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!

January 30, 2014

Instant Nomad at SFO

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untitled (San Francisco Airport, CA, January 2014) copyright 2014 Douglas Stockdale.

While looking at these two alternatives as potentials for my Instant Nomad series, the panoramic above is more in line with my intent. With a traditional format camera, I would have definitely wanted to step back to include the multifaceted perspective. Each window is providing a narrow view point and with it a unique narrative, that in turn expands with the inclusion of the adjacent window narratives. With the panoramic photograph, more windows and thus the narrative becomes even more expansive than with the 10 x 8 photograph below.

Cheers!

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January 29, 2014

Industrial Yard, Cornona

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untitled (Industrial Yard, Corona, CA December 2013) copyright 2014 Douglas Stockdale.

Continuing to look at my panoramic photographs as a part of my Instant Nomad project. And continuing to be interested in how these particular kind of panoramatic formatted photographs look.

I choose the cropping of the 10 x 8 format below to isolated and center the subject which initially caught my interest. I think that the centered subject creates a little more static and objective image, what many might say is a more contemporary view point. Interesting to me as to what objects that were included in the edges of the panoramic photograph are now lost and how this redefines the image’s description of space.

If the objects on the edges of the panoramic were of interest to me, say the blue barrels, and I had a desire to include these in the 10 x 8 image, I could of course stepped backwards (If I had the space to do this, which in this case, I did). That in turn would have then meant that the resulting composition would change with the inclusion of more foreground or area above the yellow cart. In this case, I have the central composition that I was interested as per the 10 x 8 below, but with the panoramic I have some bonus stuff.

I find both equally interesting.

Cheers!

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January 19, 2014

Bluewater Shore – Maquette walk-about

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Artist photobook maquette, Bluewater Shore, copyright 2014 Douglas Stockdale.

As I stated earlier this month, one of my short term objectives to finish my first maquette for this artist book was to obtain some feedback on book concept & design during photo l.a. this weekend. In fact, I did manage to obtain a bunch of evaluations on the fly with friends while attending photo l.a., then a couple more afterwards over dinner with a some other like minded friends.

Part of our discussions centered on the book’s design, layout and sequencing with one outlying image as an alternative. There was also some brainstorming this limited edition concept, the series of books that this project will be part of as well as photobooks & photography in general.

Mission accomplished! I think that I am now ready to lock down the selection and sequencing of the images and the related text to fabricate a second maquette for my graphic designer to prepare the pre-press files. nice.

At photo l.a. I acquired Gerd Kittel’s photobook Route 66, to help with the concept of what will probably be my third artist book in this series. What I did not anticipate was a little artist book brainstorming session with the woman who does the hand bindery for the Silas Finch photobooks, a conversation which may lead to a fourth book in my series. very cool.

Cheers!

January 10, 2014

New Year’s housekeeping – start of 2014

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10×10 American Photobooks exhibiton catalog, copyright 2013 10×10 Photobooks

Today was a bit of virtual housekeeping day, as with all of the events that crashed into the end of the year, there were some things that I did not complete that I should have. Most of these tasks are related to my personal self promotion as an artist/photographer, but in the end, the cobblers kids don’t have shoes. Yeah, those subtle things that I need to do for myself go to the sidelines while I complete the tasks at hand; ship books to bookstores, send out invoices, attend book fairs, respond to editorial requests about my books, etc.

So in order of what I did today  (since I kinda hear you asking), is 1. update my web site with the shout-outs regarding my artist book Pine Lake, 2. update this same web site with some 2013 accomplishments (you probably get the idea that keeping a web site updated is viewed as a necessary pain. Yep!), 3. finishing some Facebook shout-outs regarding my photobook Ciociaria and last, 4. publishing a commentary on the 10×10 American Photobook exhibition catalog in which I am featured. sigh.

The three publications which featured Pine Lake at the end of the year were easy to copy & paste into the web site. Yes, this blog is more interactive and easier to use repository of links, etc., so the links are over to your right under the category of Web Ink.

Same for a few updates to the my CV on the web site. My book Ciociaria was accepted into the Indie Photobook Library (IPL) a donation that was made possible by the support of Ella and Zachary Webb.  hmmm, Pine Lake would be another possibility for IPL, so I am now looking for a sponsor who might want to help make this happen.

And last is the review of the 10×10 American Photobooks catalog that includes my selection of photobooks for this series of exhibitions.

Okay, Done!

Cheers

January 8, 2014

Bluewater Shore – Maquette

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Artist photobook maquette cover, Bluewater Shore, copyright 2014 Douglas Stockdale.

A couple of days ago I started a discussion about my next artist photobook for 2014, Bluewater Shore, which I have just finished the first maquette in preparation of getting some feedback from friends at photo l.a. next week.

First, in the photo of the marquette above, the artist photobook dummy appears kinda of chunky, but that is due to my creative process. At this point in time, I have not finalized the selection of the interior photographs, nor the sequence. The image size and margins on the page will be the same as those I used for Pine Lake. Thus after I developed the marquette’s framework, the photographs are being held in place with paper clips (you can see them at the edge of the page) to facilitate changes. Thus, the thickness is a bit unwieldy. When I am pretty sure of the image selection and sequencing, then I will probably tape the images into place.

One change that I am making to Bluewater Shore  is the book binding process of the interior block to the book cover and I am using another manual process; pamphlet sewn stitch. For the Pine Lake artist book, I had used an aluminum prong binding process, almost identical to what was used by Kodak and Ansco for their promotional processing booklets. The downside to the manual prong binding process was the tedious punching of the holes and getting the alignment of the holes correct. Since I was using a hand paper punch, I could only punch three pages at a time. I busted a couple of these punches when I pushed the amount of pages to hole punch. One result of the prong binding was another reason to keep the edition size of Pine Lake to 25.

With the pamphlet sewn stitch, still a very manual process, it is keeping me literally in touch with each and every photobook that I am making. Even the ice pick tool to make the holes for the pamphlet stitching is from the same 1940′s period as the found photographs, or maybe even earlier. A very subtle, essentially unseen, and metaphoric book binding process.

The colors for Bluewater Shore were selected from those used in the same late 1940′s period as my short story is set in. The Canson 300 gm cover is a Sky Blue and the waxed Irish linen thread is a wonderful pink, aptly called Bubble Gum. You can still find these two colors in many of the bathrooms and kitchens of the 1950′s and probably 1960′s houses in the US. My parent’s house in Michigan comes quickly to mind. Oh yes, these were two of my mom’s favorite colors as well, thus another symbolic element.

What I did determine during the construction of this maquette is that my HP desktop printer can not process the 300 gm cover stock. This heavy paper jams the paper feeder and it jams it really well. Thus back to my Epson 4800, which I had suspected that I would need to use and I should have started with it to begin with. sigh. Some lessons are harder to learn than others.

A big change for Bluewater Shore will be that this artist photobook will not have the matching hand made wood frame and cover as did Pine Lake. Since I want to increase the edition size and keep this artist book reasonable priced, I need to make some changes, this probably being one. One thought is to have a large edition of just the stiff-cover book, and a smaller edition of the hand made frame and stiff-cover book. Nice thing about being an artist, I can change my mind on this.

Another change I am making is the printing of the interior pages. With Pine Lake, I had utilized laser printing from a local quick print shop. hmmmm, an area for improvement.  For Bluewater Shore, I will be using an offset lithographic printing process, probably two color. Still working the print, fold and trim details out with a local printer. I will have the printer also fold and trim to a saddle stitch style (without the saddle stitching) so that the signatures will be ready to stitch to the cover. I also plan to increase the limited edition size to 100 or more.

Another draw back to the small edition of Pine Lake was the limited samples available to send out for reviews; there just weren’t any. Thus Pine Lake ended up being under the radar a bit. So for Bluewater Shore, I want to have enough copies to send out to my fellow photobook reviewers to generate some buzzzzzzz. Or at least I hope it will get a little :- D

Cheers!

oh, as to the contents of the maquette, here’s a tease:

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December 30, 2013

Pine Lake featured in Emaho Magazine

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Pine Lake copyright 2013 Douglas Stockdale.

I was thinking earlier today that I should finish the year with a post about what my objectives were for next year and thoughts about this past year.

But then Manik Katyal, the Editor-in-Chief/Publisher of Emaho magazine disrupted my great plans with his article about Pine Lake. So how cool is that?!

I have to admit, what a very, very nice way to end the year. So check it out here.

Cheers!

Oh, and there are only a few copies of Pine Lake left now.

December 15, 2013

New artist book project with pamphlet stitching

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Untitled (Union Ice Picks) copyright 2013 Douglas Stockdale.

While I was developing my artist book Pine Lake, I had started selecting photographs for what will probably be the second artist book in this series about memory, family, nostalgia and remembrance. I am also going to make some changes for this next book, one of which is to produce a limited number of flip books in conjunction with the artist book. I will self-publish both versions and for the stand alone flip-book, I am planing to incorporate a pamphlet binding process.

For the pamphlet bind, it is essentially uses a stabbing tool (awl) to pierce through the interior picture block and outer covers (three holes minimum) and then sewn with an inter-looping pattern and tied off inside the book. Okay, I have never done this before, but how hard can this be to learn, eh?

The awl tool that is prescribed for the paper stabbing has a long slender pointed steel rod fixed to a wooden handle. hmmmm, where had I seen something similar in my grandfather’s steel tool chest? Yep, there in lay three very old ice picks, two of which were pretty grungy and were a pair that I had avoided touching for some twenty years. Time to clean ‘em up!

My biggest concern is the condition of the tips, as they need to be both sharp and straight, which neither of the three are even close. Since I will be working with some very old photographs for this project, perhaps not as old as the ice picks, to use these ice picks in conjunction with creating these books I think would be very symbolic.

So time to figure out how to clean these three little guys up! Another fun aspect of these artist books, more trouble to get into.

Cheers!

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