Doug Stockdale's Singular Images

July 6, 2018

Memory Pods – end of Season Four

Filed under: Memory pods, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , — Doug Stockdale @ 1:46 am

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Memory Pods, June 2018, copyright Douglas Stockdale

Now that the heat of July has come in full force here in Southern California, the Aloe Vera seed pods that I am photographing for my project Memory Pods are all quickly withering away in their own unique style. As I wrote earlier in April, this is my fourth year of working on this project and since I am not sure of how I want to publish this project yet, I will probably work on it again next year. I will give me self some more time to reflect. I am pretty sure that I can exhibit this project now, which is an option that might allow some feedback. Another aspect to consider.

Meanwhile, there are still a few parts of these plants that are still getting my visual consideration, thus I will probably shoot another couple of more rolls over this weekend. Then its time to call it quits for photographing my subject in 2018. I am noticing that I am much more preoccupied with other projects since I can’t see the ending for this one yet.

This was the year that I acquired my used 120mm f/4 Makro for the Hasselblad to photograph this project. My takeaway is that this lens did not focus as close as I had anticipated, thus I am back to thinking about another extension tube (yes, don’t remind me that I sold two and vowed never to use these things again). The upside to this current camera/lens combination is that these are really big negatives and I can crop these extensively to create large prints. One visual aspect of using an extension tube on the 120mm lens would create an even shallower depth of field, which I seem to leaning into at the moment.

Something to think about during the “off season”.

So now back to the project that does seem to have my intense interest; Gardening for Ordnance in conjunction with a secret project that is developing in the background. fun, fun, fun!

Cheers!

 

April 11, 2018

Meanwhile, back on the ranch

Filed under: Memory pods, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: — Doug Stockdale @ 10:25 pm

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Memory Pods, April 2018 copyright Douglas Stockdale

While I am going slightly crazy preparing to launch a Kickstarter campaign for the Middle Ground project, the weather has warmed and my aloa vera are budding. It is Memory Pods season again!

This is my fourth season of working on the Memory Pods project at my studio. For this project I have not been waiting for a book design and pending publication to share, post, and exhibit the body of work. Main reason is I am still thinking about the design and layout for this pending book. Meanwhile I continue to experiment/play with my subject. Last year I did not become as obsessed with this project as I had in previous years and for this year I find myself working at more of a measured pace, anticipating the various phases as to what I want to accomplish. Seems like I am filling in more of the visual gaps that I am loosely considering for this project.

Last year I was experimenting with the two extension tubes with the 150mm lens on the Hasselblad (using 120 film), which turned into a mini disaster as the tubes fowled up the camera body. At the time I had thought my solution would be acquiring a 120mm Zeiss Makro-Planar, which I did during the off-season.

This is not a bad start. The photograph is investigating the “youth” stage for the Memory Pods, so I consider this a nice portrait of a “kid”. Also first chance to really work with this Makro Zeiss lens on the Hasselblad, which I was slightly surprised that I was not able to get in closer to my subject (image above is slightly cropped). Probably why when I sold the extension tubes I was asked if I really wanted to sell these if I were acquiring the Makro lens for macro photographic work.

So while diligently pulling together my Middle Ground Kickstarter materials and information, I will be taking some well deserved breaks for my Memory Pods project. And a good time to let my Gardening for Ordnance take a slight breather. Otherwise, I will be probably be going nuts.

Cheers!

December 31, 2017

Best creative wishes for 2018!

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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; doug@douglasstockdale.com)

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!

Cheers!!

Doug

June 21, 2017

LACP 4th Annual Members juried exhibition acceptance

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

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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

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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 ;- )

Cheers!!

October 18, 2016

On the scanner: 09-04-16 negative 12

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

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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.

Cheers

October 4, 2016

Film plus scan processing

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

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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.

Cheers!

September 14, 2016

Leveraging an exhibition Honorable Mention

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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.

Cheers!

September 5, 2016

Memory Pods project on web site

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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.

Cheers!

September 4, 2016

Honorable Mention – IFAC “All Media 2016”

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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.

Cheers!

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