Doug Stockdale's Singular Images

March 24, 2008

I’m Just Looking – The alternative series

Filed under: Photography, Projects/Series — Doug Stockdale @ 10:31 pm

Looking for a ride

This is the part that drives me crazy. Just makes me a fruitcake! (which is dangerous to say when you live in Southern California). I come up with a great idea for a series. In this case, Wo Zhi Kankan (I’m Just Looking) a great phrase I found in my Mandrian language training book.

Wow, this is so cool, as in I (just me) am only, or just Looking, perhaps not seeing everything that is implicent with my immediate surroundings due to my unfamilarility with the customs and context of what is occuring. Thus, what you see in the photograph, well, that is just what I saw. And now, I also find out that it means that I may also be trying to objective, as I sure don’t know enough about China to be an expect or subjective, just to photograph what is.

And so I realize that this is also a way to bring together a bunch of photographs that I have made over the six weeks that I have been in China, a way to provide a context of a wide assortment of photographs, completed in a similar style.

But I also keep taking photographs and working on my other new self assignment, to bring other people into the photographs. To add in the dimension of those who live in the landscape to be part of my urban landscapes. And in China, it is easy to include people in your photographs, as they are everywhere. It was a lot of work to exclude them. And so I found myself also coming in closer and closer to the people, perhaps not to the point of being a portrait in the more traditional sense. Still, a big step for me!

Yep, that would be what we would call in business as a stretch goal.

Okay, so now looking at my resulting photographs of people, what do I see? A lot of photographs of other people looking at something else. Such as the photograph with this post, a woman who is on the side of the road waiting for her ride, looking for her ride. You can wonder what she is thinking; just where is my ride?  Its the end of my day, the snow is starting to melt, but it is still cold, and I am cold. Where are you?

And so I wonder, is my series I’m Just Looking about me looking or the process of me catching the interaction of some else looking? Or could it include both??

This just drives me nuts!

Best regards, Doug


  1. I have been going nuts for a while, but where do I sign up for a ticket to go nuts the way you are doing it? Great stuff.

    Comment by Anita Jesse — March 26, 2008 @ 12:26 am

  2. Anita, thanks, I’ve enjoyed your continuing support. And the fact that we are both fruitcakes (just kidding!).

    Comment by Doug Stockdale — March 26, 2008 @ 2:26 am

  3. There’s no reason why a series/project can’t be a collection of collections: a presentation in several parts.

    Comment by Martin Doonan — March 29, 2008 @ 3:56 pm

  4. Yes, I now totally agree, I think that I have finally realized that the greatest limitation to the interputation of a given series is the photographer who is making the decisions as to what is included. Thanks!

    Comment by Doug Stockdale — March 29, 2008 @ 4:09 pm

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