Untitled (Cheesman Park, February 2015) copyright 2015 Douglas Stockdale
Earlier this week I posted another vision of this photograph, one that has a little more dramatic interpretation of this same composition. Many might consider this the more representative version, not entirely banal, but with some metaphoric vestiges.
This is part of my investigation of memory, how this region might be layered with it, both past and new memories in the making. As to this photograph, I am not sure that it is all that interesting, as it seems to illustrate a complete, singular image while not seemingly to ask many questions.
It was tempting to sit on one of these benches for a while, which regretfully I did not. The group I was walking with were getting short on time and we needed to press on. Nevertheless these do seem to beckon me back, to repose under the spreading limbs and watch the world meander by. Realistically they do not look all that comfortable with the hard bony steel slats, but I would still like to try them out.
Could it be part of my puzzle? Perhaps, as I guess time will tell.
Untitled (Humboldt St, Cheesman Park District, February 2015) copyright 2015 Douglas Stockdale
There is something about the circa 1910 window casements that connects with me, probably as this reminded me so much of my Grandparents house.
A window makes a wonderful metaphoric subject, but as a genre, it titters on the edge of visual over-use and the danger of becoming trite. Nevertheless, I find that this composition is interesting as I investigate the memories of this house on Humboldt Street within the context of the Cheesman Park region. The translucent curtains provides a layer of indeterminacy evoking a feeling of some place in between the internal and external experiences.
Untitled (Cheesman Park, February 2015) copyright 2015 Douglas Stockdale
While walking through Cheesman Park, I could not help but notice this pair of benches under this very mature tree. I am not sure of the age of this tree or these benches as to how long they have been dutifully performing their tasks. I did pause and give thought as to the many individuals who have taken rest and contemplated what lay before them. Perhaps some were here before the growing trees and built landscape obscured the distant mountain peaks in the distance?
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 (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.
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.
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!
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.