Doug Stockdale's Singular Images

May 31, 2008

Hasselblad mirror blues

Filed under: Photography, SoFoBoMo — Doug Stockdale @ 8:43 pm

While working on the film scans for my SoFoBoMo series, one tiny little thing kept dogging me, why was I getting some slight blurriness to my images. Not every image, but enough. Okay, way toooo many. This was another of those distracts that made me wonder, was I just producing crap in this 30 days and if so, what for?

Perhaps another reason that I opted out for the DSLR images so quickly, I was not getting good results with the film. Turns out, it was for a simple reason.

And the answer came tumbling down on me like a ton of bricks while I was quitely reading the David Plowden’s book. In the last year and half since I made the switch from the Hasselblad to the DSLR, I had forgotten one of the golden rules with the Hasselblad; first fire the mirror and then wait a couple of seconds and then expose the film. Duh!

The sounds of that old mirror slapping up during the exposire is a kinda of a neat sound. But it does have consequences. And I had forgotten them. Yikes.

So the second edition of my book will take a might bit longer, as I will be reshooting some photographs as well. First I need to quickly sort through my scanned negatives and pull out the near hits. Then I will have my short list to head out again. Oh well, it is a process and to enjoy the journey.

And this time, no deadlines. nice.

Best regards, Doug

oh, and if I quicly sell enough books, I can purchase a used 50 mm f/4 Distagon for the Hasselblad to complete this project. Unless, of course, any of you would like to donate one?

Update: 9 of 27 images were deleted and two maybes. I will add a sharpening layer to see if they continue to hold up or need rephotographed or use my digital version. grrrrrrrrrrrrr and I have myself to blame in as I should have remembered to pop that mirror up first.

Places Amongst Us

Filed under: Books, Photography, Projects/Series, SoFoBoMo — Doug Stockdale @ 4:40 pm

My SoFoBoMo for 2008 is complete!

I just uploaded my Blurb BookSmart template and did all of the neccessary things and ordered my production proof of Places Amongst Us. And so it is now out there. Done for the moment.

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SoFoBoMo Finish line

Filed under: Photography, Projects/Series, SoFoBoMo — Doug Stockdale @ 6:26 am

It does appear that I am going to finish my SoFoBoMo project in the Month of May. I just did the last edit on my project Places Amongst Us in my Blurb book template. So tomorrow morning, I will give it another review and then upload to Blurb and order my first copy.

The way today was going, I was thinking that this was not going to happen. My Maxtor external hard drive where everthing is (Yeah, no backup as of this morning), was aborting about half way through the start up. After about six trys, I was starting to sweat. Oh oh. Anyhow, after letting it rest, it finally roared into action, but by this time, I had already made a run to Best Buy and I had a new 500G Maxtor Hard drive ready to go into back up mode. Which is just about complete. nice.

And then while cleaning my glasses this afternoon, the frames broke. I think that this may be due to some radical flexing by my grandson a while back. Does not help that I am also a klutz.  So now I have my computer glasses on and deciding what to do next. I need another eye exam, my vision has shifted and I don’t want to buy a new pair of glasses using the old perscription for just a couple of weeks. grrrrrr.

So it appears that I will have fully developed two books in the same month. Who would have guessed? Which is why you have not been hearing from me very much for a while. So hopefully I’ll be back to normal, but right now, I am calling it a night.

Best regards, Doug

May 29, 2008

Sharpening Photographs for Blurb Printing

Filed under: Books, Photography, SoFoBoMo — Doug Stockdale @ 10:07 pm

Front Patio I” from the series “Places Amongst Us”, copyright of Douglas Stockdale

Well this is a strange series of events. It now appears that my first published book (Blurb) is going to be technical How-To. I just uploaded and made available my book “Sharpening Photographs for Blurb Printing.

For those who have been following my disjointed and lately infrequent posts, know that when I received my first Blurb production proof of my softcover book “In Passing“, everything was hunkie-dory until I compared it to my LensWork publication. Then the big disappointment with the comparable lack of image sharpeness in my Blurb book. I mean BIG dissappointment. I essentially stopped working on my SoFoBoMo project “Places Amongst Us“. A DEAD stop. Yep, right in my tracks, dead stop. If all I was going to get was a soft mess, why bother, eh?

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May 23, 2008

Image sharpening for Blurb

Filed under: Books, Photography, Projects/Series, SoFoBoMo — Doug Stockdale @ 5:44 am

Right now, this seems like crazy making. I now know that my process of creating images for a Blurb monogram book will result in soft resolution photographs in the book based on my press proof of In Passing. So why am I continuing to work like a madman on a second book that will end up looking like the first? I am spinning my wheels, my friends.

So, I have the concept, basic photographs, introduciton and book layout for my book, Places Amongst Us. But I need to figure out the photogaphic sharpening process for the Blurb books, otherwise it is again, Crap in, Crap out. And I just don’t have the time to knowingly look ahead to doing it right the second time.

Thus, I am now hukering down to work on the photo sharpening process for the Blurb books. I found today that with the Blurb book software, Booksmart, you can get somewhat of a soft proof of the results. The softness of my 300dpi JPEG image in the book was very close to the softproof. What I did determine today is that Booksmart does allow some magnification of the image in the softproof mode, but you can not drill down too far, about half the slidder they provide. It would be really nice if you could get to 100%. 

Yes, I did not do a drill down with the softproof the first time, as I had figured that the conversion from the Photoshop file to a JPEG file was tansparent to the file. Nope. And I had used the Bicubic Shaprner while making the change. Not enough to keep the original sharpness.

And I now recall a statement that Brooks Jensen made while he was preparing my images for LensWork, that he wanted to know how much sharpening my images had so the he did not oversharpen. So he was doing somehting to the digital files in the way of sharpening them for the subseqent offset printing. Ah, the black art of printing.

So now I have to figure out what that formula is for Blurb book printing. I guess the engineer is coming out of me again. I can not settle for ‘good enuf’ for what I intend to represent my work.

I’ll keep you all posted on my results;- )

Best regards, Doug

May 20, 2008

Walkway IV

Filed under: Photography, Projects/Series, SoFoBoMo — Doug Stockdale @ 8:24 pm

Walkway IV” from the series Places Amongst Us, Tijeras Creek, copyright of Douglas Stockdale

a SoFoBoMo 2008 production

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Blurb Production Proof – In Passing

Filed under: In Passing, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , — Doug Stockdale @ 5:49 pm

I had finished the softbound version of my series In Passing and I was hoping to have the first production proof to review while concurrently working on my SoFoBoMo project.

That was almost side railed by the construction team working on my kitchen. Seems that they were working in the garage prepping some items when the UPS deliver was made. Monday they took my package from the UPS and then placed it on a pile of their stuff. I am sure that they meant to give it to me later that day. Solater on Friday, while doing the UPS trace and finding out that it was delivered at the beginning of the week, we found it. Five day internal process delay, could have been worse. grrrrr

Okay, so what about the Blurb softbound book?

First, at 80 pages, it has a nice heft and feel. The binding looks good and the toned print color is very close to the original.

The font for the cover spine is too large and needs to be scaled down to ensure a good fit. No rules or clues from Blurb, so I will give a good guess and it probably means another “production proof” before I release it for sale.

I realized that I have a title inconsistency, on the cover, Photography by … and on the inside title page, I have Photographs by … so I need to chose one or the other and leaning towards Photographs by …

For the pace and flow of the photographs within the book, I think that I do like the sequencing with my choice of image pairings and the single image spreads. Having spend a lot of time on this with my first book dummy when I thought I was going to print this myself, I find that this is a relatively good confirmation of the effort that I spent on this. nice.

At the end of the book after the image index, I have added some notes but have not properly titled this section as the Afterword, so I need to fix that also.

Last but more importantly, are the printed images. I have the additional luxury to be able to compare the Blurb book with my LensWork publication. What I have immediately noticed is the lack of sharpness of the Blurb softcover compared to the LensWork magazine. I have not been reading many blogs recently, as it seems any free time is spent on my SoFoBoMo project, but I do recall someone talking about having oversharpening their book images (Gordon?). My images do not appear to be sharp enough in the Blurb book. hmmmm.

And of course, Blurb provides no clues as to how much sharpenging to add. The softproofing that you do with your Blurb software does not help or illustrate to you as what will happen. So I don’t know if the print sharpeness issue is an artifact of their printing technology or that I did not prepare the images with the correct amount of sharpening.

I will have to noodle this image sharpening issue for a while, but I am not going to work on the next revision to the softbound version until June and I have either finished my SoFoBoMo project, or I have taken it as far as I could in the time alloted. Right now, it is not looking good to finish it in the time alloted. darn.

Best regards, Doug

May 16, 2008

Neighbors VII

Filed under: Photography, Projects/Series, SoFoBoMo — Doug Stockdale @ 12:41 am

Neighbors VII” from the series Tijeras Creek, photograph copyright of Douglas Stockdale

A SoFoBoMo 2008 production

Best regards, Doug

Note: the title to this photograph may change, as this was the working title and I have bee rethinking some of the image titles again for this series. At this time, the earlier Observation Bench titles are getting enought traction for me and I plan to keep them as is.

May 13, 2008

Photolucida – Photo Reviews

Filed under: Art Market, Photography — Doug Stockdale @ 8:20 pm

I recently received an update from Photolucida (Portland, OR) that they are hosting a Nortwest Summer Portfolio Review. My article about the phtoto review that I participated at in Palms Springs received a lot of attention, thus I want to provide another opportunity, but regretfully it is already sold out! Bummer and I was giving this some intense consideration.

They accepted only 80 photograhers for the reviews, which will take place over two days, July 25 and 26 in Portland, OR at the Blue Sky Gallery. Of note, on their web site they do have a PDF regarding their How-to Guidebook for a Photo review, worth reading.

Also while gettng caught up on my reading back-log, I came across an article about Karen Irvine, the Curator of the Museum of Contemporary Photography (Columbia College, Chicago, IL) (aka MoCP) and she made the following comment as being a portfolio reviewer:

Well, successful in terms of it a productive exchange and twenty mintues well spent I thingk would mean that either the photographer or myself, or ideally both of us, walk away having learned something. Of course the obvious answer from my side would be to day that success means finding an artist I would like to work with. But to be honest, it rarely happens. Not to be too vague or trite, but to discuss art ina limited, closed context is often a learning experience. There have been times when the art is absolutely not interested in, but the artist is smart or insightful and we have had a good discussion.

Best regards, Doug

Observation Bench IV

Filed under: Uncategorized — Doug Stockdale @ 4:49 pm

Observation Bench IV” form the series Tijeras Creek, copyright of Douglas Stockdale

A SoFoBoMo 2008 production

Best regards, Doug

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