Untitled (Snow Shovel, JinShan, January 2008) copyright Douglas Stockdale
I recently posting about finding one of my landscape photographs at the top of both Bing Images and Google Images. After letting the shock of recognition wear off, I went back to both with the same search term, contemporary landscape photography, and started scrolling down further.
Yikes, it did not take long for me to find another of my China photographs, above, to appear! I had blogged about my photo project Flow of Light Brush the Shadow in 2011 and this photograph was used to illustrate my progress on the project.
As to this photograph, the unusual snow fall had taken most of the local folks by surprise and like this man, few were really well equipped to handle the deepening snow. What I had not noticed at the time I made this environmental portrait was that the handle of the man’s shovel was actually made from a tree branch.
Up to this point in 2008, I had not attempted to include individuals in my urban landscape photographs, perhaps even going to some great lengths to exclude their presence. During this trip and since, I have made a determined effort to try to include people. This is one of my better attempts.
Meanwhile, another of my photographs that is bubbling up on the internet dog pile.
Untitled (Winter Field, JiaShan, China January 2008) copyright Douglas Stockdale
You might image my surprise when I was poking around Bing images last week in-between events and I did a search on “Contemporary Landscape Photography” to see what might come up and the very first image was….mine!
Yep this photograph above that I created while in China in 2008. And to be sure that I was not hallucinating, I just did the same search again and yep, very first image was this one, again. Amazing.
I had posted this landscape photograph with a short discussion about what potentially makes a great Contemporary Landscape Photography in March 2008 shortly after my return from my third trip into Eastern China.
Trust me, I do not believe that I have created the definitive contemporary landscape photograph although I think that this is one of my better urban landscape photograhs made during these trips. As to why contemporary? Perhaps that the composition is very banal and ordinary in appearance and for me as the author, a bit more about my quiet introspective mood at the time, no real “subject” other than the frozen tracks in the field leading from the foreground towards the horizon. The furrow on the right also leads the reader to the horizon with a momentary break created by a lone, stark and barren tree. Thus the narrative is indirectly about a journey that has some melancholy undertones, probably a bit of how I was feeling going into my third week on this last visit.
This photograph may be getting such a primo spot on Bing is probably more about the power rankings of the internet. The more frequently seen, the higher up on the dog pile it goes. Nice to be on top of the dog pile!
Indie Book Fair, Duncan Miller Gallery, Santa Monica, December 2013
This coming May 1-3, 2015 there will be Photobook Independent for self-publishing photographers and small independent publishers to exhibit and sell their books, which is pretty appealing to me. The event is occurring here in Southern California at the Raleigh Studios in Hollywood, about an hour North from me. This is the same place as Photo Independent earlier this year and again occurring concurrently with Paris Photo LA, which is at the Universal studio lot across the street. I covered both events and posted my observations here. I tried to get a photobook event in-conjunction with Photo Independent, but since this was the first year to launch this event, the organizers decided to keep things a little simpler. Nevertheless, the initial launch did very well as so they are now adding the Photobook venue. Nice!
There were some lessons learned when I did something similar last December at the Duncan Miller Gallery. One of which is due to the quantity of books I have to sell, a four foot table may not be enough space. So I am working on a budget for the eight foot table.
So if you are an self-publishing photographer or a indie publisher (rates a little higher for the indie publishers) and can make LA in May, you ought to seriously check this out. I am guessing that the tables are going to go fast!
Likewise if you are interested in acquiring small run, self-published indie books, you should check this out. Actually since this is occurring concurrent with Paris Photo LA, it is a slam dunk.