The PhotoBook

December 16, 2013

Interesting Photobooks for 2013


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


 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.


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.


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.


 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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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


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:

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

2525 Michigan Ave, Unit A7
Santa Monica, CA 90404

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.


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


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;


Rock Your Dummy!:

Le PhotobookFest:


October 4, 2013

Douglas Stockdale – Pine Lake


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.


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







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.



February 3, 2013

LA Art Book Fair

Filed under: Book Publications, Photo Book NEWS, Photo Book Stores, Photo Books — Doug Stockdale @ 11:59 pm


Copyright the photographers; Paul Schiek’s “Dead Men Don’t Look Like Me” (TBW Books), Dan Gluibizzi’s “Folding Space”/Zefrey Throwell’s “Pressing Time” (Ampersand Gallery & Fine Books), Nicolas Hoosteing’s Matador (Etudes Books), Notes on Fulford’s Raising Frogs for $$$ (The Ice Plant), Alec Soth & Brad Zellar’s “Michigan” (Little Brown Mushroom), The LA Art Book Fair Catalog.

I had an opportunity to attend the LA Art Book Fair this weekend, a cool event by Printed Matter (NYC) that until now was only hosted in NYC. The fair was made up mostly by small press, zines and booksellers/dealers, with only a few larger publishers and distributors present. I have to say it was a really diverse & International show.

I was doing my walk-about on Friday and even still, the fair was well attended. The space was the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, thus the interior lighting was better suited for exhibiting artwork and a bit tricky for reading books although it seemed that everyone adapted pretty quick. The were a number of smaller spaces which provided some sense of intimacy, but also created a maze and the potential of missing some of the exhibitors, as I almost missed one small section when I think I accidentally stumbled into just before closing. To their credit, the Book Fair did provide a map of the booth locations and next time I will take time to look at it from the start, so my bad. 

The Book Fair was not dedicated to photobooks, but there were a fair amount of photobook publishers and dealers/bookshops present and had a special focus, as did the Zines in their section aptly titled Zine World. My issue was there were toooo many photobooks to choose from and I decided to look for photobooks that were about the photobook object, providing a photobook experience that would not translate to an iPad or other digital media. I will have to say that Dan Gluibizzi’s “Folding Space”/Zefrey Throwell’s “Pressing Time” with its pantyhose outer wrap recently published by Ampersand Gallery & Fine Books easily met my criteria.

Encourging news for us in Orange County was provided by Claire Cottrell that  Book Stand ( is looking at a location in San Juan Capistrano in additional to their on-line presence. Very nice!

I hope that this is the first of many LA Art Book Fairs. The discussions that I had with book dealers, publishers and attendees indicated that this is a success event from the very start of the opening night. Nice.


October 3, 2012

Fotografia Photobook Exhibit – Opening

Filed under: Photo Book NEWS, Photo Books — Tags: , , — Doug Stockdale @ 5:22 pm

Photographs copyright 2012 Lorenzo Formicola Lina Pallotta (author of )

I just received a couple of photographs from Lina Pallotta  which were taken by Lorenzo Formicola during the opening of my photobook exhibition at Fotografia in Rome last month. Lina is the author of Piedras Negras which I had selected for this exhibition and is my Ace on-the-floor reporter for this event. Thank you Lina and Lorenzo for sharing!

Regretfully my one night pop-up exhibit for these same photobooks at the Irvine Fine Art Center later this month will not have the same clean and sophisticated appearance as Rome. More details of this event are available here.

Update to the original post; photographs were made by Lorenzo Formicola.

October 1, 2012

Pop-up PhotoBook exhibition at Irvine Fine Art Center – work

Filed under: Photo Book NEWS, Photo Books — Tags: , , — Doug Stockdale @ 5:31 pm

copyright the various photographers

Please join me for one evening this month as I share a pop-up photobook exhibition of the vast majority of the photobooks that are currently included in my exhibition at FotoGrafia Festival Internazionale in Rome Italy, which explores the theme of “work”. I will provide a short introduction about my selection for this exhibition and discuss a few of the photobooks.

Although this is not an official PhotoBook Club event per se, it is an exploratory meet-up to determine an interest in a PhotoBook Club group in Southern California. The issue in the past for similar meet-ups to this has been that Southern California is a very large and spread-out region, that a meet-up in Orange County may not be suitable for those in Santa Monica, the SF valley, SG Valley or San Diego. Thus the main reason that this is an exploratory meet-up!

This pop-up exhibition will not have the same polished appearance as my exhibition in Rome, as one component will be missing. For the Rome exhibition, I asked the participating photographers to re-photograph their book’s interior and we then hung these photographs around the book display. Nevertheless, these re-photographs are available here. Additionally, I will bring a few other photobooks from my collection that also investigate the theme of “work”.

The photobooks included in Fotografia that are planned for this exhibition include: Pierre Bessard – Behind China’s Growth, Julie Blackmon – Domestic Vacations, Michal Chelbin’s The Black Eye, Chris Coekin’s The Altogether, Clayton Cotterell’s Unarmed, Marco Delogu’s The Thirty Assassins, Charlotte Duma’s Al Lavoro!, Andy Freeberg’s Guardians, Thijs Heslenfeld’s Men at Work, Sarah Hobbs’s Small Problems in Living, Henry Horenstein’sSHOW, Rob Hornstra’s Sochi Singers, Pieter Hugo’s Permanent Error, Ron Jude’s Lick Creek Line, Chris Killip’s Seacoal, Gina LeVay’s Sandhogs, Rania Matar’s A Girl in her Room, Kendall Messick’s The Projectionist, Darin Mickey’s Stuff I Gotta Remember Not to Forget, Cristina de Middel (Puch)’s The Afronauts, Bertil Nilsson’s Undisclosed, Andreas Oetker-Kast’s manpower, Louie Palu’s Cage Call, Lina Pallotta’s Piedras Negras, Christian Patterson’s Redheaded Peckerwood, Nina Poppe’s ama, Florian von Roekel’s How Terry Likes His Coffee, Ken Schles’s Oculus, Martin Schoeller’s Female Bodybuilders, David Schulz’s Lone Wolf, Melissa Shook’s My Suffok Downs

This PhotoBook pop-up exhibition will run concurrently with the Photographic Exchange meeting.

Exhibition venue: Irvine Fine Art Center, 14321 Yale Ave, Irvine, CA 92604

Date and duration: Thursday, October 18th, 2012 from 6:30 pm to 9:0 pm

I look forward to seeing you there.

Douglas Stockdale for The Photobook

September 25, 2012

Fotografia Photobook Exhibit – First look

Filed under: Photo Book NEWS, Photo Books — Tags: , , — Doug Stockdale @ 3:17 pm

photograph copyright 2012 Marc Prust

Thanks to Marc Prust, I have my first look at the FotoGrafia di Roma photobook exhibition. Very nice!

Regretfully due to a change in travel plans, I was unable to attend the grand opening of Fotografia di Roma last week. Looking at this photograph by Marc I can see that Margherita Nuti along with Marco Delogu, the Artistic Director of FotoGrafia, Claudia Caprotti and their support teams designed and installed an excellent exhibition space. Thanks to you all!

I have to admit, I feel a bit like those at the turn of the twenty century who were able to for the first time view photographs of far away lands and look at images of sights and views that they could not directly experience themselves. I find it odd that for as often as I view photographs as a photobook review, that this would be an experience I felt. I need to reflect on this experience some more.

Nevertheless, Marc has captured the essence of this exhibit in this one photograph; the physical photobooks that are accessible for viewing and inspection, the stream of interior photographs on the adjacent wall and my artistic statement hung in the midst of this exhibition. Very nice indeed.

I am looking forward to the postings of other photographs and comments of those who attended. Please share!


September 19, 2012

FotoGrafia di Roma XI Photobook exhibition – Work

Photographs copyright of the artists

The concept that the XI FotoGrafia di Roma is intent on exploring is the theme of “Work”. Likewise as curator of the photobook exhibition, I am also interesting in broadly interpreting this theme. I am also intrigued with the idea that  a photobook is a physical product of a photographer’s work and adds another subtle layering to the intent of XI FotoGrafia.

As a photobook commentator and blogger, many, if not most, of the photobooks for this exhibition are being discussed and posted on my blog. As of today, I still have a half-dozen books yet to discussed. Interestingly there are some additional photobooks that I have become aware of since finalizing my exhibition selection that although will not be at FotoGrafia, I will include on my blog to continue this theme of investigating “work” through the month of October.

After some additional consideration, I decided to add yet another layer to the photobook exhibition with a working assignment for the photographers and their respective books. I requested the exhibition photographers to re-photograph a double-page spread of the book’s interior, providing a minimum of direction. Only that they should choose a double page spread which they think captures the essence of their book. The results have been humorous, provocative and revealing.

We will exhibit this mash-up of singular interior book images in conjunction with the photobooks. I hope that this will create a diverse and interesting dialog between the many surrounding interior photographs with the book objects and the viewers and participants of this exhibit. As a preview for the exhibition, many of these interior photographs are now revealed below.

Update: I needed to provide a link to the photobooks selected for this exhibition: exhibition listing

Douglas Stockdale (Curator) for The PhotoBook

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