Doug Stockdale's Singular Images

April 23, 2018

Fabrik Projects exhibition preparations

Filed under: Art, Middle Ground, Photobook, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , — Doug Stockdale @ 2:13 am

Alternative CrossingAlternative Crossing (Middle Ground) 2017 copyright Douglas Stockdale

With the pending exhibition at Fabrik Project next month quickly coming up fast, there are a bunch of things that I need to do to prepare for this.

I guess it never fails; I have the web-images for the project prepared and then the gallery would like these in another format and size. Not really a big deal, but it just takes some time to open the files to resize and format, which has been completed and sent to the gallery last Friday.

Now that the final edit of the book is completed I needed to update my web site for Middle Ground, deleting images that did not make the cut and up-loading new images that did. As well as replacing a few images that required some additional tweaks. Likewise I also need to reorder the sequence of the images on the web site to provide more alignment and become more in sync with the book’s interior. I completed this small web-site task earlier today and as well as updating my on-line CV with the recent LACP Faculty group exhibition and my book talk at the Palos Verdes Art Center.

Last was printing one of my Middle Ground images at 42 x 52″, a new larger size for me. I will have to admit that this photograph looks amazing and thinking back, not sure why I did not make larger prints like this sooner. When I was doing the project review at the gallery, I had brought with me a 30 x 40″ c-print, and he thought it looked great and that going to 40 x 50″ should look fine. He was correct. So the print is at the custom framer and it should be ready in plenty of time for the May 5th opening.

So now I have most of the print and information to the gallery, I need to re-focus on finishing the leporello book. The goal is to have at least the final book proof available on May 5th if I do not have any final copies bound. As a result of the publication schedule being moved up for this exhibition opening, this precludes the chance to do a 30 day Kickstarter project. I was on the fence about doing a Kickstarter project anyhow, so maybe another book project at another time. This book production is going to be tight. sigh.

Nevertheless, it’s all good!




April 18, 2018

Exhibition News; Douglas Stockdale at Fabrik Projects

Filed under: Art Market, Middle Ground, Photobook, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , — Doug Stockdale @ 6:08 pm


Surveillance (Middle Ground/En Medio Tierra project) 2017 copyright Douglas Stockdale

I am really excited to announce the exhibition of my project Middle Ground/En Medio Tierra at Fabrik Projects, an LA gallery located near Culver City.

Exhibition dates: Saturday, May 5th thru Saturday, June 2nd, 2018

Artist reception: Saturday, May 12th, 2018

Location: Fabrik Projects, 2636 S. La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90034

We are also planning for the artist book launch of my self-published Middle Ground/En Medio Tierra in conjunction with this exhibition, more details on the book’s availability to follow shortly. Yes, there are some other interesting developments about the publication of my artist book as well. and it’s all good.

This is a two-person exhibition in conjunction with (correction) Marilyn Sanders, a SoCal photographer. Meanwhile, it’s a bit crazy here in the studio with all of the things that I need to prepare for this exhibition, but in a very good way.

So if you on the left coast on May 12th, I hope you can join me during the artist reception.


April 15, 2018

LACP Faculty exhibition opening reception April 13, 2018

Filed under: Books, Middle Ground, Photobook, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , — Doug Stockdale @ 5:10 pm

04-13-18 Douglas Stockdale America photo by Gerhard Clausing

Douglas Stockdale & framed “America” 2018 copyright Gerhard Clausing

Last Friday had a wonderful evening at LACP for the Faculty group exhibition opening reception. Top line; it was nice to see my Middle Ground print on the wall, a continuing validation of this project. Second it was really enjoyable to see some friends in that we do not usually have a chance meet-up often enough. Lots of shared stories and updates. Also wonderful to hear from some past workshop participants and current photographers who I am mentoring on the progress that they are making artistically. More information about this reception can be found at Clausing’s SoCal PhotoExchange post.

It was also a chance for me to obtain some more feedback on my Middle Ground book-dummy, which was really interesting and insightful as I listened to their comments and suggestions. First, a confirmation that the soft/fuzzy lower left corner of my images created by the back bracket issues of the Canon 5DMk3 needed to be addressed (this really irritates me every time I need to work on these images as a result of the inadequate Canon camera body construction). Thus my big project for yesterday was identifying which images needed modifying, typically with a slight different cropping that emphasized the right side of the image to crop out the bothersome lower left issues. That resolved all but one image and now I am figuring out which image to use as a replacement.

Today making the final changes for the book printing files for the printer, revised images for the book dummy and new Epson exhibition prints.

All of this while under a little bit of a deadline as I have appointment tomorrow morning at a gallery in Culver City (LA) about a potential exhibition opportunity. So stay tuned, as I may have some exciting news very soon.


04-13-18 Douglas Stockdale - Elaine D'Mello photo by Gerhard Clausing

Networking with Elaine D’Mello (photo; Gerhard Clausing)

April 11, 2018

Meanwhile, back on the ranch

Filed under: Memory pods, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: — Doug Stockdale @ 10:25 pm

04-10-18 Memory Pod 6500006 Kodak Extar 100

Memory Pods, April 2018 copyright Douglas Stockdale

While I am going slightly crazy preparing to launch a Kickstarter campaign for the Middle Ground project, the weather has warmed and my aloa vera are budding. It is Memory Pods season again!

This is my fourth season of working on the Memory Pods project at my studio. For this project I have not been waiting for a book design and pending publication to share, post, and exhibit the body of work. Main reason is I am still thinking about the design and layout for this pending book. Meanwhile I continue to experiment/play with my subject. Last year I did not become as obsessed with this project as I had in previous years and for this year I find myself working at more of a measured pace, anticipating the various phases as to what I want to accomplish. Seems like I am filling in more of the visual gaps that I am loosely considering for this project.

Last year I was experimenting with the two extension tubes with the 150mm lens on the Hasselblad (using 120 film), which turned into a mini disaster as the tubes fowled up the camera body. At the time I had thought my solution would be acquiring a 120mm Zeiss Makro-Planar, which I did during the off-season.

This is not a bad start. The photograph is investigating the “youth” stage for the Memory Pods, so I consider this a nice portrait of a “kid”. Also first chance to really work with this Makro Zeiss lens on the Hasselblad, which I was slightly surprised that I was not able to get in closer to my subject (image above is slightly cropped). Probably why when I sold the extension tubes I was asked if I really wanted to sell these if I were acquiring the Makro lens for macro photographic work.

So while diligently pulling together my Middle Ground Kickstarter materials and information, I will be taking some well deserved breaks for my Memory Pods project. And a good time to let my Gardening for Ordnance take a slight breather. Otherwise, I will be probably be going nuts.


April 7, 2018

Canon 24-105mm lens test revelation

Filed under: Photography — Tags: , , — Doug Stockdale @ 8:30 pm


detail (100% magnification), Canon 24-105mm L f/4 lens, at 105mm at f/9 copyright Douglas Stockdale

Last Friday I had found myself in the local Canon Service shop in Costa Mesa regarding some issues with the bottom left corner of my images and was informed that I need the flange back repaired for my 5D Mark 3. sigh. I picked up the “adjusted” body yesterday (Note: next to me was a guy with a sad face as he was just informed that his 5D Mark ? needed the same repair. He was also holding a big 300mm prime lens. Canon crappy camera design and construction strikes again) so this morning I decided to perform a quick camera check on my adjusted body, just to make sure everything is okay.

I mounted my 5DMk3 on a tripod and then set the aperture to f/9 to make sure that the lens was stopped down enough so that a narrow focus would not be an issue. My first test was my Canon 50mm f/1.4 prime lens; results exhibit nice sharpness edge to edge, image below. Appears my flange back adjustment is fine. Then being a curious cat, I then mounted what I suspect was the bad-boy lens that created the flange back to go out of alignment, my “heavy” 23 oz Canon 24-105mm L f/4 lens. Similar to the 50mm f/1.4, I set the f/9 for exposures for the 24mm, 35mm, 50mm, 70mm and 105mm focal length tests.

At the 24mm, 35mm and the 50mm focal lengths exposures, excellent edge to edge image sharpness (bottom, below). My surprise was the amount of  corner softness that occurred at 70mm (below) at 100% magnification, now more like “average/poor” and even more corner softness at the 105mm focal length (above) bordering on “poor/unacceptable”. I am guessing on first looking at the image below that these might all look acceptable, but when making 16×20″ prints or larger, the corner softness starts to become more noticeable.

I have had the Canon 24-105mm lens (purchased new) since I acquired my used Canon 5D in 2010. I had never tested this lens out since the initial images on my monitor appeared fine. I usually am composing with something in the 24 to 50mm focal length, so probably unknowingly I was in the sweet zone for this particular lens. On a couple of occasions I composed using a focal length between the 70 to 105mm range for some informal portraits, but now remember being a bit disappointed that the images appeared a bit soft. Since portraits are not my usual thing, I just kept moving on, also I did not think I would use a 100mm prime lens that much to make an investment.

Bummer about the Canon 24-105mm lens results. So this lens is now sitting on the storage shelf as I contemplate selling it, while the 50mm f/1.4 is on the 5DMk3 (camera on it’s back with the lens straight up, no off-center weight on the flange back). As potential replacements for the 24-105mm I am thinking of a lighter Canon 35mm f/2 (prime) lens and a Canon EF 100mm macro f/2.8 (prime) lens. I all ready have a Canon 17-40mm L lens (which I have not test yet, but think I will sometime soon) so I have the 24-35mm focal lengths covered. For the 100mm macro, I need to consider if I want the heavier L lens which now has the IS (Image Stabilization) feature, although only 1 oz difference in weight it’s not really much difference. The 100mm macro lens is close to the weight of the Canon 24-105mm lens, so I would need to be careful how I carry it when it’s mounted on the camera body, or just mount it when I need it.

No more trips back to Canon to repair the flange back again! I hope you enjoyed my morning in the back yard.



full frame (above), 24-105mm lens at 105 mm focal length and f/9


full frame (above), 24-105mm lens at 70mm focal length and f/9


full frame (above), 24-105mm lens at 35mm focal length and f/9


full frame (above), 50mm f/1.4 lens at f/9

April 5, 2018

Douglas Stockdale – LACP Faculty exhibition

Filed under: Middle Ground, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , — Doug Stockdale @ 3:51 am


America (Middle Ground – En Medio Tierra), copyright 2017 Douglas Stockdale

I am very honored that my photograph “America” from my forthcoming self-published artist photobook Middle Ground will be featured in LACP’s First AnnualFaculty, Member and Alumni (FMA)Exhibition at the Los Angeles Center of Photography. This is the first exhibition of my photographs from this new body of work.

You are cordially invited!

Opening Reception: Friday, April 13, 7-10 pm at the LACP facilities; 1515 Wilcox Ave, Los Angeles (Hollywood), CA 90028

Exhibition continues through May 18th, 2018

The LACP exhibition features a collection of photography honoring the organization’s faculty, members and student alumni. 33 artists will be exhibiting their work, with a total of roughly 60 images on display. The exhibition will show at the Los Angeles Center of Photography in Los Angeles (Hollywood), April 13 – May 18, 2018. The FMA will be an annual exhibition in the Spring of each year.

Exhibiting Faculty:

Aline Smithson, Art Streiber, Brad Buckman, Bonny Taylor, David Zentz, Douglas Stockdale, Eric Joseph, Erin Davis, Gabriella Muttone, Gina Valona, Jennifer Emery, Julia Dean, Kat Bawden, Michael Pliskin, Rollence Patugan, Sarah Hadley and Susan Burnstine.

Exhibiting Members:

Andy House, Jenna Mulhall-Brereton, John D. Elliott, Joshua Sarinana, Kathy Curtis Cahill, Kevin Weinstein, Lori Pond, Matthew Finley and Wendi Schneider

Exhibiting Alumni:

Amanda Rose, Brian Jung, Gila Silberman, Ilis Ruiz Cano, Jamie Siragusa, Sarah Rooney and Willie Mack

This is a very broad and diverse group exhibition. Check it out!

April 1, 2018

Kickstarter, GoFundMe or ??

Filed under: Art Market, Books, Middle Ground, Photobook — Tags: , — Doug Stockdale @ 9:48 pm


Middle Ground, book dummy 2018 copyright Douglas Stockdale

So while my Canon 5D Mk3 is undergoing “flange back” repairs at Canon, I will have some time this week (hopefully repairs complete this Friday) to evaluate some fund raising alternatives to produce Middle Ground.

The big-daddy of book fund-raising appears to be Kickstarter with it’s all-or-nothing process. Seems like the big contender to Kickstarter is GoFundMe with it’s process of you get what-ever you can raise. Both have various fees, so that has to be taken into account for the amount being raised, so if I up the ante by 10%, I should have the fund-raising expenses mostly covered.

I will have to admit that since I will do the binding of Middle Ground book the actually printing expenses for a small volume leporello book are not that bad. Nevertheless, pre-selling the book to have most of the expenses covered is nice. Likewise, both of these programs might also broaden my presence and open some new book and print markets for me.

I have been following a couple of recent photobook Kickstarter projects (I will also have a couple of really nice photobooks as a result) which have recently been fully funded. This gives me an indication of what incentives and rewards seem to work better than others.

I cannot start a Kickstarter program until I obtain the 5DMk3 and it’s capability to provide HD video, which an info-video appears to be a necessary part of Kickstarter. I might need some help with making this info-video as well, so something else to noodle this week.

The GoFundMe from what I have seen are individuals liking what you are doing and then supporting you get there, with a lot of social driven causes. What I don’t see in most of the GoFundMe projects are any kind of rewards, e.g. books and prints, for your donation such as you find on Kickstarter. So having rewards might be an alternative if I were to go that route.

I have been reviewing some other artist fund-raising programs, but most of these do not appear to help the sponsor achieve their financial investment goals. Not a great prospect for investing the time.

So I have the week to work on this fund-raising strategy, which pushes out my publishing date a little bit.


March 31, 2018

Canon 5D Mark 3 – Flange back repair (again)

Filed under: Photography — Tags: , , — Doug Stockdale @ 12:04 am

10-17-16 detail KI6A3918

Bottom left corner detail 2016 copyright Douglas Stockdale

I recently left my Canon 5D Mark 3 body at the Canon Service center in Costa Mesa for repair of the “flange back”, which the camera technicians stated was the reason for my latest series of crappy-corner images. Latest, in as this is the same image issue I had with my earlier Canon 5D (the original 5D).

The image issue is that that apparently something tweaks the “flange back” interface on the camera body, the interfaces with the camera lens mount, in such a manner that the sensor plane is out of alignment with the lens focus point. The image artifact, photo above, is a slightly soft out of focus region within the image capture. Regretfully, this is a really small area on an 8 x10″ image and for me, not noticeable until you decide to make 16 x 20″ prints, and especially when you make 30 x 40″ prints.

The Canon camera tech tells me that I must have dropped the camera (nope, did not do this), use a really big lens (rarely use my 70-200mm L lens) as I almost exclusively have the 24-105 mm L lens on the 5Dmk3, or maybe just a lot of weight by a lens on the camera over time. Okay, so for the later, I carry the 24-105 mm L lens on my 5DMk3 for long duration’s on my shoulder as I walk-about. Now the 24-105 mm L lens is the “kit” lens that Canon likes to sell/push for the Canon 5D series bodies. So what I am to understand, the 5D series of bodies is not designed or built to carry their kit lens for long durations. WTF!

Oh yes, this is not a warranty issue, so this little repair is costing me 219 bucks. Canon wants me to bring in the 24-105 lens to make sure it’s not tweaked either. For the earlier fix of my Canon 5D, there were other shutter issues as well, so Canon replaced the shutter and adjusted the flange back that time under warranty; no cost to me. But NOT this time; I am guessing from their perspective I must have done something wrong. I am now guessing that Canon sees a lot of these flange back issues (first thing that the tech stated could be the problem).

Reminds me of the commercial of the car needing repair regarding the insure company; maybe I have the wrong camera system. Mind you, I have been using Canon camera equipment for over 30 years, but this is more than two strikes as I have a ton of crappy corner images to show for it, both from my Ciociaria project (2 and half years back and forth to Italy, 3,500 + images, with the 5D), and now the Middle Ground project, as I find this corner issue going back to October 2016 for a project that I thought is complete (a year and half of work, 2,000 + images) and currently working with a printer to self-publish a photobook in the next couple of months. Again; WTF!!

I have not seen any alerts from Canon to be watching for this issue with this camera body and lens combination (have you??). Second, this defect is not something I notice until I make some big enlargements and I do not create these until later in the project development. The sample photo with this post is a big enlargement of the corner and even then, not really apparent. So if I stay with Canon, I am assuming that they expect me to continually monitor the corners to ensure that their crappy designed camera is still okay to use. Also assumes that once Canon fixes this, it’s permanent fix, but now I am doubting that; so if I keep this rig, I need to be constantly monitoring my photos for potential camera equipment defects. I would rather be concerned about the image composition and lighting, not crummy photo equipment.

So I am taking inventory of all of my Canon equipment and accessories and evaluating some alternatives, like Nikon. All of this while I was starting to evaluate a 24″ wide-format Canon printer to replace my Epson 4800. Maybe staying with an Epson printer as well.

Not a happy camper. Not someone who is going to be quick to recommend Canon.

March 28, 2018

En Medio Tierra – Middle Ground

Filed under: Books, Middle Ground, Photobook, Projects/Series — Tags: , , — Doug Stockdale @ 10:03 pm


Middle Ground, book dummy 2018 copyright Douglas Stockdale

When I was re-examining my Middle Ground project in the context of how symbolic the subject was to the issues facing the DREAMers, I realized that another way to underscore this concept was to have the book’s text in both English and Spanish.

A gringo process to complete the translations is to go to Google translate, but I understood that this process could only provide a starting approximation. Thus I leaned into my cousin Ashley and her husband Ralph Hernandez to help me get the Spanish (Espanol) translation correct, or as they say, what sounds right to the Spanish ear.

For the most part I did not want a literal translation of my English words, especially the book’s title, but I still needed something accurate for the book’s Colophon/Colofon.

Thus we played with some various alternatives and synonyms for the book title as to what might be related to both the words Middle and Ground would work with my concept. So after some back and forth, we settled on En Medio Tierra as “in (between) the middle ground (earth)”. Ralph, who will be the Text Editor for my edition, had the final say and now we were good to go for the book’s title!



PS Let me know if you want to be placed on my growing interest list ( for Middle Ground. More news about the final price and fund raising campaign shortly!

March 25, 2018

Middle Ground Book-dummy #4 – ditto

Filed under: Books, Middle Ground, Photobook, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , — Doug Stockdale @ 3:31 pm


Middle Ground, Book-dummy #4 2018 copyright Douglas Stockdale

Last weekend during my LACP mini-seminar on photo book development using my book-dummy #4 for the Middle Ground project, this book design really gelled for me. It was now time to move forward to the next phase; book printing. Fortunately Craig Evans, my printer representative for Dual Graphics, was also exhibiting at the LACP event so we had an opportunity to meet and allow me to discuss the final design tweaks with him.

Evans asked me to make a second copy of the book-dummy #4 (affectionately called “Ditto), and add post-it notes for reference to what was going where. He suggested to plan to meet up later in the week and bring my pre-press image files. I was ready to move from a physical book-dummy to the e-design (probably InDesign) in preparation for going on-press.

After assembling and gluing the previous book-dummy’s, I was pleasantly surprised that Ditto came to life relatively quick. I am still learning the ropes about binding a leporello book, but I feel that I am coming up the learning curve.

Thus week I completed the pre-press image file changes: sized each digital file to the image size for the printed page (now termed a plate) at 300 dpi, converted to sRGB from AdobeRGB and saved as high quality JPEG image (quality 12), and then labeled as to which plate number for the book printing.

I also prepared the draft Colophon as one of the few text pages, as well as the interior title page. As stated previously, I may only have the book title printed on the book’s spine. Now time for a little consideration as to the appearance of the back cover;s exterior, which might just repeat my name and web site at the bottom. All of this was delivered yesterday to Evans.

Next step in preparation for the printing is to have the InDesign completed and reviewed as a soft-proof PDF. Still a bit more to do, but getting a whole lot closer!

Reminder: Let me know if you want to be placed on my growing interest list ( for Middle Ground. More news about the final price and fund raising campaign shortly!


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