Doug Stockdale's Singular Images

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 ;- )


January 22, 2016

Photo l.a. opening last night

Filed under: Uncategorized — Doug Stockdale @ 6:59 pm


Photo l.a. 2016 copyright Douglas Stockdale

I had an opportunity to join Hiroshi Watanabe at the Gala opening of Photo l.a. last night. As a result of preparing to meet-up with Hiroshi for dinner near Little Tokyo in LA before we attended the opening, I became somewhat obsessed with printing as many of the photographs from In Passing – Lest I Forget to discuss with him over dinner. I am essentially creating new images from this project due to the creative controls now available with PhotoShop CC over PhotoShop CS that I used in 2007 – 2008. What an improvement in the tonality and image controls with this latest version. I also tweaked my artist statement and project introduction to bounce off Hiroshi as well, which all went very well.

Walking through a gallery (Fair) exhibition like Photo l.a. provides an interesting snap-shot of some of the current trends in contemporary photography as well as bench mark for the market of earlier photographers work. This is not the time or place to try to button hole a gallery owner about one’s great photographs, but to take note of who is exhibiting like photographs and to follow up with after.

My quick read is that there were few, if any, gallery’s exhibiting contemporary documentary photographs that would I think would be interested in my In Passing- Lest I Forget project. There were a couple of gallery’s who were showing early work by some documentary photographers, but usually limited to a few prints in their collection that were available for sale. The overall exhibition & gallery emphasis seemed to lean towards photographers who were or are now exploring conceptual projects. As a disclaimer, the aisles were crowded, we were an hour late, so we moved through the exhibition hall at a decent pace. There just was not much that drew me back for a longer second viewing. Nevertheless, still a lot of interesting work to look and study.



January 7, 2016

Social media updates & Instagram

Filed under: Uncategorized — Doug Stockdale @ 8:20 pm


Rancho Santa Margarita, 2016 copyright Douglas Stockdale

I have back and forth with a friend about photographic self-promotion and realized that now would be a good time to provide an update on my own efforts. Today of course the buzz word for (self) promotion is Social Media, so that is primarily where I post my photographs.

You are reading this blog which has seen its ups and downs over the years that I launched it. I am actually the Editor and Founder of three blogs, this one, The PhotoBook about my thoughts on photobooks that I started shortly after this one, and The PhotoExchange for a group of photographers who meet monthly at the Irvine Fine Art Center (Irvine, CA) to discuss and share photographs. This is the only blog that I post my own photographs, so as far as I am concerned, this is my primary self-promo blog.

I jumped onto Facebook many years ago, initially a place for me, but then a fan page for the The Photobook blog. Recently I was made the Co-Editor of the Facebook page for The Photograhers Exchange. I am probably more addicted to Facebook than any others at the moment. Fb is also a place where I found a number of photobook discussion forums that I find interesting, although these have become more self-promotion about book publications and sales than actual “discussions”. Oh well, things evolve.

I have been using LinkedIn for a while, first was a personal profile to support my day-job as a pharmaceutical consultant. Then I decided that it might be a bit confusing to intertwine my photographic interests, thus I have a photographic LinkedIn profile under Doug Stockdale. If you are poking LinkedIn and find someone who might be me, make sure it has a lot of photographic interests. Btw, I do not post very much on LinkedIn as it does not appear to be a good fit with promoting your photographs. Maybe some are better at this on LinkedIn than I am and would be interested to hear your stories.

I am also on Google+, but again, I do not post here very often, but that might change this year. As a result, I do not have very many followers or am I following very many others. Perhaps a New Years resolution in the making!

I have an ambiguous profile on Tumblr, but after poking this site for a while, I am not actively using it. I have never twitter-fied, so no tweets.

New for 2016 is a profile on Instagram @douglasstockdale. A bit like this blog, well suited for single images, but not much for a long post & more like Facebook. Nice that I can post on Instagram and add Facebook to the post, saves a little bit of time. If I post something of interest on this blog, I usually provide a link back to the same photo on Facebook, which I can still do with a Instragram-Facebook post, then edit the Facebook post. I may be able to do something similar with Instagram, but I am just now coming up to speed on that app.

As to the photograph above we are now experiencing some rainy days, a bit unusual for many years here in SoCal. Noticing the wet reflections on the back patio and the fallen leaves, I could not help myself. It has a bit of that 1960’s look when wet reflections became the rage. A straight photograph with the Samsung phone-camera that appears a bit abstract and mysterious. On Instagram-Facebook, I inverted this same image but as a color photo, which is a bit more muted and probably a bit disorienting.


December 28, 2015

Photographic Abstraction

Filed under: Uncategorized — Doug Stockdale @ 6:36 pm


Untitled, copyright 2015 Douglas Stockdale

Interestingly one of the aspects of painting that initially drew me in was the potential of a “realist” interpretation of a subject. Although my graphic drawings continued to explore that direct representational possibility, my paintings became more and more abstract. In effect, like those well before me, I came to concurrently understand both the limitations and the exciting possibilities of painting. Thus the eventual insight into the non-representational aspects of photography and my return to working with this medium.

Nevertheless even now as what I believe I photograph as a “straight” subject, it is possible to create photographs from things seen which appear very abstract. Thus I would node to the photographer Aaron Siskind as providing the underlying inspiration for the photograph above.

I think that his “straight” photography appears potentially more abstract due to my cropping and removing it from it’s environmental context. Like a painter, I did change the contrast and the tonal range in Photoshop to push the image closer to what I envisioned at the moment I photographed it.

This is a singular image in that I do not go looking for these ambiguous subjects as part of an on-going project (or at least not at the moment), but I enjoy working with these subjects when the serendipity occurs.


December 14, 2015

Captions for the Aftermath Project

Filed under: Uncategorized — Doug Stockdale @ 9:44 pm

A-1 Colloferro Italy

Untitled (A-1, Colloferro, Italy 2012) copyright Douglas Stockdale

It seems to me that I have an easier time determining what I want the resulting photograph to look like than what do I want to have as a title (caption) for it. Such is the chaos of the creative process.

For the In Passing – Lest I Forget project titles I think that I have been all over the map, literally, with ideas and options. I really would like a unique title for each photograph that will allow one image not to be confused with another. Not so easy in the case when there may be a series of un-named aftermath memorials along the same stretch of highway. Initially when this project was published in LensWork  magazine I had provided titles that were a bit descriptive, such as “Five Crosses” or “Heart Broken Fence”.

So over time I have been trying to wrestle this title issue to the mat for this project, which has appearances of being a documentary project while I want to try to avoid the potential sensationalism of the subject matter. So I am now deferring for the titles to the name of the adjacent roadway that the memorial adores in conjunction with the proximity of a city and the state (for the international memorials, also include the country). Such as the photograph above, which was found on the A-1 southbound from Rome and situated near the city of Colloferro.

For other photographs where these may have some overlap due to the close proximity on the same roadway, I will include a first name of person who is associated with the memorial in parens following the location title. I am still not sure what I am going to do when I have a tighter composition of a memorial (similar to a “portrait”) and a broader and more inclusive landscape of the same memorial, as I now thinking of paring the images of these two viewpoints across the gutter from each other.

For image titles, I think I am getting closer!


November 16, 2015

Paris on my mind

Filed under: Uncategorized — Doug Stockdale @ 9:17 pm

04-29-07_Laguna Beach - California_3214

Untitled (Pacific Coast Highway, Laguna Beach 2007) copyright Douglas Stockdale

With the recent events occurring over the weekend in Paris, I am feeling pretty sad for those families whose lives have been dramatically altered. The acts of terrorism attempts to undermine and destabilize  the social fabric, bur only if we let it. I continually remind myself that this is a small disruptive minority, a flawed mentality which seems to have existed since the recorded history of mankind.

This is a city I have enjoyed working in and as well as visiting. This event will not deter my return.

November 11, 2015

Canon 5D Mark III at ISO 6400

Filed under: Uncategorized — Doug Stockdale @ 4:17 pm

11-07-15 Zach Karate tournament K16A0738

Untitled (Zach Karate tournament 11/7/15) copyright Douglas Stockdale

One thing that has intrigued me about the Canon 5D Mark III, which is one of the reasons I decided to purchase this versus the 5DS, was the higher ISO capabilities of the sensor. For my older 5D, I found the images became noisy (“snow”) for me even at an ISO 800, which limited the shutter speed for occasions like Zach’s recent karate tournament.

So at this karate tournament last weekend I had the pleasure to check out the 5D Mark III pushing the ISO to 6400, still well within in the theoretical maximum ISO 25,000. With my f/4 lens, I was still able to obtain a 1/160th of a second inside the gym with lens wide open at f/4, which is not too bad. The image holds together well, no real perceivable noise and I probably could have ramped up the ISO even a bit more. Fun.

I like the dynamics of this image with the combat of the two boys while being framed by a couple of other contestants in the foreground, the intensity of the judge’s expression and mom is on left edge and appears to be just a little bit anxious. Regretfully Zach was eliminate by one of his buddy’s in the following match-up (after Zach won this match).


October 22, 2015

Wedding memento

Filed under: Uncategorized — Doug Stockdale @ 9:58 pm


Untitled (Stacey & Damien Valdez wedding, October 2015, New Orleans) copyright 2015 Douglas Stockdale

Having professional photographed a number of weddings in the past, one thing I enjoy now is NOT being the official wedding photographer! Between us, I found that weddings are very stressful events for many reasons. You can’t ask the bride and groom to cut the cake over again, the bride to re-throw the bouquet, etc. In the old days, you weren’t sure you had the shot (or even if you had screwed up loading the film or other camera disaster) until a week later after the film was processed and the proofs were back. Now, like this event, there are multiple photographers photographing from alternative angles, constantly checking the camera backs displays, perhaps a bit less stressful.

Now when attending a wedding, I am more interested in a one or two compositions that are very personal, not on the wedding pro’s check list, and ripe for my own personal interpretation. To create a small memento that I think would be enjoyed by my friends who are in the wedding. So during a lull before the start of the ceremony and in one case below, during one of the many events of the wedding, I arranged some of the items to better suit and achieve the composition that I could subsequently tweak. In this case for Stacey and Damien, I ended up with three nice photographs. Two are not tack sharp since it was well into the evening, hand held & no flash, since for these kind of photographs, the little bit of softness I do not find objectionable.




October 7, 2015


Filed under: Uncategorized — Doug Stockdale @ 11:38 pm


Untitled (DTW, Michigan, 2015) copyright 2015 Douglas Stockdale

One of those visual metaphors, which regretfully can border on becoming trite, that always seems to draw me in are pathways, both narrow and wide, although the narrow ones seem to get my attention more often. I think the narrow pathways (or at least they appear narrow) are more human in scale, personal, maybe even romantic, which are meant for a person to walk along. I especially enjoy photographing those pathways when the end is not in sight, implying a potential limitless walk. These photographs also investigate a journey, real or imagined, but to where? The more ambiguous the photograph I feel create even more narrative possibilities.


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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