Doug Stockdale's Singular Images

January 12, 2015

Winter on the Left Coast = rain & drizzles

Filed under: Photography — Tags: , — Doug Stockdale @ 12:09 am


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.


December 22, 2014

Elizabeth Avedon’s Best Photography Books for 2014 – and I am on it!


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.




December 19, 2014

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays for 2014!

Filed under: Photography — Tags: , — Doug Stockdale @ 8:38 pm

03-13 Mommoth - Christmas greetings 12-14

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.


November 14, 2014

Flow of Light Brush the Shadow – Snow Shovel


Untitled (Snow Shovel, JinShan, January 2008) copyright Douglas Stockdale

I recently posting about finding one of my landscape photographs at the top of both Bing Images and Google Images. After letting the shock of recognition wear off, I went back to both with the same search term, contemporary landscape photography, and started scrolling down further.

Yikes, it did not take long for me to find another of my China photographs, above, to appear! I had blogged about my photo project Flow of Light Brush the Shadow in 2011 and this photograph was used to illustrate my progress on the project.

As to this photograph, the unusual snow fall had taken most of the local folks by surprise and like this man, few were really well equipped to handle the deepening snow. What I had not noticed at the time I made this environmental portrait was that the handle of the man’s shovel was actually made from a tree branch.

Up to this point in 2008, I had not attempted to include individuals in my urban landscape photographs, perhaps even going to some great lengths to exclude their presence. During this trip and since, I have made a determined effort to try to include people. This is one of my better attempts.

Meanwhile, another of my photographs that is bubbling up on the internet dog pile.


November 12, 2014

Contemporary Landscape Photography – JiaShan


Winter Field - JiaShan 01-23-08_2139_11x14_Douglas_Stockdale


Untitled (Winter Field, JiaShan, China January 2008) copyright Douglas Stockdale

You might image my surprise when I was poking around Bing images last week in-between events and I did a search on “Contemporary Landscape Photography” to see what might come up and the very first image was….mine!

Yep this photograph above that I created while in China in 2008. And to be sure that I was not hallucinating, I just did the same search again and yep, very first image was this one, again. Amazing.

I had posted this landscape photograph with a short discussion about what potentially makes a great Contemporary Landscape Photography in March 2008 shortly after my return from my third trip into Eastern China.

Trust me, I do not believe that I have created the definitive contemporary landscape photograph although I think that this is one of my better urban landscape photograhs made during these trips. As to why contemporary? Perhaps that the composition is very banal and ordinary in appearance and for me as the author, a bit more about my quiet introspective mood at the time, no real “subject” other than the frozen tracks in the field leading from the foreground towards the horizon. The furrow on the right also leads the reader to the horizon with a momentary break created by a lone, stark and barren tree. Thus the narrative is indirectly about a journey that has some melancholy undertones, probably a bit of how I was feeling going into my third week on this last visit.

This photograph may be getting such a primo spot on Bing is probably more about the power rankings of the internet. The more frequently seen, the higher up on the dog pile it goes. Nice to be on top of the dog pile!


November 3, 2014

PhotoBook Independent – Prospectus

Filed under: Art Market, Books, Photography, Projects/Series — Doug Stockdale @ 12:12 am

























Indie Book Fair, Duncan Miller Gallery,  Santa Monica, December 2013

This coming May 1-3, 2015 there will be Photobook Independent for self-publishing photographers and small independent publishers to exhibit and sell their books, which is pretty appealing to me. The event is occurring here in Southern California at the Raleigh Studios in Hollywood, about an hour North from me. This is the same place as Photo Independent earlier this year and again occurring concurrently with Paris Photo LA, which is at the Universal studio lot across the street. I covered both events  and posted my observations here. I tried to get a photobook event  in-conjunction with Photo Independent, but since this was the first year to launch this event, the organizers decided to keep things a little simpler. Nevertheless, the initial launch did very well as so they are now adding the Photobook venue. Nice!

There were some lessons learned when I did something similar last December at the Duncan Miller Gallery. One of which is due to the quantity of books I have to sell, a four foot table may not be enough space. So I am working on a budget for the eight foot table.

So if you are an self-publishing photographer or a indie publisher (rates a little higher for the indie publishers) and can make LA in May, you ought to seriously check this out. I am guessing that the tables are going to go fast!

Likewise if you are interested in acquiring small run, self-published indie books, you should check this out. Actually since this is occurring concurrent with Paris Photo LA, it is a slam dunk.


October 31, 2014

Documentary Photography – Archeology

Filed under: Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , — Doug Stockdale @ 9:50 pm

10-30-14 2007 Pilot stuff

Untitled (Honda Pilot 33.641° N, 117.595° W October 2014) copyright 2014 Douglas Stockdale

While in college working on my undergraduate degree and as a result of comping some classes, I had a few extra credits to burn so I took an intro to anthropology class. Growing up I was fascinated with National Geographic and similar magazines while my family had moved from one side of the country to the other, then back again. I had already become aware of differences in how people lived in the deserts of the Southwest versus the flat, urban Midwest. Perhaps being a keen observer of the cultural and social elements is a factor of what brought me to photography?

Flash forward to yesterday as we just purchased a new SUV and I had to remove the personal items from the old one. As I began to pile up the various bits, odds and ends, I was amazed at what all that I had accumulated over the past seven years. I don’t think of myself as a pack-rat, but I might need to reconsider this. As I surveyed this pile of stuff, I did have a flash back to an archaeological dig and I thought that this was probably pretty similar. How might someone far in the future reconstruct who we are as evidenced by this stuff? It also gave me a great idea for another photographic project, but I am not sure I have the time for this at the moment.

So this is my documentary photograph of a modern archaeological excavation.


October 24, 2014

Black & White Photographic Challenge – Day 5

089 Memory_Pods_1142_810BW_Ghost


Untitled (#89 Memory Pods) copyright 2014 Douglas Stockdale

This is my day 5 photograph as a result of being nominated by Jeff Alu to participate in a Black & White Photographic challenge (aka BWC) on FaceBook. For more background on the BWC and my other BWC photographs, please check out my previous post, here. Today’s post also completes my 5 day BWC.

This photograph, as well as yesterday’s photograph, is part of an on-going investigation of mine that is exploring the use of seed pods as metaphors for memory and indirectly identity.

In this photograph I reflecting on what occurs after all of the seed pods are gone. For me this is a metaphoric portrait and the question as to who is a person who has no remaining memories? Perhaps they are now a ghost of their formal self, barely existing without any recall of the past experiences, only momentarily aware of the present moment, which too is another event that will shortly vanish.

The B&W photographer that I nominated for day 5 is Paul Mounce.

October 23, 2014

Samsung S5 camera – quick look

Filed under: Photography — Tags: , — Doug Stockdale @ 11:53 pm

10-22-14 Laguna_Beach_Sunset


Untitled_S5 (Laguna Beach, CA October 2014) copyright Douglas Stockdale

I just made an unintended switch up from the Samsung S4 to the Samsung S5 phone/camera system. My charging pin became so distorted and bent with the S4 that the phone was no longer taking a charge. After multiple tweaks by me and the Verizon tech, the alternative was take the phone to phone repair shop or since I qualified for an exchange program, I could trade-in/purchase the S5. Since I have been pretty happy with the S4 other than the charging port, why not?

So last evening after making the switch-up, which was completed with virtually no issues, we met some friends down in Laguna Beach at Las Brisas restaurant overlooking the cove. Btw, highly recommended for contemporary Mexican surf cuisine and the margaritas are not bad either! We stepped out of Las Brisas just as the sun was setting, so I thought that this might be an opportunity to see what the S5 camera might do with these tricky low light and high contrast conditions. These are a couple of grab shots someone might take as a vacation snaps.

First, there are a couple of new features on the S5 compared to the S4, one of which is that this is a 16 Mpx camera compared to the S4’s 13 Mpx. Btw, a S4 image is included at the bottom of this post which was made a couple of days prior. The S5 now has a stabilization feature, which I used for both of these images due to the low light. Seems to work as both images do not have any motion blurr but does slow up the composition and capture sequence quite a bit, so if you need some quick response speed turn this feature off.

The images are proportionally the same, even if the S5 phone is a smidge wider than the S4 (yeah, I am an engineer and should be able to give you some precise dimensions, but you get the idea of what I am saying, eh?). That tiny bit of phone size change does not translate to a larger image capture, so I am guessing that the sensor is the same size, but packed a little denser to increase the file size.

For me does the 3 Mpx increase between the two phones translate to something that I can readily detect in the resulting photographs? Not so much for me. So would I change phones to the S5 to get a little bit larger file? Nope. Nevertheless, this image stabilization is interesting, but since this phone-camera is essential my snap-shot camera, this feature would not compel me to make the switch up if I did not need to. But since I now have it, I will play with this some more later on. There are a few more bells and whistles with this camera, including HDR (“Rich Tone” is the helpful hint for this feature) that I will check out later.

I must admit that the Sunset image above looked pretty sweet on the phone’s display.

Disclosure: For this quick look I did the following for the images in Photoshop CS3; made some tonality adjustments in RAW conversion  and noted the S5 file does have a bit more information to work with, so the image has the capability for image adjustments. For the S5 image below I also adjusted the color balance to warm it up a tad. Upon opening the image, I provide an Unsharpening of 100 to compensate for the sensor and likewise after saving the JPEG file, I added another Unsharpening of 100 to compensate for the slight softening that occur during JPEG conversion. For both of the S5 images, I did not add a Curves adjustment layer as I might when tweaking an image, so these are pretty close to original sensor capture.


10-22-14 Laguna_Beach_cove

Untitled_S5 (Laguna Beach, cove, CA October 2014) copyright Douglas Stockdale

01-19-14 Self portrait_San-Clemente


Self-portrait with Cooper, San Clemente, CA October 2014, copyright Douglas Stockdale

Black & White Photographic Challenge – Day 4

Filed under: Memory pods, Photography, Projects/Series — Doug Stockdale @ 6:18 pm

040 06-04-14_Memory_Pods_0950_108


Untitled (#40 Memory Pods) copyright 2014 Douglas Stockdale

This is day 4 photograph as a result of being nominated by Jeff Alu to participate in a Black & White Photographic challenge (aka BWC) on FaceBook. For more background on the BWC, see my previous post, here.

This photograph is part of an on-going investigation of mine that is exploring the use of seed pods as metaphors for memory and indirectly identity. A seed pod is a physical encapsulation of a germinating seed that occurs due to events over the duration of the life of a flower. For mankind there are events that captured by the senses of which some essence is retained by the brain. Over time an individual matures as do all of the captured memories, some remaining vivid and distinct, some becoming a hazy recollection and some becoming lost.

The B&W photographer that I nominated for day 4 is Jim Cullum.


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