Doug Stockdale's Singular Images

January 18, 2018

Rainy day puddle reflections

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


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:


January 17, 2018

Morning walk & near first weight goal

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


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:



January 16, 2018

Walking were it might be “Hazardous”


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.


January 15, 2018


Filed under: Gardening for Ordinance, 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.


January 14, 2018

Morning walk – Path to Somewhere

Filed under: Path to Somewhere, Projects/Series — Tags: , — Doug Stockdale @ 4:17 pm


Tijeras Creek trail December 2017 copyright Douglas Stockdale

Realizing that I am…

1.) continuing to take morning walks and…

2.) I bring a camera to document some aspect of this experience, I…

3.) realize I have a formal photographic project in process and (finally)..

4.) have given it a working title: Path to Somewhere.

Thus I have opened a digital file on my network to start collecting these images that I think might be considered for a future photobook. One thing that I will do shortly is to tag the earlier posts with this same category name for the side bar.

I am still waiting on the repair of the Hasselblad body as I expect to convert this project to using color film. The fact that I am currently using digital capture in and of itself does not preclude me from considering these images for a future publication. Its all good!

btw, I am posting an earlier image since today is going to be a rest and recover day, yesterday walking out of the arroyo I felt the leg burn and realized that I needed a day of recovery. So today I will do a light work-out with some weights in conjunction with some back yoga.

Creatively I am working in the studio on the book dummy for Middle Ground. More about that progress shortly ;- )


January 13, 2018

Beach walk & staying heart healthy

Filed under: Path to Somewhere, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , — Doug Stockdale @ 9:37 pm


Beach walk, Crystal Cove State Park beach, December 2017 copyright Douglas Stockdale

I will have to admit that one of the great things about living in Southern California is that you are usually not that far from the Pacific Ocean beach and living in south Orange County, the beach is a 15 to 20 minute drive. And there are a lot of access points.

For the most part the beach is pretty flat and an easy walk, unless you need to come down from the bluffs (and worse, walk up the bluffs after a hour or two of walking the beach) similar to most of Crystal Cove State Park (CA). One way to change your walking and exertion experience, depending on the beach, is to either walk the firmer sand at the edge of the surf or the soft, sandy beach that is beyond the surf line.

As to heart health; one thing I am trying to do in order to reduce my blood pressure is to be a lot more careful with the amount of salt (sodium) that I am eating. So I have become one of the those label readers you see more often at the supermarket doing the side by side comparisons. A bit of a surprise as I check the labels of some of my favorite things and find myself looking for lower sodium alternatives! Not sure that it has made an immediate difference yet, but every little bit helps and I think will eventually make a long term difference in lowering my blood pressure. Nice!

Btw, immediate comment on Instagram (@douglasstockdale) when I posted the above photo this morning was someone enjoying the “minimalistic image”. I like that aspect of this photograph.


January 12, 2018

Morning walk – Life style changes

Filed under: Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: — Doug Stockdale @ 11:45 pm


Crystal Cove, morning December 2017 copyright Douglas Stockdale

Earlier I expanded on how my morning walk has ventured into the “wild side” as I am now going off-road onto the neighboring nature trails (okay, maybe this photograph above from walking on the ocean beach is not really the “wild side”, so read the earlier posts). I also hinted that the daily walks was part of my life style change as much as a creative endeavor and perhaps was more about my health than wanting to start a new artistic project.

So a warning, this post is about being healthy ;- )

Okay, so why the emphasis on walking now? The smart-ass answer is that due to some skiing accidents I can’t jog or run. Which is slightly related to my reason for walking now; last year while skiing I took one fall and had trouble getting back up on my skis. In the past I would have popped right on, but this time I was like the upside turtle; I could not get up without some help. Crap! I was the old guy on the hill. In retrospect my issue was a combination of being too heavy, lack of muscle tone and wearing some klunky ski clothes that got in my way. So last summer I made a decision; first, lose some weight with a target of a minimum of 15 pounds, get off my ass and not vegetate at the computer desk and invest in a better ski jacket. Thus reason one for walking; lose some weight and get some exercise. Working! (almost lost 15 pounds and based on my last round of golf, more endurance)

Reason two: a little bit more cardio; while walking this summer, I was traversing the neighborhood sidewalks, so pretty level ground and not much of a walking challenge. Going off road the terrain has more elevation changes; more frequent and greater changes so now when I return to the studio I am usually in a sweat. That’s also good to help improve my resting and working heart rates. Yeah, that heart rate was in equally bad shape before this and now the trend is moving in the right direction.

Reason three: a time for meditation and reflection. While walking I can practice breathing (which improves smelling and a lot of great things out there on the trail) and time to think about the various things going on. Calming. Introspection. A walking mediation.

Reason four: I now have another artist project in development and an opportunity to practice seeing in conjunction with observing. So this opens me more to what is going on outside the studio.

I am guessing you can probably think of other good reasons for walking, so let me know your thoughts on why you walk?


January 11, 2018

Social Media updates for the New Year

Filed under: Art Market, Projects/Series — Tags: , , — Doug Stockdale @ 11:06 pm


Crystal Cove, bikes, December 2017 copyright Douglas Stockdale

For my 2018 New Years resolution as well as one of my goals for the year was to try to improve my social media presence. Specifically this goal is for my personal artist projects and I will be doing something similar to broaden the presence of The PhotoBook Journal.

To date, I joined Facebook about 2009, LinkedIn (for photograph) about 2012, started Instagram in 2015 and Twitter in 2017 (mostly some political commentary). Okay, so maybe for social media I am not the trend setter, but hey, I am an old dog still wanting to learn new tricks. For this year, I have just added Tumblr account.

In conjunction with the social media accounts, I am also going to try to add content a bit more frequently, which I hope might increase the number of followers. To be transparent, my self-serving reason is to help with my book sales and if I get my act together, maybe even some print sales.

Also appears that each of these social media channels have their pluses and minus, so here is what I will try to do with each;

Singular Images (this blog) this is where content appears to stay available for the longest duration and is a place that where content will be picked up on internet searches for years to come. So longer & information articles, such as this, will be posted here.

Facebook, here. These posts are fleeting, but where I have probably the largest number of followers and also share posts with LACP, SoCal PhotoExchange was well as various photobook groups.

Instagram (@douglasstockdale) Very photographic oriented site and fleeting posts, but seems ideal for publishing my singular images.

Tumblr (@douglasstockdale) New to me, a blog type layout, so I will have to see how this develops. Currently will post singular photographic images to determine what type of traction I get while learning the ropes. Never the less, what others have told me is that the content is not censored on this site, which probably means that Tumblr is more tolerant of nude studies than the others.

Twitter (@Doug_Stockdale) Will start posting singular photographic images to determine what type of traction I get while learning the ropes.

LinkedIn (@douglas-stockdale) I have not been overly impressed with this venue but I have also not been that active, so I will start posting more singular photographic images to determine what type of traction I get while learning the ropes related to photography. Also a site that I have the second most followers, but when I do post, I do not get that much response, but maybe related to a lack of posting.

So if these are venues you are already using, please invite or join me or what ever it is you are suppose to do to help me become part of the larger community.


Btw, after blogging for ten years on Singular Images, I think that this might be a relevant social media venue to maintain, so I have upgraded it to eliminate the pesky ads that clutter the posts. Now I need to sell a print (or two) to cover my investment, so let me know if there has been an image you have enjoyed and lets see if we can work out a deal.

January 9, 2018

Middle Ground – Rough Edit

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Middle Ground, Rough Edit, 2018 copyright Douglas Stockdale

While continuing to document my morning walks as a potential project, back in the studio I am developing my Middle Ground book project. At the end of last year I announced that this project is my MoPLA submission. So over the holidays I was working on the rough edit of my photo files.

The initial goal is to reduce the 1,060 photographs for this project into something more manageable. Thus I can say that I am pass Stage 1 of my photobook project per my Guide to Self-Publishing an Indie Artist Book and probably finished Stage 2, rough edit. I am currently hovering around 55 photographs to work with for the photobook layout. I have also reworked each of these image files multiple times to get the cropping, framing, color management, sharpening and contrast where I think I want it.

At the moment the goal for the book is between 20 and 26 interior images, so that means another 50% reduction for the final edit. Which I think is not bad place to be right now. The next step gets trickier; which and where of each photograph in the sequencing of the final edit.

I am still on track for a self-publishing release for the Spring 2018 publication season. Once I quickly finish the fine edit, I will still send out an inquiry to a couple of other publishers to see if they might consider this for their Fall 2018 release (maybe consider a spring 2019 release with the right deal, but I think time is of the essence for the purpose of this political satire). Still a big list of things yet to do!

Also at a place where it might make sense to upload this final selection on my web site, so more about that later when it’s completed.



January 2, 2018

Morning walks – staying off the grid

Filed under: Path to Somewhere, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , — Doug Stockdale @ 8:52 pm


Tijeras Creek Trail, December 2017 copyright Douglas Stockdale

Earlier I had discussed how my morning walks have taken a bit of detour off into the “wild” as a trade-in for the neighborhood sidewalks and my usual route for the past many years. After a number of experiment/play photographs documenting my walks with the cell phone camera, I thought it was time to bring some other camera equipment to further explore this photographic project. In preparation for the next phase of investigation, I instead encountered the Hasselblad jamnation.

When faced with lemons, my motto is to make lemonade; so while my 500 C/M body is being fixed, I opted to take my walks with the 5DMk3 with the 50mm EF f/1.4 canon prime lens and not even bring along the 24-105mm zoom. The 50mm “normal” lens would be the equivalent focal length for my 80mm lens with the Hasselblad. I wanted to contemplate that when restricted to just this “normal” prime lens focal length, might this work in my visual investigation and are consistent with my earlier cell phone experience.

After my return to the studio and downloading the digital files, the next step was to crop the image square, similar to the Hasselblad 6x6cm format. Still teetering between color and black & white images, and maybe even incorporate both into this project. Meanwhile, still using Photoshop for the digital black & white conversion. For film, I am thinking of using color negative versus color positive and after scanning the negatives, converting with Photoshop to black & white as an option to evaluate.



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