SoCal PhotoExchange

Photo Book as Art – Artist talk and discussion of Middle Ground

Posted in Books & Magazines, Photo Art Business, Photo books, Photography, tPE members by douglaspstockdale on February 23, 2018

middle_ground_leporello_bookdummy2_america

America (Middle Ground Book dummy #2) 2016 copyright Douglas Stockdale

For those on the left coast next week, I am very happy to announce that I will be speaking on “Photo Books as Art” for the Photographic and Digital Artist Group (PADA) at the Palos Verdes Art Center (PVAC) on Wednesday, February 28, 2018 at 7 pm. For non-members there is a $10.00 fee, with the good news is that you will also be in the drawing for one of my photobooks.

Additionally this will be the first opportunity I will have to introduce my current photobook project, Middle Ground, a political satire (political protest book).

The PADA announcement:

DOUGLAS STOCKDALE TO SPEAK ON “PHOTOBOOKS AS ART” at PVAC WEDNESDAY, FEB 28
Douglas Stockdale, artist, educator, mentor and founding publisher of The PhotoBook Journal will give photographers tips on using photobooks as a way of presenting their portfolios and as works of art in themselves at the Palos Verdes Art Center (PVAC) on Wednesday, February 28, 2018 at 7 pm. At this meeting, sponsored by the Photographic and Digital Artists Group (PADA), Stockdale will review selections by the editors of The PhotoBook Journal for their “Interesting Photo Books for 2017”. 

The books to be discussed will be available at the presentation and can be previewed on The PhotoBook Journal website

Admission to this event for non-PADA members is $10 and automatically enters the ticket holder in a drawing for one of the speaker’s books.

Two of Stockdale’s limited edition artist books were recognized, respectively, as one of the Best Photography Books for 2017 and 2014. He has curated/juried photobook exhibitions for Photo Independent and Fotografia Internazionale di Roma, Rome, and co-curated with 10×10 Photobooks and FotoBookFestival Kassel (Germany) and was a guest curator for LA Photo Curator.

The PhotoBook Journal Features & promotes photographers & artists & their published work

Hope to see you there.

 

Cheers!

Doug

Minor White’s Zone System Manual revisited

Posted in Photo techniques, Photography by douglaspstockdale on February 20, 2018

Minor_White-Zone_System_Manual_cover

Minor White Zone System Manual, Fourth printing, copyright 1972 with 19% Gray card

Earlier this month when discussing the Pentax Spotmeter V, I had stated that this was a pretty essential piece of photographic equipment when using the Zone System. I have received some questions about the Zone System and I thought it might be a great idea to expand on what the Zone System is as well as what it is NOT.

First the easy part; the Zone System does not do the thinking for you. As the late Ansel Adams and Minor White stated the Zone System is an enabling technology that allows the photographer to achieve the results that they would like to see in the finish print/image, which in the 1960’s and 70’s is called previsualization. If a photographer wanted certain areas in the photograph print (image) to have some texture/information, it enables them to make an exposure that will exhibit that texture/information in the final print (image).

Adams tried to explain the theory behind the Zone System which became too technical and complicated and it was later that the late Minor White broke it down into the simple terms that belie the basic ideas of the Zone System. To underline the simplicity was White’s famous little yellow Zone System Manual. As you can see of my cover above, the price in 1972 was pretty inexpensive (and I bought it for an even cheaper price at what is now Costco). The one issue with this older book is that it is a perfect bound (glued) book with many of the pages falling out; so it remains togther in my zip-lock plastic baggie.

The Zone System is about understanding light and luminescence (reflected light) such that in bright sunlight, the luminescence range that your eye can detect is broader than the sensitivity of either analog film or a digital sensor. As example for digital capture, if you have a sunny day and your image capture has highlights that are blown out (no texture or complete white-out), then you understand the need for exposure control. The Zone System is essentially the color management system of its day.

What Adams and Fred Archer did in the late 1930’s is evaluate the luminescence scale is in ten steps; from white without texture (Zone 10) to black without texture (Zone 1). The 18% Gray card is Zone 5, right in the middle, which is also the same value your meter, whether digital capture or an analog Spotmeter reads. If you have ever photographed a large area of white snow, but obtain a middle gray (muddy appearing) photograph/image, you may now understand why. Your digital sensor thought that it was metering 19% gray subject and auto exposed to provide that image contrast range.

The real idea behind the Zone System and previsualization is to have an ability to take light meter readings of a proposed composition, understand the luminescence of the brightest area that you wanted to retain some texture (information) as well as the darkest area of texture, then calculate what your exposure should be. For analog black and white film there are some additional processing tricks to either obtain expansions (the subject’s contrast was too limited) or contractions (the subject’s contrast was too great) of the film’s development to attempt to match the intended final darkroom print, as well as some processing tricks to expand or contract the contrast of the printing paper.

The equivalent for digital photography is to look at the histogram of the image capture and then make a determination to either adjust the exposure or anticipate making some post-processing contrast adjustments with software like Photoshop (i.e. curve layer). As stated above, the digital sensors are very sensitive with bright lights and can lose information, even with shooting RAW, so you might error on a slight underexposure to capture the highlight values. For analog black & white film, the opposite is true, there is a potential to lose detail in the dark values of a negative, thus a tendency to slightly overexpose the film to make sure that the dark values are captured by the film.

If you are having issues with your film or digital capture exposures and you are not getting your intended image results (what you had previsualized), then you might want to spend some time understanding the basics behind the Zone System.

Cheers!

Minor_White-Zone_System_Manual_1

Minor_White-Zone_System_Manual_2

Minor_White-Zone_System_Manual_3

 

Douglas Stockdale – Guide to Self-Publishing an Indie Artist Book

Posted in Photo Art Business, Photo books, Photography by Gerhard Clausing on November 3, 2017

00-guide douglas stockdale.jpg

Author and Principal Photographer:  Douglas Stockdale (born Butler, PA; resides Rancho Santa Margarita, CA)

Publisher: Self-published; first edition, first printing of 400; copyright © 2017

Text: English

Stiff-cover saddle-stitched book of 40 numbered pages with 14 images on several types of paper; 7.5×9 inches; full-color digital lithography, printed by Dual Graphics, Brea, California; $19.95 plus shipping ($4.50 in US & $15.00 USD other countries)

Book Design: Douglas Stockdale and Craig Evans – Text Editor: Gerhard Clausing – Cover Photograph: Scott Mathews

Notes: This book had its debut at the Medium Festival of Photography on October 26, 2017, and was received with great enthusiasm. It is a detailed guide to help the artist through all the steps and considerations to keep in mind when thinking about and executing an independently published artist book.

Douglas Stockdale, editorial founder of The PhotoBook Journal and our SoCal PhotoExchange, who has been our guide through many artistic and publishing intricacies which he has discussed in hundreds of book reviews and articles, really gets to the point in this publication. Fortunately, his collaborator and sponsor in this venture is the renowned printing and communications company Dual Graphics in Brea, California, which already assisted Ansel Adams in artfully transferring his photography to print many years ago.

Doug certainly practices what he preaches. As a successful mentor and leader of workshops dealing with planning, producing, and marketing photo books, and as an author of a number of them himself (In Passing, Ciociaria, Pine Lake, Bluewater Shore), he is able to lay out logical and creative patterns for planning and doing artist books that are designed to help artists avoid many possible pitfalls that he has observed over time. The discussion is divided into five stages, which also constitute the chapters of this book:

  1. Book Pre-Visualization
  2. Marketing (including funding and fundraising)
  3. Book Development (including editing, sequencing the images, and making a book “dummy”)
  4. Book Design (and options)
  5. Book Production

Just to name one very important consideration, this Guide introduces marketing issues early in the process, rather than at the end, as others have done, since marketing information and decisions are integral to all other considerations that follow. Doug also devotes important space to the topics of selecting and sequencing the images to be included in an artist book, a topic that is sketchy in other guides on publishing your own artist book. There are many other planning considerations that he discusses to help the reader untangle potential difficulties.

Another fascinating feature of this book, extremely useful and exclusive, is the addition of sample pages of several different types of paper on which the same color and monochrome images are printed, so that the effect of printing on papers with different surfaces and characteristics can be seen. While the images below are no substitute for getting the actual book and studying the printing on the actual paper, they allow you to begin to see some differences. This feature alone is worth more than the cost of the book, as it is the best demonstration for working closely with a top-notch printing company, and to alert the potential maker of an artist book to all the details that can make a huge difference. There are also detailed descriptions of the papers included, as well as definitions of many terms that make the artist more knowledgeable when dealing with the printing and binding options. Needless to say, the author’s style is to the point, easy to read, and not filled with unnecessary technical jargon.

This book is highly recommended, especially if you are not sure about doing an artist book. The overview and the details provided here will help you understand and appreciate the process and will serve as a checklist to guide you through the entire process when you have made the decision to go through with it.

Gerhard Clausing

01-guide douglas stockdale.jpg02-guide douglas stockdale.jpg

03-guide douglas stockdale

04-guide douglas stockdale

05-guide douglas stockdale.jpg

06-guide douglas stockdale.jpg

 

 

The Photographer’s Guide to Marketing and Self-Promotion

Posted in Photo Art Business, Photo techniques, Photo Workshops, Photography by douglaspstockdale on October 18, 2017

The_Photographers_Guide_to_Marketing_cover

Maria Piscopo – The Photographer’s Guide to Marketing and Self-Promotion

Publisher: Allworth Press (NY), Fifth Edition, copyright 2016

While developing my Marketing Your Photo Book workshop for LACP (Note: this one-day workshop has space available, Oct 29th, at LACP) I came across Maria Piscopo’s The Photographer’s Guide to Marketing and Self-Promotion. Since this title was in its fifth edition I figured that this book has stood the test of time and photographer have kept buying it and thus might be worth checking out. What I anticipated was this is a generalist guide for a broad spectrum of photographers, not specific to the needs of artist and photographers who were marketing a small niche product like a self-published book.

My background includes graduate level marketing classes that was part of my focus while I was getting my M.B.A.  Since that course work was even more general maybe Piscopo’s book might help with some photographic market specifics that I might not be aware of. Last, this might make an interesting reference book for those attending my workshop.

Well it turns out that Maria Piscopo’s book is intended entirely for professional photographers while the fine art market is treated as a side-line and provided a short chapter in the back of the book. I had expected a little better organization of the content, but at least many of the parts for a Marketing program appear to be present.

Much of this book is about the very business basics (and I do mean basics) of professional photography; business licenses, business ethics, getting organized, using a computer (e.g. bookkeeping), and an introduction to how to use the internet for event, wedding, and commercial. Writing a Marketing plan does not occur until almost the end of the book, something I might think would be the first thing to consider for a Marketing book. Which is to say, this book is not a very good guide for Marketing and you might be better off with a college basic Marketing text book.

If on the other hand you are very new to having your own business and have not done this before,  yet you think you might want to be a professional photographer, this book might be of some help to make sure you have most of your business bases covered. This will not be a reference book for my Book Marketing workshop and not to say that occasionally there are some little gems buried in the book, just finding these can be more frustrating that what it is worth to me. It might be ideal for you.

Best regards,

Douglas Stockdale

Douglas Stockdale – two photographic book workshops with LACP

Posted in Books & Magazines, Photo Art Business, Photo Workshops, Photography, tPE members by douglaspstockdale on April 24, 2017

Photo_book_marketing-book-fair

Marketing Your Photo Book Copyright 2016/7 Douglas Stockdale

I am very excited to announce that I will be providing two more photobook workshops in partnership with LACP (Los Angeles Center for Photography) at their Los Angeles facilities later this year. Both have a 20% early-bird sign up until May 26th.

Marketing Your Photo Book – This is a one-day workshop being held on Saturday, July 22nd. This workshop is is intended for photographers who are preparing to publish their work in book form, whether self-publishing or working with an established book publisher, and will provide creative and practical approaches to marketing their photo book.

The morning will be spent understanding your publishing objectives and how that translates to a marketing plan. This will include discussing the basic elements of a marketing plan; what is being published and sold, who might purchase it, where to sell it, how to price it and how and when to promote it. Issues to be discussed include; how soon to start working on a plan, book economics and buyers price points, buy or create a mailing list, selling self-published books, and do’s and don’ts of using social media and web sites. During the workshop, I am planning a series of breakout sessions to enable development of each person’s specific marketing plan for their book.

Introduction to Photo Book Design – This Fall (October 1 and 8th), I will be repeating my popular two-day workshop that focuses on the development of each person’s book dummy for their personal photographic project and provides both creative and practical book design options.

After a morning of studying limited edition artists’ books, trade books and zines, the remainder of the first session will be spent understanding students’ publishing objectives and how that translates to a book object. This will include time discussing the elements of book design and the purpose of a book-dummy, concluding with a hands-on fabrication of a saddle-stitch dummy book/zine. The second session delves into the business elements of (self) publishing a book and photo book production. The remainder of the day students will continue working on the development of their dummy book as a collaborative project.

I hope you can join me as these are intense, yet fun, workshops.

The workshops are being held at the LACP facilities: 1515 Wilcox Ave, Los Angeles, CA

Let me know if you have any questions,

Cheers!

LACP Spring Open House

Ciociaria SOVRACOPERTA.indd

Ciociaria published by Punctum Press, Rome, Italy

For those on the Left Coast, Los Angeles Center for Photography (LACP) is having a Spring Open House on March 18 & 19th, 2017 at their L.A. facility; 1515 Wilcox Ave., Los Angeles, California.

Over the two days there will be a series of events (see below) during which I have been asked to participate on Saturday to host a table of my personal photobooks, including Ciociaria and my artist book Pine Lake. Probably also have a portfolio as well. Nice!

And of course I will be discussing my Introduction to Photo Book Design workshop that begins on April 1st at LACP. I have told that there are a few remaining spots still available for this dynamic  two-Saturday workshop.

LACP Spring Open House:

Featuring on Saturday, March 18

NOTE: Saturday (not Sunday) is entirely FREE and open to the public. RSVP is not required.

Schedule:
10 am – Doors Open
11 am – Screening of the Robert Frank documentary film Don’t Blink. RSVP your seat to info@lacphoto.org. (Seating limited to 60. Outside of that standing room only.)
12:45 pm – Short presentations/demonstrations by various vendors
2-5 pm – Portfolio and book walk featuring the work of LACP Members

Throughout the day:
• Silent auction fundraiser to support LACP (preview images here: https://lacphoto.org/gallery/images-up-for-auction-2017/)
• Used photo equipment for sale (printers, darkroom equipment and more)
• Rare collector photo books for sale (some signed by artist)
• Various organizational vendors including ASMP Los Angeles, APA Los Angeles, Freestyle, Blurb, KEH Camera, The Artist Corner, The Impossible Project and Photo Independent/Fabrik Media
• KEH Camera buying used photographic equipment
• Raffle prize drawings
• Wine and beer served from 2-5 pm

Featuring on Sunday, March 19

• 18 “mini” classes and seminars.
NOTE: A one-day pass is $100 for Members; $200 for Non-Members. Individual classes are $20 for Members; $40 for Non-Members. Seating is limited.

To purchase classes individually, please click the corresponding class links below.

10:00 am:
1) “Portrait Studio Lighting” with Jennifer Emery
2) “Perfect Exposure” with Julia Dean
3) “Optimizing Your Images in Camera Raw Before using Photoshop” with Ed Freeman

11:00 am:
1) “How to use the Canon 600 EX RT Flash” with Julia Dean
2) “Introduction to the Holga” with Tom Alleman
3) “Black & White Conversion using Lightroom” with Rollence Patugan

12:00 pm:
1) “Custom White Balance” with Rollence Patugan
2) “The Singular Vision (Ways of Seeing)” with Andrew Southam
3) “Lightroom Slideshow Module: Show the World Your Talent” with Michael e. Stern

2:00 pm:
1) “Mastering the Core Features of Your Camera” with Ibarionex Perello
2) “Getting Known/Getting Shown: How to Get Your Photographs Out into the World” with Sarah Hadley
3) “How to Sequence and Design a Photo Book in Blurb” with Julia Dean

3:00 pm:
1) “How to Shoot Events” (And Making a Living)” with Kevin Weinstein
2) “Introduction to Instagram” with Kat Bawden
3) “Lightroom Develop Module: Breathing Life into RAW Files” with Michael e. Stern

4:00 pm:
1) “The Direct to Client Market” with Jennifer Emery
2) “Monitor Calibration: Why You Really Need to Calibrate Your Monitor and How To” with Eric Joseph

Cheers!

Ed Ruscha’s innovative photobook at OCMA

Posted in Art Museums, Photograph Exhibits, Photographers, Photography by douglaspstockdale on January 26, 2017

ed_ruscha_sunset_strip_ocma_detail2

Every Building on the Sunset Strip copyright 1966 Ed Ruscha

Currently OCMA (Orange County Museum of Art) is exhibiting Pop Art Design and included are a few works by Ed Ruscha, but probably the most photographically interesting is a very long display of Ed Ruscha’s 1966 creative photobook Every Building on the Sunset Strip.

This was a deadpan photographic project in which a 35mm motor-drive camera was load with a bulk feed and photographed the adjacent buildings while driving up and then back down Sunset Blvd, which was commonly called the Sunset Strip. The resulting photobook then takes advantage of the street name’s pun by creating a long continuous strip of images. On the top of the page is one side of the street and below this in reverse is the other side of this street.

This photobook design was very innovative for its time with stiff covers and the interior was bound to display as an accordion (also known as Leporello and Concertinas) layout, which is to say each page was connected and continuous. A very long strip of photographic images. My photographs of this exhibit were a grab shot and do not do it very much justice, thus go check it out and see the real thing!

The OCMA exhibition runs thru April 2nd, 2017.

ed_ruscha_sunset_strip_ocma_exhibit

ed_ruscha_sunset_strip_ocma_detail

Jason Fulford & Gregory Halpern – The Photographer’s Playbook

Posted in Books & Magazines, Photographers, Photography by douglaspstockdale on December 3, 2016

jason-fulford-gregory-halpren-the-photograhpers-playbook-cover

Copyright 2014 Jason Fulford & Gregory Halpern published by Aperture

While in Santa Fe last month and visiting the photo-eye book store, I had an opportunity to purchase a copy of Jason Fulford and Gregory Halpern’s book The Photographer’s Playbook. The subtitle reveals the essentials of this book; 307 (photographic) Assignments and Ideas, which are distilled from 307 photographers, curators, photographic academia and workshop leaders, including Aline Smithson, Mark Steinmetz, Jim Goldberg, Stephen Shore, John Gossage and many more. From my perspective, this book draws heavily on a few photographic academia programs for BFA and MFA photographic degrees.

It appears that the book is focused on young and inexperienced photographers who are searching for the reason to be a fine art photographer (as part of a BFA/MFA program) or for a photographer who is stuck in a dry spell as to how to find conceptual ideas to development next. If you have the technical side of photography down then working through a bunch of these assignments could provide you with an equivalent BFA/MFA education as to the conceptual projects you work on. What may be missing is the group critiques offered in the academic programs and instructors that might challenge you (alternatively a best friend that can continue to say “No, try again, dig deeper”). So find a small group photographic/artist peers that you can count on to be candid and talk/show the work/assignments, a group who can say “Very cool, I see where you are going, keep at it, dig deeper”

To be candid, there are some ideas within this book that are similar to other ideas I have developed over the years to help me consider photographic options and move my concepts forward. I will continue to write about some of them, such as my post earlier this morning about experiment-play (games), a frequent idea (27 different variations) that is recommended in this book. In my case, experiment-play was what I was doing that led me to my Memory Pods project that I have been working on for just about three years. Recently, experiment-play is what inspired me to start the Middle Ground (aka Life in the Slow Lane) project earlier this year.

To be fully transparent, as a portfolio reviewer for LensCulture, we also provide some resource recommendations as part of the portfolio review and this book is one that I recommend to photographers who have a photo technique but appear to looking for a project to apply their process. Recommended!

Cheers,

Douglas Stockdale, Editor

(originally posted on Singular Images)

jason-fulford-gregory-halpren-the-photograhpers-playbook-1

Medium Festival of Photography: Oct. 20-23 in San Diego

Posted in Books & Magazines, Photo Art Business, Photograph Exhibits, Photographers, Photography by Gerhard Clausing on October 3, 2016

2016-10-03-Medium Festival of Photography 1.jpg

 

This year the Medium Festival of Photography will take place October 20-23, 2016, at the Lafayette Hotel in San Diego. This week of events, lectures, portfolio reviews, and book signings promises to be an exciting experience!

Registration open now through October 9.

More details at:   http://mediumsandiego.org/

 

Highlights of the Festival Lineup

http://mediumsandiego.org/portfolio/festival-events-at-a-glance/

All events take place at the Lafayette Hotel unless otherwise noted.

 

Thursday, Oct. 20

9:00 am – 5:00 pm  Eye to Eye Portfolio Reviews  (by appointment only)

7:00 – 9:00 pm  Open Portfolio Walk  (FREE!)

 

Friday, Oct. 21

9:00 am – 5:00 pm  Eye to Eye Portfolio Reviews  (by appointment only)

6:00 – 7:00 pm  VIP Reception  (VIP and Big Pass Holders only)

7:00 – 8:00 pm  Keynote Lecture with Penelope Umbrico

8:00 – 10:00 pm  Book Signing and reception with Penelope Umbrico

 

Saturday, Oct. 22

9:30 am  Second Sight lecture with Leonard Suryajaya

10:00 am – 3:00 pm  FLASH! Pop-Up Shop

11:00 am  Susan Rankaitis lecture

12:00pm  Susan Burnstine book signing  (FREE!)

12:00pm  Michael Lundgren book signing  (FREE!)

1:30 pm  Patrick Nagatani lecture

3:00 pm  Marisa Scheinfeld lecture

4:00pm  Marisa Scheinfeld book signing  (FREE!)

4:30 pm  Vincent Cianni lecture

5:30pm  Vincent Cianni book signing  (FREE!)

7:00 pm  Size Matters exhibition reception at Low Gallery  (FREE!)

7:00 pm  OpenShow San Diego

8:00 pm  Daylight Books Fall book launch and signing  (FREE!)

 

Sunday, Oct. 23

9:30 am  Collecting Contemporary Photography  (roundtable discussion)

10:00 am – 3:00 pm  FLASH! Pop-Up Shop

11:00 am  Matt Eich lecture

1:30 pm   Wayne Martin Belger lecture

 

2016-10-03-Medium Festival of Photography 2.jpg

 

Photobook Independent review

05-29-16_photo_book_independent_exhibit

Photographs copyright 2016 Nancy Albright

This last week was Photo Independent which was held at the Raleigh film studios in Hollywood on sound stage #14. Within this larger event was Photobook Independent exhibiton, which was a group of exhibitors who were focused on the publication and presentation of their photobooks.

Photo Exchange member Douglas Stockdale was a guest curator, photobook exhibitor and one of the judges for this year’s photobook competition. Stockdale provided walking curatorial discussions of the winning photobooks and then the photobooks of some of the exhibitors. Stockdale also provided an interesting insight on the photobook judging process and the four key judging aspects: photography, concept/idea, design/layout and the book production and how all of these aspects are intertwined.

The photobooks at the event were very diverse, including the full spectrum from trade edition books to limited edition hand-made artist books. Exhibitors photographed below include Susan Burnstine showing photographs for her new book, Sara Terry and her recent self-published artist books series X, Marissa Roth and her photobook investigating Tibet and Ejen Chuang who is documenting the subculture of Cosplay.

05-29-16_Stockdale_photo_book_independent

05-29-16_Susan_Burnstine_photo_book_independent

05-29-16_Sara_Terry_photo_book_independent

05-29-16_Marissa_Roth_photo_book_independent

05-29-16_Ejen_Chuang_photo_book_independent