Sub-atomic flow

Sub-atomic Flow #3624 copyright 2021 Douglas Stockdale

When I published my earlier article about a trip up to Oregon and then out onto the coast to visit Patterson beach, I had hinted that there might be another follow on article, which is this one. Another aspect of the Oregon coast is the many small creeks that feed into the ocean along the coast, such as the one featured in the that earlier article. On a sunny day, these small flowing creeks exhibit a ton of rapidly changing caustic networks, the light and shadow patterns visible on the sand. Mesmerizing to stand there and watch these patterns unfold, briefly appearing and then as quick, changing and morphing into various shapes and patterns.

These caustic networks are a visible manifestation of things occurring at the sub-atomic level created by the energy of sunlight. So cool. This is where my science-geek and artistic curiosity intersect. Especially when scientists have found that this same sub-atomic element of Quantum Mechanics also explains things going on in the cosmos, millions of light years out.

So my science-geek side really enjoys collecting these visual artifacts of Quantum mechanics that occur here on plant earth. What my artistic side is struggling with is what to do with these images? In this case, the resulting color image of the beach caustic networks because of the flat sand is almost monotone in color and for me, other than the crazy structures, it appears kinda of boring. This may be in part because by the time that these creeks spill out onto the beach, the water depth of this flowing water is less than one inch deep, maybe as shallow as 1/8th of inch. My science-geek side would call this shallow flowing creek water a thin-film effect.

Thus, I find myself visualizing these particular images in black and white. Okay, maybe not exactly black and white since I have also added a slight selenium toning. Nevertheless, I find a more graphic presentation more interesting for the Patterson beach series. Channeling a little bit of Franz Kline and Aaron Siskind and perhaps like art historian Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev who writes that “(Kline’s) art both suggests and denies significance and meaning”. Something to noodle over, eh?

What results, like the artwork above, may also appear like sound waves, which is another form of sub-atomic energy. In either case, there is an element of a sub-atomic flow.

Best regards,


P.S. I forgot to add that this artwork in printed on the Hahnemuehle Rag Metallic paper. Really nice.


Book workshops:

I will be leading a Creative Photo Book workshop with the Southeast Center of Photography (SEC4P), a virtual event on Zoom; November 6 & 7th and 13 & 14th, 2021, 10 AM – 1 PM, EST (3 hour session each day, with a week between the weekend sessions to work your book-dummy). Registration is now open, and there is a SEC4P membership discount. It is SOLD OUT & wait-list has been started.

New dates for another SEC4P Creative PhotoBook workshop just announced (and already almost sold out), a virtual event on Zoom; January 22 & 23 and 29 & 30, 2022, 10 AM – 1 PM, EST (3 hour session each day, with a week between the weekend sessions to work your book-dummy). The SEC4P membership discount is also available.

Developing a Creative Photo Book, a virtual (Zoom) workshop I will be leading again in conjunction with Medium Photo with New dates: March 5 – 6, 12 – 13, 2022 More details and sign-up available now at Medium Photo.


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