Sleeplessness from the series Insomnia – Hotel Noir photographs by Douglas Stockdale
At the moment, I am working my way through the series as I concurrently develop my book dummy, estentially editing the storyline. At this point in time, I have approximately 50 photograhs that I am considering. Now I am testing each photograph as to my feelings as I react to it, its ability to support the series, if it creates enough ambuguity, where it should be in the sequence of the storyline.
Seems that I arrived at this place in a real roundabout way. I have come to expect that the development of a series to be messy, start and stops and going sidewides too, just not a linear progression. Well anyhow, not a linear straight forward path for me.
So now I am in that difficult zone of editing. But I compensate that by moving slowly through the progression of testing and building the book dummy, enjoying and savoring each photograph and each step of this progress. Because isn’t that a big part of what this is all about?
As a business guy, I know that I get toooo goal oriented, as new products need to be developed, validated, get approval and then launched. And the business milestones don’t take into account that product development is also a messy process, as things never seem to go as planned. Although my business gets evaluated as to how well we hit those milestones. So it is nice to not be as obsesed about meeting specific milestones and just enjoy the day and the process.
So I did finish the photograph above, making the tweaks to the tonal range, balance of the light, contrast the relative relationships within the picture. nice.
And I loaded this photograph into what I think should be the sequential location within the book dummy. In this case I have two concurrent book dummies, the Blurb Booksmart virtual dummy, as well as my printed physical dummy.
I have now started to build this series on my web site, with a goal of ten images from the series. I felt comfortable enough now to open the link on the web site to allow access to the details of the series, even though it is not complete yet.
BTW as to this photograh, indeed a sleepless night in the Eastern part of China, due to a lot of changes and just trying to get my body time re-adjusted to the 9 hour difference with home in SoCal. So amazing sometimes how much activity is still occuring in the middle of the night. sigh.
Best regards, Doug
This one is rich with story elements. The tools of work on the table are cold and taunting reminders of the reason for being in this place. The person looking out the window says “alone” and all that actitivity outside is a strong counterpoint to the passive figure on the sofa. The reflection in the window helps the story—it not only helps carry me outside, it makes me wonder if the person wants to move beyond the window. All in all, it’s a strong statement about being in a place without really being there.
I do wish there were a little less light on the person to add mystery and to cause me to lean forward and peer through the darkness to make out the shape. I know that’s against all the rules since the eye goes to bright spots. Am I crazy? But I’m wondering if the tension between the shapes on the table and the strong curve of that back aren’t enough to cause me to explore the shadows. Oh, well, everyone is a critic.
You bring up a good point regarding the light on the person and its contextual implicatons for the image, as this one of the specific elements that I was tweaking with this photograph. I have been eveluating a lighter value house-coat, drawing the attention away from the elments on the desk.
I find this whole journey quite interesting. In particular, how you are setting mood, etc., with your overall use of tone/shading to portray the message that you want. Fascinating.
Paul, thanks. Like my series “In Passing”, which also started off more documenatary, it has morphed into a more introspective body of work, but hopefully touching on some universal emotions.
Also interesting comment about how I am “setting a mood”, as I find that the resulting images are not representational of the “straight” photographic facts. I have tweaked the tonalities and value scales very much, which I have manipulated to achieve “something”, which at times I am not sure I can verbalize, but it seems that I know what it is when I see in on the monitor & resultant print.
Nice details from the street.