Metaphoric Hope


Untitled, Insomnia – Hotel Noirseries, photograph copyright Douglas Stockdale

While discussing with Titarenko about his book, he was always emphasizing the region of warmth that he had brought into his photographs as metaphoric Hope of the Russian people. Then after my discussion with the French photographer Fleuret about his photographic (book) story Landmasses and Railroads, I realized that I could bring both of these concepts together with my then dormant series Insomnia – Hotel Noir.

Now part of the creative part was just how to introduce this warm tone area into a print. BTW Titaranko had the harder task as his prints were made entirely in the wet darkroom.

My decision is to apply the warmth in a region that would best signify where Hope could be found or where Hope was occurring. The balance of the underlying blue tone and the application of the warmer tone is the challenge. The nice thing about working digital, I can quickly work up a lot of options fairly quickly on the monitor before I start printing what I believe are my strongest options. FYI, the two corresponding tones are adjustment layers of Hue/Saturation in combination with masking.

Where to apply the mask, how much to feather the outer boundaries and then how much to pull back on the opacity slider for the adjustment layer has been a series of trial and error. And of course, this varies for each image and the emotional effect that I want to establish with it as the story develops.

This image is also looking to be at the end of the series. For some reason, I am working backward on this series, developing the end of the story first. As I think of it, that is also how I developed my how-to book, most of my presentations and how I was trained to develop operation project plans. Interesting insight.

So this photograph is about the beginning of the morning, preparing to leave, the period of insomnia and disassociation is slowly becoming a thing of the past, and Hope is becoming almost tangible, the opportunity to reestablish relationships is becoming imminent. Thus, I try to create a sense of anticipation.

So far so good, I think :- )

Best regards, Doug

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