Doug Stockdale's Singular Images

November 26, 2008


Filed under: Photography — Doug Stockdale @ 8:36 pm


untitled, Riverside County, California, 2007, copyright of Douglas Stockdale

Here in the United States, we are about to celebrate a holiday we call Thanksgiving. This holiday is from a celebration by the very early settlers in the U.S., that they were still alive and giving thanks for all that they had.

I do not usually get very philosphical in this journal, as some of my blogging buddies Anita Jesse & Paul Lester are more apt to do. So thank you Anita & Paul for providing those positive thoughts on a more frequent basis. And so in a slight departure and in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I am going to share some of my outlook and thoughts, as to giving thanks and the good stuff that comes from it.

First is the whole idea of giving thanks, to those you love and care about, as well as what you have today. It may not be the best there is, but is the best you have today. The theme here is to give thanks and give thanks for what you have today.

I was reminded recently that finding contentment and being happy comes from appreciating what you have now, not what you might have in the future. Who in the heck wants to be only happy in the future and not happy today? We do not know what will happen tomorrow, but we are here today, so make the most of it, eh? Same goes for holding onto past issues, which can essentially ruin the chances of being content today.

I am not against planning for the future or learning from the lessons of the past. Case in point, I have a bunch of great cameras today, not the best of the best, but ones that work wonderfully to get the photographs that express my feelings and thoughts. So I am content with what I have and learn to get the most out of what I use. I do not what to find myself thinking that I will only be content or happy after the purchase of some mega-giga-delux camera system. I may plan to acquire one at some point, but the fact that I do not have it today is not going to effect my giving thanks and being content with what I have now.

So in the spirit of Thanksgiving, tell someone who you have not had the occasion to say “thank you” to recently, and let them know that you are thinking of them and that you appreicate them with a wonderful and warm “Thank You”. I think you will be glad you did;- )

Thus, I want to say Thank You all for your support, comments and letting me vent on occasion, or beat some photographic project to death this past year!

Best regards, Doug

November 25, 2008

Always options

Filed under: Photography — Doug Stockdale @ 5:13 pm


Tree Grove, Indiana, 2007 copyright of Douglas Stockdale

Finishing my book In Passing and now waiting for the first proof (suppose to ship tomorrow) I found myself with that “in between” feeling. Somewhat similar to the “let down” that many of the SoFoBoMo book publishers felt after an intense 30 days of creating, developing and publishing a entire project or series into their books.

Feeling really good that it was finished, but yet kinda apprehensive of what am I suppose to be doing now, sorta of thing. One idea I had was to put some closure on my prior natural landscape work and self-publish a book on the photographs that I made from 1973 to about 2006/7 when the natural landscape was my principal interest. But today, I am not so sure.

In 2001 or 2002, I had switched to color film for my natural landscape photographs, realizing that I might have more creative controls with the use of Photoshop layers to create my black & white tonal separations with the scanned negatives. Although I have a body of black & white photographic work, I also have a small latent color landscape body of work. And I have started to re-examine the underlying color negatives with the potential of creating color photographs instead. hmmmm.

So I am going to take a lot more time to think about these later natural landscape photographs. And in the last couple of years of my natural landscape photographs, I found myself with images like the one with this post, Tree Grove, Indiana. Not in any way the traditional natural landscape photograph, either in color or black & white. No eye popping, super saturated color sunset, eh?

But there is something about this image that keeps drawing me back, I can not shake this image from my subconscious. So I know there is something else going on, which I want to take some more time to work on similar photographs, to further explore my options.

So in the mean time, I am going through my photographic images from last year in Riverside County, which were side tracked with my trips to China. I know that the Riverside photographs had a big influence on what I perceived and photographed in China.

Best regards, Doug

November 24, 2008

Critical Mass submissions

Filed under: Photography — Doug Stockdale @ 6:51 pm

Over the weekend, I received the all of the Critical Mass submission’s on CD. I believe that there are about 640 submissions, which then had to be reduced to 175 for the final determination of 50.

I have two takes on this CD, first if I was in the shoes of one who was juring, and second a reflection on my own submission.

The one thing that is evident as I cruise through the submissions is the diversity of the photographers and the submissions that were made. So it is interesting to think in terms that if I were one of those who were trying to reduce the 640 to 175, who and what might have chosen? Would my choices have included many of those who did make the next round of judging?

I will admit, that those submissions that had content around a chosen subject create a stronger impression than those submissions which appear to be a collection of random photographs. I found myself lingering longer with the series submissions. Then I think about the amount of time that the first group of judges had to process this large amount of information to proceed to the next stage. My guess is that they did not have much time to review each and every image for each submission.

The second thing that I realized is that my submission of triptychs did not create the best situation for my work. If one of my triptych’s is 1000 pixels wide, it ends up looking like a narrow stream of small photographs compared to a single image that is 1000 pixels wide that is sized square or normal rectangle. A triptych in comparison just does not have the same impact as a single large image. And if my work is not represented by one of the judging gallery owners, or my name does not have any recognition value, then this is even a less of a reason to fully investigate my submission further. sigh.

I don’t want to sound like sour grapes, but I need to consider the process and not place myself at a disadvantage. Three small images in a series does not have the same impact as one large image. I already have found that my triptychs are complex and not an easy read, thus probably the wrong series to end up with asking for a quick comprehension and good determination.

So the take away and lessons learned is to be sure of a submission process and the potential impact a project might have.

Okay, now back to some writing and editing. And I have been thinking about a developing a large format Blurb book as a retrospective of my natural landscape photographs (1973-2007) prior to placing an emphasis on my urban landscape projects.

Best regards, Doug

November 19, 2008

In Passing – Second Blurb Edition published

Filed under: Books, In Passing, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , — Doug Stockdale @ 2:00 am


In Passing, Second Edition, Blurb, 2008 by Douglas Stockdale

I had thought that the next book that I was going to publish was going to be my Sharpening book.


It turns out to be the second edition of my series, In Passing.

First the good news. New size, the Blurb large horizontal 13 x 11″, so the photographs are nice and big. I have also reduced the number of photographs to the significant few, 36 photographs. Of those, due to the ability to print on the wonderful Harman FB Mp ink-jet paper, I have tweaked at least 7 images that provide a clearer intention of what I wanted to convey.


November 17, 2008

In Passing – revised Introduction

Filed under: In Passing, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , — Doug Stockdale @ 7:08 pm

Seems that the fourth revision, but second edition, to my book In Passing is moving along at a brisk pace. For those who have not followed along for the past year, my very first printed (version) proof was a mess.

But out that publishing experience came my how-to book, Sharpening Photographs for Blurb Printing. nice.

My second version with the output sharpened photographs for off-set printing was wonderful. Then I developed what I thought would be a limited edition hardcover version (third version, privately published, now very limited: 1/1), increasing the page count from 80 to 120 with an improved layout. But the idea of a limited edition Blurb book has gone over like a lead balloon. sigh. Perhaps it was packaging the Special Edition book in a archival clam-shell with the 15 print Limited Edition folio.

So while reviewing some current photographic book projects, it dawned on me. Instead of being tentative with my self-publishing, go all out. Put my very best foot forward. If I am only going to sell a few of these anyhow, make them really worthy of the purchase. That was further confirmed for me when I received the review copy of Beth Dow’s In the Garden, the Blurb grand prize winner. Very nice, which I will elaborate in more detail shortly on The Photo book, when I publish my review of Dow’s book.

So now I am in the final tweaking of the fourth version/second editon of In Passing, which may be still published this week. And as a preview, here is the updated Introduction for the Second Edition:

This series was developed over a two year period that has taken many emotional twists and turns.


My objective has been to photograph the latent emotional traces of tragic events. These are the artifacts of grief, reconciliation and eventual acceptance. The traces of a tragedy can sometimes be very subtle and other times extremely blatant. The evidence can be implied or it can overwhelm you. These are the range of emotions that I wanted to explore.


This series has become a part of my personal journey to comprehend my own mortality and the loss of family and friends. This series has also provided me with a renewed celebration of my life as is today.


My aim was not to provide a view that is comprehensive but provide a context to those memorials that are passed too quickly on the roads we travel. Subsequently, some of these events have created changes to ensure that similar tragedies may not occur in these same places again.

Best regards, Doug

11/18/09 Update: Second edition of In Passing is now published and available here.

November 16, 2008

Sharpening book – Final edits

Filed under: Books, Photography, Projects/Series — Doug Stockdale @ 6:37 pm

Dave Olmstead is now completing the final edits of my revised Sharpening book for POD publishing. So in the mean time, I have been working on a new how-to publish with POD and the revision of my book In Passing.

I had been thinking of removing the first edtion of the Sharpening book off Blurb, since I think the second edition is a really big improvement. Except I noticed today, someone just bought a copy of this book. And the volume of folks who are looking at this book has tripled this week. I wonder who gave this book a recommendation this week? Because I would like to let them know of the new and improved version.

One issue with Blurb is that if you upload a revision to a book, you get a new book number and location on their web site. Thus, with my revised Sharpening book, all of the links to the first edition are going to dead-end as soon as I delete the book off Blurb. So I have to think about this.

Perhaps I may have to keep the first edition on Blurb, with the ad copy pointing to the second edition. When the reading volume for the first edition eveidentially drops off after the first of the year, then I can delete it.

Meanwhile, I did delete two other books for sale off Blurb. In Passing will soon be availble in much improved revised and larger size edition. But in terms of putting my best foot forward, for the revised edition of In Passing, the quantity of photograhs will be decreasing from 49 to 36. Maybe I will have the second edition ready for publication by the end of this month. (11/18/09 Update: Second edition is now published and available here.)

Places Amongst Us was my 2008 SoFoBoMo book, and although it is an appealing concept for a photographic project, it does not put my best foot forward. I am not excited about either the photographs that were published or the design of the book. I am continuing to work on this series, and I do not have a completion date in mind.

Okay, back to more writing, editing and more editing again.

Best regards, Doug

Update: So I had this brainstorm, perhaps who recommended my Sharpening book posted it on the web? So I did a quick Google of “sharpening photographs” and the very first image is my book cover. I guess that could make a difference, eh?

November 13, 2008

Reflection time

Filed under: Books, Photography — Doug Stockdale @ 6:58 pm


Puerto Rico, November 2008, copyright by Douglas Stockdale

I just completed a quickie trip to Puerto Rico to give a half day workshop. Fly all day from SoCal, get into PR at night, wake up at hotel at gawdawfall 0-dark early (4 hours time change), then off to a conference room to teach. That evening, small group of us out to a small family restaurant, again dark, but great local food and wonderful tastee mojitos. The up again at gawdawfall 0-dark early to pack and shuttle to the airport. At least some day light, and from my past experience in China, I sit on the right side of the bus to photograph out the windows with minimal glare. Not too bad, I like the results.


November 9, 2008

Exposure Compensation kudos

Filed under: Art, Photography, Projects/Series — Doug Stockdale @ 5:30 pm


Hutong ReDevelopment #7, 2007 copyright of Douglas Stockdale

Catching up on my reading and I found that I had received some really nice comments by Miguel Garcia-Guzman on his blog, Exposure Compensation regarding my Un-Critical Mass submission, Re:Development.  I really like his description of my work and to quote Miguel: “Doug’s work highlights a beautiful sense of space, patterns and relationships”. Thank you Miguel!

I still have some self-doubts about the small stories that I created for this series, using the triptych photographs. Especially when the response has been so strong for many of the Singular Images that are the building blocks for the stories. Well, perhaps stories is too large of a concept for the individual triptych’s, perhaps the story is when the 40 triptychs are seen together.


November 6, 2008

500 posts

Filed under: Photography — Doug Stockdale @ 12:43 am

I just noticed that yesterday’s post was number 499, so I stated thinking about what to post for number 500. I guess not much. I noted that this journal has been viewed over 37,000 times, which seems amazing to me.

For the most part, this journal has been a lot about me venting and formulating my plans. I do thank the many of you for your comments and encouragments. Those always seem to come when they are needed most. thanks.

And so back to business as usual. But I should announce that my Developing a Photographic POD Book Workshop at 23 Sandy Gallery is now formally scheduled for March 15th, 2009. More details to follow soon.

Best regards, Doug Stockdale

November 5, 2008

Editing your own stuff

Filed under: Books, Photography — Doug Stockdale @ 12:40 am

In this case, it is about editing the stuff I write.

I do admit, sometimes what I write it not too lucid. Maybe that is also the problem with what I photograph as well. hmmmm.

I am doing the re-write of my sharpening book, and I did not think it was too bad the first time for a Saturday write and publish. But as I have continued the re-write, oh wow did I make some dooseys mistakes. But since I have been writing a lot more frequently, I hope that my writing had improved some.


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