Untitled (Humboldt Street, February 2015), copyright 2015 Douglas Stockdale
My first image of my Cheesman Park District series. I am attempting to investigate a region of historic Denver as to how those who live here preserve memories through the built structures, thus indirectly preserving the past memories, while layering on new memories.
Always a question as to how to move a project forward, how to visually interpret what is there and what narrative to create. In most of my recent projects, there is a personal subtext; that I have a personal connection to the photographs and the stories that ensue. This series is similar to my Ciociaria project, that of dropping into a little known place, wondering around to go deep, observing and attempting to be open to how memory and its preservation are intertwined.
So while waiting for the voice of my muse to become clearer, I will work on some creative options. In this case, I seem to be opting for a pictorial & stylized narrative that has some lyrical qualities.
Untitled (Cheesman Park marker) copyright 2015 Douglas Stockdale
This last week I was on vacation with my family in Colorado mostly doing some skiing in Vail. Okay, perhaps a bit of photography too, but more about the photography in Vail in a later post. Of interest to me was an opportunity to check out the Cheesman Park District in Denver, an area that I had little knowledge of until this past weekend. It is a much older region of Denver with much of the built landscape originating at the turn of the 20th Century (yep, old by US standards).
As such, this region is infested with very interesting and unique homes and buildings that indirectly show the presence of those who currently live here and embedded with many memories. Thus I have the feeling that I have embarked on another long term photography project and I sense I will be returning to this area to further investigate what I see and feel.
Untitled (Zachary, High Desert, Arizona, November 2014) copyright 2014 Douglas Stockdale
On occasion, I am blessed by serendipity. This young guy had been zooming around and over the rocks and various trails. Then he paused, ever so momentary.
Untitled (High Desert, Oak Creek, November 2014) copyright 2015 Douglas Stockdale
Last November in Oak Creek, Arizona. Mixed emotions, many memories here over the past couple of decades. This represents an open ended question for me.
So I will see how this progresses.
Nocturnal III (below: Nocturnal II & Nocturnal) copyright 2015 Douglas Stockdale
This last week I was on assignment in the Baltimore area and from what I anticipated about this trip, it was going to be long and late hours entirely inside with a large group of people, which indeed it turned out to be. Thus I was no really anticipating any opportunities to work on my own projects, which in retrospect probably allowed me to relax and be open to what appeared before me.
The location was an industrial area in the northern suburbs of Baltimore with a mix of older industrial and a spattering of older residential, an area that could have be interesting to walk about if given the time. Regretfully, only a tiny bit of dawn light and not much time to use it. I was already on a sleep deficit attempting to adjust with the three hour difference from SoCal, so even with a couple of cups of coffee I was still a bit of a zombie that early in the morning.
On Wednesday, there was an interesting environmental change for this SoCal guy, it began to snow at noon and that evening everything had a light blanket of new, clear snow. Graphic and beautiful! After dinner I noted that the back of the parking lot had a line of brush and trees illuminated by towering parking lot lights. So being intrigued by what lay in front of me I investigated with the camera phone sans tripod. The resulting low resolution images were a fun exercise and made the time fly delightfully by. The image above and on the very bottom are monochromatic and not processed as black and white, while the first image below was converted to black and white as there were some color cast from the parking lights that I found disturbing.
With close scrutiny of the image at the bottom it is evident that this is not as sharp as the other two images, but these are the best of this bunch. I made a number of extra exposures and I was a tad bit cold, thus anticipated that I was not the most steady guy taking these longer exposure pictures.
Next time the tripod goes in the car!
Untitled (MingXinPian #0984) copyright Douglas Stockdale
This is a long term and a slowly developing project that I have worked on intermittently these past years. For this photograph I am investigating a feeling about a state of decline or decay.
I recently had an opportunity to show this photographic print in conjunction with five similar photographs to a group of photographers. Of the five, this image seemed to evoke the strongest response consistent with my objective.
Untitled (Tijeras Creek, January 2015) copyright 2015 Douglas Stockdale
An attempt to try to capture the mood of the day here in Southern California during one of infrequent periods of rain and drizzles.
Untitled (Tijeras Creek, RSM, January 2015) copyright 2015 Douglas Stockdale
Winter in Southern California means rain and intermittent drizzles with some snow up in the local mountains. Weather-wise I think all the locals know that we are very spoiled as compared to many of our friends who live elsewhere. So when we get some rain it does create a different mood, of which I hope that I tapped into with this photograph. I enjoy the abstract quality of this composition. Also a rare opportunity to use the 75-200 L zoom, an infrequent guest on my Canon.
Pine Lake, copyright 2014 Douglas Stockdale
As a book artist and photobook specialist, this is the time of year that I provide kudo’s to all of the photographers, photobook designers, photobook publishers and the book artists who use photography as a part of their creative medium. This year I was asked by Manik Katyal, the Editor/Publisher of Emaho magazine to provide five photobook titles for the Emaho annual list of Best Photobook lists. So since getting my list down to just five, I needed to again published my own Interesting Photobooks of 2014 on my other blog, The Photobook.
What came as a very pleasant surprise is when the amazing NYC book designer Elizabeth Avedon (yes, a familiar last name to those following photography over the years) selected Pine Lake as one of her Best Photography Books of 2014. A total surprise as this is a very limited edition artist book (edition of 25 plus 2 A/P’s) and thus I am assuming not many have actually held or seen.
What a sweet ending to the year and which reminds me that I need to get my butte back into gear and finish my next limited edition book Bluewater Shore, the second of the three photo-narratives plan for this series.
Copyright Douglas Stockdale 2014
Wishing you all a very merry Christmas and a wonderful holiday season.
P.S. Original photograph made in 2003 while skiing in Mammoth mountains and using a little 4mpx Canon G4, subsequently printed matte and hand colored, then rephotographed.