed that certain things could be done; so it was just a bit of a learning curve on how to do it.

I decided on the option of having a landing page that would announce something in particular and then a big ENTER to make sure you know where to proceed. This allows me to keep the focus on an event, such as my up coming workshop with Medium Festival for Developing a Creative Book that will occur in San Diego next March 23 and 24th. I then can decide where within the website you will first subsequently land, which for now is my project Trabuco Flats. So far, so good.

Thus just before Thanksgiving my web site was pretty well designed on SquareSpace, so I decided to pull the trigger and transfers my domain name from PhotoShelter. I did not upgrade to the commerce capabilities yet as I still want to make sure that all of the things were in place and learn a little bit more about their formatting tools. I also want to poke some of the other sites on SquareSpace that use the selling tools to get some ideas of what I want to implement. Not that anybody was looking to buy my artist books for Cyber Monday!

Maybe I missed a big sales opportunity this year, but there is always next year while going slow and easy at my own pace keeps my stress levels down. I need to enjoy the day.

So I put enough hyper links in this post and if you have not taken the bait yet, then check it out now.

Cheers!

Doug

November 12, 2018

10 years of photo book inspirations

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Guide to Self-Publishing an Indie Artist Book, 2017 copyright Douglas Stockdale

As many of you know, in addition to writing this photo-blog in which I discuss my photographic projects and other odds and ends, I am also the Editor of The PhotoBook Journal. I started The PhotoBook Journal (TPBJ) shortly after starting this blog back in 2008 when I noticed that there was an extremely strong response to the book reviews of the photobooks in my personal collection. At that time there was really only one other photobook review site by Jeffery Ladd, which he has since ceased contributing to. So now 10 years have passed and we just passed the 500th photobook review! That’s a big Wowzer!!

Meantime, I have continued to acquire more photobooks in my collection, as well as receive donations (aka submissions) for consideration, photobooks that either I could not afford or not sure I would acquire. I realized that one aspect that I could provide with TPBJ is to review a broad and diverse range of International photobooks to expand the potential creative consideration for artists, photographers and collectors.

In turn this diversity of books has also inspired my photographic and photobook practice. I will also admit that writing the TPBJ has forced me to think a little clearer about the intent of a photographic project. Likewise I think the editorial responsibilities have drastically improve my writing skills; no longer an engineer writing a cut and dried specification or technical report, but now thinking of how to create an informative and inspirational narrative. Wow. I think my high school English teacher would be stunned by the transformation.

Likewise, I have been able to hold some of the most inspirational and brilliantly designed and printed photobooks that have published over the past 10 years. I also think that we have also helped to launch a few photobook artist careers, as the only prerequisite for consideration on TPBJ is a well thought out and executed photobook project. Thus many, many photobooks that personally inspire me for my own book practice; the books in my collection set the bar pretty high as well as provide some very creative alternatives. This led to Ciociaria being published by Edizioni Punctum (still available), and my three self-published limited edition artist books; Pine Lake (sold out), Bluewater Shore (just a few left) and this year, Middle Ground (still available).

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Middle Ground, published 2018, copyright Douglas Stockdale

Which in turn has lead to my photobook design workshops and subsequently to mentoring other artists, photographers, and publishers as to how to move their personal or business practices forward. Such as the photobook by Christine Kaplan, On My Walk, that I provided the book design and editing which she self-published this summer. The workshops and mentoring led to the publication last year of Guide to Self-publishing an Indie Artist Book last year & which is still available ($19.95 USD plus postage; message me if you would like a copy of this or the others doug@douglasstockdale.com)

All in all, the last 10 years has been an inspirational and wonderful ride; thanks for supporting me on this interesting artistic journey!

Cheers,

Doug

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