Doug Stockdale's Singular Images

February 8, 2018

My Path to Somewhere

Filed under: Gardening for Ordnance, Path to Somewhere — Tags: — Doug Stockdale @ 5:16 pm

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Untitled (Gardening for Ordnance) 2018 copyright Douglas Stockdale

First the good news; I have the Hasselblad back and I am resuming my photographic adventures with film again. The image with this post, untitled at the moment, is from the first roll for a camera/lens check as my first opportunity to test my used 120 mm f/4 Zeiss Makro-Planar lens that I just acquired. Btw, I did photograph this same composition with my 19% gray card stuck to the sign, but that does not make for an interesting photograph (yuk, yuk).

As I posted a couple of weeks ago that for at least the short term, my morning walks have a little more purpose to it in addition to getting some exercise. I will be working on my project Gardening for Ordnance while out and about as I am finding some more evidence of the decommissioned WWII bombing area that we live on.

I am also exploring potential compositions that do not tell the whole story, that perhaps have a little ambiguity and mystery. Such as this photograph above in which the front of the sign with it’s corresponding warning is concealed. That this posted sign can be obviously be seen from the neighboring houses might add a little more visual tension due to the proximity of these two diverse conditions.

All in all I think my test roll is a wonderful success; the lens provides crisp and sharp images, that the shutter and aperture appear to functioning very well and I walked away with an great image for my project portfolio.

Tech notes: Fijicolor 100 roll film (just a bit expired since this film is no longer available) with the Hasselblad 503cx and 120 mm Zeiss Makor-Planar lens, camera hand-held, exposure not recorded but recall lens aperture was wide open at f/4 for a shallow depth of field.

Cheers!

January 27, 2018

Late January 2018 photo updates

Filed under: Middle Ground, Path to Somewhere, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , — Doug Stockdale @ 7:57 pm

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Arroyo Trabuco trail, December* 2017 copyright Douglas Stockdale

In addition to my new routine of morning walks during which I venture into the adjacent arroyo, back in the studio I have continued to work on my Middle Ground project. At the moment the Middle Ground project is not going include any black & white images so I did not include any updated images during my seven day black & white challenge this month.

Nevertheless, I continued to edit, tweak and evaluate the Middle Ground images for this project and have started printing these at 16 x 20″ on Photo Rag as part of my final evaluation. Looking ahead at the photobook for this project I have asked for a quote from a public relations person that I frequently interact with in my role as Editor for the The PhotoBook Journal, so I appreciate the quality of work she does. To help her understand this body of work, I have also uploaded to my web site a small selection of images that a part of the final edit. I have also continued to work on the Middle Ground book dummy. I expect to have some updates on that very, very soon.

I have been asked to join a new art mentoring program for an LA art organization and should have some details as this gets sorted out, guessing that this is going to launch sometime next month. Also received a request to provide a photobook presentation next month to an art group in the greater LA area and likewise I hope to get this worked out in the next week or so.

Meanwhile, I have just transferred the ownership of the SoCal PhotoExchange to my Editor, and now publisher, Gerhard Clausing. So that blog is in really good hands. I will continue as Associate Editor and I plan to write a weekly “tech” column for this photo-blog for the next couple of months (just posted a user report on the Gitzo carbon fiber tripod and next will be the Really Right Stuff medium size ball-head) and see how that goes.

I think a good start for the new year. Now if I can only lose a couple more of those pesky pounds that seem to linger; suspect that these are attached with super-glue ;- )

btw, noted that there is a small flock (at least six) of green parrots down in the arroyo this morning; noisy birds!

Please join me on Tumblr: @douglasstockdale & Twitter: @Doug_Stockdale, and of course, Instagram @douglasstockdale

* Limited time print offer: a 7 x 7″ color print is available for 24 hours after this post for a special price of $150 USD plus shipping. This color print size regularly sells for $300 USD. Archival pigment print on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag Matte (305 gsm), paper size is 8-1/2 x 11″, Edition size of 10 and the print will be signed and numbered in pencil. email me: doug@douglasstockdale.com for details.

Cheers!

January 26, 2018

Morning walk to the double arches

Filed under: Path to Somewhere, Photography — Tags: — Doug Stockdale @ 11:23 pm

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Tijeras Creek trail, December* 2017 copyright Douglas Stockdale

First off, I hope you were not thinking that I was including in my morning walks a visit to McDonald’s, as I have enough troubles with shedding the last few pounds, least I indulge in a quarter-pounder with cheese. Sorry, although I don’t want to offend any Micky-D fans, but for the time being I need to avoid that place like the plague.

So having finished my seven day black & white challenge, back to my normal day time photographic programming.

Visually my challenge for this composition was to simulate the three dimensional space of these progressive arches along this trail. During the walk, the progressive arches were easy to see but then capturing that three dimensional space in a print seemed a bit harder. I hope that the combination of how I tweaked the shadows, both on the ground as well as the foliage, in conjunction with keeping the foreground darker and slightly raising the values of the foliage at the second arch created the necessary visual depth. In this case, I was trying to create this visual effect without masking the second arch and softening the details to simulate a shallow dept of field.

Meanwhile yesterday at the conclusion of my walk I realized that I had worn out my Merrill hiking books. Nevertheless this pair of books has held up for about twenty years, the leather was still relatively waterproof and a decent tread to give me traction on ice and snow. So now I need a new pair for our pending ski trip to Colorado mountains. Any suggestions??

Please join me on Tumblr: @douglasstockdale & Twitter: @Doug_Stockdale, and of course, Instagram @douglasstockdale

* Limited time print offer: a 7 x 7″ black & white print is available for 24 hours after this post for a special price of $150 USD plus shipping. This black & white print size regularly sells for $300 USD. Archival pigment print on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag Matte (305 gsm), paper size is 8-1/2 x 11″, Edition size of 10 and the print will be signed and numbered in pencil. email me: doug@douglasstockdale.com for details.

Cheers!

January 25, 2018

Day seven of Black & White Challenge

Filed under: Path to Somewhere — Tags: — Doug Stockdale @ 4:46 pm

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Arroyo Trabuco trail, Orange County, December 2017 copyright Douglas Stockdale

This is the last day for the Seven Day Black & White Challenge, as if I was not going to create anymore black and white photographs again. yuk, yuk. I think that it was an opportunity to experiment a bit with some images that perhaps I might not have. So even if someone has not been formally challenged, they could challenge themselves.

As a reminder, this is part of my urban landscape project Path to Somewhere, potentially investigating a life journey. The Arroyo Trabuco trail runs parallel to Oso creek, which is downstream from Saddleback Mountain. So there is usually some water running through here, from a tiny, tiny stream during the summer to a huge flow when we get some rain. This day there was some high, thin clouds that provided a nice light that shaped this landscape that did not blow out the highlights when trying to coax some detail out of the shadows.

Please join me on Tumblr: @douglasstockdale & Twitter: @Doug_Stockdale, and of course, Instagram @douglasstockdale

* Limited time print offer: a 7 x 7″ black & white print is available for 24 hours after this post for a special price of $150 USD plus shipping. This black & white print size regularly sells for $300 USD. Archival pigment print on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag Matte (305 gsm), paper size is 8-1/2 x 11″, Edition size of 10 and the print will be signed and numbered in pencil. email me: doug@douglasstockdale.com for details.

Cheers!

January 24, 2018

Black & White Challenge: Day six abstraction

Filed under: Path to Somewhere, Photography — Tags: , — Doug Stockdale @ 8:09 pm

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Untitled (Arroyo Trabuco Trail) December* 2017 copyright Douglas Stockdale

Today I am posting the sixth day of my current Black & White Challenge. This image was created more in line with my experimentation/fun paradigm. First part is the photograph I made on the trail during my walk (hint, the still water was providing too accurate of a reflection of the tree), then some immediate black & white conversion with Snapseed and the final tweaking of the image later in the studio, which included a 180 degree inversion of the image.

For me the resulting image is a combination of surrealism with a dash of reality that might be considered semi-abstract. One of my more ambiguous images for this challenge.  I am also enjoying the darker tonal range of this image, also a bit out of my norm. So now see what I might cook-up for the final challenge image for tomorrow’s post.

Please join me on Tumblr: @douglasstockdale & Twitter: @Doug_Stockdale, and of course, Instagram @douglasstockdale

* Limited time print offer: a 7 x 7″ black & white print is available for 24 hours after this post for a special price of $150 USD plus shipping. This black & white print size regularly sells for $300 USD. Archival pigment print on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag Matte (305 gsm), paper size is 8-1/2 x 11″, Edition size of 10 and the print will be signed and numbered in pencil. email me: doug@douglasstockdale.com for details.

Cheers!

 

January 23, 2018

Black & White Challenge; Day five

Filed under: Path to Somewhere, Photography — Tags: — Doug Stockdale @ 4:29 pm

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Tijeras Creek trail, December 2017* copyright Douglas Stockdale

Captured on a day at the end of December last year as I began to experiment and play with the walks I was starting to embark on. Thought this might make a nice transition in my seven day Black & White Challenge from the beach back onto the trails.

I will be heading out the door in a few minutes for the morning walk as my Hasselblad fix was completed and back in my hands again late yesterday afternoon. So I have some color film to use this morning! Wohooo! I won’t have results to share for a while as the film will need processing and scanning. Still, I am back in action with film again.

This day in December was slightly overcast, high clouds and best described as having open shade which allowed some light shadows to create form and shape, but the light was not so bright as to block the shadow details. A little work in the Photoshop black & white conversion layer to tease out the sky and cloud details while still providing some texture in the path way.

Please join me on Tumblr: @douglasstockdale & Twitter: @Doug_Stockdale, and of course, Instagram @douglasstockdale

* Limited time print offer: a 7 x 7″ black & white print is available for 24 hours after this post for a special price of $150 USD plus shipping. This black & white print size regularly sells for $300 USD. Archival pigment print on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag Matte (305 gsm), paper size is 8-1/2 x 11″, Edition size of 10 and the print will be signed and numbered in pencil. email me: doug@douglasstockdale.com for details.

Cheers!

January 18, 2018

Rainy day puddle reflections

Filed under: Path to Somewhere, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: — Doug Stockdale @ 4:30 pm

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Rain Puddle, Rancho Santa Margarita, January* 2018 copyright Douglas Stockdale

Puddle reflections, like window reflections, can be fascinating. The viewer is both looking in as well as looking beyond, a bit of found surrealism. With window reflections, the overlaying image is usually behind the photographer, thus a interesting potential metaphor about the “past”. In this case, the the viewer is looking at the ground, but can still see into the heavens, a different kind of potential metaphor.

With some careful framing, as I tried to do with this image, it is possible to capture something just out of the frame that can modify the surrealism of the moment; in this case capturing part of the reflected trees in addition to the sky. So a bit more “grounding” of the image, as one would assume that the reflected tree was just out side of the frame.

Both window and puddle reflections are also potential cliche’s, done over and over again, so the challenge is to first determine what attributes I want to include and of course the bigger question; why. To be frank, for me, this was just part of the experience of my morning walk and I enjoy the potential metaphoric and surrealistic qualities, and hope others do as well.

Please join me on Tumblr: @douglasstockdale

* Limited time print offer: a 7 x 7″ color print is available for 24 hours after this post for a special price of $150 USD plus shipping. This color print size regularly sells for $300 USD. Archival pigment print on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag Matte (305 gsm), paper size is 8-1/2 x 11″, Edition size of 10 and the print will be signed and numbered in pencil. email me: doug@douglasstockdale.com

Cheers!

January 17, 2018

Morning walk & near first weight goal

Filed under: Path to Somewhere, Projects/Series — Tags: — Doug Stockdale @ 10:35 pm

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Tijeras Creek trail, December* 2017 copyright Douglas Stockdale

As I posted earlier this month about my change of life style, one of the reasons I have started walking was to lose a little weight in order to be a bit more responsive when we go skiing next month. My first weight loss goal was 15 pounds, which I am hovering around at the moment (I can make goal if I lean back a little on my rickety old scale). I think I will be there in the next three weeks or so when we drive to Vail.

Since there is still a bit extra of me around the belt line, I am already thinking that I will need to a second goal to lose at least another extra five pounds. The good news is that for my height, I am already in the idea weight range; actually very good news because I was not there this summer. (okay, maybe at the top end of the range, but still within the range!) Egads, I just checked another weight chart and now I am a bit overweight. Crap! Probably similar to the recent blood pressure recommendations; one day I am borderline and the next I am one step closer to the grave. I am going back to the earlier chart until I lose a little bit more ;- )

As to my walking, I think that I use two basic options; first is my photographic walk which has frequent stops and the second is my brisk walk in which I am clocking my time and a bit of hustle to my step. I seem to cover the same distance for both options, but the duration is at least double while photographing. So I am going to alternate these two options for the next couple of weeks to see if that might help me hit my first goal.

For some reason, these last couple of pounds are just sticking to me like super-glue. My favorite rationale: muscle is denser than flab, so as I convert to muscle, then the weight change maybe slooower. yuk, yuk.

Please join me on Instagram: @douglasstockdale

* Limited time print offer: a 7 x 7″ black & white print is available for 24 hours after this post for a special price of $150 USD plus shipping. This print size regularly sells for $300 USD. Archival pigment print on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag Matte (305 gsm), paper size is 8-1/2 x 11″, Edition size of 10 and the print will be signed and numbered in pencil. email me: doug@douglasstockdale.com

Cheers!

 

January 16, 2018

Walking were it might be “Hazardous”

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Signage, Arroyo Trabuco trail, January* 2018 copyright Douglas Stockdale

While walking the Arroyo Trabuco trail I have noticed a number of really deteriorated signs with a wire mesh that appeared to have covered the missing signage. All of these were in really bad condition, thus I could only speculate what was there. This seemed to provide some visual opportunities to leverage these ambiguous situations to my own advantage.

Yesterday I noted one such sign lurking in the shadows of a couple of large bushes. After investigating I found that this posted sign was in the best condition of any of these, but still a very major challenge reading the extremely faded text. This is the first sign I have found where the wire mesh to protect the signage appears still in tact. I had hoped that my close-up and conversion to black & white in Photoshop might tease out the text a little better. Nope. Since this was photographed with my mobile phone, I will try again with the Canon 5DMk3 and when it’s fixed, I do plan to re-shoot this composition with the Hasselblad & color film.

In retrospect, my previous post of the UXO signage was perhaps a little too photo-documentary and did not garner much interest as a singular image. This photo may still work in the context of a book, so still in consideration.

Nevertheless, the resulting image is still great, I love that it has some slight hints as to the text while remaining very ambiguous, perhaps even a bit abstract. This potential image is diffidently on my list for Gardening for Ordnance project. I also think it is a great candidate for the 120mm Makro with the Hasselblad, so more about how that turns out for another day.

Btw, from what I could read: Keep Out Hazardous Area. Found adjacent to the Plano Trabuco Practice Bombing range (active: WWII and Korean War).

Please join me on Instagram: @douglasstockdale

* Limited time print offer: a 7 x 7″ black & white print is available for 24 hours after this post for a special price of $150 USD plus shipping. This print size regularly sells for $300 USD. Archival pigment print on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag Matte (305 gsm), paper size is 8-1/2 x 11″, Edition size of 10 and the print will be signed and numbered in pencil.

Cheers!

January 15, 2018

WARNING!! UXO

Filed under: Gardening for Ordnance, Path to Somewhere, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: — Doug Stockdale @ 4:51 pm

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UXO sign, Plano Trabuco Target Area, January 2018 copyright Douglas Stockdale

While on one of my morning walks, I came across a posted sign for UXO that I had not realized was on the Arroyo Trabuco trail. A nice bit of serendipity as photographing this walking project reminded me of another photo project; my Gardening for Ordnance that has been a little dormant for the past few years. One of those projects where I encountered some resistance to the project and had an irrational excuse that I did not have the right lens for the Hasselblad. sigh.

So seeing the signage, it re-engaged me and I realized today was an opportunity to photograph some alternative compositions. Since this was created with my 50mm on the 5DMk3, I quickly realized that my 80mm (normal) lens for the Hasselblad will do just fine. One of the compositions was in retrospect a little too tight and when I backed up to include the top of the hill in the background, a little too general. Cropping the big picture to exclude the sky and ridge appears just right. Also realize that photographing this in the morning with the sign back-lite was not want I like, but will need to return in the early afternoon with the sun shinning on the front of the sign. I also like the bigger aperture to throw the background slightly out of focus.

I think that I have the concept for the Gardening project pretty well nailed down so now it’s a matter of execution. My current thinking is that the Gardening book should be ready for publication in spring of 2019 next year, so I have time to work it while keeping focus on my current book dummy for Middle Ground.

Btw, if you cannot read the fine print, UXO is the military abbreviation (TLA) for Unexploded Ordnance, something you have to think about (or maybe NOT) when living on a WWII practice bombing range. Also becomes part of the backstory for Gardening for Ordnance. So more about this later in the year or you can read some of my earlier posts linked up on the side-bar for this project.

Cheers!

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