Exploding Military Ordnance?

Metaphoric detonation, Trabuco Bombing Range copyright 2022 Douglas Stockdale –

One of my unanswered questions while working on my project, Gardening For Ordnance, is what might it look like if one of the many various buried bombs, known as Unexploded Ordnance (UXO), were to magically detonate in front of me. What might that look like?

That was the idea behind this photograph; would it look a little bit like this one above? (below is the ‘straight’ version)

The thought that the buried ordnance could really hurt someone who lives, works or visits this decommissioned military site leads to a potential anxiety of living here on top of all of this old buried military stuff. Nevertheless, similar to many dangers we face in life, it seems that everyone in my neighborhood ignores this potential hazard. When talking to someone on the wilderness park trail, even in front to one of the posted warning signs, they believe that there is no risk to them. If there were a dangerous buried military bomb, it would have blown up by now.

Interestingly, my project was started when I was using more of a documentary-style photographic approach with my expired 120 film. Nothing but the ‘facts’ about living on a decommissioned WWII practice bombing range here in Southern California. Having recently reviewed the Harvard Museums photobook, Devour the Land, I am thinking that probably more than enough artists and photographers have confronted the enormous issues of decommissioned military sites and how buried ordnance is continuing to haunt Americans. Which can be extended to any place on the earth dealing with the after effects of military combat.

Thus, is one more documentary book really needed? This is what I am grappling with at the moment…and why I find the metaphor and abstract image above very interesting. Maybe I don’t need to play it straight on this project…perhaps more of an imaginary landscape might be an interesting alternative…

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.

Metaphoric detonation #2, Trabuco Bombing Range copyright 2022 Douglas Stockdale –

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: