Doug Stockdale's Singular Images

October 31, 2007

Travel log: Marburg day three

Filed under: Photography — Doug Stockdale @ 12:27 pm

Well, just a short note that today is a working day.  I did finally did log on this morning and post yesterday’s image.  So far, not sure that I will time to photograph anything today.  It was a foggy drive out to the factory this morning, but being a passenger, I did not have control of my destiny for stopping to photograph.  There are excellent Fall colors in central Western Germany right now, with some great yellows and golden leaves, some hints of red.  Very beautiful, thus the images are going to be for my eyes only. 

We did not leave from out of the factory until after dark last night and then the entire team went out for dinner. I was too bushed to venture out. The time lag is also getting to me last night and now today.  And today is looking like it will be even a longer day.  Maybe a chance to photograph tomorrow?

Also saw that Paul Butzi is back on line and appears that he was not able to connect to the internet during his visit to China.  It does not appear good that after this weekend when I get to Shanghai that you will be reading much from me either for the next two weeks. But who knows?

Best regards, Doug

Travel Log: Photo of the Day: Marburg, Germany

Filed under: Photography — Doug Stockdale @ 6:26 am

Marburg Oberstrasse

This is the image that I made yesterday morning before sunrise, looking out my hotel window in Marburg, Germany.  Last night I had an internet signal, but for the life of me, I could not get a connection, and the same for early this morning. So off to breakfast downstairs, very nice, brought back a coffee and bingo, I’m in.  I still don’t know why, but here I am!

Martin inquired about my travel tripod, so I had planned to write about it later, now will do.  I have a Gitz G1228MK2 and a Really Right Stuff BH42 (mid size, can’t reacall the number) ball head. I also bought aq Tenba tripod carring case for it. This is a 4 section Carbon Fiber lightweight tripod, with center column, folded down its about 24″ (60 mm). What I recall reading is that for travel, try to stay short for storing in the overhead bin during flights.  For this trip with the carry on restrictions in London,  the tripod is short enought to just pop in to my bag that I was checking. Nice.

I had actually bought this tripod for my Hasselblad, which due to wanting to keep the weight down for hiking, I was using only with the waist finder. Thus a shorter tripod was not not an issue as to my 6′ height and waist level viewing set-up.  With the Canon XTi, I could use a little longer tripod to bring the camera to eye level without raising the center post. But still very workable. And as you can tell by the image posted with this message, works well!

Best regards, Doug

October 30, 2007

Travel Log: Good Morning Marburg

Filed under: Photography — Doug Stockdale @ 6:06 am

Just a quick note before heading down to breakfast and then off to the factory….

A wet morning in Marburg, and the hotel I am at is down in the old section. So not sleeping so well this morning, I set up my tripod to work with the wet street reflections and the bikes across the street at the University.  When I return tonight, I will see how my downloading and PSC3 B&W mojo works for posting an image;- )

More about why I like my travel tripod later on during this trip.

Best regards, Doug

October 29, 2007

Travel Log: Arriving at Marburg

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

My camera bag arrived safe and sound! Yeah!!!

So while I was waiting for the train in at the Frankfurt airport for the ICE (high speed express) to Frankfurt Bahnhof (main train station) I took some images. So far so good. But this has been a looooong day. I did catch some sleep on the flight over, but I’m kinda beat. Arrived at Frankfurt about 6:16pm, then waiting for the train into Frankfurt Bahnhof, then a local train to Marburg, I did not get to that train station until after 9pm and then a taxi to the hotel. Wow, I needed a bier and lucky that they have a local BraunBier (Brown Beer) which is quite good, but bottled not on tap.

The hotel is at the base of the local Castle (Schloss) here in Marburg, not sure that we will have time to explore this time, but perhaps by the end of the week. Marburg is a college town as well.

Well time for some shut eye. Nice to be here and have the camera gear intact. Very nice.

Best regards, Doug

Travel log: passing through London

Filed under: Photography — Doug Stockdale @ 2:08 pm

Well, since I am not able to post images, I just might give you some updates on this three week venture. If you all yell too much, I will not post and save you some misery, otherwise, it’s a nice distraction;- )

Currently I just landed in London Heathrow to make a transfer to Frankfurt. Nice flight, but AA still not up to speed for International long distance travel.  I’m not sure that they will get it. Meanwhile, I will take advantage of Cathay Pacific from Frankfurt to Hong Kong and then up to Shanghai, and then JAL to Tokyo and back to Los Angeles.

There is one British photo magazine, Black and White Photography, that I see occasionally, so I did pick the current issue in a magazine stall for reading later when I can’t sleep due to the time zone changes will play havoc with my body & brain. I was hoping to find the magazine Ag but that is probably too much to hope for at an Airport terminal. That magazine (Ag) is even harder to find in the USA.

Well, okay, gotta run, it’s getting close to lift off time for Frankfurt.  And I didn’t even get a ‘spot of tea’ whilst I was about.

Best regards, Doug

Update: appears that the clock in the British Airways lounge did not properly reflect the time change that occured over the weekend.  So I had a Harry Potter moment when I found the lounge ‘trolley’, some nice cherry cakes but no chocolate frogs. darn. And I opted for the cappicanio to give me a morning wakeup jolt with the time change, my body says 6am, they seem to think its 2pm in London. What do they know? Okay, perhaps one more little cake for the road to go with my new caffine buzzz ;- )

Blue sky again

Filed under: Photography — Doug Stockdale @ 1:53 am

It was really nice to have a blue sky and some white clouds.  We still have fires burning, but with the change in weather, the smoke is risking and allowing the sky to show.  That does help to lift my spirits.

I just checked in my luggage for Frankfurt and had to stuff my tripod into my suitcase. Seems London is really strict on the one bag rule. And I checked the camera bag as well, which makes me really nervous.  It was that or my computer bag and I have trouble keeping the computer bag closed.  And for work, I am afraid that the computer rules.  So I will be very relieved when we complete the luggage check in London and I can retrieve my camera gear in Frankfurt.  My one other issue is that my prime suitcase for this three  week jaunt is heavy (53 lbs)and will probably be a bother when I catch the train in Frankfurt for Marburg, my final destination on this leg.

Oh well, we depart in an hour, so press on!

Best regards, Doug

October 26, 2007

Photographic Content

Filed under: Photography — Doug Stockdale @ 3:32 pm

Morning Outlook

Photographic (Artistic) ‘Content’ is probably an easier concept to understand and accept.  The basic definition of ‘content’ is that its information.  My dictionary states “The meaning (there’s that other bugaboo word) or significance of an artistic work as distinguished from its form”. Another is reference is ‘context’, which we see frequently as it relates to a photographic (artisitic) image.

There’s no disagreement that a photographic image is realy made up of really tiny bits of either black or white, but from a viewing distance, takes on form.  The forms create recognizable symbols that we recognize and we provide titles to; e.g. that square shape with darker tone on one side and lighter tone on the top is a ‘house’.

The image then has content (information) of which we may or may not recognize and it may or may not ‘mean’ anything to us. As the viewer, the recognizable content will vary based on the relative experiences.  If you have never seen a house before, you may not recognize the image forms as a symbol for a house. 

Perhaps this is the rub with abstract images, that there is content but it is not easily understood as to what the information is. So therefore if there is form but it is not information, but it creates an experience, you are left with what that experiene ‘means‘ to you or I. My reason for why an image has ‘meaning’ as well as content and form.

BTW, this image is from my series; Insomnia: Hotel Noir.  The content and the meaning will vary;- )

Best regards, Doug

Inland Empire series on hold

Filed under: Art, Photography, Projects/Series — Doug Stockdale @ 4:51 am


With this posting and leaving on my trip to Germany and then on to China, my Inland Empire is now on hold until I get back at the end of November.  Not leaving on a positive note with some of the fires still in progess.  Taking Martin’s suggestion, I tried to work on my series with the other crap going on. Take this image, in black and white, it appears that I just have blotchy skys, much you would get from uneven development of film or a bad digital exposure.  I find the composition very interesting, but the sky does really bug me.  And when I am back in November, things will be different. bummmmer.

Well, I’ll be back again and see how it goes, not much I can do about it now…I am still a little frustrated nevertheless. Ah, the artistic heartbreak;- )  or perhaps I am still in a funk with these fires and all of the damage and loss people have had to suffer. I need a sunny day without the smell and taste of smoke.

Best regards, Doug

October 25, 2007

Photographic Form

Filed under: Photography — Tags: , — Doug Stockdale @ 6:10 pm


untitled (Guadalupe State Park, Texas 2006) copyright Douglas Stockdale

There has been an ongoing dialog sparked by Colin Jago on Stills regarding Content versus Form.  I think that the word ‘content’ became stickier when perhaps I tried to use the word ‘meaning’ to try to help understand the ‘content’, as used in the phrase “the photographic image had this content”.  Thus, I found that we were able to obtain more agreement regarding the use of the word form when discussing what a photographic image is (about).

For an engineer like myself, I usually do not dwell much on the precise use of language as much as I do regarding the science of nature.  Perhaps this is why photography appeals to me, I can go straight from my feelings to create an image and there the photograph is, without having to explain my feeling or the resulting image. It is what it is and there it is, so look and see it.  Not many words in that process ;- )

Form is the structure of the image as well as what is in the photograph, likewise for ‘color’ and ‘shape’.  This I can easily understand. A photograph has a very defined structure; it is a flat plane with defined edges and a tactical feel to it. On the surface or perhaps slightly imbedded in the surface structure as may be the case for an inkjet print, are a whole lot of dots that I can not make out, but create an image that also has its own form.

On the surface of this paper is the photographic image that has some form (color, structure, shape) that I can (or can not) easily recognize and I add my words that are associated with the form; I see a ‘house’ on a ‘road’ with a ‘clear sky’ and ‘located near’ a ‘palm tree’. The parts of the image also have their own form created by tonal values that represent shadows, mid tones, highlights that reinforce what it is I think that it is, e.g. the ‘house’ in the mid-day sun.

I believe that I have a huge influence (or even ‘control’, as much as I don’t like that word as much lately) on the resulting form of the photograph and what the form on the image within.

I am still wrestling with content and meaning, so more about that a later time.

Best regards, Doug

Smokey Glance

Filed under: Photography — Doug Stockdale @ 4:11 am

Smokey Glance

I could not help myself, I had to apply my black & white mojo to the earlier image in the post below.  I don’t think that you have the same forest fire smoke content in this image.

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