Poetic Space

Trabuco Arroyo, Summer – copyright 2022 Douglas Stockdale –

Back walking the Trabuco Arroyo again this morning, this time with slightly different camera equipment. This is about the same place that I featured in my previous article about needing someplace to unwind with what tragic decisions were made by America’s “Supreme” Court. Just a slightly different perspective that did not include the service road.

The resulting photograph is an attempt to create a poetic image about a place. Which takes me to writing poems: I don’t. Perhaps it’s my left brain thinking resulting from my technical education and work experience. Writing a technical document that is intended for FDA review in which poetic phrases is not going to work if you want your drug product to be approved. Just provide the bare-bone facts supported by scientific evidence. Even when taking creative writing classes I found that writing prose just did not resonate with me. Which is when I realized that I am visual guy, and how drawing, painting and eventually photographic images can resonated in poetic ways.

Perhaps why I am not usually keen on providing poetic captions; I agree with the thinking that a caption might limit how a photograph may be experienced with the reader. Thus, like the photo above, the basics of place and which season should suffice, and still, this might be too much information. Would it help in any way in experiencing the image if you knew what the name of the flowing plants were in the foreground? For me it is a sea of colors, a band of red in the foreground, the points of red almost sparkling against the shadows, a narrow band of lighter tans, then a background slice of dark greens and shadows.

The version below I think pushes the Impressionism of this same photo to the maximum that I am comfortable with, nevertheless, a pre-visualization that I also had this morning while working on the potential compositions. I am also comfortable with a landscape that can have alternative photographic versions, unsure of which I like best. Above, with more defined and harder edges, below, softer and airy, perhaps even more poetic and open to interpretation.

Btw, also a hot morning and I had forgot to bring my water with me, so a quicker retreat home that I had anticipated. LoL.

Cheers & make every day an Earth Day



Pre-publication SaleThe Flow of Light Brushes the Shadow, an artist book from Singular Images Press, the artist book is $50.00 USD (regularly $60.00) & the Artist Special Edition (book + print) $100.00 USD (regularly $125.00), plus CA taxes for US sales and shipping. This special price ends in July. Message me (doug@douglasstockdale.com) or singularimagespress@gmail for shipping details and PayPal invoice.

Call for artwork:

SouthEast Center of Photography (SEC4P) open call for the exhibition The Green Environment, being juried by Douglas Stockdale. Submissions are now open and Submissions Close 7/31/22. For more information about the exhibition, here.

Book workshop:

Southeast Center for Photography (SEC4P): Creative PhotoBook workshop (Sold Out), a virtual event on Zoom; November 5 & 6 and 12 & 13, 2022, 10am – 1pm, EST (3 hour session each day, with a week between the weekend sessions to work your book-dummy). Wait list available for sign-up.


Trabuco Arroyo #2, Summer – copyright 2022 Douglas Stockdale –

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