Doug Stockdale's Singular Images

April 23, 2013

Adjusting to the Fujichrome change

04-17-13 RSM neg 14-15 v2

copyright 2013 Douglas Stockdale

With the demise of Kodak 120 Ektachrome, I have made the required change to the 120 Fujichrome, in my case the Fujichrome Provia 100F, considered a Super Fine Grain film. This also means that I might need to make some changes in my overall workflow, including the film scanning on the Nikon 8000 in conjunction with the Photoshop toolbox.

So far, I will have to say that I am impressed with this film. At the advice of John at my photo-lab, I did not change my image capturing processes. Ever hour or so (more often in the early morning and late afternoon), I do an exposure check with a Kodak gray card and my spot meter. At the moment for this film, I am using an Exposure Index (EI) that is the same as the manufacturers 100 ASA in conjunction with the labs standard E-6 film processing.

First indications are that the Fuji film appears more color saturated and the blues of the sky appear more as I remember them. In retrospect, the Ektachrome (E100, daylight transparency) seemed almost desaturated and I continually had issues with the colors of the sky.

Additionally, the scans of the Fujichrome film with my Nikon film scanner appear to require less correction and a lot closer to what I remember than the Ektachrome scans (maybe I have a Fujichrome memory??). I will not go as far as to say that the Japanese film and scanner companies are in cohorts together, but it does appear that the film scanner seems to be better calibrated for the Fujichrome film and not as well for the Kodak films (scanning both color negatives and transparencies).

So at the moment, I am enjoying the film change and having no regrets.

As to this photograph, I created this just before I was the bunny hero last week, as a part of my investigation project “Gardening for Ordinance”. I think that this bush is in the midst of its Spring bloom, but regretfully I do not recall seeing it until now. Another one of the beneficial aspects of working on conceptual projects like this is that it does increase my awareness of those things around me. Very cool. As to the composition, in the view finder the sky was not evident in the upper left corner when I made this composition. I had purposely tried to fill the top of the frame with this flaming bush. In retrospect, I think that this bit of sky adds some mystery and creates a more interesting photograph. So at the moment, a keeper.


April 18, 2013

Missing palm

05-10-08 TCGC neg 1-2 lr-1x scan n cropped

copyright 2008 Douglas Stockdale.

Late February I was working on the scanned image of the palm that I photographed as a part of a new project. In a post about this image, I had concluded that I needed to photograph this composition again in the early afternoon sunlight. Which I thought today was a good day to do just that. I had four exposures left on the roll of film in my camera back, which I suspected would be just the right quantity to complete this composition and then head over to the photo lab for processing.

When I arrived at the location, something looked very odd as I was having difficulty getting my bearing when it dawned on me what the issue was. Somebody had cut this palm down! All there remained was a flat stump at ground level. Egads, there went that idea. Of course I have no clue as to when this event occurred as my original exposure was in 2008. What’s that old saying about you can’t go home again?

So in the meanwhile, this image above may be included within the current project, as it ties to the concept that I am exploring. This photographic also highlights my current issue with film scanning, as the color shifts are proving difficult to correct.


April 17, 2013

Non-photo moment: baby bunny plight

Filed under: Photography — Doug Stockdale @ 5:55 pm

While working on one of photo projects this morning, I participated in a little drama.

I was in the midst of reloading my film back when I heard this odd squeaking behind me and I turned to see a black raven with a squirming baby bunny in its beak fly out between two houses with a big mommy rabbit in hot pursuit. The bunny was now large and heavy enough that the raven could not get much altitude, so flying pretty low over the bushes, and now suddenly I was in hot pursuit as well. In about about twenty feet of the chase with me yelling at the bird, the raven lost its grip and the bunny fell to the grass.  After getting its bearing, it quickly bounded under a near by bush.

So while the raven vented its displeasure at me, I herded the little guy into a much dense set of bushes where it might have better cover. That was about all I could do, so when I left, the raven was still in a tree overlooking that bunch of bushes. I tried to herd the mom rabbit towards here kid, but I was unsuccessful, which was proving more difficult that herding cats. So the chances are good that the little guy will live at least for another day, but such is the circle of life in the urban “wild”.

Oh, and no photos of the event. I am not a wild life photographer, but even more of a case of either taking action or taking photographs.

Cheers, Doug

April 11, 2013

Milan Fashion Week – blog-photobook update

Walking the Red Carpet copyright 2009 Douglas Stockdale

In September of 2009 I developed a photographic concept that I thought might be well suited as part photobook, part performance, what I am calling a blog-photobook. Recall that this was about the time of the first iPad launch, some two and a half years ago. So rather than trying to develop a iPad app, which was pretty rough in those days, I decided to go a little more public with an open book and available to all who had an interest to read it.

The project itself, Milan Fashion Week, was borne out of two consecutive years of attending Fashion Week in Milan, Italy. Well kinda. I actually was in Milan in September at the same time as Fashion Week was occurring. So I decided that since I was in Milan during Fashion Week and I did not have a fashion portfolio, why not develop one? I have noted that some artist are being commissioned to do some edgy contemporary fashion layouts, so why not do a self-assignment of my own? My portfolio should show all of those photo editors and creative types that I do editorial fashion photographs.  And this portfolio should lead to a ton of assignments and big bucks that would end up paying for all of those artistic concept projects that I want to publish. Can you say win-win?

Okay, maybe I did appropriate a couple of fashion shots, but I did it in a very creative way! If you look at each photograph, I hope you will eventually find a little irony. I did contact a couple of real fashion photographers and editors to write an essay about the juxtaposition of my project and the fashion world and for some reason they did not want to come within a ten-foot pole of this project. hmmmmm. So lately I have been tweaking it a bit and making some trade-outs of some of the photographs. Perhaps a work in progress.

As part of the performance aspect, I designed a blog so that all 36 posts would show up in consecutive order, starting on the top and working sequentially down, without having to click between pages. Which meant that I did all 36 posts on the same day and posted them in reverse order, as the last post (start of the blog-book) is on the top of the stack. Not a difficult photobook layout task. And taadaa, the blog does function just as intended. Now go look at it here.

So in the last 2-1/2 years, no fashion commissions have been flooding my in-box. hmmmmm. odd.

I am now thinking that after the final tweaks, one option is to continue to allow the blog to stay public until the 3rd anniversary date, then poof! eliminate it. Sort of like Cristo’s “running fence” performance project. Now it is here, but soon gone.

Another option is to actually publish this project as a real book. I have already poked a few publishers, but no interest yet. Maybe after I make the final tweaks the interest may grow. Or not.

Interesting to see what comes of this.


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