Singular Images

March 20, 2019

LACP: 24 inch wide Canon Pro-2000 printer training

Filed under: Memory pods, Photography, Workshops — Tags: , — Doug Stockdale @ 2:06 pm

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Untitled, Memory Pods copyright 2015 Douglas Stockdale

Last night I attended the LACP (Los Angeles Center of Photography) training class in their printing laboratory to learn the basics on how to use their 24″ wide Canon Pro-2000 printer. This is a wide-format printer that is available to LACP members (small fee; time plus nominal ink use cost), but they do require that you first go through their printer training class to reduce the amount of time that the staff might need to support any users. Interesting that LACP actually has two 24″ wide Canon printers, an older one and the latest Pro-2000; seems that the older one is on the side-lines gathering dust.

My purpose for learning and using the LACP Canon Pro-2000 is two fold; I want to become more familiar with this printer as a pending investment for the studio and second, I want to use the LACP printer to create a portfolio of larger print images for the Memory Pods project pending buying my own studio printer.

The training was led by Eric Joseph, who is part of the Freestyle photo supply team and their printing specialist as well as a board member of LACP. To say that he knows a lot about printers and printing paper is an understatement.

So what were my take-aways?

First; LACP has some unique requirements for digital files for their printers; the collapsed file needs to be in either a JPEG or TIFF format and regretfully the sample file I brought with me was a PhotoShop (.psd) file). The print lab has a number of Mac’s with PhotoShop loaded, so I probably could have quickly created a new TIFF file on the spot, but content to watch the others print. Also did learn that the monitors might have been color calibrated at one time, but not maintained. Eric had created 40 printer/paper profiles for this printer, so most of the usual combinations were ready.

Two; I needed to download the Canon Print Studio Pro printer software for my Pro-1. This is also the recommended Canon printer interface recommended for the LACP print lab. So I am in the process of this task as I need to get this download into the proper PhotoShop plug-in folder. Probably more about this another day. Also evident that a good monitor and printer profile can really make a huge difference in the printed results.

Three; before I start investing in some 24″ rolls of printing paper at $140 to $200 per roll, I need to  profile the papers I am interested in for my Pro-1 and do some print testing with some less expensive 8-1/2 x 11″ sheet paper. First on my list is the Hahnemuhle PhotoRag Pearl (100% cotton rag), a Glossy FineArt paper that I used for my Middle Ground project. Eric stated that the Canon Pro-1 is a pigment ink printer but the pigment inks are not exactly the same as the Canon Pro-2000 printer, but close enough to what I achieve in my studio should appear almost exactly the same on the larger LACP printer.

Last, if I can find a space for it, Eric recommends that I purchase the Canon Pro-4000 which is the 44″ wide printer. He was preaching to the choir. I would really, really prefer purchasing a 44″ wide printer over a 24″ wide printer; but my studio is pretty small. hmmmmm, so what to do? Since I am not ready to purchase either for the next few months, a question I can continue to mull over. What I have learned is that where this is a will, there is a way; now I need to figure out the way.

About this photograph from my Memory Pods project; this is another image that was featured earlier this week in my Voyage LA magazine article. I posted another version of this same photograph with a completely different appearance. Later after showing this earlier version to a group I then had a discussion with a friend who had a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and his recall experience was more about having a general “fuzziness” when trying to remember specific details. I discussed this with a couple of others who had mild TBI who talked about something similar in experience; thus a re-work of this photograph that might better visually investigate their experiences.

Cheers!

March 18, 2019

Voyage LA interview: Art & Life with Douglas Stockdale

Filed under: Art, Art Market, Memory pods, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , , — Doug Stockdale @ 5:34 pm

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untitled, Memory Pods copyright Douglas Stockdale

I am very excited and honored to announce that my interview with Voyage LA, Art & Life with Douglas Stockdale was published today. Voyage LA is an on-line magazine that collects and focuses on the people, events and places in Southern California that investigate this expansive and interesting community.

The Memory Pods image above which was posted on Instagram (@douglasstockdale) was what first attracted their attention. They had initially reposted this image on their IG and then featured the same image in another section of Voyage LA last month. Subsequently they contacted me about a potential expanded interview about my artistic practice. Why of course!

Thus I am very happy to share the resulting interview which is also another opportunity to promote my Memory Pods project. Yes, I had other plans for the morning, but as you might imagine, announcing this wonderful interview jumped to the top of my to-do list.

So check out the interview and let me know if you have any questions,

Cheers!

Doug

Btw, I was just notified that there is still one spot remaining for my book development workshop with Medium Photo for this coming weekend in San Diego. So if you were still on the bubble for attending this, still one opportunity!

March 12, 2019

Canon Pro-1 color icc profiles

Filed under: Memory pods, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , , — Doug Stockdale @ 3:46 pm

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Untitled, (Memory Pods), 2015 copyright Douglas Stockdale

Day two of installing my Canon Pro-1 printer and after getting the basics in place as I wrote about yesterday, the next step was creating the color profiles (icc profiles) for my printing papers. I am starting with my basic proofing paper. This involved creating my first paper color profile with the X-Rite i1 studio color management system, something I had not performed before.

As to my basic proofing paper, I am leaning towards the Canon Photo Plus Semi-gloss to start with. It appears to provide sufficient contrast and color luminosity without the high glossy reflections. The resulting print is just visually pleasing in my hands. Later this week I will print some 13 x 19″ prints to see how these images and paper look under some Halogen gallery lights.

As to the first icc profile I developed with the i1, let’s just say it was eventful. My biggest complaint is that very large dial on the i1 is not that easy to grasp and rotate to set the appropriate setting without sometime inadvertently hitting the exposure button in the middle of this device. It just takes a little bit of practice, which the i1 in its own way helped to provide. Nevertheless, I printed the two color swatch pages, scanned these with the i1 and finalized the icc profile for the Photo Plus Semi-gloss paper. Overall, an easy process, but does take a little time as X-Rite recommends a 10 minute drying time for each test print before the scanning process.

Once the new icc profile was named and saved; then onward to the final printing test. After opening Photoshop, uploading my test image (Memory Pods) from yesterday’s post, then finding the new icc for the printer profile, I proceeded to print my first image.

Bingo! What a difference a nice icc printer profile makes! The resulting print was a match to what I had on my monitor. And a really big difference to what I printed without a icc profile. So probably no big news, but using a color calibration system and creating color profiles to coordinate what’s on your monitor with what gets printed works really nice. In the past, I would add a curve (adjustment) layer to the image file in PhotoShop to make the necessary printing adjustments and I would need to print three or four versions to finally dial in my print. Regretfully the curve adjustment layer process is not very effective with making any color adjustments and that requires another adjustment layer for color balance, thus making the printing process a lot more complex and tedious.

Now with the icc profile in place the very first print is spot on. I think that this is where the i1 color management process really shines.

Yesterday I also stated that the back paper feed (not the top paper feed) was not working. So I received some feedback off-line from my post and appears that this is an issue with the Canon Pro-1 printer; it is just a bit fussy.  The back paper feed needs at least 3 or 4 sheets of paper, make sure the guides are not tightly holding the paper, glossy paper is the most fussy, and to keep the in-feed rollers clean. So I have a little bit more to do to get this paper feed to work. Meanwhile, the top paper feed works fine.

Life is good.

One of my consignment projects is printing the stiff-cover book covers for a small limited edition book. With the icc profiles now in place I completed this print job last night and the resulting prints are now dry and ready for binding. These prints look great. Did I mention that life is good?

Regarding the Memory Pods image above, it’s a slight departure from most of the body of work and a progression in my Memory Pods project. Most of my project focuses on just one subject, perhaps similar to a portrait. I have been looking at some of past images in consideration of making a juxtaposition of two objects and now that might visually investigate a relationship. This is the first one that I think creates the visual narrative I was interested in creating; foreground is well defined while a similar shape and subject is in the background shadows with both just joining together on the bottom edge of the print. I created a black border to better define the print edges. The edge treatment is something I am also experimenting with as to how this might change the narrative of the image.

It is very nice to be back printing again. And I think I like this Pro-1; thus after 15 years using a variety of Epson printers, I have made the conversion to Canon printers. This printer appears to be a keeper.

Cheers!

Doug

March 11, 2019

Canon Pro-1 printer in the studio

Filed under: Memory pods, Photography — Tags: , , — Doug Stockdale @ 8:47 pm

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Memory Pods, March 2015 copyright Douglas Stockdale

Yes, there is a slightly used Canon Pro-1 printer now sitting in the studio. The Epson 4800 is in the storage area pending a posting on Craig’s List, which will also includes a new in-the-box 220ml Photo Black ink cartridge. The Canon Pro-1 is only 13″ wide but utilizes the Canon pigment ink, versus the dye for the currently available Canon Pro-10. My goal is to proof on the Pro-1 printer and then up size to a 24″ Canon printer which uses the same pigment ink. At the moment, I plan to use the 24″ Canon printer in the LACP photo-lab located in Hollywood. That will be another story!

I picked the used Pro-1 printer up in L.A. this weekend and as stated by Ryan, it certainly did require some new ink cartridges; seven of these were needed to get the printer up and running. Between the local Sammy’s Camera in Costa Mesa and Pro-Photo-Connection in Irvine; done. I had already downloaded the Pro-1 printer driver to the iMac, so that essential part was completed.

Once the new inks were installed, the printer appeared to be ready. From past experience with the Epson, and to be a bit conservative, I ran a head cleaning first. done. I had also purchase some Canon Photo Plus Semi-gloss paper as I had a ton of Epson papers that I had collected over the past fifteen years, but no Canon paper. Again, from past experience, I knew that Canon would provide color profiles (icc) for their papers and printer and not really incentified to provide the icc profiles for any Epson papers.

For the printer color management testing I am using the image from my Memory Pods project above. I had used an old sheet of Kodak Soft Gloss just to make sure the the feed and printer were working okay; at the moment the rear paper feeder does not seem to know that the paper is there and I keep getting an error message. Meanwhile the top feed appears to work fine, so I will come back to why the rear paper feed is not working later as I really need to have a good quality printer working as soon as possible. The colors for the Kodak paper were really out of whack and much lower in contrast compared to the image that is on my recently color calibrated monitor.

Regretfully the Canon paper did not appear a whole lot better for the color comparison but the contrast was pretty close. Fortunately I recently purchased the X-Rite i1 studio color management system which works with both a monitor and a printer. So for the rest of the day it appears that I will be creating some color profiles for this printer and some of the papers I intend to use. Let’s see if I can get quickly obtain a really close match.

If it is not one thing, it’s another.

I do have a printing project to get completed for my Medium Photo workshop later this month, so nothing like a dead-line to create some inspiration, but a least at this stage of the game, no stress (yet!).

Cheers!

Doug

32-E extension tube for Hasselblad

Filed under: Memory pods, Photography — Tags: , , — Doug Stockdale @ 2:02 am

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Hasselblad 503cx with 32-E Extension tube and 120mm Planar Makro 2019 copyright by Douglas Stockdale

I just noticed that my Memory Pods subjects are just starting to bloom and as I stated at the end of last year for this seasonal year I needed to augment my 120mm Makro lens with an extension tube. Primarily to increase the magnification by focusing closer and to be able to fill the frame with my subject.

From past experience I had found out that a 21mm extension tube did not provide the closer focus, but that was with the 150mm lens and not a 120mm Makro lens, which is designed for closer focusing and increasing magnification. Thus I had stacked two 21mm extension tubes which did provide the closer focusing with the 150mm lens. BUT being a rookie using the Hasselblad extension tubes, I was unaware of the rules for lens and camera engagement using an extension tube. I had really locked up my lens, extension tubes and camera by trying to taking the lens with the extension tube off in the wrong order and spent a lot of money with the camera repair shop. Bad, bad, bad!

A year ago I had a very old 500 C/M body and after the body, lens and extension tubes went into the repair shop twice to disengage the camera body from the lens and extension tubes I subseqently sold the two 21mm extension tubes and traded the 500 C/M body for a newer used 503cx.  I had thought that the lens locking issue was due the older 500 C/M body, not knowing that I was taking these a part in the wrong order. I also purchased a used 120mm Makro but regretfully found that the Makro does focus closer, just not close enough for what I wanted to photograph. Thus I found myself back to reconsidering another extension tube. But which? I wanted to avoid stacking extension tubes due to what happen last time.

While investigating the extension tubes I came across the Hasselblad notice regarding the need to very carefully follow a very strict order to mount and dismount extension tubes. Yikes! I guess it is better to find out about this later than never at all. So here is what Hasselblad states to do OR you will lock up your camera and lens (which I can attest to!);

First; mount the extension tube to the camera body. Make sure it is in sync with the lens mount (cocked).

Then mount the lens to the extension tube. (or a second extension tube followed by the lens).

To remove, repeat in the opposite order (Don’t remove the extension tube while it is still mounted to the lens!); first remove the lens from the extension tube.

Then remove the extension tube from the camera body. Don’t try to remove the extension tube from the body with the lens still attached!!

I wish somebody would have told me this a year ago as I might still be using that same 500 C/M and the two 21mm extension tubes now in conjunction with the 120mm Makro.

Okay, now that I realized that I needed to carefully follow the rules for mounting and unmounting an extension tube and lens; now which extension tube to purchase?

I still wanted to purchase a single extension tube and I had two options; a 32-E (which is a 32mm extension tube) or a 56-E (56mm tube). The two previous 21mm had provided a combined 42mm of extension which seemed okay with my 150mm lens, but that lens did not focus as close compared to the 120mm Makro. Regretfully the Hasselblad lens charts did not make much sense to me, but my gut said that the 32mm would probably work really well with the 120mm Makro while the 56m might provide too much magnification for what I intended to photograph. Thus I bought a used 32-E extension tube that was stated to be in great shape.

My 32-E extension tube arrived on Saturday and today was the film test. First, the extension tube was indeed in great shape (eBay seller will get a nice review). Second I took careful note to make sure the the extension tube was in alignment with the 120mm Makro lens. I then diligently followed the mounting sequence recommended by Hasselblad (above), which worked fine as well. I also practice unmounting as recommended and NO issues (praise the Lord!).

What I had also noted from the on-line comments about extension tubes and per Hasselblad that when using this extension tube that I was going to loose about one stop in exposure. So I did a test bracket with a roll of film to ensure that this was true, but in retrospect, with the 120mm Makro in the close focusing mode, you also loose about a half stop in exposure. Which I forgot to take into consideration. Bummer. My Fujichrome 100 has an ISO 100, so the very first exposure was not adjusted for the light loss, then the second exposure was calculated using an ISO 50 (essentially my EI, Exposure Index to use the zone terminology) with my spot meter to give an extra stop (more light) in exposure. When I evaluate the processed film (I had also included a gray card in some of my test photographs) in about one week, I should be able to calculate how much I need to adjust the EI (Exposure Index or my ISO) for the film with this lens and extension tube combination.

This is getting pretty exciting for me. I really, really like what I was seeing in the view finder with this 32-E extension tube and the 120mm Makro lens while photographing my subjects. It appears that I had chosen well with the 32-E purchase as the framing of my subject is just about perfect as to what I was pre-visualizing. Btw, anyone wanting to donate a 56-E for me to evaluate would be very much appreciated!

I also did an exposure bracket with a shallow depth of field (f/4.0) and with more depth of field (f/11) for the same composition with this extension tube and lens combination.

So now I am waiting on the results. Yes, I do not process color or black and white film any longer so I am at the mercy of the pro film processing lab. Otherwise this roll of moderately expired film would have been in the soup this afternoon and I would be able to provide more feedback. So you, like me, get to work on our patience together.

Cheers!

Doug

Btw, I had purchased an expensive (cheap!) lens hood for the 120mm Makro which after a year, fell apart. sigh. So I purchased a used Hasselblad lens hood for this lens and after removing years of tape residuals, is working and looking pretty good.

March 8, 2019

Middle Ground – Just Exploded at Grenade in a Jar

Filed under: Middle Ground, Photobook, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , — Doug Stockdale @ 7:52 pm

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Middle Ground, limited edition artist book, copyright 2018 Douglas Stockdale

I am very honored and excited to announce that my limited edition artist book Middle Ground just “Exploded” at Grenade in a Jar Books in Santa Fe, New Mexico!

Grenade in a Jar Books is a curated bookshop that is focused on contemporary photobooks being run by Melanie McWhorter. If Melanie’s name appears a little familiar, that is probably because of her long previous tenure as the Book Manager of photo-eye bookstore before recently starting her new photo book venture.

It is very nice to have a new book representation with Melanie and her team at Grenade in a Jar Books and another opportunity for collectors to find my books.

Cheers!

Doug

 

February 27, 2019

Middle Ground – San Diego site morphing

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I-5 Southbound, San Diego, February 2019 copyright 2019 Douglas Stockdale

First, this is not meant to be an inspiring photograph as it’s a cell phone drive-by grab shot. Essentially a quick visual note about the evolving demolition of the I-5 middle plant divider as this freeway winds down along the Pacific Ocean coast in San Diego county.

The backstory is that this interesting freeway divider provided an unwilling subject for my artist project Middle Ground that led to my artist book of the same name. It is a wall of a different name located near the San Diego-Mexican border. My project’s intent was to look at this particular urban landscape to investigate a darker metaphoric (and political) condition. Somebody’s medieval bigly wall.

In probably six months all remnants of this vegetative, some places stunningly beautiful, plant barrier will be reduced to  bare dirt and then a series of concrete barriers will rise in its place. The character of this unique urban San Diego landscape will soon morph in to a boring sameness that extends perhaps the entire length of the I-5 freeway, from the Canadian border to Mexico.

I had not driven down this section of the I-5 into San Diego for probably five months, maybe more, so I was taken back yesterday with the new K-rails adjacent to the road way edge and the long patches of the endless string of bushes being hacked down. Maybe even shocked. The use of a decorative plant barrier to create a visual separation along this section of the I-5 freeway goes back to as far as I can remember.

Which also means that my Middle Ground project will become in short order a historical documentary of what once was in San Diego. I am pretty certain that no one else has photographed this middle section of the I-5 as it meanders through this norther section of San Diego county with as much diligence. Which was not my intent as I was unaware of these pending landscape changes to help widen the freeway to improve traffic conditions.

Change. In this case, a visually ugly change.

Best regards, Doug

Note; opps, published this without resizing the image; so a do-over for the photo above.

Douglas_Stockdale_Middle_Ground_cover

February 23, 2019

Color Management – How does this look to you?

Filed under: Art, Photography, Projects/Series, Trabuco Flats Mystery — Tags: , , — Doug Stockdale @ 12:29 am

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Untitled (Trabuco Flats) 2019 copyright Douglas Stockdale

Color Management is one of the current plagues for photography as it effects anyone who is using a monitor to evaluate photographs, whether color images or black & white images. This includes cell phones as well; any type of monitor. Whether a casual social media reader, a photographic collector or a a photographer and most vexing for the later two.

So speaking as a photographer, I try to maintain an internal color management system that attempts to ensure that the photographs I create are faithful the images I print and of course the ones I share on-line, whether social media, web-site or on this site.

What I just learned is that when I recently purchased a new 27″ iMac, I had assumed that the monitor was already calibrated. In retrospect; bad, bad, bad.

When I just published a photobook review on The PhotoBook Journal, one of the comments back from the photographer was to the effect that my images on his screen appeared “blown-out”. hmmmmm. Not so much on mine. BUT I knew that he was a working professional photographer and thus he may have had his color management in a more current state than I did. Also, I recalled my iMac monitor calibration assumption. Not so smart.

I also knew it was time to update my color managment system, thus I quickly acquired an X-Rite i1 Studio system (aka Photo-Munki) to calibrate my monitor, printer and camera. Once the on-line registration was completed the required system software to download was provided on my online X-Rite profile. Done. Then it was a matter to run the software with the sensor (a bit hard to rotated the indicator dial on my device) and finish with a new icc profile for the monitor. Yep! A little different look to the iMac monitor. sigh.

Better late than never.

Interestingly, not all of my prior post photographs appear that different, but the most recent one did; see below the version that I had posted. I am not linking the earlier post as I have already updated that photograph; no sense letting this version of the image continue to haunt me. Probably most noticeable aspect to me between the two image versions are the greens. I also notice that other earlier images have the reds going bonkers (oaky, a bit “blown-out”) in comparision. What about you, what do you see as differences?

The other aspect is that this is a film photograph is from one of my rolls of expired 120 film (I think that this roll expired in 1998), that was processed and scanned by my professional film lab. So a few more potential “color management” events before I was able to evaluate the file in PhotoShop.

I had planned on making some on-line submissions but now I need to recheck all of the image files for color balance, etc; do these images still look as I had intended? If not one thing, it’s another.

Cheers, Doug

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February 17, 2019

SingularImages.net

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Untitled (Trabuco Flats) 2019 copyright Douglas Stockdale

First, welcome to my new url for this blog; now singularimages.net after a ten year run using the free WordPress.com option (It’s my Scottish heritage to be so frugal). Actually I made the change to a paid WordPress site a couple of years ago to reduce the WordPress commercials, but at that time I was unsure of what I wanted to do with the free web-site option WordPress was offering with my upgrade.

As I posted a couple of weeks ago I am considering another publishing option and it made sense to tie up this web site domain name now. Apparently I should have had this idea a while ago as the .com option was not available (or at least not offered to me by WordPress). Nevertheless, this url will still work well for me as the .net option is still very common.

As to the photography in this post, it was created on expired film with the Hasselblad after my trial image with my Samsung “instant polaroid” last month for my Trabuco Flats project. As anticipated, similar to the prior image, the amount of green foliage seemed to visually delinate the presence of a suspicious circumstance at this site. The visual trade-off is the stones that surround this sunken depression are more concealed by the taller grass; now just appearing as hints. This in fact may be a very good thing; perhaps creating a bit more mystery.

While photographing this location again recently, I had a brain storm about another way that I might visually investigate Trabuco Flats. So that will be another set of experiments that I will work on next month. stay tuned ;- D

Meanwhile, I am still working on various visual options for my Memory Pods project while waiting for the pending spring growth season. So I still do not need to acquire the 32mm extension tube for the 120mm Makro just yet. This Memory project still appears to be gaining traction and now an interview about this project maybe in the works.

Cheers, Doug

February 14, 2019

Memory Pods featured today on VoyageLA.com

Filed under: Art, Memory pods, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , , , — Doug Stockdale @ 8:40 pm

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Untitled (Memory Pods) 2018 copyright Douglas Stockdale

I am very honored that VoyageLA.com, a local Southern on-line magazine that features LA’s Most Inspiring Stories, posted a shout-out about my recent Instagram post for my Memory Pods project. I was featured in the section for An Artistic Voyage (Exploring Local Creative and Artist Works); as now Trending (it’s at the end of the list). Very cool!

Join me on Instagram and follow along @douglasstockdale.com

The featured image, above, investigates the end of the aging process. The memory pods are gone. There is a mess of tangles, a trait usually associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Darkness is closing in and symbolically the memories for the individual appear lost. As a result, these individuals are lost to us even though their outer physical form may not appear that different. This is similar to Ghosts, which I had discussed earlier.

I appreciate the growing interest in this project.

Cheers!

Doug

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