Doug Stockdale's Singular Images

September 18, 2014

My RGB to Grayscale Conversion process

Filed under: Photography, Memory pods — Tags: , , , — Doug Stockdale @ 4:55 am

028B 06-03-14_Memory_pods_162638_Grayscale_No Memory pods

#28 No Memory (Pods) copyright 2014 Douglas Stockdale

I had mentioned in an earlier post today that when I converted my color photographs (RGB) in Photoshop to a Grayscale (Black & White) image that I first had to flatten the layers of the color image. I received a question from a buddy as to why I did that?

I now realize that there are aspects of my work flow that I have taken for granted, such that it is generally recommended that for image sharpening (unsharp mask) and adding a curves adjustment layer, that you should consider changing the layer blend setting from Normal to a Luminosity setting.

As to why, I had to go back to my Scott Kelby book “The Photoshop CS book for Digital Photographers” published way back in 2003. My goodness that makes me feel a bit dated. Okay, so Kelby states that for image sharpening of color photographs (RGB mode), I do not want to sharpen the color data (normal layer blend mode), but just the luminosity data (Luminosity layer blend mode). By adjusting just the luminosity I preserve the hue and saturation of the base image, otherwise these will shift.

What I do notice is that if I sharpen the color data this can create some  halo effects within the image, but that does not occur when I am using a luminosity blending layer. When I add an adjustment layer like a curves to change the image contrast, if in the normal layer setting, I will also be changing the color data and besides changing contrast I will also alter the color (hue & saturation) of the image. To eliminate the color shift I adjust only the luminosity layer.

The kicker is that in Grayscale the Luminosity layer blend mode is not an option since a black and white image has neither hue or saturation. So when I am changing the mode from RGB color to Grayscale Black & White, the adjustment layers I use for the RGB color creates a conflict in Photoshop for the conversion. A dialog box pops up and asks to eliminate these adjustment layers, so instead I proactively flatten and eliminate the layers prior to making the mode change from RGB to Grayscale.

As to the photograph in this post it is an image that pushes my artistic boundaries as I rarely work with such dark images. Nevertheless I do find it fitting and appropriate for the feelings I am investigating in this case; how might one feel if they did not have the ability to remember their past? Everything is a blank; words, the meaning of words, associations and the life and history of your friends and family, essentially everything about who they were.

Best regards

September 17, 2014

Memory Pods – exploring the possibilities

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#55 Ghost Pods copyright 2014 Douglas Stockdale

This summer I have been continuing to explore the possibilities of my Memory Pods project that I initiated last May. The camera-phone in conjunction with the Snapseed App offered one alternative view point while the full frame digital offered a different, with the resulting collection of images looking a bit schizophrenic. I am still trying to sort this out, but at the moment, it is what it is.

Towards the end of the summer while looking at these photographs, I began to see the possibility of having some of the images in Black & White. A Photoshop Black & White conversion layer facilitates this process very nicely. After I tweak each image a few times while printing some test proofs, I will probably flatten the image stack and convert it to a Grayscale file.

For the early and subsequently much later period while memory loss is occurring for someone it is not a black and white situation, but a lot of gray areas as to what is exactly happening. This lead me to investigate when the memory loss is complete, how might I that experience be like? This is pure speculation as trying to discuss with a person with dementia about their experience is a difficult, if not futile, task. I observe that a person with dementia is usually not happy unless under a ton of medications, even then they appear more of a zombie, thus a gray palette seems very appropriate.

From my past photo-blogging experience I am dying to explain what the photograph in this post represents for me but now I realize that by explaining what it means for me might takeaway what this image represents and means for you, the reader. Nevertheless to provide a little hint I have included my title for the photograph. Enjoy!

Cheers

July 8, 2014

Keep Singular Images ad free – purchase a print!

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Untitled (#39 Memory pod series, Middle Age) copyright 2014 Douglas Stockdale

August 2014 Update: this offer has expired! I will soon have some special print offers and due to all of the feedback I have received since posting this (thank you one and all), all prints will be in limited editions.

Cheers!

The Management


 

I founded the Singular Image photo-blog seven years ago, in part to provide an on-going discussion of my evolving vision, as well as in the words of Gary Winogrand, “to see what my photographs looked like”. This effort has been self-funded until now and now I require some additional assistance. Thus I am going to make what I think it is a really nice offer (actually described by another photographer as a sophisticated offer). Rather than requesting outright donations to support this blog, I am going to instead, much like Kickstarter, provide a special print offer. This is an opportunity for you to purchase an open-edition archival pigment print of any photograph of mine that I have posted on this blog in the past seven years. There is only one caveat; the print size will be limited to an outside dimension of 8 ½” x 11” otherwise the print will move into my Limited Edition sizes (and a much different pricing!).

So here is the print offer to support this blog:

Each open-edition archival pigment print, 8 ½” x 11”, matte finish, signed on verso (back of the print) is available for $100.00 U.S.D., which normally sell for $200.00. The shipping and handling (s/h) of each order is $25.00 U.S.D. for anywhere in the world, so multiple print orders to one destination will only require one s/h charge (even more savings!!). The print will not be matted and the photograph selected must be made by me (as I have also from time to time discussed some other photographers work and illustrated the post with their photographs on the blog). Easy as eating pie!

So page through this blog, find the photograph(s) you like (Yes, you can purchase as many as you like) and then leave me a note in the comments section of the post that you want this print offer and provide me with your email address. I will send you a PayPal invoice and ask for a shipping address and soon this print will be your hands.

I am not exactly sure how many photographs I have posted over the past seven years (I am pretty sure that I have the negative or file with very few exceptions) but I believe that there are more than 890 photographs to choose from. If there are any potential conflicts with the photograph, I will let you know.

If you have any questions, email me!    doug@douglasstockdale.com

So now please get started!!

Cheers!

As I hope you know and understand I really appreciate all of your support for these past seven years and now I hope for a few more years yet to come. Thanks!!

And if you are interested in a larger Limited Edition photograph, please contact me.

 

July 3, 2014

WordPress – No free lunch

Filed under: Photography — Tags: , — Doug Stockdale @ 6:43 pm

So as a photo-blogger I am now at a vexing cross roads. I launched Singular Images blog in April 2007, which in the day had no advertisements inserted into it. Not the case anymore. In fact this blog is so riddled with WordPress ads, even I have trouble looking reading it. So one of the trade-offs for a “free” blog is these overwhelming distractions. Now too overwhelming.

Of course the WordPress solution is for me to pony up the $99 bucks per year to go “Premium” and avoid all the ads. As a free blog this was a no brainier, when I had the time available, to just do it. This blog has been cathartic allowing me to write and look at my photographs from more of an objective distance. This blog also provides me with a little visibility with my peers, although I receive a lot more immediate comments and direct feedback on my photographs with Facebook, but unlike Facebook what is posted on here has a lot longer visibility.

I also find that with this blog I can quickly modify it to reflect my projects that are on-going than my web-site, thus this has become my alternative web-site. And I am paying about $120 bucks per year for my web-site, so do I need both? It’s not that I am making any money selling prints at this point, but perhaps someday soon.

So while I evaluate my options, this blog is going on a hiatus.

Cheers!

Doug

P.S. I also note that when I read this blog on one computer, I have a ton of ads, when I read it from my other computer, almost no ads. What is it you see? Do you get peppered with a lot of ads or none at all? Let me know, it will make a difference! Thanks!!

June 10, 2014

Traffic Signal

Filed under: Photography — Tags: — Doug Stockdale @ 3:48 am

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Untitled (Traffic Signal) Copyright 2014 Douglas Stockdale

While I was off on my temporary tangent working on the Memory pods project, one of the items I photographed was this traffic signal control box. At the moment I made this composition I was thinking about the association of something that attempted to control signals (memories) being over-layered with symbolic memory pods which had fallen and were in various states of decay. The once beautiful memories are  now turning to decaying dark brown bits.

And in reality any attempts to control my memories is futile as gaining access to this buried and locked down control panel which probably is a good representation of my sub-conscious.  So I may or may not use this image for my memory pods project; time will tell.

At the moment I have a lot of material that I have photographed and I feel it’s time for me to pause and take stock of where I am and where I think I am going.

Cheers!

June 8, 2014

Memory pods – more HDR

Filed under: Memory pods, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , — Doug Stockdale @ 5:53 pm

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Untitled (HDR Memory pods #03 and #04) copyright 2014 Douglas Stockdale

Always interesting as to the response I receive for the photographs I post. Just about every photograph that I post here on the blog, I usually post on my Facebook page. That’s mostly a self promotion thing, right? Nevertheless, I do gets some pokes back from Facebook to this blog and in fact, the number of folks who follow this blog has been increasing at a nice rate, just breaking 100 followers. For that, thank you! (For my PhotoBook blog, I am just passing 10,000 follows, so I am just saying a bunch more could be following this, eh? Yuk, yuk)

Okay, a little bit of feedback on the responses to my recent wild side photographs here and on Facebook; my series on sub-warp speed bombed! Maybe I should have added that this was also an attempt to create a self-portrait after the guy hit a golf ball through my back window? The couple of over-the-top Grunge mode did fair, but the winner? The de-saturated HDR that I posted here (bottom photo, so I will edit the post and move it to the top). For my sensibilities, of the four it was the one I could tolerate the most.

So one good thing begats another, so I went back to a couple of recent Memory pods images and created another pair of destaturated HDRs, essentially dialing back the HDR mode. Since they do not look very HDR-ish, I might have them dialed a little far back. Maybe. So might tweak them again later. maybe.

At the moment I have a couple of photobook reviews to finish with my two recent reviews being published as well by Emaho magazine. So you can check them out here.

Cheers!

20140606_191505_1_3_1_hdr_jumbled_affair

June 7, 2014

Memory pods – Grunge mode

Filed under: Memory pods, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: — Doug Stockdale @ 9:41 pm

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Untitled (Grunge Memory pods versions #01 & #02) copyright 2014 Douglas Stockdale

After discussing the Snapsneed app and the HDR mode yesterday, thought I should come clean with my messing around with the Snapsneed Grunge mode. This is a slightly different subject from my Memory pods series. While working with my other images in the Grunge mode and moving from effect to effect, all of these other wild combinations momentarily appear on the screen. hmmmm.

So since I was taking a moment to explore my wild side with the HDR mode, I did the same with the Grunge mode. I did not crank the various Grunge settings up all the way up, but they are still way beyond my comfort zone with the images I am considering for my project.

Although these photographs could potentially be considered artistic or creative versions, regretfully I also consider these my interior decorator “wall art” versions. I could probably make more money selling these images at some art faire than my entire Memory pods series.

Nevertheless, this app is rated F for fun! (did I mention it’s a FREE download??)

Cheers!

06-05-14_Grunge_Memory_pods_143412_v2

Memory pods – HDR

Filed under: Photography — Tags: — Doug Stockdale @ 3:22 am

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Untitled (HDR Memory pods #01 and #02) copyright 2014 Douglas Stockdale

These are a par of HDR manipulated photographs that were fun to play with. The straight version is similar to Memory pods #37 that I posted here early in the week. I was aware of the Snapseed HDR mode, poked at it earlier and I did not like the results for what I was trying to achieve.

Today was just about messing around and pushing this image’s limits, the one above with a higher saturation with more intense color and the image below with a much toned down saturation leaning towards monochromatic. Two different visual effects, and most will probably gravitate to one or the other.

For my personal work, I am not a fan of the HDR effect and in fact this is my first attempt in working with it. I will admit that its been kinda of fun tweaking these images with a totally different visual appearance. Like always eating vanilla ice cream and then some gives you a big scope of dark chocolate.

Every once in a while, you gotta try something different.

Cheers!

06-05-14_HDR_Memory_pods_144305_v2

 

June 6, 2014

Veggia-selfie

Filed under: Photography — Tags: — Doug Stockdale @ 4:54 am

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Untitled (Veggia-selfie) copyright 2014 Douglas Stockdale

With the recent and seemingly odd tangent that I am on photographing metamorphic plants, I decided to take a break and return to working on another of my projects for the morning. In the midst of this I noticed my shadow on these bushes. The resulting photograph has a similar look to the images that I am tweaking with the Snapsneed app for my Memory pods project. too funny.

I will take this as a subtle hint and get back to my Memory pods project.

cheers

June 5, 2014

Memory pods – 39

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Untitled (Memory pods #39, Aging Memory pods) copyright 2014 Douglas Stockdale

This Memory pod project continues to evolve, but since my subject is evolving towards the end of it’s bloom and seed cycle as a subject it is about at it’s end for this year. I really can’t recall if this plant blooms once per year or twice, but I guess by the end of this year I will know.

When I started this project last week the plant’s pods were pretty vibrant and green. This week the pods that remain are slowly turning brown and thus providing more opportunities to investigate memory with the passing of time. Not to difficult to understand that as we age, the neurons don’t spark as fast, while for some, regretfully, the neurons are literally gone, which is the inspiration for version #39, above.

This image may appear a bit different from the previous version in another way as I have switched to the full frame Canon 5D instead of the Samsung camera-phone. Because I still have an interest in the Snapseed app on the Samsung, I will probably photograph my subject with both cameras. Okay, for this session I will not be getting out the Hassie and film, a bit too late to start that.

Cheers

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