Decaf coffee conversion? NOT Yet!

Amsterdam coffee, what remains copyright 2012 Douglas Stockdale –

I am finally dealing with my elevated blood pressure and evaluating ways to lower it into the ‘normal’ range for a guy of my ‘young’ age. The doc’s and various med websites have a ton of advice on what to do as well as what to avoid. So I am doing some of the things that I can implement; little more exercise and a reduction in my weight, while one of things that should be avoided is caffeine, such as coffee.

To start with, I am not a big coffee drinker; one 12 oz cup of Joe each morning. Just one cup mind you. And it’s a ‘breakfast’ blend, so on the lighter side of the roasting scale. Thus the ‘brilliant’ idea that maybe instead of not drinking any coffee, switch to decaf, which has very little caffeine. That little decaf experiment started this morning and quickly ended by lunch time. A resulting booming headache really sucked the life out of me. So after a short morning nap, it was time for a real cup of Joe, but only 10 oz, and fortunately that did the trick. Within an hour, I was feeling ‘normal’ again. So going cold-turkey to decaf is not going to work for me, so next is plan B; instead of 12 oz of Joe in the morning, I am going to downside first to 10 oz and then 8 oz of coffee over the next couple of weeks. Hopefully this will be a win-win.

Then how to illustrate this article, which I guess I could have quickly photographed a staged coffee composition, but I recalled a photograph I had made in Amsterdam airpot while waiting in between flights. I think that I had just arrived from Los Angeles and was probably en route to Rome. As to the composition, I was recalling the white on white experiments that Edward Steichen had worked on when he was transitioning to commercial photography. Supposedly the holy grail of illustration photography in as the potential flatness of the subject and the need to be sensitive to the play of light and shadows to create volume and form.

Thus, I arranged to take advantage of the graphic shapes, colors and create some visual tension with the white napkin becoming truncated on the lower edge. Another aspect was the use of longer lens, and almost wide open aperture to create a shallow depth of field, allowing the top edge of the cup to go out of focus. Likewise, I have the soft focus lip of the cup just touch the upper edge of the napkin, another aspect that can create a little visual tension. The area in focus resulted in the dried coffee remnants to take on abstract soft shapes in contrast to the harder edges of the napkin. In retrospect, this photograph has incorporated some aspects of Color Field and Surrealism artwork, which is not bad for a brief much needed coffee break with some time to kill.

This is also a photograph that hit the editing floor while I was working on my book-dummy for The Flow of Light Brushes the Shadow and a little reminder that this artist book is available for pre-order now at the discounted price below. The list prices will go into effect at the beginning of August when I start the book production. So it is still not to late to order your book (and support this project, thank you!).

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, 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.


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