Doug Stockdale's Singular Images

June 30, 2008

Working the process

Filed under: Photography, Projects/Series — Doug Stockdale @ 8:02 pm

While I was putting the finishing touches of the sofbound version of In Passing, I continued to concurrently work my project development process for my China photographs.

Over the weekend, I started the development of the artist statements (book introductions) for the three distinct projects coming out of my China experience. I also identifed three buckets (file folders) to move my photographic files into that corresponded to those projects.

So now I am going through each days shoot and identifying if they are a relevent to any of my three projects and if so, which one. For those of you with Lightroom, this may be a little simpler, but the proocess is still the same, eh?

The photographs which I now learn the most from are the ones that I need to decide which of the two or three folders are a best match. I think that this is called editing! But when I can not decide which project that this is best suited for, I am then challenaged by the “why” of the photograph and the ‘what’ of the project. I then discover what the connection was (and now is) for the photograph (like in why did I take THAT picture??). And I better understand my project, so more notes that I continue to accomulate on the margins.

Then I continue to post the photographs and I get the wonderful feedback that futher helps me to connect, such as Butzi’s comment about seeing “one foot in the boot/one foot on the shore”. Very nice!

I think I am good at taking photographs but pretty bad with why I did and what does it all mean? But it is expected that I have some kind of clue to offer. That is why the I’m Just Looking (Wo Zhi Kankan) project may be precived as the weakest one. Because I saw something, I liked it for some unknown reason and decided to press the button. Duh. Okay, I had better shut up before I blow a few more toes off.

So now, what about this photograph, eh?

Another of the series of photographs during the slow road to Shanghai during this last January Chinese Blizzard. The traffic was horrible, why else would it take almost a full day to get from JiaShan to Shanghai, normally about an hour ride. So most of the times, we were crawling in traffic, which is when I made this photograph (sometimes the drive said #%!3#% and pulled into the far left oncoming lane of the road and went like a bat out of hades until the oncoming traffic forced him back in line – now that was an interesting experience as I did the death grip on the seat).

What I had been looking for and why I made this photograph is that I was trying to capture people standing on the side of the road with another lane behind them that went into the homes and villages fruther back. There was something about those side off-shoot roads, as to where they lead, where did they go, alternative paths, both for them and potential for us.

The road not taken, eh?

Perhaps symbolizing decisions in our lives, why we went this way or that. Others coming from another direction and we potentially meet and then…..something different. Chance encounters. Things we can not control. We can not be every where, so we make decisions, but then, what if, eh?

And who is this person? Does he know the person walking behind him? What are they going to say? Are they headed in the same direction? A hint of mystery….

What if?

Best regards, Doug

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