Singular Images

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

 

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

May 10, 2018

Artist book making: now fully engaged!

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Books in Boxes, Middle Ground/En Medio Tierra 2018 Douglas Stockdale

After meeting with the Dual Graphs pre-press team to provide the final tweaks and approval of the art work, the job went to the press. I also did a quick assembly of the hard copy prints to create a trial book dummy just to really, really sure that everything was going to plan.

Well my book not only has gone to press, I also picked up the various boxes of sheets and covers to start my self-publishing book production! Earlier this week I drove up to Dual Graphics in Brea to pick up my printed book parts that I would be using to hand make my limited edition artist book Middle Ground/En Medio Tierra. I was taken back a bit when the guy at will-call pointed at a pallet of boxes and stated that it was my print job. Fortunately it was a small pallet and I was able to load all of the boxes into my SUV.

I then laid out the 11 boxes of the leporello book parts along with two versions of the cover in sequence in the garage. wow.  Then after a quick inspection of the printed sheets, I brought these into the house and set up my book “production line” in the dining and living room. With a book interior that stretches out over 21 feet, I needed all of that space for this book binding effort.

It is taking a little while to hand glue each of the leporello connections for each book. So this might turn out to be my month of May project. Yesterday, I took two of the first books up to Fabrik Projects in order that they have a finished book to show and take orders, if not sell these. I am working on the next batch for the artist opening on Saturday evening and then start filling the book orders.

Yes, the book is still available and if you are interested, I will still cover the US shipping cost and part of the International shipping cost. So here (again) are the artist book publication details:

Self-published, publication date; May 2018 (concurrent with exhibition at Fabrik Projects, Los Angeles, CA)

Stiff covers with flap-over French fold, Leporello book design

Pages: 66 pages (blank verso)

Photographs: 31 Images, color

Printing: 4 color lithographic printing

Leporello binding: hand-bound by the artist

Book design and layout by the artist

Artist book, edition size 99 + 5 A/P

Book trim size: 6-1/2” x 8-1/4” (165mm x 210mm)

Acknowledgements & Colophon, without essays, captions or pagination

Cover paper: 18 pt C1s Tango

Interior paper: 80# GPA Uncoated Text

Text: English and Spanish

Retail price: $59.50 USD

So ping me if you are interested in a copy of this edition! doug@douglasstockdale.com

Cheers!

May 4, 2018

Middle Ground/En Medio Tierra – Trial Proof

Filed under: Art, Books, Middle Ground, Photobook, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , , — Douglas Stockdale @ 10:26 pm

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Middle Ground/En Medio Tierra book binding 2018 copyright Douglas Stockdale

After spending the morning at Dual Graphics looking at the hard proofs earlier this week, I returned with three interior sets to develop a couple of Trial Proofs (T/P) of the assembled artist book.  FYI, the T/P is a version that is made during the developmental stage but which the printing is not right yet, a term from the printmaking practice when a plate is inked and then proofed to see if the resulting image is acceptable. When the resulting image is acceptable and ready to print, this would be an Artist Proof (A/P).

This also gave me an opportunity to practice my gluing technique so that I did not totally screw up the appearance of a book. One take away; this is going to be a slow process. The second? This might also be the last leporello artist book I assemble! It’s going to really look awesome, but what a pain to get everything just right. sigh.

Why it’s an artist book, as each one is going to have some unique differences.

We also decided to exhibit in the gallery my extended book dummy, all 21 feet, as a unique work of art. Then hang underneath the book dummy a finished edition book. This should look pretty cool. The team at the gallery are doing the final print and book hanging today. I dropped off prints and books yesterday, but the walls of the gallery were still being prepped for painting from the last exhibition.

Opening tomorrow: Fabrik Projects, 2636 S. La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles

Exhibition: May 5th – June 2nd

Artist reception: Saturday, May 12th, 6 – 8pm

Artist book is still available for purchase from me.

Looking forward to seeing the exhibition!

Cheers,

Doug

May 2, 2018

Pre-press for Middle Ground/En Medio Tierra today

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Pre-press, light table, Dual Graphics 2018 copyright Douglas Stockdale

Things are moving at a crazy speed and seems like I am juggling chain saws.

This morning I was at Dual Graphics, the SoCal book printer that I am working with for the printing, trimming and folding of my artist book Middle Ground/En Medio Tierra. We are at the hard-proof step as part of the pre-press process and now the interior pages and covers have been on press for a short run and my evaluation.

It was apparent immediately to me that the blacks needed to be punched; too much details revealed in the shadows, thus losing some of the moodiness that I want these photographs to have. I brought with me a set of match-prints off my Epson printer and left these with the pre-press manager to provide more guidance. He did not see any issues with adjusting the printing plates and laying the ink to provide a close match.

He then headed out with these match prints to start this printing job. My book printing will not actually be run until later tonight and into the weekend, but I did not see any reason to be on-press with the printer. I spent enough time this morning with both the pre-press guy who does the shop floor color management and the printing  production manager. They get it.

We folded one of the hard proofs to verify the width of the book’s spine was appropriate and the cover appears to need no further changes; looking good!

Now I am back in the studio binding the three hard proofs, which will become Trial Proofs (T/P), in as the color is not spot on and being adjusted for the press run. Nevertheless, these T/Ps can be used as display copies at the Fabrik Projects gallery for the exhibition opening this Saturday to continue taking book orders. Btw, did I mention that my artist book is now available for pre-order??

Okay, now back into the studio to glue and bind some leporello books.

Cheers!

April 24, 2018

Middle Ground/En Medio Tierra – Pre-order now

Filed under: Art, Books, Middle Ground, Photobook, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , — Douglas Stockdale @ 6:40 pm

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Middle Ground/En Medio Tierra (book dummy) 2018 Douglas Stockdale

I am very excited to announce that I am now ready to accept pre-orders for my artist book Middle Ground/En Medio Tierra! The books will be ready to ship by the middle to end of next month. As I shared before (transparency!); I am doing the binding and it may take me a little while to do all of the binding for each of these artist books.

So here are the artist book publication details:

Self-published, publication date; May 2018 (concurrent with exhibition at Fabrik Projects, Los Angeles, CA)

Stiff covers with flap-over French fold, Leporello book design

Pages: 66 pages (blank verso)

Photographs: 31 Images, color

Printing: 4 color lithographic printing

Leporello binding: hand-bound by the artist

Book design and layout by the artist

Artist book, edition size 99 + 5 A/P

Book trim size: 6-1/2” x 8-1/4” (165mm x 210mm)

Acknowledgements & Colophon, without essays, captions or pagination

Cover paper: 18 pt C1s Tango

Interior paper: 80# GPA Uncoated Text

Text: English and Spanish

Retail price: $59.50 USD

I can process your book orders through Paypal. Until May 5th, for those in the United States, the price will include my shipping costs. For Europe, I need to add an additional $15 to the cost of the book (if it turns out that it is more, I will absorb it).

Note: since the book will not been printed until next week, the book images are from my book-dummy.

Cheers!

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Douglas_Stockdale_Middle_Ground-En_Medio_Tierra_1

Douglas_Stockdale_Middle_Ground-En_Medio_Tierra_2

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April 1, 2018

Kickstarter, GoFundMe or ??

Filed under: Art Market, Books, Middle Ground, Photobook — Tags: , — Douglas Stockdale @ 9:48 pm

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Middle Ground, book dummy 2018 copyright Douglas Stockdale

So while my Canon 5D Mk3 is undergoing “flange back” repairs at Canon, I will have some time this week (hopefully repairs complete this Friday) to evaluate some fund raising alternatives to produce Middle Ground.

The big-daddy of book fund-raising appears to be Kickstarter with it’s all-or-nothing process. Seems like the big contender to Kickstarter is GoFundMe with it’s process of you get what-ever you can raise. Both have various fees, so that has to be taken into account for the amount being raised, so if I up the ante by 10%, I should have the fund-raising expenses mostly covered.

I will have to admit that since I will do the binding of Middle Ground book the actually printing expenses for a small volume leporello book are not that bad. Nevertheless, pre-selling the book to have most of the expenses covered is nice. Likewise, both of these programs might also broaden my presence and open some new book and print markets for me.

I have been following a couple of recent photobook Kickstarter projects (I will also have a couple of really nice photobooks as a result) which have recently been fully funded. This gives me an indication of what incentives and rewards seem to work better than others.

I cannot start a Kickstarter program until I obtain the 5DMk3 and it’s capability to provide HD video, which an info-video appears to be a necessary part of Kickstarter. I might need some help with making this info-video as well, so something else to noodle this week.

The GoFundMe from what I have seen are individuals liking what you are doing and then supporting you get there, with a lot of social driven causes. What I don’t see in most of the GoFundMe projects are any kind of rewards, e.g. books and prints, for your donation such as you find on Kickstarter. So having rewards might be an alternative if I were to go that route.

I have been reviewing some other artist fund-raising programs, but most of these do not appear to help the sponsor achieve their financial investment goals. Not a great prospect for investing the time.

So I have the week to work on this fund-raising strategy, which pushes out my publishing date a little bit.

Cheers!

March 25, 2018

Middle Ground Book-dummy #4 – ditto

Filed under: Books, Middle Ground, Photobook, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , — Douglas Stockdale @ 3:31 pm

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Middle Ground, Book-dummy #4 2018 copyright Douglas Stockdale

Last weekend during my LACP mini-seminar on photo book development using my book-dummy #4 for the Middle Ground project, this book design really gelled for me. It was now time to move forward to the next phase; book printing. Fortunately Craig Evans, my printer representative for Dual Graphics, was also exhibiting at the LACP event so we had an opportunity to meet and allow me to discuss the final design tweaks with him.

Evans asked me to make a second copy of the book-dummy #4 (affectionately called “Ditto), and add post-it notes for reference to what was going where. He suggested to plan to meet up later in the week and bring my pre-press image files. I was ready to move from a physical book-dummy to the e-design (probably InDesign) in preparation for going on-press.

After assembling and gluing the previous book-dummy’s, I was pleasantly surprised that Ditto came to life relatively quick. I am still learning the ropes about binding a leporello book, but I feel that I am coming up the learning curve.

Thus week I completed the pre-press image file changes: sized each digital file to the image size for the printed page (now termed a plate) at 300 dpi, converted to sRGB from AdobeRGB and saved as high quality JPEG image (quality 12), and then labeled as to which plate number for the book printing.

I also prepared the draft Colophon as one of the few text pages, as well as the interior title page. As stated previously, I may only have the book title printed on the book’s spine. Now time for a little consideration as to the appearance of the back cover;s exterior, which might just repeat my name and web site at the bottom. All of this was delivered yesterday to Evans.

Next step in preparation for the printing is to have the InDesign completed and reviewed as a soft-proof PDF. Still a bit more to do, but getting a whole lot closer!

Reminder: Let me know if you want to be placed on my growing interest list (doug@douglasstockdale.com) for Middle Ground. More news about the final price and fund raising campaign shortly!

Cheers!

March 11, 2018

Middle Ground – Revised edit – again

Filed under: Books, Middle Ground, Photobook, Projects/Series — Tags: , , — Douglas Stockdale @ 9:38 pm

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Middle Ground, revised edit, March 2018 copyright Douglas Stockdale

At this point the realist side (aka the practical engineer) of my personality is kicking in. While I would really, really like to have a large commercial (trade) photobook of the leporello design published, I am not sure that I can obtain the financing for this book in advance of its printing. I have been thinking about a Kickstarter program to make the trade book happen and while that idea is still lurking, I am now working on a scaled down version of this project, both in book size and book quantity, that I can self-publish.

Which is leading to the development of my Middle Ground book dummy #4 that I hinted at earlier. The edit for this new dummy is a work in progress, see photo above. I have the maximized size of the book from the printer for a digital litho printed leporello book, essentially six pages per blank, with a small end tab for the binding process. The trim size is now 7-7/8″ wide x 6-1/2″ high. This will provide a very nice image size and when the leporello is fully opened, the pages will extend about 15 feet, still an impressive length.

To reduce the printing cost I have redesigned the book with one photograph per page (printed on front side only of the leporello), for a total page count of 66 pages from the previous 132 pages for the trade book. The main reason for the new edit is that instead of viewing one image at a time there will be two images per spread and I need to consider the interplay of the paired images. The overall sequence is thus slightly modified but I have the same visual intent of the progression.

For the revised photobook my intent now is to self-publish a limited edition artist book, with the edition size of 99 books, plus artist proofs and a few extra for advertising and display copies. To keep the costs in line, I will be performing the hand binding for the leporello, which means there are 11 glue joints that I need to perform to complete each book. To ensure that the leporello lays correctly, this will be a slow and tedious process, which means that the book cost will not really reflect that amount of my labor going into each book, but each book will be personal and probably a bit unique as a result. This book binding process will take a good bit of time, so I need to decide to do all of the binding before I start shipping or ship the books as I make them, probably a couple of books per day?

Let me know if you want to be placed on the now growing interest list (doug@douglasstockdale.com) for my Middle Ground bookIf you can help me network for potential exhibitions (pop-up, weekend, month long), I would really, really appreciate that very much!! (expect this to part of my update to be repeated very often!)

Cheers!

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