Doug Stockdale's Singular Images

January 22, 2018

Black & White Challenge; day four and weird beach creatures

Filed under: Photography — Tags: , — Doug Stockdale @ 7:54 pm


Beach Study, Crystal Cove State Park, December* 2017 copyright Douglas Stockdale

While working on my next beach study for my black & white challenge, I started to see something interesting in the abstract shapes. Somewhat like finding faces or animals in the cloud formations. When I did a 180 degree inversion of the image, I realized I had found a very weird beach creature, or potentially two, perhaps with one riding the other, lurking in the sand. It will be interesting to find out if others see what I see in the comments, especially since I am not to provide any explanation with my Facebook post.

I love this aspect of serendipity when I experiment and play with my images! I don’t think that I will start looking for more of these, but I will sure will be more open to looking at what I find on the sand. Could make walking the beach all that more fun, as if walking on the ocean beach was not already a ton of fun.

Also a note for fellow photographers; one aspect that might have made this composition easier to work with is that the day was foggy and overcast, thus an indirect flat light without strong shadows to contend with.

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: for details.


January 21, 2018

Black & White Challenge: Day three & on the beach

Filed under: Photography — Tags: — Doug Stockdale @ 4:23 pm


Beach, Crystal Cove State Park, December* 2017 copyright Douglas Stockdale

This seaweed and sand composition is the day three post for my Facebook black & white challenge. On my Instagram (@douglasstockdale) and Facebook post, I provided no explanation, and of course, no people are in this photograph.

As you might suspect by now, I find these serendipitous and random found compositions on the beach to be very interesting. These compositions are constantly evolving by how the surf re-structures the sand and the seaweed, so with each new wave, a new variation. A combination of found art that has recognizable content, while the form, lines, shape and mass have some abstract qualities. My role is to determine the framing and then create the subsequent values. I can relate these compositions to the artistic work of Franz Kline, the Abstract Expressionist painter, although the photograph above is more delicate than Kline’s heavy graphic work.

Please join me on Tumblr: @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:


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 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 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.

November 28, 2017

Hawaiian Thanksgiving

Filed under: Photography — Tags: , — Doug Stockdale @ 6:04 pm


Hawaiian Bananas, Waimea, 2017 copyright Douglas Stockdale

For the Thanksgiving week we went to the Big Island of Hawaii, which was the first time that I have been on this Hawaiian island as we normally end up on Maui. And I can now attest, there are lots and lots of lava fields.

Also meant that I took a small vacation from blogging, both here and The PhotoBook Journal, although Gerry continued to add book reviews to TPBJ (yeah!). I did post to Instagram (@douglasstockdale) and follow Facebook, sharing a few of my Instagram posts on Facebook. I was a bit surprised at the response to my bananas photo above, which had double the response of my other photographs. Also a bit different for me as I have a tendency to defer to the mid-foreground landscapes photographs. Nevertheless, this photograph seemed to resonate with a bunch (pun intended) folks.

We had driven to Waimea to have Thanksgiving with Dana, a friend of my daughters, who is living on a small sheep farm. Quite surprised to see the banana trees ground around her house, which she says that frequently do not get picked, just toooo many. Nevertheless, I was intrigued by the shapes and forms of these hanging on the tree. It did help too much that Waimea is on the rainy side of the island and it drizzled the entire day, so the lighting was a bit soft. After taking the photo, I did some modifications in SnapSeed and I think the visual results were interesting.

So after our return, I spent most of a day downloading all of the photographs, more of which I will be sharing soon. Meanwhile, I have a few posts to do for TPBJ, one of which is a selection by Gerry and me for the More Interesting PhotoBooks for 2017.

Also a bit bothered by a recent forced Windows update which has slightly stretched the things on my monitor and that I have not been able to correct. I think it is all part of the evil MS plan to force me to buy an iMac Pro. Well it’s working….

I hope you all had a wonderful American Thanksgiving holiday! The funny part of our Thanksgiving dinner is that Dana had not cooked a turkey before, so before we arrived, she had cooked one to make sure she knew how. So our dinner was a wonderful success, including the purple mashed potatoes. We also had a lot to give thanks for.


July 6, 2017

Seaweed, San Clemente beach

Filed under: Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , — Doug Stockdale @ 3:49 am


Seaweed, San Clemente beach, June 2017 copyright Douglas Stockdale

One of my recent experiment/fun projects has been to investigate photographic possibilities at the beach, which regretfully as a genre is a mine field of cliche photographs. So rather run from the obvious as I attempt to skirt around these cliches, the rather wonderful aspect of my process is if I am seduced into taking a photograph that appears to borders on cliche, just take it anyway! No worries! Who knows what might come of it?

I was intrigued by the abstract pattern of these three seaweed pieces that had recently washed ashore. The shore break of the surf was not that large and I could see a series of interesting patterns of surf and residuals as the tide receded. The colors were muted by the overcast sky thus the resulting photograph would be a bit more manageable as I converted this to a black & white image.

So I took a series of images of this composition as the surf broke on the beach and selected this one that seemed to best exemplify the potential abstract surf patterns. I also framed the image to include the distant San Clemente pier as another visual element anticipating that it was going to be out of focus that it might create a bit of visual push/pull and potential mystery.

One of the disadvantages of Snapseed for the initial image processing for posting on Instagram (@douglasstockdale) is the limited black and white conversion options. Nevertheless I think I was pretty close on my initial try and subsequently received a really good response on Instagram, enough to want me to further investigate the black & white conversion with Photoshop. This is the resulting photograph and in line with pre-visualization.

Available as a limited edition archival pigment print. Email me for current pricing for sizes and shipping of this photograph print.


January 27, 2017

Weather & Surf Reports

Filed under: Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , — Doug Stockdale @ 11:50 pm


San Clemente, CA 2017 copyright Douglas Stockdale

So my latest experiment-fun that I have been playing around with is photographing the ocean, surf & sky when I happen to be driving near and subsequently posting on Instagram (@douglasstockdale) as my Weather & Surf Report. As you might imagine, we live close by and my daughter lives even closer, so this becomes a frequently opportunity, especially when I need to drop off someone at the San Clement train station which is just yards away from this ocean beach. I enjoy watching the surf, the smell of the salt air, and the various sounds of the surf and beach, but I was not really drawn to photograph it until recently. Not sure that I want to do a long exposure or in black & white, but perhaps documenting this natural landscape (while the local coastal train zooms by behind me) in color.

I have not been that consistent in my framing, but experimenting with options; leaning towards a lot more atmospheric sky than the ocean & beach.

See what develops, eh? Meantime, having some fun.




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 ;- )


December 8, 2016

Walking Santa Fe (& a creative lesson from Todd Hido)

Filed under: Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , , , — Doug Stockdale @ 4:13 am


2016 copyright Douglas Stockdale

One of the nice aspects of Santa Fe, New Mexico is the relatively small and centralized layout of this early Western town.It is quaint, very picturesque, great food and now has a zillion art galleries, including a couple of photographic galleries; photo-eye and Verve (which regretfully in closing in February 2017) and the photo-eye book store. Also ideal for staying in a place in or adjacent to town (we did a rental house over this past Thanksgiving weekend) and then walking everywhere you want or need; day or night.

This little trip also falls into one of creative photographic idea generators found in The Photographer’s Playbook as explained by Todd Hido, sub-titled Exposure Yourself (pg 149). Essentially exposure yourself to a different environment by going for at least two nights to someplace you normally don’t go (this is our first visit to Sante Fe). Leave yourself open to spontaneity; no plans to meet anyone or anything set in stone (okay, I knew that at some point I was going to the photo-eye bookstore), perhaps with the exception of when and how you are going to return home. And need to take lots and lots of pictures of whatever grabs your interest. This method of Expose Yourself has worked for many photographers over the years to either change things up or reconfirm what they enjoy working on (yes,  various aspects of the urban & built landscape continue to interest me).

This creative process is also integral with my experiment-fun methodology; all the photographs in the mini-portfolio are hand-held using my Samsung camera phone, then processed with Snapseed for immediate uploading on Instagram (@douglasstockdale). The mini-portfolio below has now been additionally tweaked with Photoshop now that I am back to my home-studio. Although I know I need to make multiple exposures for my night images to try & ensure I did not have a shaky image, the night photographs did not necessarily turn out as well as expected. Still, in keeping with my game plan, I had a lot of fun.

By the way, no accident that I included the Clafoutis Bakery in this mini-portfolio; an excellent french breakfast & pastries, which is a nice change from the spicy New Mexican foods of Santa Fe.


Btw, this is a re-post of a previous post because I really goofed it up the first time (that’s another story). Sorry about that!

The Walking Santa Fe mini-portfolio









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