Doug Stockdale's Singular Images

April 19, 2011

Flow of Light Brush the Shadow

All Photographs Copyright 2011 by Douglas Stockdale

I have continued to think about the body of work that I created while I was in China during 2007 and 2008. While in the midst of my stay, I had a number of potential concepts, but in retrospect, not really concrete enough. I know that while in China I was reacting to the rapidly changing landscape that was being directed by their government, the old hutong neighborhoods were being rapidly wiped out in place of towering apartment homes or vast acres of industrial parks. I attempted to create a narrative with my series of triptychs Re: Development.

There were three other visual aspects of my time in China, and for these I chose the project names of Chinese Picture Postcards (MingXinPian), I’m Just Looking (Wo Zhi KanKan) and the third is Flow of Light Brush the Shadow (Lui Guan Lue Yin). I also had chops (stamp blocks) carved for each of these in the Mandarin characters by my favorite chop carver in Shanghai. But regretfully, I have continually moved my images in and out of my project storage folders, vacillating as to which photographed belonged with which project.

At the moment, I find myself getting more traction for my conceptual intent for this project, Flow of Light Brush the Shadow. The name of this project came about over discussions with a few Chinese artists as to my intent to capture a fleeting moment, as to not really understand what all was occurring around me, but to gain a small insight, a momentary glimpse. Interestingly, I think that Andrew Phelps photobook Not Niigata has helped me with understanding an external context to my experiences in China, which has also helped with establishing the context for my photobook Douglas Stockdale Ciociaria that I photographed last year in central Italy.

An additional layer that I find myself adding to this project is that in retrospect, many of my photographs remind me of my dreams and memories of this time in China. There is a real mash-up of indistinct, blurry and hazy impressions intermingled with a few sharply focused memories, some small details that stick to my gray matter like super-glue. Likewise, memory is far from perfection, as it also incorporates inaccuracies that distort reality, creating a state of altered reality, which is equally fascinating to me.

So I shall start my sort again for a potential photobook for Flow of Light Brush the Shadow based on a blend of these concepts; fleeting dreams and memories that hint at a complex and possible altered reality.

Best regards, Doug

April 8, 2011

SoFoBoMo 2011 dates announced

Filed under: Photography, SoFoBoMo — Doug Stockdale @ 8:35 pm


Copyright Douglas Stockdale

I just received an update from Colin Jago that SoFoBoMo 2011 dates have been announced for the 2011 event: July 1 through August 31st. I also posted a brief announcement on The PhotoBook, so some more information available there as well.

In a case of rust remover for those not familiar with this blog, I was one of the many who supported Paul Butzi when he kicked off this annual event in 2009. I finished two books in 2009, one of which “Sharpening Photographs for POD Printing” is in its second edition on Blurb. Oh yeah, this photo-tech book was developed in two days. Now you might understand why it required a second edition, the first edition was that bad. All of my SoFoBoMo blogging related to my participation in 2009 is available through the catagory button in the right panel.

So much has happened during these subsequent years, so I can provide my perspective and thoughts on SoFoBoMo. Firstly, I think SoFoBoMo is an excellent opportunity to get fully engaged and find out what it means to put together a photobook if you have never done this before. It helps you get past the procrastination stage, and experience actualizing a concept and vision, what it means to layout a book and experience with type and text, as well as sequencing and pairing of photographs into a meaningful narrative. A collection of photographs that are assembled into a book is not the same as singular images, individual prints or a gallery exhibition.

In 2009 I ran into technical hurdles (self imposed don’t ya know) that made my final book (Places Amongst Us) a not so great object, although an extremely educational experience. I was shooting film, using a pro-lab to process and then subsequently scanning each negative on my film scanner, which required a ton of spotting and tweaking. So after running out of time with film, I had to quickly re-shoot the entire book in digital and finalize the book. sheeeese.

Today, I am using full frame digital and I feel very comfortable with a full digital workflow. So I just might do SoFoBoMo again this year. Although I left the 2009 Places Amongst Us on Blurb for about a month (sold three copies, so a really limited edition book), I thought it so bad that I deleted it. Today, I would consider this a private book on Blurb and use the Blurb books for a book dummy to provide book submissions or discussions with galleries. Since I still have the Blurb book file, this is a possibility. Meanwhile, I continue to think about the concept behind the project Places Amongst Us  and think that I would do it a little differently. I would also photograph the project differently and able to work on it while I am in Europe.

My recommendation is if you think that you want to participate, use the time now to think, think, think, and then plan, plan, plan. Yes think pre-visualization about your concept and how you want to visualize it. For me, I will plan to photograph the entire project in one day, maybe two, on the very first day of the event. I have found that even when you have all of the planning, photographing can change things, sometimes in a delightful way that was unanticipated. Likewise, it takes me a long time to get the sequencing and page pairing figured out. BTW, there is nothing that does not permits to use yours friends help, especially if they are book designers!

For me, I also find that as I work on laying out the photographs in the book design, I usually need to re-photograph something, and so photographing on day-one provides the extra time if needed. Also, for the planning, that also means that you can start thinking about how you might use the book layout options if you are using software like Blurb.

At this rate, I think I just might participate in SoFoBoMo for 2011, but that means looking at the available dates and what my options are regarding my European travel schedule. Likewise, I hope you give it some serious thought as well!

Best regards, Doug

April 6, 2011

Berlin a couple of weeks ago

Filed under: Photography — Doug Stockdale @ 4:32 pm

Copyright 2011 Douglas Stockdale

A couple of weeks ago I had my first opportunity to visit Berlin. I drove over from Hanover, but missed the transition from the old Western Germany into old Eastern Germany, probably because I was driving a bit too fast on the Autobahn in the far left lane when I realized the rest stop on my right was the old border crossing. So I missed a cliché. But I did capture the “Check Point Charlie” cliché while in Berlin.

My hotel was right on the edge of the transition between the former Eastern Berlin and Western Berlin, but only one late evening stroll to photograph. But lordy, I needed the excercise and other than a strong breeze, a nice evening for a walk. So for me a traditional walk and reactionary photographic event. I have been thinking about a Metro project, so I continued to work on framing that concept out, but it is still in the early stages.

Blog at