Disturbing Beauty – Anthropogenic Crisis

Anthropogenic Crisis No. 164510 copyright 2022 Douglas Stockdale

“Disturbing Beauty. Thought provoking on many levels.”

This was a wonderful comment left on my recent Instagram post for another of my Anthropogenic Crisis series artworks. When attempting to raise awareness of the issues of climate change as we continue on the harrowing path of global heating, this is exactly the type of response I am hoping to see. To engage someone about the on-going environmental crisis and hopefully take the next step to do something about it. Maybe as simple as inspiring a New Years resolution to vote in the 2022 mid-term elections for someone who advocates green & environmental policies, not vote for anyone or a political party who wants to abolish or reduce the environmental safeguards we already have in place.

As I work on this series, I can see the value of having beautiful images that are also very disturbing. Regretfully our social media trained world is not well suited for complex images, as we all have a tendency to quickly flick from one image to another on platforms like Instagram. It seems increasingly necessary to have a set of images developed just for social media to help with the messaging. Something that stands out and will cause the viewer to hesitate long enough to draw them in, a.k.a. a ‘show stopper’.

These are two versions of a recent urban landscape that I photographed some moments apart taking note of the developing cloud cover, which I thought was very intriguing in the way the clouds appeared to radiate outward from the horizon. Thus this pair of images was nicely pre-visualized. I processed these slightly different to evaluate different alternatives, one darker and the other with a slightly higher key-light as well as with a little more graphic impact (my show stopper). My image evaluations includes printing these as I am finding that the two-dimensional flatness of a print slightly changes the visual impact when viewing the image compared to a backlit flatscreen monitor. As a result of the printing, I flipped the two images in this article, with the image I had initially thought would be my lead-in is now situated below.

Looking at the two prints, I am going to use the above image with social media, while the darker image, below, I think will work in a book or exhibition. I think both are disturbingly beautiful and hopefully thought provoking about climate change and the need to do something.

Best regards,



Workshops and Portfolio Reviews

Southeast Center for Photography (SEC4P): Creative PhotoBook workshop (Sold Out), a virtual event on Zoom; January 22 & 23 and 29 & 30, 2022, 10am – 1pm, EST (3 hour session each day, with a week between the weekend sessions to work your book-dummy).

Los Angeles Center of Photography (LACP): Exposure Weekend, virtual portfolio reviews, which I am one of the many portfolio reviewers available, January 27 – 30th, 2022, details here.

Medium Photo: Developing a Creative Photo Book, a virtual (Zoom) workshop I will be leading again in conjunction with Medium Photo on: March 5th & 6th and then March 12th & 13th, 2022, from 9am to noon, PST. More details and sign-up available now at Medium Photo.

Colorado Photographic Arts Center (CPAC): Developing a Creative Photo Book, a virtual (Zoom) workshop I will be leading on Saturday & Sunday, May 14th & 15th and then Saturday & Sunday 21st and 22nd, 2022, from 1pm to 4pm Mountain Time (MT). Registration is open with discounts for members.


Anthropogenic Crisis No. 164514 copyright 2022 Douglas Stockdale

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