Doug Stockdale's Singular Images

October 19, 2007

Photographing Techniques

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

Road to New Custom Home Lost

Road to New Custom Home Lots  (From the series Transistional Seam)

A comment from Anita Jesse earlier today about my photographic technique made me realize that I should share some information. She had asked a simple question; where did I park (my car) to take these pictures? For my current two series in progress, I have two basicly different techniques for the image capture.

For the series A Sideways Glance, I have been making the exposure mostly from a moving car out the open window.  Having driven this section of the I-15 freeway a number of times, I already know the composition that I want to capture. Then it is a matter of which lane do I need to be on the freeway to achieve my composition (usually a series of images from the near lane and out until I have the right composition), pacing the trucks to have a “free” unobstructed photograph, and remembering to keep the camera level during the exposure, all the while keeping my eyes on the road (except for that quick glance). 

I’ve had to make repeated exposures over a number of weeks to get all of these lined up to achieve what I want to suggest.  BUT, I will also stop on the side of the freeway if there is a diffictult composition and I can not make it any other way.  I always check out the traffic patterns and where I feel I need to park to make the stop before hand.  The freeways in Southern CA are dangerous, especially when they are already posted at 70 mph to begin with.  Sometimes I have decided it is not the worth the risk and I will do the best I can with a drive-by.

As to the series Transitional Seam that I am actively photographing now, I can plan a head and make my decisions as to where to park, as I usually need to get out and make my exposure.  When some one decides to let their pit bulls run freely around, I will position the car to make the exposure from the open window.  The one thing about the areas where I am working with the homes and lots on the dirt roads, the pace is easy, the understanding is good, the folks are nice and a wave will do, and the traffic is either very slow or not at all.  When you drive an SUV, you can usually create a parking spot in a flat open area on the side of the road.  But if there is not a good spot to park, it will require finding a safe parking spot, lock the car and take a hike up the road, etc to where I want to photograh.

For the image in the post below, the Empty Office, this was on a side road off a tiny bit larger road and I did find a wide place on the the side of the larger road adjacent to this location.  During the entire time that I was working on this composition, only one car went by.  For today’s post, I again was parked on a little wider area of this access road and I had seen one car a little earlier when I was initially driving through this area.  My biggest problem for these images is the dust stirred up from the roads.

As always my biggest concern is for the safety of myself and others, otherwise it is a composition that has been seen for just my eyes only.

Bset regards, Doug

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1 Comment »

  1. Thanks a million, Doug, you are a prince for taking time to share this information. I especially appreciate knowing that someone else shoots from inside a moving vehicle. I must say that, lacking your obvious and rather amazing expertise, I am shooting as a passenger. What you do takes multi-tasking to a level way beyond my skill. Still, you have given me reason to apologize less on behalf of my penchant for “Drive-by Photography.”

    Comment by Anita Jesse — October 19, 2007 @ 8:45 pm


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