Doug Stockdale's Singular Images

May 7, 2018

Middle Ground/En Medio Tierra – Fabrik Projects opening

Filed under: Art, Middle Ground, Photobook, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , , — Doug Stockdale @ 12:27 am

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Douglas Stockdale, Middle Ground/En Medio Tierra, Fabrik Projects, May 2018 copyright Douglas Stockdale

I have to say that it is a really, really nice warm & fuzzy feeling to walk into a commercial gallery and see your name up on the wall. And my work hanging on the walls. A wonderful validation of my concept and then the subsequent execution for this project. Makes all of the months that I quietly and diligently worked on this body of work seem worth while.

The exhibition officially opened yesterday and will run through June 2nd. Since I dropped off my art work on Thursday and the exhibition was hung on Friday, I had not seen the final exhibition results yet. I had a good idea of how it should look like, but I did not have my eye-balls on it yet. So during my Saturday morning walk yesterday I decided that I just needed to drive up to L.A. and see it! One of the nice advantages of a local exhibition; just take a little time to drop in. Which I did just before the official opening in the morning, so I had some time to walk this exhibition with just Kasey Taylor, the gallery associate, and myself. Take in the full effect. Yeah, I liked it!!

While there I also had a chance to pick up a short stack of the Fabrik Projects announcements for my exhibition. Nice. And I have already started to hand them out and hopefully my grin was not obnoxious. A lot to smile about.

I have proposed a surprise ending to the exhibition to the gallery team and so far there is a lot of interest so I will see how that develops over the next few days. Stay tuned!

Cheers!!

P.S. One of the ideas that the gallery had was to exhibit the book-dummy for my Middle Ground/En Medio Tierra as a work of art of itself. Part of which is shown in the photograph above, just a section of the 21 feet that this artist book extends out to. Which is one of the reasons for this leporello book design; a mini-exhibit from the artist book. So cool that the Fabrik Projects team got that.

May 2, 2018

Pre-press for Middle Ground/En Medio Tierra today

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Pre-press, light table, Dual Graphics 2018 copyright Douglas Stockdale

Things are moving at a crazy speed and seems like I am juggling chain saws.

This morning I was at Dual Graphics, the SoCal book printer that I am working with for the printing, trimming and folding of my artist book Middle Ground/En Medio Tierra. We are at the hard-proof step as part of the pre-press process and now the interior pages and covers have been on press for a short run and my evaluation.

It was apparent immediately to me that the blacks needed to be punched; too much details revealed in the shadows, thus losing some of the moodiness that I want these photographs to have. I brought with me a set of match-prints off my Epson printer and left these with the pre-press manager to provide more guidance. He did not see any issues with adjusting the printing plates and laying the ink to provide a close match.

He then headed out with these match prints to start this printing job. My book printing will not actually be run until later tonight and into the weekend, but I did not see any reason to be on-press with the printer. I spent enough time this morning with both the pre-press guy who does the shop floor color management and the printing  production manager. They get it.

We folded one of the hard proofs to verify the width of the book’s spine was appropriate and the cover appears to need no further changes; looking good!

Now I am back in the studio binding the three hard proofs, which will become Trial Proofs (T/P), in as the color is not spot on and being adjusted for the press run. Nevertheless, these T/Ps can be used as display copies at the Fabrik Projects gallery for the exhibition opening this Saturday to continue taking book orders. Btw, did I mention that my artist book is now available for pre-order??

Okay, now back into the studio to glue and bind some leporello books.

Cheers!

February 28, 2018

Middle Ground – Book Dummy #2 at scale

Filed under: Books, Middle Ground, Projects/Series — Tags: , , — Doug Stockdale @ 4:00 pm

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Middle Ground, Book Dummy #2, top view 2018 copyright Douglas Stockdale

Earlier this month I had discussed my first book dummy (proof of concept) that I had developed for the Middle Ground project to explore the idea of using a leporello (accordion) book design.

My next step was to create a book dummy (#2) that has the page count and interior photographs would be at the approximated final (trim) size of what I had envisioned. This should be very similar to the reader’s experience and I really wanted to visually how the 12″ wide page images would look. To simulate the final book with this book dummy, I took a page from my book design workshop and placed my photographs inside a similar size and designed book. In this case the backbone for my book dummy was the leporello book by Robert Lyons, Pictures from the Next Day, published by Zatara Press, which I had reviewed earlier here.

The Lyons book is slightly larger than the trim size I had envisioned, but using this book as my back-bone allowed me to experiment with another design element for this book; did I want small white margins around each image or did I want to have the image printed full bleed without white margins? For the later, I did make another book dummy (#3) with full bleed images for comparison. The white margin is a design issue related to aesthetics, practicality and consistency for my concept.

I think practicality is going to drive this decision as a full bleed means that when each page is printed, a very slight portion of the image is trimmed away. So would any of the images suffer as a result of this? Regretfully I do have one important image in which part of the subject just barely touches the top of the image frame. Any trimming of this image during the book production I feel is going to have an adverse visual effect on this photograph.

All in all, I really enjoy the large images that result with this book dummy. The question may come down to the resulting cost of this book. I am in the process of obtaining some printing and bindery quotes to potentially self-publish this book as soon as possible.

I posted a poll over the weekend as to the question of which of the conceptual subjects for two different projects is more of concern and it appears that finishing this project first is not an issue. Also as anticipated for the daily unexpectable with our White House, da’ wall was a news item again over the weekend. So I will keep moving ahead!

Let me know if you want to be placed on the interest list (doug@douglasstockdale.com) for Middle Ground and if you can help me network for potential exhibitions, I would really, really appreciate that very much!! (expect this to part to be repeated very often!)

In the image below, after adding the photographs to the Lyons book, I also started adding some post-it notes about the design and layout options. Btw, the ensuing thickness of all of the leporello pages with my images clipped in created such a bulky mess that I can not close the book cover on this dummy. Increased my sensitivity for the thickness of the book cover’s spine needless to say.

Cheers!

Middle_Ground_Bookdummy2_interior_with_design_notes

February 8, 2018

My Path to Somewhere

Filed under: Gardening for Ordnance, Path to Somewhere — Tags: — Doug Stockdale @ 5:16 pm

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Untitled (Gardening for Ordnance) 2018 copyright Douglas Stockdale

First the good news; I have the Hasselblad back and I am resuming my photographic adventures with film again. The image with this post, untitled at the moment, is from the first roll for a camera/lens check as my first opportunity to test my used 120 mm f/4 Zeiss Makro-Planar lens that I just acquired. Btw, I did photograph this same composition with my 19% gray card stuck to the sign, but that does not make for an interesting photograph (yuk, yuk).

As I posted a couple of weeks ago that for at least the short term, my morning walks have a little more purpose to it in addition to getting some exercise. I will be working on my project Gardening for Ordnance while out and about as I am finding some more evidence of the decommissioned WWII bombing area that we live on.

I am also exploring potential compositions that do not tell the whole story, that perhaps have a little ambiguity and mystery. Such as this photograph above in which the front of the sign with it’s corresponding warning is concealed. That this posted sign can be obviously be seen from the neighboring houses might add a little more visual tension due to the proximity of these two diverse conditions.

All in all I think my test roll is a wonderful success; the lens provides crisp and sharp images, that the shutter and aperture appear to functioning very well and I walked away with an great image for my project portfolio.

Tech notes: Fijicolor 100 roll film (just a bit expired since this film is no longer available) with the Hasselblad 503cx and 120 mm Zeiss Makor-Planar lens, camera hand-held, exposure not recorded but recall lens aperture was wide open at f/4 for a shallow depth of field.

Cheers!

January 31, 2018

Super Blue Blood Moon this morning

Filed under: Photography — Tags: , , — Doug Stockdale @ 5:14 pm

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Super Blue Blood Moon, January 2018 copyright Douglas Stockdale

So I set the alarm for this morning to see the lunar eclipse of the Blue moon that would create the Blood Moon this morning, then set up the tripod as I expected a longer exposure. A bit too long of an exposure as probably the professional night photographers could have warned me. Even in the relatively short exposure, probably 30 to 45 seconds, with the aperture wide open (f/4.0 for my 24-105mm lens), the moon is still moving too much. I suspect it is moving a bit faster as it nears the horizon that in the mid-sky, nevertheless I do not have a gyro for panning during my exposure, so I have to take my chances.

So what the heck, I was up, so some time for experimental/play with this unique natural occurrence. I did know from past experience that the auto exposure mode of my Canon 5DMk3 would not compensate for the very small moon even in spot meter mode. So my practice is to start the extended auto-exposure, then about 10 seconds in, use my hand to cover the front of the lens to block the available light for about 12 – 15 seconds of what amounts to a 30+ second duration. Alternatively, as in the photo above, I alternate the exposure and lens block in 5 second intervals which creates a series of multiple moons that appear as ghosts versus a weird stretched out of shape moon such as the photo below.

During one of these alternating exposure series I had not anticipated a small plane flying into the frame, which was slightly concealed behind a palm leaf just prior to me making this exposure. So the serendipity of the light tracks toward the blood moon in conjunction with the multiple moon ghosts that are framed by the Southern California palms make a very delightful composition and worth the early morning rise.

Cheers!

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January 27, 2018

Late January 2018 photo updates

Filed under: Middle Ground, Path to Somewhere, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , — Doug Stockdale @ 7:57 pm

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Arroyo Trabuco trail, December* 2017 copyright Douglas Stockdale

In addition to my new routine of morning walks during which I venture into the adjacent arroyo, back in the studio I have continued to work on my Middle Ground project. At the moment the Middle Ground project is not going include any black & white images so I did not include any updated images during my seven day black & white challenge this month.

Nevertheless, I continued to edit, tweak and evaluate the Middle Ground images for this project and have started printing these at 16 x 20″ on Photo Rag as part of my final evaluation. Looking ahead at the photobook for this project I have asked for a quote from a public relations person that I frequently interact with in my role as Editor for the The PhotoBook Journal, so I appreciate the quality of work she does. To help her understand this body of work, I have also uploaded to my web site a small selection of images that a part of the final edit. I have also continued to work on the Middle Ground book dummy. I expect to have some updates on that very, very soon.

I have been asked to join a new art mentoring program for an LA art organization and should have some details as this gets sorted out, guessing that this is going to launch sometime next month. Also received a request to provide a photobook presentation next month to an art group in the greater LA area and likewise I hope to get this worked out in the next week or so.

Meanwhile, I have just transferred the ownership of the SoCal PhotoExchange to my Editor, and now publisher, Gerhard Clausing. So that blog is in really good hands. I will continue as Associate Editor and I plan to write a weekly “tech” column for this photo-blog for the next couple of months (just posted a user report on the Gitzo carbon fiber tripod and next will be the Really Right Stuff medium size ball-head) and see how that goes.

I think a good start for the new year. Now if I can only lose a couple more of those pesky pounds that seem to linger; suspect that these are attached with super-glue ;- )

btw, noted that there is a small flock (at least six) of green parrots down in the arroyo this morning; noisy birds!

Please join me on Tumblr: @douglasstockdale & Twitter: @Doug_Stockdale, and of course, Instagram @douglasstockdale

* Limited time print offer: a 7 x 7″ color print is available for 24 hours after this post for a special price of $150 USD plus shipping. This color print size regularly sells for $300 USD. Archival pigment print on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag Matte (305 gsm), paper size is 8-1/2 x 11″, Edition size of 10 and the print will be signed and numbered in pencil. email me: doug@douglasstockdale.com for details.

Cheers!

January 26, 2018

Morning walk to the double arches

Filed under: Path to Somewhere, Photography — Tags: — Doug Stockdale @ 11:23 pm

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Tijeras Creek trail, December* 2017 copyright Douglas Stockdale

First off, I hope you were not thinking that I was including in my morning walks a visit to McDonald’s, as I have enough troubles with shedding the last few pounds, least I indulge in a quarter-pounder with cheese. Sorry, although I don’t want to offend any Micky-D fans, but for the time being I need to avoid that place like the plague.

So having finished my seven day black & white challenge, back to my normal day time photographic programming.

Visually my challenge for this composition was to simulate the three dimensional space of these progressive arches along this trail. During the walk, the progressive arches were easy to see but then capturing that three dimensional space in a print seemed a bit harder. I hope that the combination of how I tweaked the shadows, both on the ground as well as the foliage, in conjunction with keeping the foreground darker and slightly raising the values of the foliage at the second arch created the necessary visual depth. In this case, I was trying to create this visual effect without masking the second arch and softening the details to simulate a shallow dept of field.

Meanwhile yesterday at the conclusion of my walk I realized that I had worn out my Merrill hiking books. Nevertheless this pair of books has held up for about twenty years, the leather was still relatively waterproof and a decent tread to give me traction on ice and snow. So now I need a new pair for our pending ski trip to Colorado mountains. Any suggestions??

Please join me on Tumblr: @douglasstockdale & Twitter: @Doug_Stockdale, and of course, Instagram @douglasstockdale

* Limited time print offer: a 7 x 7″ black & white print is available for 24 hours after this post for a special price of $150 USD plus shipping. This black & white print size regularly sells for $300 USD. Archival pigment print on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag Matte (305 gsm), paper size is 8-1/2 x 11″, Edition size of 10 and the print will be signed and numbered in pencil. email me: doug@douglasstockdale.com for details.

Cheers!

January 25, 2018

Day seven of Black & White Challenge

Filed under: Path to Somewhere — Tags: — Doug Stockdale @ 4:46 pm

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Arroyo Trabuco trail, Orange County, December 2017 copyright Douglas Stockdale

This is the last day for the Seven Day Black & White Challenge, as if I was not going to create anymore black and white photographs again. yuk, yuk. I think that it was an opportunity to experiment a bit with some images that perhaps I might not have. So even if someone has not been formally challenged, they could challenge themselves.

As a reminder, this is part of my urban landscape project Path to Somewhere, potentially investigating a life journey. The Arroyo Trabuco trail runs parallel to Oso creek, which is downstream from Saddleback Mountain. So there is usually some water running through here, from a tiny, tiny stream during the summer to a huge flow when we get some rain. This day there was some high, thin clouds that provided a nice light that shaped this landscape that did not blow out the highlights when trying to coax some detail out of the shadows.

Please join me on Tumblr: @douglasstockdale & Twitter: @Doug_Stockdale, and of course, Instagram @douglasstockdale

* Limited time print offer: a 7 x 7″ black & white print is available for 24 hours after this post for a special price of $150 USD plus shipping. This black & white print size regularly sells for $300 USD. Archival pigment print on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag Matte (305 gsm), paper size is 8-1/2 x 11″, Edition size of 10 and the print will be signed and numbered in pencil. email me: doug@douglasstockdale.com for details.

Cheers!

January 23, 2018

Black & White Challenge; Day five

Filed under: Path to Somewhere, Photography — Tags: — Doug Stockdale @ 4:29 pm

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Tijeras Creek trail, December 2017* copyright Douglas Stockdale

Captured on a day at the end of December last year as I began to experiment and play with the walks I was starting to embark on. Thought this might make a nice transition in my seven day Black & White Challenge from the beach back onto the trails.

I will be heading out the door in a few minutes for the morning walk as my Hasselblad fix was completed and back in my hands again late yesterday afternoon. So I have some color film to use this morning! Wohooo! I won’t have results to share for a while as the film will need processing and scanning. Still, I am back in action with film again.

This day in December was slightly overcast, high clouds and best described as having open shade which allowed some light shadows to create form and shape, but the light was not so bright as to block the shadow details. A little work in the Photoshop black & white conversion layer to tease out the sky and cloud details while still providing some texture in the path way.

Please join me on Tumblr: @douglasstockdale & Twitter: @Doug_Stockdale, and of course, Instagram @douglasstockdale

* Limited time print offer: a 7 x 7″ black & white print is available for 24 hours after this post for a special price of $150 USD plus shipping. This black & white print size regularly sells for $300 USD. Archival pigment print on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag Matte (305 gsm), paper size is 8-1/2 x 11″, Edition size of 10 and the print will be signed and numbered in pencil. email me: doug@douglasstockdale.com for details.

Cheers!

January 20, 2018

Black & White Challenge: day two

Filed under: Photography — Tags: — Doug Stockdale @ 5:54 pm

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Hawk, San Clemente, December* 2017 copyright Douglas Stockdale

Although I am interested in urban landscape, I don’t usually include the wildlife in my photographs. Nevertheless, last December while golfing with my son-in-law and grandson, this hawk just seemed to want it’s portrait taken. It landed on this adjacent tree and after one photograph, I walked closer, then closer and then right up to the edge of the brush, yet it still reminded in the tree. Perhaps it was focused on a potential lunch meal.

Noting the late large moon in the background, I was able to walk a little to the right to create this juxtaposition of the near and far; the heavens and the earth. Since it was a beautiful clear day, I also previsualized this composition that I could further tease out the moon in my black & white conversion in Photoshop. I wanted to keep this feature subtle as compared to the hawk, but allow it to become a nice little visual surprise upon inspection by the viewer. I think it works.

Since this is not the usual photo for me, having the seven day black & white challenge was a nice excuse, I mean opportunity, to share this image.

Please join me on Tumblr: @douglasstockdale

* Limited time print offer: a 7 x 7″ black & white print is available for 24 hours after this post for a special price of $150 USD plus shipping. This black & white print size regularly sells for $300 USD. Archival pigment print on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag Matte (305 gsm), paper size is 8-1/2 x 11″, Edition size of 10 and the print will be signed and numbered in pencil. email me: doug@douglasstockdale.com

Cheers!

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