The PhotoBook Journal

May 17, 2017

Lighting donation – Dual Graphics

Filed under: Photo Book NEWS, Uncategorized — Tags: , — Doug Stockdale @ 2:53 am

Norman Strobe set-up for book photography

Photo Book Photography; Norman strobe set-up, April 2017 Copyright Douglas Stockdale

While I was working on the printing of my artist book Bluewater Shore with the printing team at Dual Graphics, they offered me an opportunity to tour their facility to observe how they provide front-to-back color management for their book printing processes. This led to the discussion about the back ground on their Fulton printing methodologies that resulted in my recent interview article about this amazing printing capability on the West coast.

While on the facility tour, we stopped at their photo studio to meet up with my buddy Scott Mathews whose the lead photographer for this operation. I would have to say that I am primarily a street/location photographer, not a trained or practicing studio photographer. Mathews studio lighting set up was very impressive and I stated that this is something I probably need to think about at some time for photographing photo book covers and interiors for The PhotoBook Journal. Mathews gave me a look and then stated that they had mothballed a long time ago a Normal lighting rig when they purchased their current studio lighting, would I be interested in a donation of an old studio lighting set up; Norman P2000 power pack and two Normal strobe heads. Wow, would I (although not exactly sure of what I was getting into as I have never worked with studio lights, but sort of frustrated with my current book photography process). Being a non-profit (or as I say, no-income/no-profit), I do not look a gift-horse in the mouth and appreciate all donations!

Dual Graphics also threw in a couple of Bogen light stands with this donation; sweet! So I received a quickie studio lighting lesson from Mathews about what I needed to do for my “new” studio set-up; buy a pair of inexpensive umbrella reflectors and NOT connect a digital camera directly to this old Norman power pack but purchase a pair of PocketWizard Plus wireless transmitters. Done and done.

So after a little bit of experimenting and some lighting coaching from Mathews, I think we are in business. The recent book photographs for the Barbara Peacock book review showing some nice improvements in our book photography process.

So a big thank you Dual Graphics for their support of this journal and we hope you enjoy the revised look!

Cheers!

Douglas

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January 17, 2017

Nancy Baron – Palm Springs > The Good Life Goes On

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Photographer:  Nancy Baron (born in Illinois, residing in California, USA)

Publisher:  Kehrer Verlag, Heidelberg, Germany, © 2016

Essays:  Foreword by Alexa Dilworth; statements by Matthew Weiner and Nancy Baron; quotations by Martha Stewart and Hugh Kaptur

Text:  English

Hardcover book with 120 pages; 63 numbered and titled color photographs; sewn binding, printed and bound in Germany. 22.5 x 22.5 cm

Photobook Designer:  Katharina Stumpf, Kehrer Design Heidelberg

 

Notes:

Palm Springs has been a geographical and cultural mecca (not only for Southern Californians) since the early twentieth century, a place where a variety of endeavors have had the freedom to unfold. Especially in our time, both celebrities and others consider this desert city a notable attraction, an informed center of cultural activities of all kinds, most notably several film and art festivals, a summer photo festival, an excellent Museum of Art, and many more, also in association with its eight sister communities in the Coachella Valley. The dry air supplies a healthy environment for outdoor activities much of the year as well.

Mid-century modern is the architectural style that makes many of the private residences in Palm Springs especially appealing. Some fifty years later, one marvels at the manner and style that seem to seamlessly integrate residential buildings into the desert environment with its seasonal challenges in temperatures, and at the “good life” it supports. Nancy Baron excels as an observer who lets us look over her shoulder to see the marvels which this impactful town presents. It is almost as if time has stood still: In an era of world turmoil the serenity of the desert and its structures forming an enclave for residents serve as the basis for this second volume of Palm Springs photographs by Nancy Baron. (The first volume was previously featured on The PhotoBook by Douglas Stockdale.)

The volume is designed with a square format, as are almost all of the photographs; square compositions have a satisfying feeling of completion when well done, as is the case here. This is in line with the feeling of serenity of the “good life” depicted here. The colors are bright, a series of portraits of the environment and its inhabitants to match the bright desert sun. The emphasis is on the structures in their surroundings; the occupants and owners and their possessions seem part of an ever-changing context that is subject to some cultural influences and interpretations, as well as to a great deal of nostalgia. The volume is well thought out and is pleasant to view and read. The writers of the essays share some personal impressions and experiences regarding this unique town. Nancy Baron shows a special knack for portraying the special characteristics of places along with their cultural phenomena. We are looking forward to her future projects!

Gerhard Clausing

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October 7, 2016

Terry Brown & Gordon Stettinius – Mangini Studio

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Copyright 2014 Terry Brown & Gordon Stettinius

Photographic collaborators: Terry Brown (resides Richmond, VA) & Gordon Stettinius (resides Richmond, VA) USA

Publisher: Candela Books (Richmond, Virginia)

Essays: Dr. Manuel Moore, Terry Brown, Gordon Stettinius

Text: English

Hardcover book, embossed and tipped-in image, sewn binding, four-color lithography, index, printed by Worth Higgins & Associates, Richmond, VA

Photobook designer: Sarah Rowland

Notes: This photobook is a humorous eight year collaboration between of two photographers, with Terry Brown making the exposures of her subject, Gordon Stettinius (perhaps an alter-ego series of selfies?), with Gordon having the opportunity to play a variety of roles. This conceptual project also reminds me of the work of Cindy Sherman, another photographer/artist who is very adapt at playing a variety of roles for her lens. The reader has an opportunity to really get to know the wild and crazy side of Gordon Stettinius. I will admit, not realizing that this project was underway or knowing Stettinius, it was pretty perplexing to figure out just who Stettinius actually was when I found some of these portraits on-line over the last couple of years.

These interesting, albeit playful, series of studio portraits also has a serious undercurrent that investigates perceived roles and identities.The viewer cannot help in reacting to the various visual persona’s that are represented in this portfolio; hippie, dork, right-wing conservative, left-wing intellectual, low-life, ex-military, skin-head, artist, politician, country musician and even a cross-dresser. I find that this project pokes fun at many of the stereotypes of our society (regretfully pre-Trump), while subtly confronting some of the cultural issues we face today.

Cheers

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January 13, 2016

Adam Voorhes – Malformed

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Malformed – Forgotten Brains of the Texas Mental Hospital Copyright 2014 Adam Voorhes 

Photographer: Adam Voorhes (born San Jose, CA, resides Austin, TX, USA)

Publisher: powerhouse Books (USA)

Essay: Alex Hannaford

Text: English

Hardcover book with dust jacket, sewn binding, four-color lithography, printed in China

Photobook designer: DJ Stout & Stu Taylor (TX)

Notes: I obtained this book due to my own fascination with memory and our attempts to preserve it. The brain is where memory both occurs and resides and memory essentially defines who we are. With physical defects of the brain resulting from issues at birth, personal choices we make, an accident or perhaps a disease or condition that had been lurking which has become fully manifest, the ability to have an effective memory in conjunction with cognitive thinking can be at risk. Interestingly, while photographing his subject, Voorhes metaphorically found that many of the his subjects had identification labels that could no longer be read, thus representing a true lost memory.  While these elegant photographs may be difficult to view, both due to the morbid nature of how the brains were obtained and the state that his subjects are in as well as the fact that being examples of deformed brains, these beautiful photographs challenge the viewer to reflect on the lives and memories that these individuals attempted to have.

Cheers

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December 20, 2015

Jenny Riffle – Scavanger

Filed under: Uncategorized — Doug Stockdale @ 10:48 pm

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Copyright 2015 Jenny Riffle

Photographer: Jenny Riffle (born WA, resides Seattle, WA, USA)

Publisher: Zatara Press (USA)

Essays: None

Text: English

Stiffcover book, glued binding, four-color lithography, two gate folds, Photographic Index, printed in Virginia (USA)

Photobook designer: Not stated

Notes: Documentary style photographic project by Riffle, a visual biography of an individual who is on a quest for treasures, but perhaps a metaphor about chasing happiness. What is a treasure or personal happiness? The unknown, simple pleasures, past memories, elusive mysteries, or objects of desire? A search can become a lifestyle of planning treasure hunts as a reason to travel, which as a photographer I can relate to. Seeking out new territories that have not been searched before. What forgotten remnant or memory that now over time transform into a new found treasure? These found objects can raise speculation as to its history and significance by those who left it behind.

Cheers

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September 16, 2015

Nancy Baron – The Good Life > Palm Springs

Filed under: Uncategorized — Doug Stockdale @ 3:51 am

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Copyright 2014 Nancy Baron

Photographer: Nancy Baron (born IL, resides CA, USA)

Publisher: Kehrer Verlag (Germany)

Essays: Nancy Baron, Aline Smithson & Donald Wexler

Text: English

Hardcover book with tipped in image, sewn binding, four-color lithography, printed in Germany

Photobook designer: Katharina Stumpf

Notes: Baron investigates an eccentric, if not at times surreal, city and the lifestyle of a smattering of equally eccentric citizens located in the arid desert of Southern California. She is drawn to the unique desert architecture which spawn the mid-century designs built to stylishly survive the intense arid heat before the days of air conditioning. This is also the warm winter playground for those who could afford (or had the good sense) to flee from their frigid winter homes to build elegant winter retreats out in the desert. The dry heat has in turn preserved this art Deco community and attracted those who enjoy its laid back lifestyle.

Cheers, Doug

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September 3, 2015

Cig Harvey – Gardening at Night

Filed under: Uncategorized — Doug Stockdale @ 6:20 pm

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Copyright 2015 Cig Harvey

Photographer: Cig Harvey (born UK, resides Maine, USA)

Publisher: Schilt Publishing (The Netherlands)

Essays: Cig Harvey, Vicki Goldberg

Text: English

Hardcover book, sewn binding, four-color lithography, printed in Germany

Photobook designer: Deb Wood (Brooklyn, NY)

Notes: Gardening at Night is an exploration of home, family, nature, and time. He narrative investigates settling into one’s environment and creating life where you are. Harvey frequently tightly focuses in on the details of her surroundings, punctuated by deep shadows or blazing brightness, to create her wonderful metaphors, which are intertwined with her running dialog though the book.  One result is an intensely personal story that captures an experience of the world that is at once otherworldly and yet instantly familiar.

Cheers, Doug

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August 10, 2015

Dave Jordano – Detroit Unbroken Down

Filed under: Uncategorized — Doug Stockdale @ 11:33 pm

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Copyright 2015 Dave Jordano

Photographer: Dave Jordano (born MI, USA resides IL, USA)

Published & copyright: 2015

Publisher: powerHouse Books

Essays: Nancy Watson Barr, Dawoud Bey, Sharon Zukin

Text: English

Hardcover book with dust jacket, sewn binding, four-color lithography, printed in China

Photobook designer: Sam Silvio, Edited by Meg Handler

Notes: The residents of a region inside Detroit (Michigan) that is known for being on the downside edge of life are the subject of Jordano’s photobook. He creates an intimate narrative about hope and endurance to an otherwise misunderstood and misrepresented city.

Cheers, Doug

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August 7, 2015

Janire Najera – Moving Forward, Looking Back

Filed under: Uncategorized — Doug Stockdale @ 7:00 pm

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Copyright 2015 Janire Najera

Photographer/author: Janire Najera (born Spain, resides Spain & UK)

Landscape photographer (panoramas): Matt Wright

Published & copyright: 2015

Publisher: Spain Arts & Culture (Spanish Embassy) in conjunction with Editorial RM (Spain)

Essays: Janire Najera, Orlando Romero, David Roybal, Alexander King

Text: English & Espana (Spanish)

Hardcover book, sewn binding, four-color lithography, printed in Spain

Photobook designer: N2 Estudio Grafico

Notes: “Moving Forward, Looking Back, Journeys Across the Old Spanish Trail” is a documentary project focused on identity, based on memory and inspired by travel. A mashup of portraits, landscape of the Western USA, interviews and a personal diary. Interesting and worth checking out.

Cheers, Doug

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April 29, 2015

Photobook Independent this weekend in LA

Filed under: Uncategorized — Doug Stockdale @ 3:53 pm

This weekend in LA is the initial Photobook International that will occur in conjunction with Photo Independent and Paris Photo LA.

The opening night premiere party and exhibition preview is Friday, May 1, 5-10pm and the exhibition is Sat 11am – 7pm and Sunday 11am – 6pm.

Both Photobook Independent and Photo Independent will be at the Raleigh Studios Hollywood, 5300 Melrose Ave in Hollywood, which is right across the street from Paris Photo LA. A book faire and able to walk a film/tv production sound set, so how cool is that? Who knows whom you will bump into?? (maybe me?)

Photobook Exhibitors include:

Artists Corner Books, Los Angeles
Brittany Hutchinson, Los Angeles
Hesse Press, Los Angeles
Li Sun, Los Angeles
Linda Morrow Handmade Photobooks, Long Beach, CA
Lorena Turner, Los Angeles
Malulu Editions, San Francisco
Mark Dahle Portfolios, La Jolla, CA
Queensland Centre for Photography, Australia
Roustan Body Paint, Redondo Beach, CA
Schiffer Publishing, Ltd., Pennsylvania
Silvershotz, Australia
Teresa Heim, Petaluma, CA
Waltz Books, Indianapolis
ZERO+ Publishing, Claremont, CA
I will be making the rounds, checking out the photobooks, so hopefully see you there. I will be the guy wearing white PhotoBook Club pin!
Cheers!!
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