Singular Images

May 7, 2019

Mother’s Day

Filed under: Art, Memory pods, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , — Douglas Stockdale @ 9:04 pm

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Untitled, Memory Pods, copyright 2018 Douglas Stockdale

Coming up this weekend is Mother’s Day, which I believe originated in the United States by the greeting card companies about a hundred years ago. It is a wonderful opportunity to recognize and honor women, whether they are natural mothers, adopting mothers or pending motherhood. There are a group of women who have the heart break of not being able to be a mother who need to be honored as well. Of course the truth is that none of us would be here and reading this if we did not have someone who gave us birth! Thank them all!

For me thinking about my mom during this day is a memorial time as my mother passed away after battling Alzheimer’s disease for many years. Which is also the underlying reason for my Memory Pods project. Nevertheless, a day to treasure wonderful times and  memories.

I know as an artist that I can become fixated on a project and sometimes fail to see the greater potential for an artwork. Thus when I received an email blast from a local photo gallery extolling their collection of flower photographs as potential Mother’s Day gifts, it was a bit of a wake-up call regarding my Memory Pods project. To think beyond how I developed the images as to other ways these images might be read; my botanical portraits have the capability to connect with others on another level beyond my intentions.

Case in point; the photograph included above was created as part of the introduction to the emotional darker body of work of my project. As a stand alone photograph it has other potential readings beyond my concept. Perhaps it could be a lyrical Mother’s Day present? I know that the color palette of this photograph is one that my mom enjoyed as she leaned into pink, red and rosy blooming plants in her yard and some of the colors she deferred to when decorating her home (& my dad was a good sport about).

This revelation was the inspiration today to load up the Hassy with some more expired film (this time expired in 1997) and work on my project while the blooms of the Aloe Vera are in a very similar lyrical state as above. I think the expired film I used for the above image is almost as old. Now I need to head over now and get the film processed and scanned, but I will not have the results until later next week. That of course is the color film time-lag drawback; by the time the film is developed and available for review; the plant’s bloom will have already progressed into the next stage of seed and the opportunity has passed. Probably why this project is into its fifth year.

Thus if you think you would like to purchase a print of this image to give as a (late) Mother’s Day present, let me know; I bet your mother would probably love it!

Cheers

April 25, 2019

Horns of a dilemma

Filed under: Art, Books, Photobook, Photography — Tags: — Douglas Stockdale @ 5:05 pm

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Library copyright 2019 Douglas Stockdale

I have a bit of a problem which can be brief summarized as being related to one of the principals of physics; two physical objects cannot occupy the same space at the same time. Realistically I did not need to complete my physics class to understand this principal. This issue is that my photobook library collection has continued to grow and now over-runs my studio space as well as some other places. So trying not to appear too much like a pack-rat I have found some creative alternative places to store my collection and regretfully one of those places came crashing down last night. Good news: no photobooks were damaged.

Bad news as this now relates to my dilemma as I need to decide what I want; a growing library collection or studio space to develop my artistic and book projects. One alternative is to obtain more studio space so that I can have both; duh. Bad news, a larger studio will substantially increase my expenses and I will need to relocate everything to a new space, which is a big pain and probably further from my home.

When my photobook collection was small the storage of course was not an issue; but once your collection is over a thousand books, this collection takes up a lot of wall spaces and then some. Yes, I have a few boxes of books as well.

Since my artistic endeavors are more critical to me than this collection I think the answer is going to be a downsizing of my library. Although I really enjoy almost every photobook in my collection, some much more than others, there are some books that I have not opened in over five years or more. So obviously if I am not compelled to spend time with these over that duration it might be better to find these a new home.

I have previously gifted most of my photo-technical how-to books to a San Diego College photographic department and doing something similar with a part of my collection would be a quick process to open up a lot of space. Nevertheless, I still have some concerns as I would prefer that this collection would stay somewhat intact, be accessible to the public and located near enough that if I wanted to use these as reference that these would be accessible to me as well.

A second alternative is to sell these to other collectors, which is do-able but will take a considerable amount of time. I can also use the funds to support the underlying cost of my new photobook magazine PhotoBook Journal. Which is giving me a gem of an idea; perhaps I can do a fund raising event for PhotoBook Journal with a portion of this collection? hmmm. Something to noodle while I repair the damaged storage area today. sigh.

So if you collect photobooks and are interested in purchasing some titles that I have reviewed for the PhotoBook Journal please message me; doug@douglasstockdale.com

cheers

April 24, 2019

Open Show LA presentation – Memory Pods

Filed under: Art, Memory pods, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , — Douglas Stockdale @ 11:36 pm

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Douglas Stockdale Open Show LA presentation 2019 copyright Gerhard Clausing

Last night I had an opportunity to present my on-going Memory Pods project at Open Show LA, an event that is part of Month of Photography Los Angeles (MoPLA).

I was really honored by those my friends who attended and supported this presentation (Gerry Clausing, Sarah Lee, Chris Davies, Debe Arlook, Deborah Davis, Cia Foreman, Hannah Kozak, Paul Fernandez and Reidar Schopp to name only a few) and the really warm response to this project during and after my presentation. I was also joined by the others who were presenting including Michele Zousmer discussing her Irish Travellers project and who was in my photobook workshop last march.

In the photo above, I am discussing one of my very first images that I created in May of 2014 using my experiment/play process which resulted in the concept and ideas behind this project; that a plant’s memory is transmitted via it’s seeds and that the developing seed pods are similar to our brains for creating and holding our own memories.

That I had an opportunity to make this presentation at the Fabrik Projects gallery that represents me in Los Angeles was a really nice bonus. I had a framed print (Loss) hanging in the back of the presentation area to support my talk about this project.

Thus thanks to the Open Show LA organizers, Richard Chow and Jonas Yip along with Chris Davies of Fabrik Projects who hosted this event.

Cheers!

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April 16, 2019

Open Show LA – Memory Pods presentation

Filed under: Art, Memory pods, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , , — Douglas Stockdale @ 12:04 am

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Untitled, Memory Pods, copyright Douglas Stockdale

I am very honored to be selected to present my Memory Pods project during a Lucie Foundation Month of Photography Los Angeles (MoPLA) event; Open Show Los Angeles.

This event is open to the public and will be held at my gallery, Fabrik Projects, which is located near Culver City; 2636 La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles, California.

Event date and timing: Tuesday, April 23rd, 7:30-9:30pm

Also joining me in giving talks about our art work are Michele Zousmer, (Irish Travellers), Rollence Patugan, (The Danes), SameSource, (Reinterpreted),  and
Jeremy Jackson and Jordan Jennings, (7th and Los Angeles).

This is also an opportunity to see the the current exhibit at Fabrik Projects by Amadea Bailey – “Expressions”.

So please come join us for an evening of photography, artist talks, and conversation.

Cheers!

 

 

 

March 30, 2019

Now a magazine publisher

Filed under: Art, Art Market, Photobook, Photography — Tags: , , — Douglas Stockdale @ 4:58 am

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Bookcase, copyright 2019 Douglas Stockdale

As readers of this photo-blog know I have self-published three artist books and two photo-technical books as well as founding the photo-book-blog The PhotoBook (most recently what become The PhotoBook Journal). Something that I have been considering for a long while is to convert the the photo-book-blog into a full blown magazine.

Recently I have been working with my Associate Editor to determine what and how we could improve the reader’s experience while we continue to investigate the published photographic (& artistic) narratives. The conclusion was moving us towards creating a magazine. My chief concern was about the amount of time this would require of me versus what it might take away from my own creative endeavors.

So I did the stuff a business guy was suppose to do for a potential new business; risk analysis, determine pros and cons, what might this business concept look like (Mission and vision statements), etc. I know that expanding this exciting venture was going to take more of my time, but I also know that I am greatly inspired by the artist and photographers and their books that I interact with. Final decision; oh well, I might just as well jump in and see if I stay float on this artistic pond! Everything I came up with really indicated that this was something I should do, thus forge on.

So a couple of days I took the first step and formed a publishing company that will be the backbone for the magazine. I also found a way to make this a bit painless by using a WordPress process pathway that maximizes most of past work and only required a few tweaks to make the transition. Done. Here is our formal magazine announcement for the PhotoBook Journal.

The good news is that I will continue to see cutting edge and exciting new books and have the opportunity to analyze their salient points when writing my book reviews. I just might be spending a bit more time taking the helm of this racing sloop. For the moment this magazine will be an on-line edition, pretty similar to what we have been doing, while we sort out if we want to publish it as a hard copy and if so, how often, etc. Okay, I will have to admit that’s pretty exciting too!

I just need to make sure that I carve out time to work on my own creative projects. And I won’t know how this will works out for a while; nevertheless the San Diego gallery submission that I was planning to do today is one I did not do. hmmmmm, I hope that does not become a trend. Instead I spent the better part of the day looking at and evaluating potential on-line magazine designs and templates for the new magazine. And I did find that to be both fun and extermely interesting; so it was just a different kind of creative excercise.

Cheers!

 

 

March 18, 2019

Voyage LA interview: Art & Life with Douglas Stockdale

Filed under: Art, Art Market, Memory pods, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , , — Douglas Stockdale @ 5:34 pm

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untitled, Memory Pods copyright Douglas Stockdale

I am very excited and honored to announce that my interview with Voyage LA, Art & Life with Douglas Stockdale was published today. Voyage LA is an on-line magazine that collects and focuses on the people, events and places in Southern California that investigate this expansive and interesting community.

The Memory Pods image above which was posted on Instagram (@douglasstockdale) was what first attracted their attention. They had initially reposted this image on their IG and then featured the same image in another section of Voyage LA last month. Subsequently they contacted me about a potential expanded interview about my artistic practice. Why of course!

Thus I am very happy to share the resulting interview which is also another opportunity to promote my Memory Pods project. Yes, I had other plans for the morning, but as you might imagine, announcing this wonderful interview jumped to the top of my to-do list.

So check out the interview and let me know if you have any questions,

Cheers!

Doug

Btw, I was just notified that there is still one spot remaining for my book development workshop with Medium Photo for this coming weekend in San Diego. So if you were still on the bubble for attending this, still one opportunity!

February 23, 2019

Color Management – How does this look to you?

Filed under: Art, Photography, Projects/Series, Trabuco Flats Mystery — Tags: , , — Douglas Stockdale @ 12:29 am

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Untitled (Trabuco Flats) 2019 copyright Douglas Stockdale

Color Management is one of the current plagues for photography as it effects anyone who is using a monitor to evaluate photographs, whether color images or black & white images. This includes cell phones as well; any type of monitor. Whether a casual social media reader, a photographic collector or a a photographer and most vexing for the later two.

So speaking as a photographer, I try to maintain an internal color management system that attempts to ensure that the photographs I create are faithful the images I print and of course the ones I share on-line, whether social media, web-site or on this site.

What I just learned is that when I recently purchased a new 27″ iMac, I had assumed that the monitor was already calibrated. In retrospect; bad, bad, bad.

When I just published a photobook review on The PhotoBook Journal, one of the comments back from the photographer was to the effect that my images on his screen appeared “blown-out”. hmmmmm. Not so much on mine. BUT I knew that he was a working professional photographer and thus he may have had his color management in a more current state than I did. Also, I recalled my iMac monitor calibration assumption. Not so smart.

I also knew it was time to update my color managment system, thus I quickly acquired an X-Rite i1 Studio system (aka Photo-Munki) to calibrate my monitor, printer and camera. Once the on-line registration was completed the required system software to download was provided on my online X-Rite profile. Done. Then it was a matter to run the software with the sensor (a bit hard to rotated the indicator dial on my device) and finish with a new icc profile for the monitor. Yep! A little different look to the iMac monitor. sigh.

Better late than never.

Interestingly, not all of my prior post photographs appear that different, but the most recent one did; see below the version that I had posted. I am not linking the earlier post as I have already updated that photograph; no sense letting this version of the image continue to haunt me. Probably most noticeable aspect to me between the two image versions are the greens. I also notice that other earlier images have the reds going bonkers (oaky, a bit “blown-out”) in comparision. What about you, what do you see as differences?

The other aspect is that this is a film photograph is from one of my rolls of expired 120 film (I think that this roll expired in 1998), that was processed and scanned by my professional film lab. So a few more potential “color management” events before I was able to evaluate the file in PhotoShop.

I had planned on making some on-line submissions but now I need to recheck all of the image files for color balance, etc; do these images still look as I had intended? If not one thing, it’s another.

Cheers, Doug

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February 14, 2019

Memory Pods featured today on VoyageLA.com

Filed under: Art, Memory pods, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , , , — Douglas Stockdale @ 8:40 pm

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Untitled (Memory Pods) 2018 copyright Douglas Stockdale

I am very honored that VoyageLA.com, a local Southern on-line magazine that features LA’s Most Inspiring Stories, posted a shout-out about my recent Instagram post for my Memory Pods project. I was featured in the section for An Artistic Voyage (Exploring Local Creative and Artist Works); as now Trending (it’s at the end of the list). Very cool!

Join me on Instagram and follow along @douglasstockdale.com

The featured image, above, investigates the end of the aging process. The memory pods are gone. There is a mess of tangles, a trait usually associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Darkness is closing in and symbolically the memories for the individual appear lost. As a result, these individuals are lost to us even though their outer physical form may not appear that different. This is similar to Ghosts, which I had discussed earlier.

I appreciate the growing interest in this project.

Cheers!

Doug

January 31, 2019

Ghost

Filed under: Art, Memory pods, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , , , — Douglas Stockdale @ 9:41 pm

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Ghost (Memory Pods) copyright 2014 Douglas Stockdale

Part of resuming my work on my Memory Pods project has been to re-examine some of the earlier photographs. Case in point is this photograph that I had titled Ghost. In the context of the larger body of work for my investigation, this somewhat abstract photograph is a portrait of the plant without any of the seed (memory) pods at the very end of its’ flowering cycle.

The image of Ghost could represent a person in the later stages of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease; all of their memories have faded and deteriorated until the person is left with none of these essential elements. The person has not passed away, they are still present, living, breathing, eating but they cannot provide any meaningful interaction as to who they are or were. They do not know their family; either their children or spouse or any of their close friends. They do not know where they are and do not know to ask as to what is going on. They just are; essentially a living ghost of their past selves. Thus we are left with some very shallow points of contact with this person; the very tip of the memory iceberg while all the remainder of the memory has all but faded away into a gray fog of nothingness.

When talking with someone who has a near dementia type experience such as a traumatic brain injury, (i.e. TBI, also known as a concussion) they can recall some of the recent fuzziness in their memory; coming up with blanks when trying to explain something. Unable to find the words. Nothing coming to mind, just a puzzling blank.

The version of Ghost below is probably closer to the narrative of their TBI experience, while for me, the image above is more in line with a portrait of the person who is in the dark chaos of dementia. Below is the original version that I created in 2014 that I still think is a great image.

Cheers,

Doug

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January 25, 2019

Winter on Trabuco Flats

Filed under: Art, Photography, Projects/Series, Trabuco Flats Mystery — Tags: , , , — Douglas Stockdale @ 10:48 pm

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Trabuco Flats, January, 2019 copyright Douglas Stockdale

An unanticipated visual change to Trabuco Flats that I have recently notices are the winter conditions. In southern California during the winter months we gave brief amounts of rain. Which in turn creates a new look to the otherwise monotone brown landscape; green grass! (yes, we do not usually get snow, which would be another alternative look)

This verdant color also creates a visual change to the Trabuco Flats landscape; rather than an overall flat brown color that visually has little depth, such as in this earlier post; things such as slight land depressions that might indicate a sunken shallow grave become much more visually apparent. Not that this is an old sunken shallow grave. Or at least the OC Sheriff’s office does not think so after checking it out.

This photograph is a quick study (i.e. mobile phone) that confirms that I need to quickly return while these conditions exist and work on the Trabuco Flats project again. Regretfully the one piece of equipment I felt that I needed for this project is a 50mm f/4 Distagon lens for my Hasselblad, which I had not budgeted until later this spring or summer. I am of the option that in order to obtain the picitorial framing I feel I need that this is the lens that would provide this viewpoint. So in the meantime I will shoot a roll of film with my 80mm f/2.8 lens with the Hassy to see if I can approximate this relatively wide angle view that I obtained with the Samsung S5.

The second aspect of this photograph that has me thinking is whether this image needs to be re-worked to make it appear more mysterious or does this straight (un-manipulated) photographic version work equally as well? The issue for me is that this summer I was really having difficulty with the visually flat monotone landscape images, thus leaning into other photographic processes to visually create what I was trying to convey. I think that this straight photograph looks pretty mysterious with the black rectangular hole looming in the foreground.

Fun stuff!

Cheers!

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