Doug Stockdale's Singular Images

September 30, 2015

Snapseed grunge filter – its back!


Untitled (Evidence #Evidence 081940-02-01-01) copyright 2015 Douglas Stockdale

One of my favorite photographic phone apps is Snapseed. Earlier this year I did one of my upgrades for the app, but then realized that the updated did not include the Grunge filter setting. Bummer. I enjoyed playing with the possibilities of this particular filter set as it allowed me to explore some options that were outside the box of “straight” photography. I could introduce some moodier effects that for me had possibilities to create interesting metaphors. Although sad that it was not updated, I pressed on. Just another bump in the road.

While investigating some Snapseed options for a couple of recent images that I realized that my little grunge filer was BACK! I have the phone set for this app to allow updates as available, thus I was not aware that a recent updated included bringing back this filter option. Nice.

I had been using the grunge filter extensively for my Memory Pod series to create some moody metaphors last year. Seeing that it was back, I had to pull up an image to see what little tweaks that had made to this filter set. Seems like it is almost identical to the previous, so not sure why it was not included with the earlier upgrade. Maybe they thought it was not that popular, so when I (and I hope some others) blogged about our disappointment with its disappearance, this may have got someone’s attention?

As to this image for my Evidence series, I had initially envisioned that like the popular TV series CSI, that I would use straight photographs that were similar to CSI evidence; literal, objective and appear like facts. The evidence would be laid out and the reader could complete their own investigation and draw their own conclusions. I have my own version of what the evidence points to.


September 28, 2015

Super Blood Moon

Filed under: Photography — Tags: , — Doug Stockdale @ 3:17 pm

09-27-15_KI6A0466_Blood moon eclispse

Untitled (Super Blood Moon, Rancho Santa Margarita, September 27, 2015) copyright 2015 Douglas Stockdale

Yesterday was a fun day, spent most of it at the Orange County Museum of Art (OCMA) as the event photographer for one of their Family Fun Day’s in conjunction with their current exhibition “My Generation: Young Chinese Artists”.

Then to return home after dinner to witness the full lunar eclipse which is being called the Super Blood Moon, as this eclipse is concurring when the moon is about the closest proximity to earth. I am not usually a night time photo-astronomer, but since this event will not to occur for another 18 years and I was curious about the capabilities of my recently acquired Canon 5D mark III for night photographs, I thought why not?

My decision was aided by the fact that I could watch this event unfold and photograph the eclipse in my back yard with an unobstructed view made this occasion all that more easier. Thus I set the camera up on the tripod, pulled up a chair and brewed a cup of tea. The eclipse lasted for more than one hour, so I had a chance to try a variety of lens and compositions. For me this photograph above seems to work best; I like the framing of the eclipse with the tree branches, which closely approximates my view point and experience. Although I could get a full image of the eclipse with my 200 mm lens, by pulling back (probably about 70 mm) I personalized the image. So the only tweaking of the image was to try to obtain some tonal separation between the black tree limbs and the slightly lighter night sky. My surprise: when slightly lightening the night sky in Photoshop, a smattering of stars became more evident in the image, many of which I do not recall seeing. nice.


September 23, 2015

Paris night

Filed under: Photography — Tags: , — Doug Stockdale @ 9:53 pm


Untitled (Paris Nuit) Copyright 2011 Douglas Stockdale.

While looking through all of my Paris photographs after an inquiry earlier this month, I found this image that I have continued to find intriguing. I was in Paris on assignment and out to dinner with my friend Donovan when on the walk back to the hotel he asked that I photograph him with this classic Paris structure in the background. The only “camera” I was carrying with me at the moment was my Blackberry phone, which I obliged and even able to sneak into the image the lite-up Eiffel tower in the background. He thought that this was the best photo of him on location, every. He still mentions this about every time we get together. It’s really nice to create such a strong memory for someone.

I had purchased this Blackberry in 2010, which had a 3 Mp sensor and as far as I was concerned at time, an awful plastic lens, which was not that great for creating “quality” images. Now in retrospect I think it makes beautiful ambiguous images. As a night exposure goes, this is a very noisy image and I really can not make out Donovan’s features. Then a curse, now a blessing, as he has become every-man out on a night on the town in Paris. Of course if you know this spot, there is a lot of car traffic and I made him patiently hold his position until all of the traffic was out of the frame. He swears it was my clumsy attempt to kill him. Then a quick snap or two & done. Then some magic in photoshop on my return to the studio. Not too bad if I say so myself, so I have submitted this image for my little Paris portfolio.

Now I am thinking that I might try to get that Blackberry working again as a camera ;- )


September 20, 2015

Neightborhoods – Walk about

Filed under: Photography — Tags: , , , — Doug Stockdale @ 7:20 pm


Untitled (Neightborhood, Rancho Santa Margarita, September 2015) copyright 2015 Douglas Stockdale

One of things I enjoy are my walks around the neighborhood. During which, I like to photograph the things that I find interesting. Sometimes after a while the things I have photographed start to hint at something that I might not be aware of or eventually lead to a more specific project. I do not have a specific project right now from my various walks, other than I am usually in a neighborhood. Thus I have loosely been collecting the resulting singular images in a folder with that title.

So what is a neighborhood and why might this be interesting to me? To use contemporary terminology; a neighborhood is an urban collection of man-build structures. The structures are relatively permanent, lasting for 50 to 200 years and in some places, perhaps hundreds of years. These are dwellings in which people take up residence and transform a house into to a home. Thus indirectly, the structures embody the local social culture and by observing the structures, we might obtain some insights about that culture, or just maybe, some interesting photographs about our culture.

For the most part my urban neighborhood photographs do not include any people. Not that I am unsocial, it is just difficult for me to include people in my neighborhood photographs. I also understand this, so it is something that I have been thinking a lot about. Looking at many photographs by others, seems there are two basic camps; photographs with and those without people.

So why this neighborhood photograph interesting to me? I notice that most homes have a public persona and possibly a private place, a sanctuary if you might. Both how the public persona and private sanctuary’s are constructed and maintained are interesting as a reflection of our local culture. This photograph includes someones back-yard, perhaps only a small porch area, which is directly adjacent to a public walkway and street with a constant amount lot foot and car traffic. It reminds me of the old saying “good fences make good neighbors”, sometimes modified to “tall fences make good neighbors”.


September 19, 2015

Looking for Atget – Parc Saint Cloud

Filed under: Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , , — Doug Stockdale @ 12:25 am

07-25-10_Searching for Atget_8433_Parc_Saint_Cloud

Untitled (Parc Saint Cloud, France) Copyright Douglas Stockdale 2010

Just recently I was asked if I had any photographs that investigate the city of Paris, which it turns out, I do. Regretfully, when I was in Paris, I was not inspired to work on a personal project that included Paris as a location, so for the most part I really have a collection of singular images of the city.

What I was inspired to photograph over a couple of days was at a location adjacent to Paris, the Parc Saint Cloud, better known to photographers as one of the places photographed by Eugene Atget at the turn of the last century (about 1907 – 1926).

For a short time I was associated with a company whose French investment partner was located in Boulonge-Billiancourt, a city that is adjacent to Paris and it turned out, a short walk from my hotel across the Seine river to Parc Saint Cloud. The first time I ventured into this huge park, I only had memories of the photographs by Atget to draw on. My intent was to photograph this place over the next couple of days and then do some more research on Atget and Parc Saint Cloud when I returned to my studio. Then I might be much better prepared for my next trip back to Paris and another visit to this wonderful park. I was aware that Chris Rauschenburg had already produced a photobook about walking in Atget’s shoes in Paris, so that was not my intent. I was still working on defining my project when the company I was with went sideways and my return to Paris became ashes. Oh well, another bump in the road.

Thus I have a small collection of photographs from my venture into Parc Saint Cloud, perhaps not of interest to anyone but myself. This statue, like most of the others in the park, dates back to the early 1800’s. I did add a bit more reddish tone to this image that emulates the photographs printed by Atget as sort of a homage to him.

I will admit, I do not feel strongly compelled to return to continuing working on this series, but if someone wants to finance such a trip to Paris, I would gladly accept and lead the way. It could be a lot of fun!


September 16, 2015

Redesigning my web site – update

Filed under: Uncategorized — Doug Stockdale @ 5:18 pm


untitled (unseen series) Copyright 2015 Douglas Stockdale

I had been using Yahoo Small Business to help me host my web site, until just recently. Yahoo had become a part of my web hosting for my site that was started back in the then current days of DSL. Since then with the various internet company acquisitions, my domain became very convoluted to manage, especially as I was looking to upgrade to a much higher speed provider. And my web site needed a make-over; so this became a two-fer project; convert to high speed cable and improve the look of my web site.

So my summer project just came to an end; I am now running on high speed cable and a revised web site was launched. If you poke my web site now, there are no signs of what I was running on Yahoo. gone!

Not much to add about running a high speed cable or other high speed internet to support a web site or just using the internet; just took me a little too long to make the transition, my bad.

As to the web site, the backbone infrastructure is provided by PhotoShelter. I poked a bunch of options and had an opportunity to dummy up a couple of sites, before selecting PhotoShelter. I selected the minimum option that allowed my to point my domain name at PhotoShelter to create the web site. Technically, that meant I transferred by domain name from Yahoo to Network Solutions, then set up the links within Network Solution such that when my domain name url is punched in, seamless link to my web site hosted by PhotoShelter. very nice.

So why PhotoShelter? First, unlike basic web site hosting companies like SquareSpace, all of the PhotoShelter templates are designed for photographers. Second, I am a photobook artist, secondarily exhibiting photographer, thus I quickly found a contemporary photography template that would suite my needs. Third, relatively easy to learn and use; I had a mock-up site within an hour (since I am a IT dummy, easy to use was important!). PhotoShelter quickly populates related folders and has some other built in features that I did not need to figure out how to program, sweet! Last, it allowed me to quickly link up my two remaining blogs, this one and The PhotoBook for my book reviews and shout-outs, and link to Facebook.

Now that this part is complete, I need to spend some time adding more of my projects (content) to the web site. And I may even be posting here on this blog more often. cool!

Always something, eh?


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