Doug Stockdale's Singular Images

April 16, 2014

Instant Nomad – Santa Ana

Filed under: Instant Nomad, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , — Doug Stockdale @ 10:07 pm

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Untitled (Santa Ana, CA April 15, 2014) copyright 2014 Douglas Stockdale.

Today was my day for jury duty. I was summoned to the Superior Court of California in Orange County. As always, I figured that this would be an interesting experience. Usually is.

In the past, I have found that the court system is pretty fussy about the presence of cameras. So that was going to rule out the Canon. So I would defer to my Samsung 4 camera-phone as a possibility.

It was an interesting walk from the parking structure to the court building and the route took me past the Santa
Ana college football field. In the morning overcast light it looked interesting (photograph below), especially the graphic look of the gate entrances.  Reflecting on these images while waiting in the jury room, it dawned on me that these locked up gates provided the potential for a really nice metaphor to investigate the jury-court system that I was now a part of. Thus I was hoping to return to this same area during the lunch break and photograph this area again in the mid-day light.

It turned out that I was released from jury duty just before lunch and I subsequently made a series of photographs on my walk back to the parking structure. The slightly back-lite composition, photograph above, accentuated the graphic look of the bars with the shadows extending into the foreground. Fortunately I was also able to include the sign. Very nice.

Only drawback to the image above was the background sky as the coast fog was still receding, thus the sky was only partially clear blue. Guessing most may not have noticed this unless I had pointed it out, or thought it a image defect due to the small sensor of the Samsung camera-phone. UPDATE: while studying the image above, I have come to like this combination dual-sky, sort of what the jury trial system is similar to. The trial with all of the  evidence offered by both sides is never entirely black and white, or clear and blue, but usually a little murky and unclear, much like what the coastal fog is like. Some evidence about the facts seem obvious and other times, not. It has taken me a little longer to better understand my own photograph, eh?

Cheers!

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April 12, 2014

Instant Nomad – In Transit March 2014

Filed under: Instant Nomad, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , — Doug Stockdale @ 5:08 pm

I made this observation during one of my frequent trips. A common perspective for those on flights. I am intrigued in this variant of portraiture and I have been making a series of these passenger portraits as a possible part of my Instant Nomad series.

Cheers!

Untitled (Orange County to Atlanta, March 2014) copyright 2014 Douglas Stockdale

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April 11, 2014

Instant Nomad – Hunt Valley

Filed under: Instant Nomad, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , — Doug Stockdale @ 10:56 pm

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Untitled (Hunt Valley, Maryland, March 2014) copyright 2014 Douglas Stockdale

Late last month I posted an urban landscape photograph made from this same vantage point. These two photographs have a very different appearance that might be best explained that they originated from two different digital capture systems.

The photograph above is from my Canon 5D, which has a full frame sensor, 12 m-px, in conjunction with a Canon L lens, while the earlier one from a Samsung 4, a much smaller sensor although similar size 13 m-px file. Both images were adjusted with the PhotoShop RAW convertor and then in Photoshop. Both images are my interpretation of the what the digital file can offer, although in retrospect, the Samsung image appears colder while the image above is warmer. I could re-work the earlier image (adjusting the color temperature in RAW conversion) to appear similar similar in warmth to this one, but not sure I want to.

What’s include within the frame also differs, perhaps with the earlier photograph having a bit more chaos evident due to the tighter framing, as well as one is more panoramic while the other is a traditional 35mm format. Neither probably fits the Ansel Adams landscape formula, as in other photographs of mine, as some modernistic critic recently pointed out, I don’t include a clearly defined subject.

Interesting that as singular images, both might be acceptable as individual photographs. I think both look relatively realistic and plausible as to what was before the camera lens. In reality, neither are a entirely truthful. For now, one aspect I am interested in is which one helps me to investigate what it means for me to be a nomadic person.

I am also looking at these photograph’s as to how I might describe the urban landscape.

Cheers!

April 7, 2014

Untitled RSM 174038

Filed under: Uncategorized — Doug Stockdale @ 2:02 am

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untitled (Ranch Santa Margarita, CA 04-03-14) copyright Douglas Stockdale

Always amazed as one one thing seems to lead into another. I have been a fan of Bill Jacobson’s photographs and I curated his photobook A Series of Human Decisions into the recent 10×10 American Photobooks exhibition in Tokyo last year. Prior to this book, Jacobson has completed a series of somewhat related photographs since 1987 but noted for the fact that the photographs were purposefully out of focus, see image from his earlier book Photographs.

So while having dinner at a local pizza pub, I decided to photograph a person sitting at the adjacent bar. When I went to zoom in with my Samsung camera on a tighter composition, the magnification in conjunction with the low light was a challenge to the camera-phone and while it was just trying to auto-focus, I made the exposure above. A Jacobson moment.

An impressionist and ambiguous image, with shapes, color and mass that hint at something that seems tangible. Subsequently I have found it hard to duplicate. Much easier to obtain the same effect with a manual focus camera.

Cheers!

Bill Jacobson Photographs copyright  2005 published by Hatje Cantz

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March 21, 2014

Instant Nomad – Maryland

Filed under: Instant Nomad, Photography — Tags: — Doug Stockdale @ 12:36 am

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Untitled (Hunt Valley, Maryland, March 2014) copyright 2014 Douglas Stockdale

While on a business trip earlier this week to Maryland, I continued to investigate the found urban landscape. Serendipity and chance play a decisive part of this investigate. In this case, this is a composition found when looking out my hotel window.

Cheers!

February 25, 2014

Instant Nomad – Anaheim

Filed under: Instant Nomad, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , — Doug Stockdale @ 4:19 am

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untitled (Anaheim, CA) copyright 2014 Douglas Stockdale.

So I have been continuing to think about what makes the wider format of the Samsung 4 cell-camera images so intriguing. Perhaps it finally dawned on me and maybe I’m the last to figure this out but it’s a similar wide ratio as to my high-def t.v. It was one of those Olympic moments, glued to the the t.v. for a while and suffering through some dumb commercials when I finally noticed the similarities. I guess this wide ratio effect can also be termed cinematic.

Never thought of myself as a panoramic guy, but now I find it intriging. Interesting, but I think most of the full-frame digital cameras still defer to the old 35mm format ratio as the golden rule. The only panoramic camera that comes quickly to mind is the Hasselblad and if I recall correctly, it uses 35mm film, not the 120 film. Not just ready to make this small camera investment at the moment but if any of you want to donate one (or lend it for a couple of years) because your has an inch of dust on it and been sitting in the attic for the last five years, let me know.

Meanwhile, I continue to explore the use of this wide-format camera in conjunction with some projects, this photograph above is part of the Instant Nomad series.

Cheers!

February 21, 2014

Emaho magazine

Filed under: Art Market, Books, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , — Doug Stockdale @ 9:34 pm

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“American” photobook titles, copyright 2014 Douglas Stockdale.

I have been just invited by Manik Katyal, founder, editor and publisher of EMAHO magazine to be a contributor to his magazine joining he and Colin Pantall as photobook reviewers. We are still working on the details of what that means, but the short answer is that he would like to co-publish my book reviews that I post on The Photobook blog. You may also recall that Katyal featured my artist book Pine Lake on EMAHO magazine.

Katyal has also asked that I focus on American photobooks, as Pantall is located in the UK and is predominantly covering the European photobook scene. When I stated The Photobook blog in 2009, one key aspect of this project was for me to look at photobooks beyond the borders of the U.S. as I see photobooks having a intercontinental reach. So this has stirred mixed emotions, but fortunately Katyal has not asked me to be a book reviewer exclusive to American photobooks.

With the internet and social media I observe a really quick mashup of ideas and concepts being shared amongst photographers and book makers. This request to be an American specialist is an interesting one. I am in the midst of reading America Latina Photographs (1960 – 2013) recently co-published by Museo Amparo, Fondation Cartier in conjunction with Thames & Hudson. American Latina covers an extensive and diverse region, extending from Argentina and Chile north to Mexico and includes the Caribbean islands. The curators/authors devolve into question of what does the term America Latina photography signify. I think the same beguiling question encircles the idea of American photobooks. Thus expect me to be equally broad and diverse while to looking at American photobooks.

I will start by broadly defining American photobooks as those created by someone born in America, someone who has moved to and resides at least a part of their time in America and photographers who reside in places other than in America who in turn investigate the culture, landscape and society of America.

An example I have in hand is Andreas Oetker-Kast’s recently published photobook Looking for Wonderland, a German photographer who made an American road trip investigation transversing across the U.S. Likewise Andrew Phelps, an American photographer who now resides in Austria who returned his family home to investigate a region of Arizona titled Haboob. And quintessential American photographers such as the late W. Eugene Smith and his three volume opus Big Book.

My photobook reviews will not be exclusive to the American photobook, but perhaps I will become a little more keen observant as to what is being published with regard to America.

Cheers!

footnote: the photograph of the American photobook stack, above, is also an investigation into the use of my recently expanded studio space. Another work in progress, but so far, so good.

Pine Lake – Out of Print

Filed under: Uncategorized — Doug Stockdale @ 7:29 am

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Pine Lake, copyright 2013 artist photobook by Douglas Stockdale

I just posted this same announcement on The PhotoBook blog, but I am really excited to announce that 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 8, 2014

Field notes – 02-05-14

Filed under: Photography, Projects/Series — Doug Stockdale @ 10:37 pm

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untitled (Aliso Viejo, CA, February 2014) copyright 2014 Douglas Stockdale.

Continuing to look at urban landscapes using a wider than “normal” perspective. Now thinking that the term panoramic implies too wide of a perspective for these photographs. Image cropped to a traditional 10×8 format below. Also thinking I should also consider a 6×6 square image as an alternative format. hmmmm.

These are my field notes for a book concept that I am considering.

Cheers!

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February 3, 2014

New project in the making

Filed under: Books, Photography, Projects/Series — Doug Stockdale @ 9:05 pm

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untitled (Aliso Viejo, CA, January 2014) copyright 2014 Douglas Stockdale.

Another interesting series of events that appear to be leading into a new photobook project. First, I have been using the wide format Samsung IV camera-phone to see what things looked like in these almost panoramic photographs. Then I was inspired to take some “documentary” photographs of the golf courses I have been playing lately with the Samsung. The what-am-I-doing-now variety of photographs. Relatively brainless, but kinda of interesting as to the results.

I am currently reading Paul Seawright’s latest photobook Volunteer just released by a new Irish photobook publisher Artist Photo Books. Seawright’s subject is the US military recruitment centers sprinkled around the country, but he does not photograph them directly. His viewpoint is looking away from these recruitment centers and out toward the urban landscape. It is his attempt to describe where, thus indirectly who, are the people that the military is seeking to recruit.

It is this idea of an indirect visual study that intrigues me. And thus the underlying concept for this new photographic project. I have a straw-man idea for the title, but still too soon. I need to play some more golf (hint, hint) and take some more photographs. Then see what photographic images start to accumulate.

Cheers!

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