Doug Stockdale's Singular Images

December 31, 2007

Making some mistakes

Filed under: Photography — Doug Stockdale @ 8:10 pm

Today’s a nice day outside. Nevertheless, I am inside still printing my first Folio and making some additional edits to the Folio Introduction as well as my web site.  I have second, third and fourth thoughts and keep tweaking the words. Never seems ‘perfect’.  Oh NO, I may be misunderstood. Yeah, those kinda of dumb thoughts. 

Self-doubt can freeze me in place, as well as trying to get something ‘perfect’ can also keep me from going forward. I have learned from my mistakes.  I spent three months getting my landscape images ready for my first web site and found out that the warm tone prints that I enjoy, were not because I had warm tone digital files. The warm tone prints were because of my warm tone Epson 4800 printer selection.  Thus two months getting a warm tone digital file process figured out, so that regardless of printer or web, I had a warm tone print. Then another three months converting all of my landscape files to the new digital format and then I was able to start my web gallery.

Not enought?  When I started the Bad Trip – Sad Trip series, after making the vast majority of the images, I spent another three months creating the final images, but I had added a soft diffused effect to the image. But at the end of that development period, I realized that I had created some ‘artisy’ looking images, that might be seen as ‘fine art’ but it was not my vision. You know, the new for NEW sake type stuff, push the ‘boundaries’ thing.  Well, it just did not work for me. So, be true to yourself is what I had to do, thus another two months converting every image to a more direct and more personal interputation. Five months of image development, but I did learn alot about myself in the process.  And I learned a lot about Photoshop CS in the process as well.

So for 2008, here’s to making mistakes, while getting misunderstood. Can’t get much worse than that! Ok, now where’s that other box of matte rag?

Best regards, Doug

December 30, 2007

LensWork #74: Dec 30th update

Filed under: In Passing, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , — Doug Stockdale @ 3:42 am

I just checked the LensWork Extended web site and issue #74 is on line with an available pdf download of the current issue to sneak a peek of the issue, which included 4 of my In Passing images from the print copy.  That would mean it should be on the magazine shelves shortly (I hope!) ;- )

Best regards, Doug

Note: I did not realize that I had named two different posts with the same title, so I needed to include that this was the Dec 30th update.

Day of Odds & Ends

Filed under: Photography — Doug Stockdale @ 12:54 am

Well, the title kinda says it all.  One of those days that you spend getting the odds and end things done.  Making some progress on setting up a commerical account to sell my images, getting another image of the Edition folio printed, reading some back issues of magazines, and the similar stuff.  So I’m making a little head way, which sometimes is all you can hope to do;- )

Best regards, Doug

December 29, 2007

Photo of the Day: Jellyfish

Filed under: Photography — Doug Stockdale @ 1:16 am


We did a little family trip to the Long Beach Aquarium (Aquarium of the Pacific) today, which was a lot of fun and with an adult to child ration of 1:1, just about right!  They have a bunch of kid oriented areas, with the usually touch the fish stuff, but they also have a small bird santuary with a variety of parakeets that will drink from a small cup that you hold, a GREAT photo opportunity for the kids with the very colorful birds sitting on their little arms. Nice. 

But I am a very big sucker for the jelly fish! As you can tell from this posted image, in color no less.  As I think about it, this is really the one subject that I believe works best in color for me. I am so fansinated by these, I could just stand in front of the various tanks for hours.  I almost forgot to take some photos today as well.  Too bad that some great photo books have been made about Jellyfish, but I could do a series just to do it. Does that make sense? 

I did make some images in JPG and RAW, but with the Canon G2, I forgot to adjust the ASA up to 400, thus the JPG turned out shaper and this is one of those JPG’s.  very nice.

Next time I need to remember to bring the Canon XTi;- )

Best regards, Doug

Editioned Folio: In Passing

Filed under: In Passing, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , — Doug Stockdale @ 12:09 am

Santa Suzanna Pass

Crosses at Santa Rosa Pass (from the project In Passing) copyright 2008 Douglas Stockdale

One of the outcomes from having my project In Passing  (Bad Trip – Sad Trip) published in LensWork, is being able to see what my images would look like published in a small book.  Granted, I will have a slightly larger image in my own book as it will be larger, probably about 20% larger. Not really a whole lot. My problem is that the vast majority of my images are horizontal in a vertical format book.  You can see in LensWork the difference in the displayed images between a horiztonal versus vertical image.  Its a big and noticable difference.

Then I received my copy of Quarry Land from Simon Denison, who I have quoted from his introduction for my series Bad Trip – Sad Trip. Although it is apparent that Simon probably uses a Hasselblad with a square format negative, the book is in a horizontal format. The few horizontal images look great and are displayed to great effect. That was the deal killer for my self published book with the Epson 4800, I could not create a horiztonal format book that can provide the page real estate that I want to make the images quality I want.  I am now thinking about the 24″ wide HP Z3100, which would give me the ability to make a horiztonal book, but that is not in the immediate plans.

So perhaps I will find someone else who may be interested in publishing Bad Trip – Sad Trip. But my plans to bring a printed dummy with me to Photo LA is not going to work out, as my assignement in China is at the same time as Photo LA, so no Photo LA again this year. Its just that this event is occuring almost in my back yard here in Southern CA, a missed opportunity, so I better not include that in my 2008 goals;- )

Thus, my recent experience with the Editioned Folio for Foundations. I am in production of the first printing of the folio, but in the planning, I have found a 11″ x 14″ with a 1″ deep archival clam shell (Light Impressions) that may work for an Edition of the entire series of Bad Trip – Sad Trip, all 50 prints, plus an intro, cover sheet, etc.  I may have to use the Entrada 190gm natura versus the 300gm to keep within the 1″ depth of the clam shell.  The prints would also be loose and unbound like the smaller folio. I am expecting my sample clam shell in the next day or so, so I can finish my calculations before ordering the roll paper for the printer.  Only draw back is that it is going to end up being an expense Edition folio with 50 prints, even with an introduction price at $100 per print, that’s $5 grand for the Series Edition.  With the prints at a $150 each, that takes the Edition up to $7.5 grand.  I guess the good news, is at that price, I will not have to worry about making many of them!

Best regards, Doug

December 27, 2007

2007 Goals assessment

Filed under: Photography — Doug Stockdale @ 6:44 pm

Abstract 101

I think that is a good idea to spend a little time to reflect on how well I have accomplished my goals for the past year, both for a learning experience and also to be able to pat your self on the back a little.

I have a couple of modest goals for 2007: have a functional web site for my photographs, initiate a blog, purchase Photoshop CS3 when it came out and learn to use some of the new functions, continue working on my two series that I had become ‘focused’ on and last, to get either into one exhibit or have my image(s) published in a magazine.

To a certain degree, I did accomplish something for each of these goals;

I found a nice template and relatively easy to use web site with Yahoo and now have my photo website working. Still little problem with coming up with the right size thumbnails, but that will be a 2008 goal.

This blog took a number of iterations to get the bugs worked out (template, image size, how to get an image decently prepared for the blog). 

I really like the new Photoshop CS3 with the new black and white adjustment layer, I would buy it for that feature alone.

After a couple of false starts, I did complete the series Bad Trip – Sad Trip. I completed most of the photographs for the series Insomnia: Hotel Noir but due to the couple of reworks for the images of Bad Trip – Sad Trip, I have only completed the fine tuning for a couple of the images for Insomnia: Hotel Noir. Thus the Insomnia series will be part of my 2008 goals. As a result of my consulting work in Riverside County, I have almost completed photographing the series A Sideways Glance and currently working on the series Transitional Seam.

My goal for being exhibited was met when I was juried into the group show at the Irvine Fine Arts Center this summer, and a added bonus when the same image, Tired Bones, was included in the Orange County Museum of Art annual art auction in the Fall.  I did not have any images published in 2007, but being published in LensWork for the January-February 2008 issue is a direct result of my attempts in 2007. Nice way to start the year!

So what about the unplanned opportunities that came about? First, was a better understanding of the digital sensor of my Canon XTi and the optimum aperture to use: at f/6.3 or f/7.1 and not f/16 or greater. This accounts for some of the image issues that occured at the begining of the year for the series Bad Trip – Sad Trip and Insomnia: Hotel Noir.

Second was the development of Edition Folios, the first being Foundations: Landscapes 1975 – 1985. Related to that was my developmental work on a privately published folio book, which was not completed in 2007, but gave me some great insights into the publication and book making process.

Third would be the consulting trips into China this year and having an opportunity to see and think about the many rapid changes occuring there. I will be making my third trip at after the first of the year and I am already thinking about an Edtioned Folio for my images from China.

Best regards, Doug

December 23, 2007

Merry Christmas

Filed under: Photography — Doug Stockdale @ 5:04 am

Winter Forest

Merry Christmas and I am wishing you all the very best for the holidays!

Warmest regards, Doug

December 22, 2007

Reflecting on 2007

Filed under: Photography — Doug Stockdale @ 7:18 pm

Marburg from Castle

As I end the year 2007, it is a time of reflection, about all of the events that occured and the experiences that I had.  Did the year 2007 go as planned? NOPE  Is that a bad thing or a good thing? Good thing, as it went better than I had planned;- )

My professional background is in project management and operational planning, so you can see that this whole idea of making plans for the year is almost second nature.  But thank goodness I have that Right Brain thing going on!  Sometimes I think you can over plan and become very rigid in your expectations, to the point of missing good opportunities.  On the other hand, I think if you don’t plan at all, then at the end of the day, year, whatever, you look back and wonder what the heck did you actually accomplish.

Case in point, the series Bad Trip – Sad Trip that I completed in 2007.  I had been taking some pictures of the road side memorials as Folk Art, but I was also taking a lot of pictures of a lot of other things. No focus per se. Just totally random, such as a lot of my prior landscape photography work.  But then I read the artice by Brooks Jensen in LensWork who further elaborated on the idea of a focused series or project, and Bingo! the lights in my head went off.  I had not done any planning on my images, ideas or thoughts about a focused series, and as a result, at the end of the day I was going to end up with a few random group of pictures.

So 2007 became the year of starting the focus on projects and series.  Now I had plans to work on and stay focused on the Folk Art Memorials project, but that also required me to really think about what was driving me, why do it, why should I do it, I think you get the idea.  But this was the start of a different journey for me, unlike any to date. And that is great.

I did not know at the begining of 2007 that I would finish this series or that I would start at least four more, with at least a second relatively finished and the third and fourth pretty much in progress.  Maybe it would be better to talk about how I accomplished goals versus the make-vs-plan that I do so often with my corporate hat on.  Goals for me is a way to talk about my ‘plans’ in softer and more open terms, with a lot larger degree of latitude and freedom. My right brain gets easily distracted and sometimes that creates great opportunities and that in retrospec, glad I took.  But it also give me a Charile Brown wishy-washy, can’t make up your mind appearance as.  Sorry, but I am now too old to care, so be it!

Okay, I’ll probably be reflecting a little more over the next week and perhaps get into setting some goals for 2008.

BTW, this image is from the castle overlooking Marburg, Germany while I was there at the end of October (business trip and not planned, but wonderful time and opportunity). I made this image as a gentle mist was starting to come down with Marbrug getting fogged in during the late afternoon.  This small building houses a spiral stairway down the side of the castle wall to another section of the castle grounds inside the moat. And there is that big tree, which in color would be a cascade of yellow Fall leaves. But that splash of color would distract you from that small building with the dark enterance, mysterious, but not totally forbiddening. Beckoning you to enter in, explore and to discover where the journey would take you. A nice little metaphor for starting 2008, eh?

Best regards, Doug

December 21, 2007

LensWork #74 update – In Passing

Filed under: Books, In Passing, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , — Doug Stockdale @ 3:34 am

Canyon Tracks

Canyon Tracks, Nevada from the series Bad Trip – Sad Trip & published in LensWork #74

I just recieved my advance copy of LensWork #74 and it looks wonderful!

I am one of four photographers, the others being Josef Hoflehner, Ann Miller and Barry Wolf.  There are 21 images from my series in the print edition, the full series will be in the DVD LensWork Extended along with my interview.

The LensWork editorial staff have also re-titled the name of my project to In Passing, rather than Bad Trip – Sad Trip. I am okay with this title change and in fact I find that I like it.

One of my biggest interest in this publication was the image selection and image pairing. Some surpries and some good guesses based on the interview I had with Brooks and the images that he wanted to discuss.  Obviously, the image with this post is one of the images selected! When this issue becomes available in on the magazine racks or you receive your subscription, I’d be interested in your feedback.  I’m going to reserve my comments for now;- )

Second interest, is to evaluate the printing of the LensWork glossy images to my own matte printed images.

I do need to add a couple of images to my web site to ensure that all of the LensWork print images are available. Meanwhile I am vasalating over what to do next with the series, with my book draft already in progress, but now reviewing the folio concept as another alternative. When I order the folio covers for my Editioned folio Foundations, I think that I am also going order a portfolio box to evaluate.

Best regards, Doug

December 20, 2007

PingHu China: Placid Lake

Filed under: Art, Photography, Projects/Series — Doug Stockdale @ 4:43 pm

Country Road Hangzhou

After the first of the year, I will be returning to China for another two to three weeks.  This time I will be at PingHu in the Zhejiang Providence, which is actually near JiaXing where I was at in October – Novemeber.  You have to know which Providence for PingHu, as there are about six cities in China named PingHu, which means Placid Lake.  Ping can also mean Calm, but I like the Placid Lake translation better at the moment.  Since I will be there in winter, I don’t know how calm this lake will be, as I hear that it can be very windy during this period.

This image, Country Road, was made in the foothills in Hangzhou and incorporates a number of memories of China, thus another reason I like this image; that of the fields, the people, the small tractors and the presence of cars, the new affluence.  The foreground ‘metor’ on the road was a nice accidental find, symbolizing the speed of change in China in this region and China as a whole.

As I near the completion my first Editioned Folio, Foundations, I now find myself thinking about the images that I made on the first two trips into China and what I may photograph on this next, and create another Editioned Folio about my China experiences.  I need to name this Editioned Folio and while I am in PingHu or Shanghai, I will have another chop (stamp) made of the Chinese characters for the Folio title so that I can incorporate it into the Folio design. Sweet!

And I know that during that time in China, regretfully I will not have access to this blog. Double Darn.

Best regards, Doug

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