Diary; August 11th 2020 – Not in the Critical Mass 200 (this year)

01O 19 05-12-08 frame 4 scan 40003v2

Hello… I know that it is always a let down to receive these types of emails, but please remember that the jurors’ opinions are entirely subjective. We know you have worked hard on this body of work and we want to encourage you to keep putting it out there and making work that matters to you.

Not the email I had been expecting from the folks at Photolucida for this year’s Critical Mass for my Gardening For Ordnance submission. For artist and photographers who are looking for opportunities to expand the reach of their artwork, making these types of submissions is just part and parcel of being an artist. Until you are so ‘famous’ that you don’t need to worry about this type of self-promotion. Not holding my breath on that occurring any time soon. So in the mean-time lots and lots of submissions which also results in lots and lots of rejection slips. Like this one.

My Critical Mass submission this year was not made at the conclusion of this project, because it is still a work in progress. If I have been accepted, it would have helped with getting some more visibility and maybe, just maybe, help with the publication of the book I pre-visualize. Just before the pandemic struck earlier this year I was developing my list of subjects that I wanted to work on to further define this project. Many of my subjects are individuals who live in this area and now with everyone wear masks, this is not exactly what I have previsualized. So I am on a ‘momentary’ hold pattern. This project is not directly about COVID-19 and the resulting pandemic, although the similar issues of conflict, environment and anxiety are represented. So more work to do once the pandemic is under better control, so I am thinking that could be about the middle of next year.

Nevertheless, I am very excited for my many friends who did make the Critical Mass 200 list. A lot of really excellent work to compete against, nothing wrong with that.

I am sharing this night-time photograph from the project as representing my current feelings about this rather nice ‘rejection slip’. The rejection is a bit of temporary ‘darkness’ in conjunction with the bright streaming streetlight and the lights in the background house that symbolize’s that somebody is home and life continues on. Sunrise always follows the sunset, so tomorrow is another day and I will continue on.

As to this urban night landscape, the tree next to the lamp-post continued to grow to the point that it began to shade over the street-light a little bit too much. Rather having to continually trim this tree, the city decided it would be more expedient to cut the tree down than move the light-post. Imagine my surprise one day walking down the street and realizing that the adjacent tree was gone. Poof! So this photograph is already a historical documentation of past situations. I can’t reshoot this again, at least with a tree being present next to the lamp post. This location is also near Target Zone One for the WWII practice bombing by the US Marine Corps as well as near the place that a few tons of military “waste” is still buried.

Cheers & stay safe,



My other exhibitions and workshops:

The Photographers Eye’s gallery exhibition, Living and Photographing in the Time of COVID-19group virtual exhibition that includes two of my diptychs from the series A Developing Crisis. This online exhibition is from May 8th through August 1st, 2020 (tomorrow).

Medium Photo 2020 Workshop: Developing a Creative Book workshop that I will be leading, is now rescheduled for September 24 – 27th, 2020, a four-day extended weekend workshop in San Diego.


Featured artwork; Near Target Zone One, Night (Gardening For Ordnance), copyright 2008, Douglas Stockdale


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