The PhotoBook Journal

September 25, 2008

Octave of Prayer – Minor White

Filed under: Book Reviews — Doug Stockdale @ 3:53 pm

The (softcover & hardcover) book, Octave of Prayer, Edited by Minor White and published by Aperture books (1972), was a distillation of Whites thoughts on how a photograph could have meaning beyond the image on the paper. And in true White fashion, he has included only one of his own photographs in the book, but probably most important to him, most of the text. As stated in the title page, a exhibition on a theme.

Some of the photographers and photographs (all black & white) that are included could also be viewed as very straight forward work, but with the context that White places them in, they start to take on other meaning.

After viewing the book, it comes as no surprise that White is really strong on the idea of “equivalents” and finding meaning beyond the image, that it should take time with a photograh to really understand the emotional content (meditation). And there are plenty of photographs in this book to provide this introspective opportunity.

Best regards, Doug Stockdale

Octave of Prayer

Filed under: Book Reviews, Photo Books — Doug Stockdale @ 3:09 am

Placerita Canyon Cascade

Placerita Canyon Cascade, photograph copyright of Douglas Stockdale

(Originally published in Singular Images, 05/31/07)…Minor White published the text for Octave of Prayer as an Aperture publication in 1972 concurrent with an exhibit of the same name at MIT. Worth reading if you can find a copy. I have been re-reading my tattered copy (a “HURT” book to begin with, better price at the time) again. More thoughts to share about this later….

Best regards, Doug Stockdale

(Update 10/7/08) My photograph Placerita Canyon Cascade, above, was created within the concept of equivalents as explained by Minor White.

September 23, 2008

Blurb printer upgrade

Filed under: Photo Book NEWS — Tags: , — Doug Stockdale @ 6:44 pm

Blurb has just announced that they are now printing all of their 7 x 7″ books on the HP Indigo printers. Yeah!!

For those who have followed my writings on Singular Images, know of the angst that I experienced with the Blurb Xerox EGen color halftone printer that they were using only for the 7 x 7″ books. Since I was a charter member of Blurb’s B3 group, I had access to the color profiles and option of printing with the HP Indigo, and what a difference that made.

So this is good news and I am sorry that they took so long to implement. I am sure that there were some other technical/business reasons for the delay, so still glad they got the point and made the change.

Now I hope that they work the bugs out of the triming process (post printing) for this book so that they do not hack off some of the essential parts, like the page numbers.

Best regards, Doug Stockdale

BTW, my softcover book Places Amongst Us was a SoFoBoMo (Solo Photo Book Month) project fom May 2008. Which is printed on the HP Indgo printer.

September 22, 2008

PDN – the book issue

Filed under: Photo Book NEWS, Photo Books — Doug Stockdale @ 6:04 pm

This month’s (September 2008) issue of PDN (Photo District News) magazine is their book issue. If you want some insights into the photographic book publishing industry or some recommendations about what it takes to have your own photographs published, then this is an issue you should buy.

Yes, I have my copy and I am only half way through, but already I can highly recommend this purchase.

PDN also has a web site, but access to most of the realy great articles requires that you have a subscription to the magazine. Bummer, although I can understand the logic behind it.

Best regards, Doug

September 21, 2008

Jonathan Brown interview – Leadapron

Filed under: Photo Book Stores — Doug Stockdale @ 11:39 pm

 Leadapron, bookstore & gallery

Interview with Jonathan Brown, owner Leadapron, (Spring, 2008) (Originally published on The Photo Exchange)

While we were at the Palm Springs Photo Festival in March, I had the opportunity to meet Jonathan Brown, the owner of Leadapron, a fine art bookstore and gallery located on Robertson Ave in Los Angeles.

Subsequently, I had a brief phone interview with Jonathan about Leadapron. This is a brief paraphrase of our conversation;

DS: Jonathan, thank you for the opportunity to discuss Leadapron and the sale of your fine art photography books and prints. First, tell me about the name Leadapron?

JB: I choose this name about 10 years ago in relation to a theater production I was directing and I think it is a good fit with what we do now. The apron is worn by the trades men and women who make things. They keep our day to day lives intact. They also make the things that furnish our culture and drive our civilization…objects and things that are left behind. 

Lead is a material that is used as a protective shield, such as the lead apron you wear when you have an X-Ray made. Thus, we provide the protection to the artwork that others make and help see that it survives by placing it with guardians who will carry it into the future.

DS: Can you tell me about your current gallery operations?

JB: We opened this location in Los Angles on the second floor off Robertson Boulevard about 8 months ago. The gallery has roughly 750 square feet, which is divided into three smaller gallery areas. We currently display photographs and other art prints on the walls  throughout the spaces with the books and inventory in large bookcases, showcases and flatfiles below.

DS: What is your experience in selling fine art books and what services do you provide now?

JB: For the previous two and half years before opening this location, I was a private dealer in fine art books and prints here in Los Angeles. We currently specialize in fine art and photography books and related documents, and we have an expertise in fine art photography. We work with our clients to help them develop collections and libraries and will represent them at auctions. We are also very active at auctions on our own behalf.

Additionally, we use our gallery space to provide some exhibition venues, of which we have a couple ongoing now; i.e, Basquait Polaroids, Peter Beard, Eric Kroll, Weegee, Mapplethorpe and soon, Michel Evanet (a fashion photographer) We are very interested in exhibiting prints in conjunction with published books.

DS: Which is a great segway to how do you obtain your books for your gallery inventory, do you purchase them or do you take them on assignment?

JB: We do both. We purchase individual works or entire libraries. In fact we recently purchased the entire libraries of two well known photographers, Ralph Gibson and Leonard Freed. As to consignment, we work out the selling arrangements on a case by case situation, but we are very open to discussing the availability of fine art photography books.

DS: Jonathan, thank for your time and consideration and I wish you on-going success.

For more information, you can contact Jonathan at Leadapron, phone 310-860-1192 or visit the web site at

Best regards,

Douglas Stockdale


Journal intent

Filed under: Book Publications, Book Reviews, Photo Book NEWS, Photo Books — Tags: — Doug Stockdale @ 4:59 pm



I have thinking about this journal for a while, especially as I have tried to figure out if it is a good fit with I currently write. So when publishing a journal, it kinda helps to know who you audience is, eh?

To get to that, perhaps a bit more about me. I read and too often buy photographic books, initially it was the how-do-you-do-it books (yes, I am a photographer as well), but now the photographic books I acquire are more about photographic projects & series or are published as monographs. Books that help you understand a photographers vision, intent, thoughts and feelings and hopefully well printed and sequenced.

I also get involved with the book publication process now having self-published three books through Blurb; two about photographic projects and one how-to. I could not figure something out how to sharpen my photographs for Blurb until I published a Blurb book (Sharpening Photographs for Blurb printing). I am in the middle of developing a limited edition book to be published in conjunction with a limited edition folio of images from a series I completed last year.

I may not be able to write the in-depth and meaningful book reviews of those by Mr. Wisketts (5b4) or available on Photo-Eye and other publications but I am going to provide my own personal thoughts about photographic books that I have. Thus, I will link the other places you can find some fine writing, which means this will be resource site and a book review site.

I plan to write about what’s happening with photographic book publishing for those who intent to purchase or might want to publish their own photographic work. In other words, random and mumbling about photographic books that might veer off into where ever I seem to take it that day (or night).

Oh, yes, as the publisher of this blog, I get to shamelessly self-promote my own books. Which reminds me, I need to provide a link to my Blurb page for my book In Passing, which was adapted from the same series about my work that was published in LensWork magazine in January 2008.

Best regards, Douglas Stockdale

Greetings & Salutations

Filed under: Book Publications, Book Reviews, Photo Book NEWS, Photo Books — Doug Stockdale @ 4:14 pm

This blog is currently underdevelopment and hopefully be up and ongoing this Fall (2008).

Meanwhile I have written some thoughts about photographery books in a couple of other places that I hope to soon consolidate here.

Best regards, Doug Stockdale

Publisher & Editor

Blog at