Doug Stockdale's Singular Images

December 31, 2017

Best creative wishes for 2018!


Morning walk, Trabuco Canyon, 2017 copyright Douglas Stockdale

On the brink of 2018 I think is a nice time to reflect on the achievements (and maybe even some of the screw-ups) of this past year, while looking forward to the opportunities and possibilities of the New Year.

So what do I have a chance to pat myself on the back about for 2017?

A bunch of things are just the continuation of my on-going artists and photographic projects; writing my random thoughts for this blog, providing photographic/artist book reviews for The PhotoBook Journal, portfolio and submission reviews for LensCulture, portfolio reviews for Los Angeles Center for Photography (LACP), curating the photobook submissions & curatorial talks for Photo Independent, and providing mentoring to other photographers/artist on the development of their book/projects. Likewise I continue development of long term photographic/artist projects; Memory Pods, Middle Ground, Instant Nomad and Gardening for Ordinance.

Bluewater Shore; self-published my limited edition artist book  which was launched this spring at Photo Independent. I had been developing this artist book for the past four years, so it was really great to finish this publication, which was recently selected by Elizabeth Avedon as one of her Best Photographic Books for 2017, and made Viory Schellekans Best Photo Books of 2017. (Also a few copies of this edition are still available, so contact me if interested;

Guide to Self-publishing an Indie Artist Book; an unexpected self-published book that I received a commission to complete in time for it’s launch at the Medium Festival of Photography this fall. This book draws heavily upon my Introduction to Photo Book design workshops.

Introduction to Photo Book workshop; In conjunction with Los Angeles Center for Photography (LACP) last spring, I led the first of two workshops this year for LACP. We are already planning the next workshop with LACP for fall of 2018, so watch for more details next year. These workshops have also led to more mentoring for photobook development with individual artist/photographers and organizations.

So what lays ahead for 2018? As the photograph above hopefully implies; an uncertain future on a path that only a few walk, with some potential hills (ups and downs) lurking ahead with the end of the path obscured by the trees. There’s also the thorny cactus lurking just off the trail.  Okay, it’s a bit of a classic metaphor, but I enjoy it all the same.

One goal for 2018 is the (self) publication of Middle Ground this spring (working on the book dummy during the holidays). Continue development of the other photographic projects. In discussions with my Associate Editor, Gerhard Clausing, about a ten-year anniversary photobook for The PhotoBook Journal.

On a personal note, I still need to lose another 5 pounds this year (did lose 10 pounds this fall) and get my blood pressure further down with modifications to my diet (a bit less wine, reducing the amount of salt, more fish, fruits and vegtables) in conjunction with frequently daily walks of a duration that is at least an hour. For the later, I am now venturing more off the beaten path that has led to the start of another photographic project about walking (I have a working title, but more about this in 2018 as I tweak the project’s artist statement). Maybe two walking project since I have been walking both the nature trails and the local ocean beaches, as well the local neighborhoods. I will continue to follow my muse and really interested to see how this all will develop!

So as we prepare for the New Year, I wish you all the very creative best for 2018!



June 21, 2017

LACP 4th Annual Members juried exhibition acceptance

Filed under: Memory pods, Projects/Series — Tags: — Doug Stockdale @ 7:52 pm


Fog (Memory Pods project) copyright 2014 Douglas Stockdale

I am delighted to announce that another of my Memory Pod project photographs has been juried into an exhibition, which in this case is the 4th Annual Members Exhibition for LACP (Los Angeles Center of Photography). The juror is Paula Tognarelli of the Griffin Museum of Photography (Winchester, MA). While the earlier exhibition of Loss was awarded an honorable mention, this time I am very honored to be juried in which I believe is another validation of this project.

In checking earlier posts, it appears that I have not published this image before. All of my photographs for this conceptual project are potential metaphors for the condition of individuals who are living with the loss of memory. For this image, Fog, I am investigating profound memory loss; all traces of memory are gone and the individual is existing in a perpetual memory fog. The stooped, disheveled and bent-over appearance is also an indication that these individual frequently resemble in this state and if they could communicate they would talk of serve depression, anxiety and anger. This is also nearing the end of the individuals life as other acute issues related to their memory loss are occurring.

Regretfully not an up-lifting reason for me to develop this image, but part of my desire to investigate the effects of dementia and Alzheimer’s upon those who are unfortunate to suffer this dreadful disease. Also why we need to invest in research to eliminate it. We will all come to our end on day, but some paths are more wicked than others.

Best regards, Doug




December 28, 2016

2016 in Review


Loss (Memory Pods) 2014 copyright Douglas Stockdale

For me it’s always a nice treat at the end of the year to look back at what has occurred; achievements, progress in the my development of my conceptual projects, lessons learned that might help inform me and keep me on a progressive creative path in the year to come.

First, 2016 was about making new photographic friends and deepening the existing relationships. The photographic and artistic community is really great in how encouraging everyone is towards supporting each other’s creative endeavors. That is always the best part of looking back at the year that was.

One of the highlight of the year was in September when I was juried into the Irvine Fine Arts Center (IFAC) 2016 All Media, which was curated by Dan Cameron and I received an Honorable Mention (above), the only photograph of the exhibition that received recognition. A really nice validation that my Memory Pods project is progressing as I had hoped, which I will continue developing in 2017.

I was invited to became part of the LensCulture submission review team (aka consultant, a true paying photographic gig) in August and I have completed close to 200 portfolio submission reviews in 2016. This has become a great opportunity to become familiar with an interesting and diverse international group of photographers and their photographic work.

Photo Book Independent; in April I was one of the photobook jurors for the photobook exhibition and subsequently provided two curatorial talks during the exhibition while also exhibiting my own photobooks and photographs at this event. It appears that I may be involved in Photo Independent 2017 event as well ;- )

For the Los Angeles Center of Photography (LACP) Exposure 2016 I joined them as a portfolio reviewer in September and subsequently I will be leading a photo book development workshop for LACP next April, 2017. This is going to be a fun workshop!

As the Editor of The PhotoBook: my book-blog-zine passed one million views and provided a milestone 400 photobook reviews; an amazing eight years. I also increased the staff of this blog-zine with the recent addition of Gerhard Clasusing as a book reviewer. I am looking forward to all of the creative photobooks yet to come in 2017.

Social media; my experiment with Instagram (@douglasstockdale) this year appears to be proceeding in a slowly growing but successful manner. So I now a presence on Facebook and Instagram in conjunction with this blog. I also became the co-Editor of the Facebook page for The Photo Exchange which led to the development of a closed group on Facebook for the members of this group.

Infrastructure changes with the transfer of my photographic web site to a new platform hosted by PhotoShelter that is focused on providing photographic content. This should take care of my web site requirements for a while and I need to remember to update it from time to time.

I also spent some time at some local photographic events, such as photo l.a., which is coming up soon next month, and down in San Diego at the Medium Photographic Festival.

And of course I was working on some photographic projects, such as continuing my development of Memory Pods, concluding Lest I Forget, and starting a new project Middle Ground.

I think 2017 will be even more fun! See you all next year ;- )


October 18, 2016

On the scanner: 09-04-16 negative 12

Filed under: Memory pods, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , , , — Doug Stockdale @ 12:55 am


Untitled (Memory Pods project) copyright 2016 Douglas Stockdale

Cooking on the Nikon film scanner is negative #12 from my September 4th studio session working on my Memory Pods project. Hasselblad & 150 mm f/4 lens with two 21mm extension tubes, Kodak Portra 160 with an E.I. of 80, normal film processing.

Scan is taking a little longer as I did remember to scan at a 14 bit size (think I forgot for the last scan). Scan is at super fine: 16 times sampling for each scan pass.

The dried and slumping Memory pods are out of focus while the jumble and tangled elements are just in focus. This image kept coming to me while on vacation last week, thus the first of the new batch on the scanner now that we are back.

Next is the extensive spotting of the scan file, then all of the usual magic.


October 4, 2016

Film plus scan processing

Filed under: Memory pods, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , — Doug Stockdale @ 9:27 pm


Untitled (Memory Pods project) copyright 2016 Douglas Stockdale

I have been rephotographing some of my memory pod subjects with film and just realized a very inexpensive creative tool; when processing my film at ProPhoto (Irvine, CA), for just a small bit more, I can obtain a medium resolution scan of each image. Seems that when the film is processed, it automatically passes by the film scanner and so the relative cost of capturing that scan and providing it as a CD is not very expensive (film process, a 5×5″ print for each negative and the scans cost $13.00 for the 12 exposure 120 film).

I have a light box for looking at negatives and a corresponding 5×5″ print, but when I really want to check out the details of the negative before I invest in a much larger scan, I have found it very convenient to look at these medium resolution scans. Likewise, I can make some quick adjustments in Photoshop to anticipate what the final image will look like, such as the one with this post. Thus made the decision for this last roll of film that I want to obtain a high-resolution scan for negatives #8, #9 and #10.

Only hitch in my giddy-up was finding out the the scanner soft ware at ProPhoto was set up for Windows XP and not Windows 10. When trying to view the first CD on my Windows 10 machine, the computer kept wanting to reformat the disk. So on a whim I tried to open the CD on my older XP machine and there were the jpeg images. When talking with John at ProPhoto, he did not realize that his PC disks were only readible on XP (guessing that most of his clients are on Mac’s).

I was considering a film version of my 5D digital version of “Ghost”, but I realized that I did not save the dried up stem after the first year working this project. This might be an alternative, but I also like a progression I made on film with the same subject adjusting the focus, which could become a triptych, so I am not sure the title.


September 14, 2016

Leveraging an exhibition Honorable Mention


Depression (Memory Pods Project) copyright 2016 Douglas Stockdale

From what I have learned over the years is that I as an artist need to take the first steps to contact various curators and galleries to move ahead and ensure I get noticed. Self-promotion 101. I have to admit, and this is not popular among many artist, but being an artist also means you are a small independent business. Thus with the recent Honorable Mention from IFAC “All Media” exhibition, I need to see how to further leverage this event and obtain recognition with other curators and galleries.Which is to say, I need to contact them directly and ask for an opportunity to show my work.

This also means I need to step up my presentation of the body of work to share and discuss for potential portfolio reviews. Okay, so what does that mean? First, my current portfolio for Memory Pods is printed 15×19″ on Epson Professional Matte paper; I think the size is good but I need to be printing on my exhibition (and sales) medium, which for me right now is the Hahnemuhle PhotoRag (smooth surface), 308 gm matte, which is acid free and a great fine art cotton paper. This paper provides a better feel (heavier) and reinforces the image of a print as an art object, images look beautiful and provides for a more professional artist presentation.

So over the weekend I have been reprinting my Memory Pods photographs, but also reassessing the image regarding my intent for this image. As a result I have had to tweak the colors, etc for a few of the photographs. Thus the reprinting did not proceed quickly and now is only about half complete.

Second, now looking at portfolio presentation cases as my current black portfolio holder is okay for storage, but not professional looking. So I am evaluating a Museum-Solander case (e.g. Archival Methods) for the 17×22″ prints, which is elegant in design, archival, opens flat to obtain art work, but not cheap (little over $200 USD). On my wish list and I will see how the next portfolio review goes as to making this investment.

Third is the “leave-behind” artist card. I have a business card now, but more of a company card versus an artist business card (there is a creative difference). Also, I do not have a small art card for one of photographs. Again on my wish list, but these are not that expensive and I can buy the stock and print these myself. In the short term, I do have extra copies of LensWork that my In Passing project was featured in to leave behind and I have found that this magazine does make an impact.

The good news is that I just received a confirmation from the curator of the IFAC who would like to see my Memory Pods portfolio in the next couple of weeks. Nice as I am also considering a submission for an individual exhibition at IFAC during their 2017 open call this month.


September 5, 2016

Memory Pods project on web site

089 06-10-14_Memory_Pods_1142_11x11BW_Ghost

Ghost (Memory Pods project) 2014 copyright Douglas Stockdale

Sometimes I need a kick in the butt to get myself into gear.

I have been stating that I need to update my web site with more images from my Memory Pods project and now receiving the Honorable Mention at IFAC for my photography Loss from this project was enough to do the trick. Since this event and honor might get a little press on the blogisphere (courteous of yours truly), I realize that I need to have more of my project available to review, lest someone thinks I am a one-trick pony.

Okay, as of this morning; done & update is here.

One thing that I have been contemplating for my titles for this project, to use metaphoric names or a sequence number and have decided to go with names for each of the photographs. In this case, my names relate back to what I think the metaphoric image is related to, which goes against some contemporary ideas about naming your photographs. I will just defer back to my excuse that in this case, I am old school. (Okay, well I am!).

I think that this is the first time I have posted Ghost in color, as I had at one time thought that this photograph might be better in black & white. wrong. For me, much stronger image when in color.


September 4, 2016

Honorable Mention – IFAC “All Media 2016”


Memory Pods – Loss 2014 copyright Douglas Stockdale

I received word from a couple of my friends late last night that my photograph Loss from my Memory Pods project received an Honorary Award during the reception at the Irvine Fine Arts Center reception for the “All Media 2016” exhibition. Wow! This is very, very nice.

And totally unexpected, especially since Jeannie and I were at the exhibition reception earlier in the evening and had left early. We reviewed the exhibition (taking note that my photograph was the first art work hanging at the exhibit entrance) and talking with a few other artists and members of the Photographic Exchange, we went for an early dinner. I was just a happy-camper that one of my photographs from this series was juried in. It looked really nice hanging there.

I was reminded afterward that I should have taken note of the folks who came in the door and who immediately stopped to inspect my framed image with some seeking me out to discuss my photograph. Should have been a clue, which of course means I am truly clueless (yuk, yuk).

Still another validation that I may be on the right track with this project ;- )

Oh, and I forgot to add the photographs from this series to my web site, so something I better complete sooner than later. And I plan to re-photograph the exhibition of this print as I have noticed upon enlargement, this photo is a bit blurry.


172 06-10-14_Memory_Pods_Loss 091501_2

August 30, 2016

Memory Pods – Film alternative


08-05-16 Memory Pods Porta160 neg2

Empty (Memory Pods project)  2016 copyright Douglas Stockdale

The photograph in this post is the results from my previous two posts; Hasselblad Ready for its Closeup and, part 2. Essentially I want to see if my Memory Pod subjects look like when captured on color negative film, in this case the Kodak Portra 160.

For the first step of comparing  8-1/2 x 11″ prints,  there are some subtle differences compared to the high resolution of the full frame Canon 5DMkIII and a lot of differences with the Samsung 5S digital images. The new film series is not meant to be comparable to the Samsung 5S with the SnapSeed post processing images. I think that I still need to tweak the dark values of this image a little and then make a 16×20″ for a print comparison.

Interesting that for the native RAW Canon 5DMkIII file of 22.3 mp, a 16×20″ print max’s out at 200 dpi with the file without having to up-resolution the file, while a 4,000 dpi scan of the 6x6cm color negative (Nikon film scanner) provides a file that can provide a 29×29″ print at 300 dpi. I need to double check how large the size print is if I use 260 dpi for print setting  for the film file (note: this turns out to be 33×33″ print). Thus to print both the Canon5DMkIII and the film scan at 30×30″, even with up-res of the digital file, I would expect to see some differences in the image quality.

The second part of the equation is the 24-105 L f/4 lens, which has macro focusing capability, on the Canon 5DMkIII versus the 150 mm f/4 Sonar lens with the two extension tubes for the Hasselblad. It would seem that these are pretty close to equivalent relative to full frame digital vs medium format film focal length (about 2x normal) & aperture. So far, inclusive, but the film image seems to have more depth of field than the digital image, which does not make sense to me.

I see that I need to create some more color negatives to be sure ;- )


August 20, 2016

Hasselblad ready for its closeup

Filed under: Memory pods, Photography — Tags: , , , — Doug Stockdale @ 9:34 pm


Hasselblad 500 C/M copyright 2016 Douglas Stockdale

The next phase of my Memory Pods photographic project is a switch-up to color film in conjunction with my Hasselblad. To obtain the close up framing I needed I added two 21mm extension tubes to my 150 mm f/4 Sonar lens. I had read about the exposure compensation required for a 21 mm extension tube with this lens and had guessed that since I had two of these, it would be a 2x exposure factor (my calculations indicated a +1 stop was needed).

As an engineer, I am prone to testing, thus figured the best thing to do is in conjunction with my gray card, complete an exposure compensation test to verify the anticipated compensation required for the two 21mm tubes. This is similar to the process I used when first learning the black & white zone system to determine my EI (exposure Index) for my Tri-X roll film in conjunction with my HC-110 film developer. In this case with the Kodak color film (EI 160), the exposure compensation determination is in conjunction with my pro-finishing lab in Irvine. Also a process needed when you buy the less expensive camera prism without the thru the lens light meter. (Hey, my 1 degree spot meter has not let me down yet!)

Then a slight hiccup in my giddy-up; after assembling the two extension tubes to the 150 mm lens and mounting the assembly on the camera, the shutter did not function. At all. After a hour (or more) of tweaking the camera, lens and extension tubes, I finally found my problem: one of the extension tubes was not cocked and primed. I had purchased both of the extension tubes used, but I had only previously used one of these tubes. If you are not familiar with Hasselblad camera gear, you have to cock the lens shutter to remove the lens from the camera body. So in my case, one of the 21mm extension tubes was out of sync with the rest of the lens assembly and maybe why this used extension tube was so in-expensive; it did not function properly and was probably assumed to be broken.

Thus I used a little trick with a very small screw-driver to carefully cock the 21mm extension tube and get the entire lens assembly back in sync. Presto! I was now back in business to finish my exposure testing and then high-tail the film off to the film lab.

And so now the processed film results are back and yes (drum roll, please) I am able to confirm a +1 exposure compensation is needed for this lens set up. So I will now be working on this project during the Fall with color film. I am so excited ;- )


FYI, one of my photographs from the Memory Pods project will be in the Irvine Fine Arts Center “All Media 2016” exhibition, with the opening September 3rd, 4-6pm.

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