Doug Stockdale's Singular Images

November 23, 2009

Back home again, again

Filed under: Photography — Tags: — Doug Stockdale @ 5:05 pm

Clouds (over Atlanta) by Douglas Stockdale

This last trip to Europe was a essentially all business, either in a hotel or a manufacturing facility from sun-up to past sunset. Initially I was going to have a brief opportunity to stop in Milan, but plans changed in many aspects, but instead an extra day in Rome before making the connection up to Manchester, UK.

Interesting hotel in the greater Manchester area, White’s hotel is connected to the Bolton Wanders soccer stadium. There are a couple of rooms in the hotel that allow you to see inside the stadium, but the room I had was not one of them.

At the moment, still feeling the effects of the jet lag, although sipping my morning cup of Joe, my body thinks it is evening time. oh well, what comes with the job, eh?

With the fly time, I have had a chance to work on some book reviews, having finished my Linda Gordon biography of Dorothea Lange on the way to Rome, collecting my notes and publishing my review while in Manchester. But I think that I might need to re-read this book again some time in the near future, Gordon provided a lot of interesting information and I enjoyed her writing style. Likewise, I also started to work on a review of Chris McCaw’s Sunburn and Arnoud Bakker’s Atropa bella donna. For Bakker’s book, I only recently figured out the title is a name within the genus of plants in the nightshade family, and this is the particular name is for the deadly nightshade; Atropa belladonna. hmmmm, an interesting aspect of this book that I will need to spend a little more time considering.

Best regards, Douglas

November 19, 2009

San Diego harbour skyline

Filed under: Photography — Doug Stockdale @ 5:35 am

San Diego Harbour Skyline by Douglas Stockdale

If this photograph appears a little soft, it’s because it was 1/30th of a second from a slow moving ship, made from our stateroom as we backed out of the slip. A photograph that is more about catching a memory as we left with my entire family and some really good friends on a short cruise out of San Diego. Saw this cliche, but what the heck, why not, eh?

Best regards, Douglas

November 18, 2009

co-publishing photobook reviews with photo-eye

Filed under: Books, Photobook, Photography — Tags: , — Doug Stockdale @ 9:12 pm

A little over a year ago I started to publish my photographic book reviews on The PhotoBook Journal and now some 75 photobook reviews later, I have started to co-publish a few of my reviews in conjunction with photo-eye‘s online magazine. photo-eye publishes photobook reviews in conjunction with their book store and gallery, located in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

This has been an interesting journey, from writing an occasional book review on this site, then realizing that I had a lot of books in my library and creating The PhotoBook Journal, a separate blog focused on just photobooks that dealt with projects, series or monographs. There seems to be enough photographic technical book reviews available at other sites and these books are not as interesting to me (not that I had not accumulated enough of those books as well over the years). So thanks to those who endured my curde criticism & writing skills early on in this journey. I have found that writing is much akin to photography itself, you need to practice, study, think, reflect and be open to feedback, achieve a certain level of competency, then work like hell some more.

17 Days

The first of these photobook reviews is Deanna Templeton’s 17 Days, which can be found on photo-eye here and on The PhotoBook Journal here. For Templeton’s review, the only difference between the two sites are the selection and size of the photographs to illustrate the article. Perhaps not too surprising, the photo-eye article is hot linked to their book store to enable a quick purchase, which, I believe that photo-eye also has some signed copies.

Best regards, Douglas

Update: due to changes at photo-eye, I am no longer a contributor to that blog, which I think might also be due to my intent to co-publish my book reviews. Oh well.


November 17, 2009

Ocean-scape 11-13-09

Filed under: Photography — Doug Stockdale @ 10:50 pm

Ocean-scape 11-13-09 by Douglas Stockdale

Pacific cruise

Filed under: Photography — Doug Stockdale @ 11:56 am

We recently did a little 4 night trip to Cabo this last weekend to celebrate a birthday or two. Having recently reviewed the book by Debra Bloomfield for The PhotoBook about her ocean-scapes, I must have been open to my own versions of atmospheric & interpretative ocean-scapes. Since I had to immediately catch a plane after we returned to port, posting a photo or two from this trip will take a few extra days (or more!). 

Meanwhile since I am passing through Paris CDG airport, it is an excellent opportunity to work on my fashion portfolio.

Best regards, Douglas

November 12, 2009


Filed under: Photography — Doug Stockdale @ 5:15 pm

Rome merry-go-round 110309Merry-go-round, Roma, Italy 2009 by Douglas Stockdale

As I prepare to return to Rome again, one of the images from the week before that I captured in the late afternoon was this Merry-go-round (I don’t know the Italian name for this), which still haunts my memory. I have also tweaked this in a Black & White version, and I am not sure which version works the best for me. There are the expectant, but empty chairs, and no children hanging on the horses or waiting patiently for their turn to ride. Everything is in place. The image and this place has a bit of saddness to it.

I know where this Merry-go-round is, so I may try to work on this composition and explore these feelings again later next week.

Best regards, Douglas

November 4, 2009

Colosseum Gelati

Filed under: Photography — Tags: — Doug Stockdale @ 5:27 am


Colosseum Gelati by Douglas Stockdale

The rain did finally clear just after 1pm yesterday, which was good enough to catch the bus into downtown Rome. I did not want to eat lunch inside the hotel, so by the time we arrived in town, I was a hungry puppy. Remembering the cafes lining the nearby Plazza Navona, I found a nice table outside with a protective umbrella (still some quick drizzles) on the edge of the Plazza and enjoyed a plate of very nice pasta, slightly andante, and a glass of local red vino. very nice.

Then a short walk around down a pedestrian walkway to the Pantheon, but could not find one of  my ubiquitous rolling diners to compose my photograph with, so I quickly moved on. The goal was to get to the Colosseum before sunset. Made it with some time to spare. Also saw the Arch of Costantino and some of the surrounding archaeological digs going on. All in all, a nice afternoon. I even worked a little on my fashion portfolio. nice.

I bet the Roman Senators would have loved to have this wonderful diner available back in the day, grab some pizza to watch the gladiators duke it out, and the gladiators could have run out for a quick Gelati during the half time intermission.

So some things to think about when I am back here in a couple of weeks, although my plans to spend a day in Milan that week are falling through.

Best regards, Douglas

November 3, 2009

Vatican Hot Dog

Filed under: Photography — Tags: — Doug Stockdale @ 9:02 am


Vatican Hot Dog by Douglas Stockdale

Egads, another rainy day in Rome, so I hope that it clears a little by this afternoon.

So I had some time this morning to check out my earlier images of Rome when I was investigating the fine Italian restaurants, and I recalled this little Vatican diner, above. I am not sure if this serves the Pope’s favorite hot dog, but it sure is close if he needed to run across the plazza from St Peter’s to grab a quick snack.

This was a very high contrast situation, probably best if I had the HDR set up on a tripod, shooting into the late afternoon setting sun, unlike the photo below, where I had the option to compose the photograph oblique to the setting sun. I had opted to capture the details of Vatican’s Hot Dog stand and lose the sky. If I feel that this image still has potential, I will need to add a few more adjustment layer tricks to save what I can of the sky for a color version. On the fly working with Photoshop on the portable computer, I think that this image looks pretty decent in the black & white mode. With the black & white adjustment layer, I can create a little more separation between the hot dog stand the St Peter’s dome in the background.

Below is the Vatican’s Panini stand, probably another papal favorite.

hmmm, looking out the hotel window, I can see a faint glimmer of lightness in the clouds, so perhaps there is some chance of the rain clearing this early afternoon.

Best regards, Douglas


Vatican Panini by Douglas Stockdale

November 2, 2009

Rome fashion shoot

Filed under: Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , — Doug Stockdale @ 9:14 pm


Yamamay by Douglas Stockdale

With a little free time in Rome yesterday afternoon, I figured it would be a good opportunity to work on my fashion portfolio, since Rome is considered the number 4 fashion city after Milan, Paris and NY. I mean Rome, Milan what’s going to be the difference in fashion photography? But I had guessed wrong, because Rome does not seem to have the same fashion infrastructure like that of Milan. I don’t know, maybe I was in the wrong neighborhoods in Rome, or perhaps I was too close to St Peter’s Basilica?

Either way, if the rain lets up tomorrow, I hope to investigate Rome a little more and continue to work on my fashion portfolio. Okay, maybe it might be investigating the fine eating establishments here in Rome.

Best regards, Douglas

November 1, 2009

Bird Patterns

Filed under: Photography — Doug Stockdale @ 9:28 pm


As of late, I think I can safely say that I am not an animal/nature photographer, but while sitting adjacent to Plazza Cavour in Rome, sipping a nice glass of local red wine, I could not help but notice the huge flock of birds flying directly above, usually in random patterns, but then occasionally flying in close formation and creating these floating, dense masses in the overhead sky. It was amazing, because the flock kept getting larger and larger and these fast-moving and odd-shaped patterns kept rapidly occurring. I  recall a photobook that is/will be published (sorry, the name of the photographer escapes me) about just this, photographing flocks of birds and the resulting patterns that they had created en mass.

So I found myself trying to photograph some of these bird pattens, but it is a lot harder than it appears, especially with a limited field of view. I guess that I had found it hard to believe that birds would/could do this, and was thinking that perhaps a little photoshopping was going on, but I saw it occur with my own eyes. Amazing.

And to prove that I only had one glass of wine, I have this one photo to show, not by any means the best or most intricate of the patterns, but probably the best one I was able to capture.

Best regards, Doug

Blog at