The PhotoBook

September 29, 2014

World PhotoBook Day > October 14th

Filed under: Photo Book NEWS, Photo Books — Tags: , , — Doug Stockdale @ 8:07 pm

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Copyright the photographers, various titles recently published by Aalphabet

A brief shout-out about the pending World Photobook Day occurring on October 14th. This fun day (this year on a Monday) originated by The Photobook Club of Madrid in conjunction with my buddy Matt Johnston whose idea was to form the various Photobook Clubs from his base of operations over in England.

This date is a direct homage to the first known photobook: Photographs of British algae with Cyanotype impressions by Anna Atkins (a trivia question if I ever saw one!). As the exact publishing date is unknown, they have taken the date that appears in the registry records of the copy in British Library: http://www.bl.uk/catalogues/photographyinbooks/record.asp?RecordID=3048

So here is a short list ideas for how to participate in this event:

  • Post a #PhotoBookDaySelfie on social media: an image with you and your current favorite photobook.

  • Discuss your love of photobooks via the twitter hashtag #PhotoBookDay

  • Donate a photobook or photozine to your nearest public library or school library. One of the things  that I am considering.

  • Buy a photobook. Many bookshops and publishers will make special discounts for the day. As alternative, read a photobook that you have not picked up for a while or one that you have acquired and not really spend time with yet.

  • For me, I think I will be publishing a photobook review on the blog this day.

So what about you?

Cheers!

April 29, 2014

Paris Photo LA – 2014

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Untitled (stack of new books) copyright 2014 Douglas Stockdale.

One of the nice aspects of LA becoming a regional center for photography is the growing number of photographic events occurring locally. Even though I live a good hour drive south of LA (if the traffic behaves), much easier to attend than similar events in NYC, Paris, Rome, Amsterdam and Tokyo. Nevertheless, I usually only attend one day and if the event is a three day weekend, I make it a point to attend on Friday. Basically there is a much smaller crowd with more accessibility to exhibits and meet-ups, the downside is the grander presentations are usually on Saturday.

This past weekend was Paris Photo LA and the smaller Photo Independent (my review of the Photo Independent on Singular Images) located adjacent to the Paris Photo LA. My interest was primarily on the Paris Photo LA is the presence of the photobook publishers and distributors. This year the book publishers was Aperture (US), Kehrer (Germany), MACK (UK), Taschen (US) and Bookshop M (Japan) along with Printed Matter (US) and the U.S. mega photobook distributor Artbook D.A.P. Also a couple of photobook dealers, such as Harper Books and Dirk K. Bakker Boeken. There are also a few photobooks found amongst the various exhibitors, but this took more time to hunt down than I had available this year with the exception of Andy Freeberg’s recently published Art Fare, but this was a prearranged meet-up.

Most of the publishers have recently published titles and frequently titles that are not going to be released in the U.S. until late summer or early Fall, so a nice opportunity to see what’s coming out. Most of the publishers and distributors were organizing book signings, so an opportunity to meet up with the photographer behind the book. I have already reviewed Douglas Ljungkvist’s Ocean Beach, nevertheless this was an opportunity to meet the guy behind the book as we had already been trading email and Facebook messages leading up to his book being reviewed. Thus a chance to meet Rachael Jablo and an introduction to her photobook My Days of Losing Words, Nancy Baron and her photobook The Good Life, Robert Pittman and his photobook Anonymization and Catherine Leutenegger and her photobook Kodak City. As you can see in the photograph above, I also acquired the Harry Callahan book, but a bit too late to meet up with him. I had a chance to meet up with Cristina De Middel, Renee Jacobs and Wendy Hicks during my meandering as well as there were a couple of missed opportunities.

The big tension for Friday night was the darkening clouds and the forecast for rain that evening. Some of the store fronts where either books or pictures were hanging are true Hollywood facades sans roofs. So below are some of the sights of Paris Photo LA, which by the way was held again on the back-lot of Paramont Picture Studios in Hollywood. How LA is that?

Cheers!

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February 25, 2014

Photobook reviewer for EMAHO magazine

Filed under: Photo Book Discussions, Photo Book NEWS, Photo Books — Tags: , — Doug Stockdale @ 9:00 pm

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“America” photobooks

I had announced on my personal blog earlier this week that my photobook reviews will soon start being co-published in EMAHO magazine. Manik Katyal, the editior and publisher, has also asked me to be the “America” photobook specialist while Colin Pantall focuses more on the European photobooks. I thought that this was an interesting request and we are still defining this request. At the moment, as hopefully illustrated by the stack of books above, I am taking a very broad and liberal viewpoint on what constitutes an America photobook. I think I have always had a global perspective on contemporary photobooks, so I will not preclude discussing photobooks that don’t fit into this America category.  Should be interesting.

The readers of this blog will probably notice some changes. First, since EMAHO is an on-line magazine for photography, fine art and music, I do need to format the size of my images to be consistent with their layout. All supporting photographs will have a wide frame and slightly larger than I have been using to date. I had standardized a long time ago on a 800 pixel width which will not change to a 868 pixel width. You might like the larger photographs, eh?

Another change is the background that the photobooks are resting on, which has been the flooring of my work area. This background has at times created a bit of inconsistency in the color management of my supporting photographs effecting the color of the books and their interiors. This color drift issue has been bugging me for some time so in conjunction with a recent rearrangement of my studio, I have created a new space to photograph the books. I am still tweaking this a little, but I am evaluating at a couple of different white backgrounds.

So the first book that I plan to publish on EMAHO magazine is the late W. Eugene Smith opus The Big Book published by the University of Texas Press (Austin, TX) last year. This book is a facsimile of a maquette (book dummy) that Smith created in 1960 but the final book was never published in his lifetime. Below are a couple of my test images with the new format and background. I still notice a very slight color shift of the backgrounds in the two images (same background), but an improvement over my earlier process. Still a little bit more work to do.

Oh yes, I did not realize until I published this book photo that I had inadvertently inverted Andreas Oekter-Kast  photobook Looking for Wonderland, a German photographer’s road trip through America.

Cheers!

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February 21, 2014

Pine Lake – Out of Print

Filed under: Book Publications, Photo Book NEWS, Photo Books — Tags: , , — Doug Stockdale @ 7:23 am

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Pine Lake, copyright 2013 artist photobook by Douglas Stockdale

I recently arranged with photo-eye (Santa Fe, NM) book store to sell the last copies of the edition for my Pine Lake artist photobook. I believe that in publisher’s terms that when all copies are now in the hands of the bookstores that I am officially Out of Print. Wow, that did not take long.

So there is one remaining copy of the edition at As Issued, here on the left coast, and a couple with photo-eye and L’Ascensure Vegetal for Europe.  Pine Lake is SOLD OUT at the Reminders Photography Stronghold gallery in Japan.

I really do appreciate the great response to this book and my short semi-fictional story. As many of you have told me, it looks great in photographs on the web, but it’s awesome when holding the actual book object.

I suspect that I soon will be making the announcement that Pine Lake is SOLD OUT. very nice.

Cheers!

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February 2, 2014

LA Art Book Fair – 2014

Filed under: Photo Book NEWS, Photo Books — Tags: , , — Doug Stockdale @ 4:41 am

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untitled (LA Art Book Fair, January 2014) copyright 2014 Douglas Stockdale

Last year I was pretty stoked when it was announced that the NY Art Book Fair would be making a Left Coast appearance. And it was pretty nice event with my only big complaint was the crappy lighting made very difficult to examine most books. And for viewing a photobook, the lighting can make a difference. Nevertheless I was pretty excited that there was a second LA Art Book Fair at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, especially as I noted a stronger attendance by photobook publishers, dealers and bookstores.

And somebody got the message, the lighting was much, much improved and I don’t recall any complaints about it compared to the uproar last year.

My hour and half drive up from Orange County paled with those who flew in from London, Paris and other parts of Europe as well as Japan and Asia. What a fantastic melting pot. In many, many ways. A lot of tables with some very small publishers covering a full range of diverse artistic subjects. It is really nice to have this opportunity in our back yard. Personally I would like to see a lot more of the contemporary photobook publishers being represented, nevertheless there were more this year than last, so if the buzzzz continues to be good, perhaps there will be even more next year.

Other personal issue is the paucity of photobook/artist stores which carry true hand-made artist books. Even Printed Matter in NYC stated that they do not carry many titles if the sales price exceeds $50.00. There are rare book dealers who make a trade in the $250 to $10,000+ books, but they do not carry new or recent artist book titles. Give me a shout-out if you are aware of some hand-made artist book sellers.

So this year I took a few more photographs while I attended the Book Fair since Lauren Henkin, who coordinates the Handmade Books by Artists group on Facebook, gave me a shout-out to report on the event. So first qualifier, I am not a photojournalist, perhaps a story teller but not a documentary photographer. That said, since a photograph is a thousand words, my visual reportage follows below. And most of my portraits documented the new fans of The Photo Book Club who were proudly wearing their new badges (at least for the moment).

Cheers!

My thanks to Clint Woodside, Kelsey Vance, Mary Virginia Swanson, Sarah Hadley, Aron Morel, Mike Slak, Harper Levine, Maura Lucking, and Alex Campox for be patient subjects.

02/02/14 postscript: Erik van der Weijde brought to my attention late last night that I missed one of the project rooms (yeah, the one he was in and I did want to meet up with him) in the labyrinth of gallery space (okay, a beef, but heck it was on their event map, so my bad). In retrospect, I did something similar last year. This is a complex space to visit. And I did not by any means look at each title on every table, this is one very, very dense book event. Admittedly I skimmed a bunch of the areas which I was having trouble connecting. It is really meant to be more than a one day visit, but it is what it is and I am very happy to have been able to spend the time I did. Already looking forward to next year!

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December 16, 2013

Interesting Photobooks for 2013

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I have been invited to take part in photo-eye’s annual poll by photobook commentators as to the 10 Best Books of 2013. For those who follow this blog, that fact that I am participating in this may seem a bit unusual, as I have readily admitted in the past, I do not have access to read and study every photobook that was issued during the year. Nevertheless, although I have had an opportunity to see a great many photobooks, this will still be a of a bit biased list as I will draw from those books that I have actually read or are in my collection.

My list, which is not in any particular order, may not be the “Best” photobooks of 2013, but rather I have selected some of the more interesting photobooks that I read that were published in 2013. And my list is for 11 photobooks since I could not narrow it down to just 10, as well as a new category of my own making, interesting exhibition catalogs for 2013, for which I have named two.

I have published commentaries for most of these, which I have linked up. It is my intent that to publish commentaries for the remaining photobooks shortly.

More Interesting Photobooks of 2013

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 Two Rivers, Carolyn Drake, self-published 2013

Two Rivers is a complex story and an excellent example of how a book design (by the talented Sybren Kuiper) can create an effective subtext to a photographer’s narrative. This is a compelling investigation of survival and the tribulations of the people in the region of Central Asia.

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Pierdom, Simon Roberts, Dewi Lewis, 2013

Simon Roberts seems to really connect with his fellow people and the underlying psych of Great Briton. This is another in his series that utilizes a large format vision to investigate the British culture. His subjects are the many piers lining the British coast and how the built landscape can reveal some of the essence of his own society.

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New York Arbor, Mitch Epstein , Steidl, 2013

New York Abor is a beautiful book that is classically designed and elegantly printed to showcase the lyrical black and white photographs of Mitch Espstein. The interior plates are approximate in size to the original large format film and in conjunction with the superb printing by the publisher, Steidl Verlag, the experience is breath taking, not unlike viewing large format contact prints.

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 The Burn, Jane Fulton Alt, Kehrer Verglag, 2013

In reading The Burn, I view these lyrical photographs with mixed emotions having experience the wild fires in Southern California. But for me, that is also a hallmark of a good body of work in that it can stir memories, activate the senses (I can almost smell and taste the acid, dense smoke of a wild fire), while yet be visually captivating.

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Business as Usual, Brian Griffin, Editions Bessard, 2013

Having spent an inordinate amount of time in corporate business, the small narratives that Griffith creates are hilarious and almost too funny for words. Although the photographs were from an earlier period and perhaps appear a bit over the top, they are still spot on regarding today’s office politics and the theater of business.

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Swell, Mateusz Sarello, Instytut Kultury Wizualnej, 2013

I was immediately struck by the many narrative possibilities created by Ania Nalecka’s design for Swell.  It’s ingenious and well executed book concept that metaphorically works with Sarello’s two-part visual narrative. Their collaboration has resulted in a beautifully conceived and photographed book.

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America, My Way, Matej Sitar, self-published, December 2012- released early 2013

I am intrigued by the possibilities of what others might also experience during shared events and moments. I found that Sitar’s multiple alternatives presented in America, My Way of a road trip up the American West coast to have fully tapped into my psyche.

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We Make the Path by Walking, Paul Gaffney, self-published, 2013

Reading We Make the Path by Walking just connects with me. The lyrical photographs investigate a journey and the many options and possibilities that lie beforehand, while yet enjoying the view in transit. I found Gaffney’s book to be a wonderful metaphor for the messiness of living life.

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Still, Patrick Hogan, self-published, 2012

Still is a splendid and intriguing investigation of personal relationships. As the title implies, quiet and intimate moments are captured while creating a place that can best be described as ambivalence. The book has an interesting cadence and inclusion of difficult to read interior plates, at times there is the faintest hint of a photographic image and others on the extreme of darkness, both bordering on illegibility that beguiles me.

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Nowhere, Leon Kirchlechner, Der Grief & dienacht Publishing, 2013

Nowhere is an intriguing set of landscape photographs in which Kirchlechner has introduced a translucent object, a whiff of smoke (or whatever it is) that tugs at my imagination. This occasion vapor acts as a subconscious trigger for some distant memory that I cannot easily grasp. The ambiguous images are unsettlingly; seemingly fragile and yet have ominous undertones.

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A Remote Barely Audible Evening Waltz, Max Sher, Treemedia, 2013

A Remote Barely Audible Evening Waltz (English version of the Russian title) is an investigation of memory and personal experiences; concurrently evokes mystery and nostalgia. A delightful semi-fictional story based on appropriating vernacular photographs that narrate a poignant story of Sher’s making set in Russia during the 1960’s.

More Interesting Exhibition Catalogs for 2013

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2013 10×10 American Photobook, published by 10×10 American Photobooks, 2013.  (I need to admit my bias as I am a contributor to this exhibition and my selection is included in the catalog)

Douglas Stockdale is a photographer, author, photobook collector, blogger, independent photobook curator and founder of the this much admired blog, The Photobook. Recently he was a contributor to the 2013 10×10 American Photobooks traveling exhibition (NYC, Pittsburgh, Tokyo) and curated the photobook exhibition Work for the 2012 Fotografia Festival Internazionale in Rome, Italy. He recently release his self-published artist book Pine Lake and in 2011 Edizioni Punctum released his hardcover book Ciociaria. Stockdale’s photographs are in the permanent collection of the Museo d’Arte Contemporea di Roma (MACRO), Rome, Italy.

Update/correction; Patrick Hogan’s Still was actually published in 2012, which I acquired in 2013 and the title page is a bit obscure as the book’s copyright date. Thanks to Paul Gaffney for his assistance in tracking this publication fact down. Nevertheless,  I still think it as one of the more interesting photobooks for me in 2013.

Douglas Stockdale for The PhotoBook

December 5, 2013

Book Fair this Sunday in Santa Monica – updated

Filed under: Photo Book NEWS, Photo Books — Doug Stockdale @ 11:44 pm

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Book Fair and print sale for emerging photographer/artists

Which includes yours truly, me! I will be there with my artist book Pine Lake as well as my Ciociaria Limited Edition book + print set (both versions), and trade copies of Ciociaria to purchase and be signed. I will also have a framed limited edition photograph from the Ciociaria book for sale, which was exhibited at OCCCA earlier this year. Cool, eh?

Collectors and artists set to mingle at upcoming book fair and print sale at Duncan Miller Gallery in Bergamot Station, Sunday, Dec 8, 2013, 2-5 pm. From the gallery:

We are producing a one day event to showcase and sell books and photographs from 26 talented emerging photographer/artists — Come join us!

It’s free to attend, the great food truck Deano’s Deli will be on hand, and we’ll have wine and soft drinks in the gallery.

Enjoy an afternoon of mingling with photo collectors, art lovers, friends and photographers at Duncan Miller Gallery in Bergamot Station, Santa Monica.

Artists include: Melissa Richardson Banks, Sara Jane Boyers, Richard Chow, Steve Daly, Elena Dorfman, Judy Francesconi, Kevin Gray, Maureen Haldeman, Lorna Hart, Liz Huston, Mark Indig, Renee Jacobs, Jamie Johnson, Tom Johnson, Robbie Kaye, Sandra Klein, Clay Lipsky, Claire Mallett, Rico Mandel, Lisa McCord, Linda Morrow, Lori Pond, Kristianne Koch Riddle, Yasmina Rossi, Douglas Stockdale, Michael Wood

Please see the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/430070477094944

This event is sponsored by Santa Fe Photographic Workshops, coming to Santa Monica in 2014 and YourDailyPhotograph.com

DUNCANMILLERGALLERY
2525 Michigan Ave, Unit A7
Santa Monica, CA 90404
310-453-1111

So if you are in the area this Sunday, drop in, check it out and introduce yourself; I’m looking forward to meeting more of my readers and talk photobooks.

Cheers!

For an update on my experience participating at this Art Book Fair, please see my post in my personal photo-blog Singular Images, here.

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Renee Jacobs holding her recently published book Paris while I hold Pine Lake. (photo by Wendy Hicks). I reviewed Renee Jacobs Slow Burn earlier on The PhotoBook, which was one of books that I selected for 2013 10×10 American Photobooks.

November 11, 2013

Le PhotobookFest – Paris November 15 – 17, 2013

Filed under: Photo Book NEWS, Photo Books — Tags: , , — Doug Stockdale @ 5:34 pm

Since I was soooo busy with finishing Pine Lake, my artist book, I neglected to provide some updates on other events such as Le PhotobookFest which will be occurring this coming weekend in conjunction with Paris Photo. The Le PhotobookFest will be at a different venue, L’Ancienne Imprimerie/Picture Tank, 19 rue Bisson 75020 Paris, than the Grand Palais for Paris Photo, so if you want to attend both, it will take a little time to get between venues. The good news that I can testify to is the Paris Metro (underground) is really nice and pretty efficient.

Le PhotobookFest is being organized by the Paris Photobook Club so it is a real grass roots organization. In conjunction with Le PhotobookFest, there is also a book dummy exhibition and public attendee jury of the book dummy’s called “Rock Your Dummy!“. As a non-disclosure, I am also a member of the “Rock Your Dummy!” Advisory team, along with Elinor Carucci, Wayne Ford, Hans Gremmen, Taco Hidde Bakker, Larissa Leclair,  Lesley A. Martin and  Iris Sikking.

So it was a bit of conflict when Matt Johnston, the guy who has started and organized the entire Photobook Club program, requested that I provide my book dummy for Pine Lake to exhibit in Paris at Rock Your Dummy! Much like everyone else, especially with how Pine Lake is as much an artist book object that you need to hold to appreciate, I wanted to have this additional exposure. Thus we worked out that thje Pine Lake dummy will be on exhibit as part of the Advisory Team, but not part of the public jury event. Nice compromise!

Here are the links and I hope that you have the opportunity to take it all in;

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LePhotobookFest2013?directed_target_id=0

Rock Your Dummy!: http://lephotobookfest.wordpress.com/rock-your-dummy/

Le PhotobookFest: http://lephotobookfest.wordpress.com

Cheers!

October 4, 2013

Douglas Stockdale – Pine Lake

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Pine Lake copyright 2013 Douglas Stockdale self-published artist photobook

I am very thrilled to announce the publication of my hand made artist photobook Pine Lake. Thus post is not intended to be a book review, as I need to let others provide more objective assessments. This is just blatant self promotion.

Pine Lake is sequenced as a semi-fictional story about an American multi-generational summer rite, the fishing trip.

As to how this project came about, it started with my recently discovered family photographs of my grandfathers fishing, a passion of which was unknown and totally foreign to me. Thus the small, worn photographs I found became talismans for the lost memories and stories of my family.  This has led me to create this artist book to tell a story of what might have been. Pine Lake is another of my on-going series that investigates memory and its preservation.

The interior flip-book is formatted in a style reminiscent of a promotional processing book common in the 1960′s produced by Kodak and Ansco, which could be purchase with a film processing order. The book is accompanied by a small collection of preserved ephemera that represent the memorabilia that might be saved after a favorite vacation.

The stiff cover book contains 17 black & white images. The outer cover is fabricated from a sheet of 120 gm Canson Mi-Teintes paper, hand trimmed to size and inkjet printed which is then hand inscribed.  This cover is bone creased, hand hole punched and an aluminum prong binding is attached to manually bind the interior pages. The book resides inside a hand inscribed poly zip-lock bag with three pieces of ephemera; fishing stamp, fishing notice & a section of fishing line with small weight.

The book and ephemera are housed in a custom made wood frame with a printed cover constructed from 110# Daler-Rowney Canford paper, cut to size, ink-jet printed, hand bone crease and glued to the frame to create a gate fold flap, and has an elastic band closure.

Exterior size is 8 1/2″ x 10″ x 7/16″ (210 mm x  250mm   x 100mm)

The photographic images are anonymous and are from my private collection. Pine Lake is produced in a Limited Edition of 25, with a price of $150.00 USD per book plus shipping (and taxes where applicable).

I hope you enjoy it.

Cheers!

Note: price increase to $250 on 2/01/2014 as edition is almost sold out.

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July 20, 2013

Feature #275 & some changes

Filed under: Photo Book NEWS — Tags: — Doug Stockdale @ 11:11 pm

With the publication of my commentary on Gina Genis’s photobook, I have reached an interesting milestone. This is the 275th photobook commentary I have published on this blog. I think if I knew that I would be reaching this goal when I stated this blog in 2008, that could have been intimidating enough that I would not have started. Nevertheless, I strive to feature between three to six contemporary photobooks per month and it is very much like eating an elephant, one bite at a time it eventually adds up.

Meanwhile, I continue to work on my photographic projects and develop my own photobooks, thus the photobooks featured here are not consistently posted. I have to admit, when I get really interested in my own projects, my photobook commentaries usually get deferred for a short duration. Additionally, some of the photobooks I acquire are very complex and interesting, thus take me a while to think about. Since I have enough deadlines for my day job, I am not about to commit on a publication schedule for my personal interests. Thus, the photobook features will remain irregularly and randomly posted as always.

Last, looking at the analytics for this blog, I am noticing that rarely do the links in the various sidebars (Bookstores, Publishers, Blogs) get clicked, so for a little housekeeping for this blog, I am going to move all of these links to three different Resource pages. Meanwhile, the number of small photobook publishers continues to grow on a daily basis and it bugs me that this list is almost obsolete the day after I update it. These links were to initially established to help with the photobook community, but much has happened since 2008 and to keep these links in the front page sidebar does not appear to be as necessary.

So the first migration has been completed with the movement of the Bookstores to its Resource page. The remainder of the migrations will follow over the next couple of weeks.

Cheers!

Doug

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