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.
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.
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!
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.