Evolving Projects – Insomnia: Hotel Noir

NwM in Transit copyright 2011 Douglas Stockdale

It is always interesting to me when random events collide, as though the almighty has a delicate hand in it.

For those who on occasion read this blog over the last four years will recall, on and off I have been working on a project titled Insomnia: Hotel Noir. I have thought the project complete, set up a separate blog delicated to this project, developed a book dummy and have advanced that to a Blurb printed version and subsequently have had a number of conversations with a bunch of book publishers. There has been interest, but no committment to take this project the next step, but some nice direct, as well as indirect, feedback.

So this is what I would call the advanced pasta test; I had cooked up this idea, threw it on the wall and it stuck. So I keep moving it ahead. Well then the book publishers threw the idea up on the wall, but it did not stick; something was wrong with the recipe or the cooking. Since I was not sure what to do with this project, it went dormant, as I sure have a bunch of other projects that I am excited about developing. So about a year ago, I came back to this project and after another interesting discussion with another book publisher I realized that there was one thing I needed to do to this project; delete the blue toning hue (which I now refer to as the “Blue Edition”) and return back to Black & White basics. In retrospect, the blue toning was an interesting idea, but too conceptual weak. Some guy named Picasso kinda has this blue period thing nailed pretty tight. It was the immediate blue toning that caught the immediate attention and sank the ship before it left the dock. Okay, that can be fixed, (deleting the various color layers for this hue in Photoshop) but it takes time, mean while I have other projects that are active.

Then I recently acquired Larry Sultan’s Katherine Avenue, which has become a retrospective book about Sultan, who recently passed away from cancer. Although Sultan developed a number of projects, he is known for three long duration projects; Pictures from Home, The Valley and Homeland. While working on a my notes for a discussion about this book on The PhotoBook, it dawned on me that I need to continue working on and finish my earlier Insomnia: Hotel Noir project. Not sure just what the exact emotional trigger was, but this book has re-energized this earlier project.

Perhaps without really understanding why, one of my in-process projects, NoWhereMan, was digging into the same emotional and conceptual space as Insomnia: Hotel Noir. From the get-go, NoWhereMan was going to be a project completed in color. I visualized it in color and intended to complete it with color photographs.

So with the aha! from Sultan’s book, starting to work on Insomnia: Hotel Noir again, I took off the conceptual blinders to NoWhereMan and tested a few images in Black & White. Hmmmm, seems to be working. Meanwhile, I also tested a number of the earlier Insomnia: Hotel Noir images in color; interesting but not the same emotional quality, as the color images were not passing my spaghetti test.

So I am again off and running on my project Insomnia: Hotel Noir. So I need to work on integrating the newer images with the old, visualize the book dummy, and determine which publisher I want to contact again, or add to the list, while concurrently finishing the book dummy to re-engage our conversations. nice.

I was be interested in reading about your thoughts on the lastest evolution of this project.

Best regards, Doug

Subsequent Note: I just added a new Catagories reference in the side panel of this blog to link up the past Insomnia: Hotel Noir posts. I will be adding this Catagories linkage to the past posts, which will probably take me about a week to complete.

5 thoughts on “Evolving Projects – Insomnia: Hotel Noir

Add yours

  1. Doug I love this series of photos. The black and white concept certainly adds to the impact of the photos.

    I have experienced that nowhere man feeling many times during my travels over the years. Your photos bring back some great memories.

  2. Dave, thanks, nice that these recent photographs resonnate, as we have some similar traveling experiences.

  3. hmmmm. But no Paul, photographs were created well before last Saturday’s most recent rapture event. BUT perhaps an idea for another project??

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