Doug Stockdale's Singular Images

October 25, 2018

Trabuco Flats – noir landscape – take two

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Untitled, Trabuco Flats, 2018 copyright Douglas Stockdale

While working on my project Trabuco Flats, I have been doing a lot of experimenting with how I process the image. Such as this landscape photograph above, I posted an earlier color version that I had really tweaked the contents. In my last post on this project, I had also posted a black & white photograph that I had really played around with in an attempt to push the boundaries of what might be possible while still keeping within the scope of this project as I had conceptualized.

The underlying reason for this prior experimental/play series of images was a take on the idea that a mysterious narrative might work best with mysterious photographs. And I could modify the crap out of the image to make these appear really, really strange. All the while I did realize that even straight photographs, such as this one, could have some surreal qualities without any visual manipulations.

So it feels to me that I have successfully pushed my aesthetic boundaries for this project and perhaps time to pull back. Not that I could push the boundaries even farther, as I have just began to experiment with these photographs if you look at some of the wild artist projects of others such as incorporating multiple images, collage, painting the image, sanding the surface to name but a few. One could really, really destroy the basic concepts of what constitues a photograph.

To question what is a photograph is really not my goal for this project. I am interested in creating a mysterious narrative and just coming around to accepting the fact that I do not need to add anything to a photograph to make it more mysterious and surreal than it already is. That said, one aspect I think I still need to evaluate is whether the narrative works better with black & white images or color images, or maybe even a mash-up of the two.

As to this image; it is a landscape, inclusive of a dirt road that meanders up a small hill, with what appears as some structures hiding at the edges, while being ambiguous as to where it located exactly, (urban or rural, southwest America or midwest America) why is it there (what purpose does it serve) and who might use it? Are the long shadows foretelling of something ominous as these slightly overlap this road? Thus I think that this photograph, as it is, could create a slight sense of mystery. nice.

Fun stuff!

Cheers

 

December 30, 2017

Bluewater Shore – Best Photographic Book of 2017

Bluewarter Shore artist book

Bluewater Shore, limited edition artist book 2017 copyright Douglas Stockdale

I am very honored that my limited edition artist book Bluewater Shore was just selected by Elizabeth Avedon, the renown NYC book designer, as one of her Best Photographic Books for 2017.  Concurrently, I am really excited that Bluewater Shore is also included on Viory Schelleken’s Mega-List of Best Photo Books for 2017. Wow!

A very, very nice way to end the year and a beautiful start the New Year.

As a result, since I still have a few copies of the Bluewater Edition available, I am going to offer free shipping for the next two weeks. Contact me for details; doug@douglasstockdale.com

Cheers!!

btw, I need to update the links for this blog, but we have family visiting, thus I will work on this another day ;- )

 

August 18, 2017

Books at Arcana: Books on the Arts

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Bluewater Shore, limited edition artist book (at Arcana), copyright 2017 Douglas Stockdale

Yesterday I had an opportunity to meet with Lee Kaplan at his bookstore, Arcana: Books on the Arts, which is located in Culver City (CA) and present my three books; Bluewater Shore, Pine Lake and Ciociaria.

I am now very happy to announce that a quantity of all three of these books were acquired and all are now available for sale at the Arcana bookstore! Very nice!

We had a really great discussion about photobooks, photographers, book bloggers, publishers and other book industry stuff. It was pretty diverse and free ranging discussion as one subject seemed to quickly lead into another.

I also had an opportunity to provide a quick show-n-tell about my book dummy for Middle Ground and discuss whether which is better to call the book design; leporello, concertina, or accordion fold. Kaplan defaults to leporello as probably the description that aligns best with bibliophiles, so I might need to adjust my photobook definitions and defer to the Middle Ground book as being a leporello design. Nice.

So it is now very nice that my books can be acquired locally in SoCal at this unique and impressive book store. I suspect that Kaplan will soon list these books at his various internet book venues.

Yes another very nice day.

Cheers!

June 13, 2017

OCMA Family Day out-take

Filed under: Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , , — Doug Stockdale @ 11:48 pm

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Compass Dance, OCMA June 2017 copyright Douglas Stockdale

Last weekend I was the event photographer again for the Orange County Museum of Art (OCMA) Family Day held in conjunction with their latest exhibition. Although my intent was to capture the interaction of the attendees with the exhibition, family activities and school concerts, I was able to make a few personal photographs. One of which was my capture of the members of the Compass Dance group, above, which is led by Amanda White.

Their dance style is abstract, interpretive and free flowing with a bit of improvisation, which I think is well suited to a slightly slower shutter speed. As a result I hope that I captured some of the kinetics and energy of their dance. Last year I attempted a similar interpretation of the Re:BorN dance assemble.

I do not consider myself a dance photographer but when provided the opportunity to experiment with a group like this I consider this also a time to have some fun, which of course falls under my experiment/fun photographic category. This was also a chance to experiment with my new 50mm f/1.8 lens that I brought along for the occasion.

Who knows where this might lead to one day?

Cheers!

 

June 10, 2017

Preparing Bluewater Shore for bookstore submissions

Filed under: Bluewater Shore - artist book, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , — Doug Stockdale @ 12:32 am

Bluewarter Shore artist book

Bluewater Shore, self-published 2017 copyright Douglas Stockdale

A couple of days ago I was preparing to make another series of bookstore submissions for Bluewater Shore, my limited edition artist book. In looking at my “press photos” for this book, I realized that I needed to have a set of photographs showing the book’s cover, with and without the slip cover. So it was time to set-up the studio lights and make a few exterior photographs. I also realized that I did not have any interior photographs of the book that might illustrate how the book and pages work together as a “flip-book”. That extended my studio session by only a little bit and I like the results, above and below.

Btw, Bluewater Shore is still available for sale as the edition has not been completely sold out yet. If interested, check out the book review by Gerhard Clausing and an overview of this artist book that I posted earlier, here.

Cheers!

 

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April 15, 2017

Bluewater Shore – limited edition artist book

Bluewarter Shore artist book

 

Bluewater Shore (book with poly slip-cover) Copyright 2017 Douglas Stockdale

Bluewater Shore is a semi-fictional visual narrative about a young woman’s holiday, an exciting unescorted trip to the shore with friends, which is set in the late 1940’s and investigates a new sense of independence for women that occurred during and following World War II as well as American culture, family, and memory. The limited edition artist book was developed from repurposed vernacular photographs from the artist’s family archive and the concept was partly inspired by Kodak and Ansco promotional booklets that were available with dime/drug stores film processing in the 1950’s and into the 1960’s.

Concept, development & design: Douglas Stockdale copyright 2017

Flip-book, stiff covers, prong binding, hand-inscribed cover, hand-inscribed poly slip case, 32 pages, 16 black & white photographs, size: 7 ½” x 6” (190 mm x 155 mm)

Self-published artist book, limited edition of 99 + 5 A/P; price $47.00 USD (44 €, 37.5 £, 5,230 ¥,)

Printing: Fultone© digital lithography by Dual Graphics, (Brea, CA), hand-bound by the artist.

Additional photographs: www.douglasstockdale.com (Bluewater Shore – artist book)

Bluewater Shore can be purchased from Arcana: Books on the Arts (Culver City), Photo Book International or contact me directly (doug@douglasstockdale.com)

Official book launch: Photo Independent, Los Angeles, CA April 21- 23, 2017

Cheers!

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March 10, 2008

I am a Photographer

Filed under: Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , , , — Doug Stockdale @ 4:15 pm

Construction Gate

Just to say it again, I am a photographer. Oh right, I am a lot of things; husband, friend, dad, Papa, etc. But as to what I do to express myself, I have settled on being a photographer. For about 15 years I was a painter. Before that I was a photographer. So you are probably wondering what this is all about?

My insecurity, plain and simple.

Up to recently, my web gallery read ‘Douglas Stockdale, Fine Art Photographer’, but now I have deleted the “Fine Art” in front of the Photographer subtitle. Just ‘Photographer’.  When I came back to photography I had the same insecurity as many others, that is, if you are not sure that what you see (of my photographs) constitutes ‘art’, let me help you and reassure you that I am indeed an ‘artist’. Oh, by the way, painters are really no different, they are just as insecure as the rest of us (I am not a house painter, but a painter of houses), so don’t think that this is just a photo hang-up!

So why the change now? Part of this is getting comfortable in my own skin. Part is getting my series Bad Trip – Sad Trip published in LensWorklast month. The last part is reading David Vestal’s column in the March issue of Photo Techniques about Improper Nouns. And yes, it’s all about the use of the ‘fine art’ words. To summarize Vestal’s article if you have to actually tell someone you are a fine artist, what does that say about you and them??

Yes, if someone recognizes as what you have made as being something creative, they will. If they have to be told, well, I think you get the point.

As a photographer we are more dependent on our eyes, vision, thoughts and equipment. And now that equipment can be very simple: auto-this and auto-that.  Or we can make it terribly complex such as the large format cameras, film development techniques and Palladium printing folks.  (With all that difficult manipulation it just has to be artistic, eh?)

As a painter one had to have some manual dexterity, color selection, ability to draw a line and you worked from a very blank canvas. Seems a little more evident with as a painter that you are creative and really are an artist, eh? Nope, you can paint and it can still look like crap and be thoughtless and pedant. I have been to enough art shows to have seen this.

Not to try to argue the creative side of photography because thank goodness it is all too evident. I hope it’s the realization that what’s in your head that counts.  And then its about getting it expressed in a medium that works for me such as photography does for me.

It does not mean that I am any less insecure, but now, when asked, I am a photographer. Or perhaps a Landscape Photographer or maybe even a Urban Landscape Photographer. But a photographer;- )

Best regards, Doug

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