Singular Images

March 18, 2019

Voyage LA interview: Art & Life with Douglas Stockdale

Filed under: Art, Art Market, Memory pods, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , , — Doug Stockdale @ 5:34 pm

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untitled, Memory Pods copyright Douglas Stockdale

I am very excited and honored to announce that my interview with Voyage LA, Art & Life with Douglas Stockdale was published today. Voyage LA is an on-line magazine that collects and focuses on the people, events and places in Southern California that investigate this expansive and interesting community.

The Memory Pods image above which was posted on Instagram (@douglasstockdale) was what first attracted their attention. They had initially reposted this image on their IG and then featured the same image in another section of Voyage LA last month. Subsequently they contacted me about a potential expanded interview about my artistic practice. Why of course!

Thus I am very happy to share the resulting interview which is also another opportunity to promote my Memory Pods project. Yes, I had other plans for the morning, but as you might imagine, announcing this wonderful interview jumped to the top of my to-do list.

So check out the interview and let me know if you have any questions,

Cheers!

Doug

Btw, I was just notified that there is still one spot remaining for my book development workshop with Medium Photo for this coming weekend in San Diego. So if you were still on the bubble for attending this, still one opportunity!

January 8, 2019

Curator – Water & Ice exhibition

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untitled, (Trabuco Flats), 2018 copyright Douglas Stockdale

I just curated an on-line exhibition, “Water & Ice“, for the Photographers Exchange, a group of photographers who meet monthly at the Irvine Fine Arts Center, Irvine, California. I strived to have a broad and interesting mix of contemporary and modern images for this rather broad genre of photography. As I stated in the exhibition introduction; water is one of the classic subjects for creating metaphors, i.e. as one of the basics for life.

While making preparations to promote this on-line exhibition, it occurred to me that I have just curated the fourth in this series of exhibitions for this group, the others being ConnectionsSurvey of Contemporary Landscape and Fall Season, with the earlier three on-line exhibitions in 2018. I am planning continue curating these exhibitions thru 2019 and potentially beyond.

I guess this is helping to establish me as independent curator! Okay, a capability that I have backed into and I had not been working on by design. My first curatorial project was in 2012 for FotoGrafia Festival Internazionale di Roma, which in retrospect was a pretty interesting curatorial start as this is an International known photographic event in Italy. Nevertheless, I have not really pursued these curatorial opportunities and in retrospect, these curatorial projects are similar in process for the book judging I did for Photo Independent and the related books talks during the Photo Independent events. Which I suspect led to my 2017 guest curator spot for LA Photo Curator, creating another on-line exhibition based on my theme.

I think looking back that working on the LA Photo Curator project really laid the ground work for this series that Gerry Clausing and I are curating with the Photographers Exchange (we take turns curating every other exhibit). It is a similar in process to editing a photobook; you have a large amount of work that needs to be reduced to create a meaningful and interesting show. In my case I also want to ensure that the exhibition theme is broadly investigated and the work is diverse in how artists/photographers explore the subject. A challenge in its own right.

For the Photographic Exchange exhibitions I have also been granted the option to include my own work in what I curate (I am also a member of the Photographers Exchange), which in my case I think about what might be missing or could make the exhibit more diverse and then find something that could help fill in a potential visual gap.

So for this exhibition I selected the photograph above, an image that contained very small elements of transitional water (dew) that is present for a short time in the morning. Later in the morning with the rising sun, the dew will soon be gone and the spider’s web will be fully functional, perhaps in time to catch lunch. Perhaps there are some abstract visual qualities to this composition that I wanted to investigate as well.

Cheers,

Doug

January 7, 2019

Memory Pod exhibit sold-out; great start for 2018

Filed under: Art, Memory pods, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , , , — Doug Stockdale @ 7:00 am

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Untitled (Memory Pods) copyright 2015 Douglas Stockdale

A little more validation that my Memory Pods project is the one that I need to focus on in 2019; earlier this week when I went to my L.A. gallery (Fabrik Projects) to pick up the remaining photograph from the Holiday exhibit I was told that the last photograph had been sold earlier in the day. Wow! Apparently someone arrived while the exhibit was being taken down and they still wanted to walk the remaining exhibition. They were smitten by and purchased my last remaining photograph. Very, very nice.

My first ever sold-out exhibition!

This is a very great way to start the year and a strong validation of the Memory Pods project. As I posted earlier, I will continue to further develop this project in 2019. Appears that the gallery director really liked this body of work and perhaps I my have another solo exhibition in the works.

Over the holidays I had started to re-examine this project, such as the redevelopment of the currently untitled image in this post, above. I had photographed this still life composition in 2015 and the image had continued to hold my interest. Until recently I was unsure of how I wanted the final image to appear. Over the recent holidays I started to work on it again trying to place further emphasize on the fading and decomposing qualities of memories (memory pods) as an abstract process. I think that this is a stronger version of this photograph and more in line with my pre-visialization.

I also added a black edge border to the photograph as part of defining the limits of the image as one might think of a using a matte to outline a framed photograph. Another visual aspect to consider (yes, I also have a version of this that does not have the black border). So far, so good.

Cheers,

Doug

December 13, 2018

Annual Christmas card rite – 2018

Filed under: Art, Photography, Picture Postcards — Tags: , , , — Doug Stockdale @ 9:45 pm

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Vail, Sandstone Creek, February 2018, copyright Douglas Stockdale

It is the time of year to send out the Holiday cards, which for us is a Merry Christmas (greeting) card that also includes the best wishes for the New Year. So spoiler alert, our photo this year is not the one above. Rather this photograph was cropped into a horizontal format, posted below, for the reasons I will soon reveal.

So as I posted last year and the year before as well as the year before that, we do not live where it snows, or at least not at our home. We can see it on the distant mountain tops, but Southern California near the beach is not known for its magnificent snow fall. Rain, yes, snow, no.

Thus it is my duty that when we go visit the snow for our annal ski trip, usually in Colorado, which has lots and lots of snow, I need to make the annual Christmas card photo for the following December. If I fail to find something, then I need to dig into my past ski photographs to find an alternative. Fortunately this past February the ski conditions were great and while I was out-and-about along my favorite creeks side, I created some photographs that had great potential. I will admit, these are not my project photographs, but more in line with a fun photo assignment to bring back the “Hallmark Christmas Card Photo”. Which means it should have some lyrical potential.

One troubling aspect of having heavy snow, which is really, really great for skiing, is that everything looks pretty stark and graphic: lots and lots of white with little bits of dark. So the challenge is to find a little bit of color that I can worked on later in the studio.

So while hiking up the side of the creek I spied this little leafless bush poking out of the snow which had some potential. The resulting image was made with a (normal) 50mm f/1.4 lens on my 5DMk3 in conjunction with a tripod. The exposure was with the lens pretty wide open to allow the background to go slightly out of focus, but with enough definition to know that there is a creek back there and retain some foreground snow texture. I also like that this photograph has a hint of abstract qualities; the focused graphic lines of the branches in the foreground in conjunction with the softer lines and shapes in the background.

Why the vertical versus the horizontal format?  As you might suspect; which was the photograph format that was the best fit for the card template that I wanted to use? If I wanted one of these two alternatives of this photograph for an exhibition; I would probably go with the horizontal layout. I like the open view point of the horizontal composition and the horizontal framing feels just a bit too constricting in the way some of the outside branches are turncated. Nevertheless, the horizontal photograph looks great on the printed cards (by the way, I used Dual Graphics, Brea, CA to print these cards)

At the very bottom of this post is a photograph that I had in initially in mind for the card. A close second for this year.

Merry Christmas & the very best for the New Year!

Doug

Btw, if you enjoy these photographs and you would like to purchase a print, message me as to the sizes that are available or the size you would like to acquire.

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November 29, 2018

Fabrik Projects 2018 Holiday Pop-up

Filed under: Art, Art Market, Memory pods, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , — Doug Stockdale @ 4:45 am

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Loss, Memory Pods, 2014 copyright Douglas Stockdale

I will have a couple of framed photographs on exhibit at Fabrik Projects for the month of December as part of their “2018 Holiday Pop-up”. This is a group show that will feature artwork that is reasonably priced for the holidays. My photographs are from my Memory Pod series, and Loss, above,  recently garnering an Honorable Mention at IFAC’s “All Media” exhibition.

The exhibition opening reception is this Saturday, from 6pm to 9pm at the gallery, located at 2636 South La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles, California and the exhibition extends through the end of December.

Joining me for this group exhibition are a diverse group of artists, including Amadea Bailey, Yuri Boyko, J.T. Burke, Jessie Chaney, Martin Cox, Betsy Enzensberger, Cia Foreman, Astrid Francis & Bob Francis, Rob Grad, Sarah Hadley, Maureen Haldeman, JJ L’Heureux, Elizabeth Kitchen, Brandon Kusher, Patrick Ramsey, SameSource, Marilyn Sanders, Linda Stelling, Jane Szabo, Sharon Weiner, Glen Wexler and Nancy Wise.

Let me know if you would like more information about these photographs.

Cheers!

Doug

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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

November 1, 2018

Book workshop with Medium Festival of Photography

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Guide book dummy, 2017 copyright Douglas Stockdale

I am very excited to announce that I will be providing my Photo Book Design Workshop in conjunction with the Medium Festival of Photography next March 23 & 24th (rescheduled, was 16 and 17th), 2019. This two day workshop will take place in San Diego at the Lafayette Hotel & Swim Club. A great location to be in March.

You can register now at: https://www.mediumsandiego.org/developing-a-creative-photo-book/

This two-day Workshop is an opportunity for artists and photographers currently working on or planning to start a project that will result in a book publication. Whether you plan to make book submissions to a publisher or self-publish your artist book, this workshop is meant to help you create a book that meets your vision.

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.

I hope you can join me for a fun and intense two days learning the basics of book development and how this will help you move your project forward. Likewise, the editing and sequencing methodology you will learn is equally applicable to creating a strong review portfolio or organizing a gallery submission.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Cheers!

 

September 17, 2018

Mystery on the Plano Trabuco – rough edit in progress

Filed under: Art, Photography, Projects/Series, Trabuco Flats Mystery — Tags: , , — Doug Stockdale @ 7:28 pm

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California Buckwheat, Plano Trabuco, 2018 copyright Douglas Stockdale

Have I ever stated that developing a new photobook is a messy process? I am sure I have, because it is.

I am still in the beginning states of this my new project Mystery on the Plano Trabuco, having just finishing the initial rough edit of the images (about 140 images culled out), while still doing some investigative work on the book design I have pre-visualized and concurrently developing my artist statement that I would hope elegantly describes my artistic intent.

My first rough edit is to select which images I think support my book’s intent and these have not had any image adjustments made yet. Now I have start the second phase of the rough edit by tweaking each if these photographs as to contrast, tonality, and image content by adding adjustment layers and image cropping. At this point I also am starting my printing process; smaller prints on 8-1/2 x 11″ for the book layout and sequencing and from lessons learned, also printing a 16 x 20″ image on a 17 x22″ sheet.

A case in point, for the image above, California Buckwheat, the image I posted on IG is brighter and reveals a lot of details in the shadows. After evaluating the initial printing, the image seemed too high key for my narrative, thus I added an adjustment layer and reduced the contrast and darkened the shadows to create what I think is a much moodier and somber appearing photograph that might be more in line with a mystery. Okay, maybe I am trying to create a mysterious photograph as well.

What I also check at this stage is the image layouts of the rough edit, which is surprising to me; as the 6:4 ratio of horizontal images to vertical images (square images are a much smaller minority and can work with all most any book layout). In past projects, I have created 80% or more horizontal images, such as Ciociaria and 100% horizontal for Middle Ground. I guess I was expecting a greater amount of horizontal images in how I was pre-visualizing the book design.

My advice in my workshops is to “listen” to your photographs as to what format your photobook might look like as to it’s layout. So this ratio of horizontal to vertical images invites maybe three book dummy layout options; a horizontal, a vertical and a square design to test these images. If I had 80% + horizontal or vertical photographs, then this might be more of a no-brainer. Another factor is a design element I have pre-visualized for this project that might lean into the layout and may also create the need to re-photograph some of the things I have found. Fun, fun, fun!

Cheers

Doug

September 12, 2018

Introduction to PhotoBook Design – October LACP workshop

Filed under: Art, Art Market, Books, Photobook, Workshops — Tags: , , , , — Doug Stockdale @ 4:36 pm

Introduction to Photo Book Design with Douglas Stockdale (Two sessions)

Introduction to Photo Book Design workshop

Los Angeles Center for Photography

Next month, October 7th and 14th, I will be repeating my popular two-day workshop in conjunction with the Los Angeles Center for Photograph (LACP). This workshop focuses on the fundamental development of a book; understanding the artists intent and how that then translates into a book object in the editing, sequencing and layout of the book supported by the book’s design attributes.

The two-day goal of the workshop is for each person to leave with a first rough draft of their book dummy of their personal photographic project. I will provide both creative and practical book design options and project critiques to help those attending to move their book publication forward.

After a morning of studying limited edition artists’ books, trade books and zines, the remainder of the first morning will be spent understanding each artist/photographers publishing objectives. Subsequently I will include discussions on the elements of book design, essence of project editing, image editing and sequencing, the purpose of a physical book-dummy, concluding with a hands-on fabrication of a saddle-stitch dummy book/zine.

The second session delves further into the book dummy development and includes discussions about the business elements of (self/indie) publishing a book, critical book production elements and making a publisher submission. The remainder of the day students will continue working on the development of their dummy book as a collaborative project as well as some one-on-one time with each participant.

The feedback I have received over the years is this workshop has been critical to many artist and photographers for their publishing success; helping provide clarity on their project and providing creative book design options. So whether you are developing your very first book or your book project is one of many, I think you will find our time together to be really inspiring.

I hope you can join me for this fun and yet intensive workshop.

This workshop is being held at the LACP facilities: 1515 Wilcox Ave, Los Angeles, CA

Let me know if you have any questions,

Cheers!

 

September 8, 2018

New project about found shallow grave sites

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OC county park, September 8 2018 copyright Douglas Stockdale

I had stated in my Summer 2018 update earlier this week that I had found what the local OC Sheriff’s office is calling a “shallow grave” that falls under their category of “suspicious circumstances”. Although I am not a photo-journalist, I have now decided that perhaps this site and surrounding area might be a potential project, perhaps taking an inspiration cue from the artist books created by the Russian artist Julia Borissova, such her book Dimitry.

Thus the start of a new project, with the working title Mystery on the Plano Trabuco. So more about this project and potential artist book shortly. Meanwhile, some new events have changed things a bit about this site.

So yesterday I checked with the OC Sheriff’s office and found out that they were not going to investigate what I had found any further. Being the curious type, I went back to this shallow grave this morning to see what might be have occurred there. Hmmmm. No digging or other others probing of this site. So while there, I might take a few more photographs for my new project.

So while walking around to create a large environmental context for this site, I found a SECOND site of what appears just like the first; another old, collapsed shallow grave. YIKES!!

I could not believe its. Another one! Looking like I was going to be making another call to the OC Sheriff. Then I stated thinking, if two, maybe more?? So I started a very wide criss-cross walking pattern over this field. With the early morning light and the long shadows, I discovered another FOUR. WTF! Now SIX of these.

Diffidently need to call the OC Sheriff’s again. Wow, wow, wow.

So I made another call to the OC Sheriff and they wanted to see these additional sites, so another walk in the field to show the officers what I had found. They really only wanted to see two more to confirm there are multiple sites in this field. They also shared that they have already had the cadaver dogs run this field and did not get any “hits”. So appears that this is curious, but that the OC Sheriff’s are probably not going to do anything further, even with the fact there are six of these suspicious old collapsed shallow gave sites. Btw, what I also realized after the fact; the third of these sites I showed the officers was NOT one I found earlier today, so that takes it up to SEVEN of these sites in this field. Wow! And the Sheriff’s office does not appear that they are going to do anything further. hmmmmm.

Okay, that really confirms for me that there is a Mystery on the Plano Trabuco!

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