Doug Stockdale's Singular Images

January 14, 2018

Morning walk – Path to Somewhere

Filed under: Path to Somewhere, Projects/Series — Tags: , — Doug Stockdale @ 4:17 pm

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Tijeras Creek trail December 2017 copyright Douglas Stockdale

Realizing that I am…

1.) continuing to take morning walks and…

2.) I bring a camera to document some aspect of this experience, I…

3.) realize I have a formal photographic project in process and (finally)..

4.) have given it a working title: Path to Somewhere.

Thus I have opened a digital file on my network to start collecting these images that I think might be considered for a future photobook. One thing that I will do shortly is to tag the earlier posts with this same category name for the side bar.

I am still waiting on the repair of the Hasselblad body as I expect to convert this project to using color film. The fact that I am currently using digital capture in and of itself does not preclude me from considering these images for a future publication. Its all good!

btw, I am posting an earlier image since today is going to be a rest and recover day, yesterday walking out of the arroyo I felt the leg burn and realized that I needed a day of recovery. So today I will do a light work-out with some weights in conjunction with some back yoga.

Creatively I am working in the studio on the book dummy for Middle Ground. More about that progress shortly ;- )

Cheers!

January 13, 2018

Beach walk & staying heart healthy

Filed under: Path to Somewhere, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , — Doug Stockdale @ 9:37 pm

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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.

cheers!

January 2, 2018

Morning walks – staying off the grid

Filed under: Path to Somewhere, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , — Doug Stockdale @ 8:52 pm

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Tijeras Creek Trail, December 2017 copyright Douglas Stockdale

Earlier I had discussed how my morning walks have taken a bit of detour off into the “wild” as a trade-in for the neighborhood sidewalks and my usual route for the past many years. After a number of experiment/play photographs documenting my walks with the cell phone camera, I thought it was time to bring some other camera equipment to further explore this photographic project. In preparation for the next phase of investigation, I instead encountered the Hasselblad jamnation.

When faced with lemons, my motto is to make lemonade; so while my 500 C/M body is being fixed, I opted to take my walks with the 5DMk3 with the 50mm EF f/1.4 canon prime lens and not even bring along the 24-105mm zoom. The 50mm “normal” lens would be the equivalent focal length for my 80mm lens with the Hasselblad. I wanted to contemplate that when restricted to just this “normal” prime lens focal length, might this work in my visual investigation and are consistent with my earlier cell phone experience.

After my return to the studio and downloading the digital files, the next step was to crop the image square, similar to the Hasselblad 6x6cm format. Still teetering between color and black & white images, and maybe even incorporate both into this project. Meanwhile, still using Photoshop for the digital black & white conversion. For film, I am thinking of using color negative versus color positive and after scanning the negatives, converting with Photoshop to black & white as an option to evaluate.

Cheers,

Doug

August 13, 2017

Bluewater Shore – scaling up larger prints

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Big Raft, Bluewater Shore, 2017 copyright Douglas Stockdale

Recently I have been evaluating the enlargement of photographic images from Bluewater Shore beyond the 15 x 15″ prints that I can make on my Epson 4800 printer. The idea was three-fold; what did this image look like in a larger size (kinda of obvious), if a larger print might be part of my justification to acquire a larger printer (if so, what size; 24″ wide or 44″ wide) and last, how might this image look on a luster paper versus a matte surface?

Marc, one of my friends from the local Photographers Exchange group, has an Epson Pro 9900 (44″ wide) and was willing to make a 22 x 22″ print of Big Raft (Bluewater Shore, above) for me on Epson Premium Baryta paper. It turns out I was also able to evaluate his use of an I-Mac work station versus my current PC equipment (a topic of another day).

The easy question was that a 22 x 22″ print is very impressive. The hard part has always been where to put a much larger printer (with stand) in my cramped second story studio. The 24″ wide printer would be problematic, but even more so with a 44″ wide. Marc has to use a part of his living room for his Epson Pro 9900 which is not going to fly with our family. So for the short term I will need to have others print larger prints when I need these.

The Epson Premium Baryta paper is nice and with it’s slightly warm white’s seems to works very well with the Big Raft image. We also printed a smaller 9-1/2 x 9-1/2″ print on the Epson Premium Luster 260 paper which has more sheen/gloss than the Baryta. The Baryta is similar to the old Kodabromide F enlarging paper’s surface which is more like a soft gloss. Nevertheless, both of these papers show all of the defects in my photographs to a greater degree than the matte paper (Hahnemuhle Photo Rag).

The “artistic” issue is the larger print. All of the small image defects that were evident in the original photograph that I had re-photographed are now very evident with some becoming visually distracting. For the smaller size images in the book (5 x 5″), these defects add to the charm and support the concept that these are found photographs. When the images are enlarged to 15 x 15″ on the matte paper, these defects still appear okay, but in the larger size, the defects are now larger and more visible and this appears further magnified by the luster type papers which does not hide anything.

I know part of my issue, as an old-school analog photographer in the west coast tradition, prints were not to have any defects and if found after the printing; spot them out! A very modern, but not a very contemporary, way of evaluating the print quality. Old photographs can/should appear old, but how “old”?

I am now pretty sure where this is going; I will add another Photoshop layer to selective spot/tweak the defects in the image that seem to bother me most and then print this again for a comparison to determine how the change appears. I had planned to bring the 22 x 22″ print with me to a potential gallery meeting but this will now need to be planned for the late Fall sometime.

Cheers

 

July 6, 2017

Seaweed, San Clemente beach

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

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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.

 

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