Quantum Elements – Winter rain

LSTa0066 copyright Douglas Stockdale 2021

Well I know what I should be doing. I have an solo exhibition that I should be promoting (well I guess this counts a little) as well as my book development workshop in March, see below. I know that ‘promoting’ these events is suppose to be all sorts of social media shout-outs. BUT it just rained in Southern California with snow at the tops of the local mountains! Which means that there is a run-off of fresh rain or snow-melt in the local creek and that this high-volume water flow will disrupt the creek bottom; everything will be changed presenting new opportunities for my Quantum Elements series.

Indeed it did. So when opportunity knocks, you just gotta answer the door. The other promo stuff can just wait another day or two. So I donned my hiking boots and camera in hand, headed down to the creek to confirm that indeed the high-flow water did re-arrange just about everything. Now I was dealing with winter rain water which is a bit clearer (cleaner with less sediment) than earlier, so my ‘dielectric medium’ has changed for this set of experiments. The flow rate of the creek water was still pretty brisk, another factor that will make this day different for a unique set of images.

Then I returned back to the studio to start evaluating what I had photographed. Even with my Zombie photography method I did try to evaluate some of my photographs on the camera while at the creek, but these only hint at the potential of the artwork I would later try to create. Looking at the camera back (monitor) during the photographic session at the creek was enough to reassure me that I was on track. One of the resulting artworks from this session is included in this post, above. Evident are the two different phases of diffraction that fascinates me right now. One phase of refraction is the wavy white lines that are light rays projected on (and of course back again) the bottom of the creek bed, which is called a caustic network. These visual light networks are created by the sunlight in conjunction with the surface dynamics of the creek water, so that these are constantly in flux. Five exposures will result in five different caustic network patterns. What might not be as apparent, as explained by particle physics, is that a caustic network also creates regions of low light intensity. For most of us, our eyes are attracted to the lighter regions, thus we are more likely to notice the bright white lines (actually many, many, many ‘points’ of light that to our eyes looks like a continuous line), also known as a ‘singularity‘ and explained by particle physics.

Meanwhile, I am still thinking about the implications of the intersection of Quantum Mechanics and the landscape that I wrote about earlier. So I have started another file with a working title of Quantum Landscape to collect the related images I am creating. I can let this concept develop while I return to the task of promoting my exhibition and workshop. Btw, for the solo exhibition due to the pandemic, we are going to have an artist talk on Zoom, so no matter where you are, you can join in.

Final artwork above is printed 24 x 36″, archival pigment on Rag Metallic, edition of 5 (2AP) if you are interested.




Featured artwork, above; LSTa0066 (Quantum Elements copyright 2021 Douglas Stockdale


Exhibition & Workshop

February 20th – March 20th 2021; Photographs’s Eye gallery, Escondido, CA, a solo exhibition of my Memory Pods series (lens-based photography). Exhibition reception February 20th, 3-7pm. NEW: Artist talk February 25th, 5:30 – 7:00 pm (PST), sign-up here.

March 13-14, 20-21, 2021; Developing Your Creative Photo Book, a workshop that I am leading again in collaboration with Los Angeles Center of Photography (LACP). Workshop dates are March 13 – 14th, and March 20-21st from 9am – noon PST. Four days, two consecutive weekends, a virtual workshop on Zoom, with time between sessions to develop your book dummy. Sign-up here.


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