Stoner; why I had surgery earlier this week

Mussel Rock, Encinitas Beach copyright 1978 Douglas Stockdale

Good news, the surgery for the removal of a kidney stone, reported to be only slightly smaller than an ocean shoreline boulder that I photographed earlier (or at least it felt something like this), was successful and I am now on the mend (meaning that the pesky foley catheter has finally removed, if you know what I mean). I was once a stoner, and now no more. Happy Dance!

So when thinking about announcing the good news after the fact; what would be an appropriate photograph? I quickly came to conclusion that a selfie with a catheter was totally out of the question. Then it occurred to me that this would be a great opportunity to share one of my early favorites (successes) from my wet darkroom days when I was infatuated with the natural landscape. After growing up land-locked and relatively flat Michigan, the move to the West Coast and access to majestic mountains, dense forests and what seems like an endless Pacifica Ocean shoreline, what’s not to get excited about?

So for the photo-nerds; the photograph above was created about 1978 with a Mamiya RB67 w/ 90mm lens, mounted on a tripod, using Tri-X (rated at 320) film, using HC-110 developer (Formulation B), for a normal film development (N), exposure determined using a 1 degree spot meter with the zone system, I do not recall the exposure but assuming it was either f/16 or f/22 and the exposure just long enough to obtain some water blur in some parts within the photograph. It’s a visual subtle, but I really dig the various phases of the foreground ocean water; active (blurred) to still, as a potential metaphor for life.

Postscript: Due to the weight of this equipment while doing some hiking, I traded the RB67 for the first of my two Hasselblads, the tripod eventually broke providing an opportunity to acquire a carbon-fibre and really happy a change to precision ball-head, I dropped the Soligor 1 degree once too many times and now have a Pentax IV spot meter (which has since been dinged up). I am still shooting film, but not processing it and now immediately having it scanned for Photoshop and my digital work flow.

Looking at this photograph, it makes me wonder about developing a book on my early black and white photographic work. I have a ton of negs to work with. Others do it, so why not me? I have also been doing some background research on Platinum/Palladium printing, which in conjunction with digital negatives this might look pretty darn good.




 The Flow of Light Brushes the Shadow, an artist book from Singular Images Press, Fall 2022 release, $60.00 (CA sales tax for those residing in the USA) plus shipping expenses. Message me or singularimagespress@gmail for shipping details and PayPal invoice.

Note: The Artist Special Edition (book + extra print) is Sold Out

Book workshop:

New Workshop dates! Southeast Center for Photography (SEC4P): Creative PhotoBook workshop, a virtual event on Zoom; February 25, 26 & March 4 & 5th 2023; from 10am – 1 pm, EST (3 hour session each day, with a week between the weekend sessions to work your book-dummy).

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).


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