Singular Images

February 23, 2019

Color Management – How does this look to you?

Filed under: Art, Photography, Projects/Series, Trabuco Flats Mystery — Tags: , , — Doug 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: , , , , — Doug 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: , , , , — Doug 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: , , , — Doug 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!

January 8, 2019

Curator – Water & Ice exhibition

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untitled, (Trabuco Flats), 2018 copyright Douglas Stockdale

I just curated an on-line exhibition, “Water & Ice“, for the Photographers Exchange, a group of photographers who meet monthly at the Irvine Fine Arts Center, Irvine, California. I strived to have a broad and interesting mix of contemporary and modern images for this rather broad genre of photography. As I stated in the exhibition introduction; water is one of the classic subjects for creating metaphors, i.e. as one of the basics for life.

While making preparations to promote this on-line exhibition, it occurred to me that I have just curated the fourth in this series of exhibitions for this group, the others being ConnectionsSurvey of Contemporary Landscape and Fall Season, with the earlier three on-line exhibitions in 2018. I am planning continue curating these exhibitions thru 2019 and potentially beyond.

I guess this is helping to establish me as independent curator! Okay, a capability that I have backed into and I had not been working on by design. My first curatorial project was in 2012 for FotoGrafia Festival Internazionale di Roma, which in retrospect was a pretty interesting curatorial start as this is an International known photographic event in Italy. Nevertheless, I have not really pursued these curatorial opportunities and in retrospect, these curatorial projects are similar in process for the book judging I did for Photo Independent and the related books talks during the Photo Independent events. Which I suspect led to my 2017 guest curator spot for LA Photo Curator, creating another on-line exhibition based on my theme.

I think looking back that working on the LA Photo Curator project really laid the ground work for this series that Gerry Clausing and I are curating with the Photographers Exchange (we take turns curating every other exhibit). It is a similar in process to editing a photobook; you have a large amount of work that needs to be reduced to create a meaningful and interesting show. In my case I also want to ensure that the exhibition theme is broadly investigated and the work is diverse in how artists/photographers explore the subject. A challenge in its own right.

For the Photographic Exchange exhibitions I have also been granted the option to include my own work in what I curate (I am also a member of the Photographers Exchange), which in my case I think about what might be missing or could make the exhibit more diverse and then find something that could help fill in a potential visual gap.

So for this exhibition I selected the photograph above, an image that contained very small elements of transitional water (dew) that is present for a short time in the morning. Later in the morning with the rising sun, the dew will soon be gone and the spider’s web will be fully functional, perhaps in time to catch lunch. Perhaps there are some abstract visual qualities to this composition that I wanted to investigate as well.

Cheers,

Doug

January 7, 2019

Memory Pod exhibit sold-out; great start for 2018

Filed under: Art, Memory pods, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , , , — Doug Stockdale @ 7:00 am

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Untitled (Memory Pods) copyright 2015 Douglas Stockdale

A little more validation that my Memory Pods project is the one that I need to focus on in 2019; earlier this week when I went to my L.A. gallery (Fabrik Projects) to pick up the remaining photograph from the Holiday exhibit I was told that the last photograph had been sold earlier in the day. Wow! Apparently someone arrived while the exhibit was being taken down and they still wanted to walk the remaining exhibition. They were smitten by and purchased my last remaining photograph. Very, very nice.

My first ever sold-out exhibition!

This is a very great way to start the year and a strong validation of the Memory Pods project. As I posted earlier, I will continue to further develop this project in 2019. Appears that the gallery director really liked this body of work and perhaps I my have another solo exhibition in the works.

Over the holidays I had started to re-examine this project, such as the redevelopment of the currently untitled image in this post, above. I had photographed this still life composition in 2015 and the image had continued to hold my interest. Until recently I was unsure of how I wanted the final image to appear. Over the recent holidays I started to work on it again trying to place further emphasize on the fading and decomposing qualities of memories (memory pods) as an abstract process. I think that this is a stronger version of this photograph and more in line with my pre-visialization.

I also added a black edge border to the photograph as part of defining the limits of the image as one might think of a using a matte to outline a framed photograph. Another visual aspect to consider (yes, I also have a version of this that does not have the black border). So far, so good.

Cheers,

Doug

January 1, 2019

Holiday working on my website – Middle Ground

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Alternative Crossing (Middle Ground) copyright 2017 Douglas Stockdale

This Holiday weekend I found myself working on an unexpected task; while making my end of the year posts, I wanted to link-up my various projects on my web-site. Except when I went to link up my recent artist-book project Middle Ground, this project was not on my web-site. What!!. Then it dawned on me, I was wondering what was missing when I made the recent SquareSpace transfer for my web site’s back-bone; now I know; I had not included the transfer of Middle Ground project.

I guess what I might call a Freudian-slip; spending so much time with this project recently I must have been on a bit of over-load and forgot it, OR a bit disappointed with how this book and project did not resonate as a social protest project against the Trumpian-fourth-century-barrier along the US-Mexico border (yes, think how effective the Great Wall of China was for the Chinese. Hint: it wasn’t).

So the fix is in and I now have the Middle Ground project up on my web-site; here. This will of course help a tad bit with some of my gallery and exhibition submissions that I am planning for this year ;- )

Cheers & Happy New Year!

Doug

December 31, 2018

Best wishes for a Creative New Year in 2019!

Filed under: Art, Memory pods, Middle Ground, Projects/Series, Trabuco Flats Mystery — Tags: , , — Doug Stockdale @ 12:45 am

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Untitled (Memory Pods) 2014 copyright Douglas Stockdale

In my last post I recounted my accomplishments for 2018, which is the first half of my end-of-the-year two-part series, while today’s post is the second part that is more about looking ahead at 2019. At the end of 2017 I did not announce very many stated goals for 2018; essentially I wanted to self-publish my artist book Middle Ground. That appeared daunting enough and I really wanted to focus on that publishing task to make it a reality.

So a few goals for 2019; one part is developing deeper relationships with my friends while looking forward to new connections; one part is moving at least two of my long term projects forward and third part is making some infrastructure investments that support my creative processes.

I realize it is very easy to get wrapped-up working on projects in the studio so I need to work on getting out a bit more often in conjunction with doing a better job of staying in touch with all of my friends, family and new acquaintances. A friend of mine reserves at least a couple of hours each Friday as a stay-in-touch day; of course this was started a bit before the advent of social media. So I am going to try to do that each Friday; phone calls and maybe emails and Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn do not count. I am also going to expand my Friday task list to work on increasing my collection of gallery rejection letters; like the lottery, if you don’t play, you can’t win. So I need to make regular submissions and more networking for my various projects.

Last year I think one of my un-stated goals was after self-publishing Middle Ground to start working on the publication of my next book; either my project Gardening for Ordnance or maybe Memory Pods. I had this grand idea of finishing a book each year, only because books were something I could work on in the background while doing my day-job. The recent gallery representation and selling my art-work at Fabrik Projects this year has turned that idea upside down. I can now anticipate getting my projects exhibited and obtain more feedback while developing these projects into a book; I think the publication will happen, but may just take a little bit longer to develop. Which is a good thing.

The continued interest in Memory Pods is bringing this project to the forefront going into 2019, such as the revised image above with this post. One thing I would like to experiment with this year to support this investigation is acquiring a short extension tube, probably 21mm to start, for use with the 120mm Makro for the Hasselblad. I think that the Memory Pods project is one I will be basing a lot of my gallery submissions on this next year. After four years, I think I have a nice body of work for this project, and I will be adding more to it this year. Kind of struggling with the publication pre-visualization of this project for a while now, but perhaps I might make progress on this as well this next year.

I have the introduction of my Trabuco Flats project pretty much worked out and much of the body of this project but unsure of how to close the project. I also have the book concept developed and a local printer who thinks that they can print and bind this book as I have intended. One thing I think I need for this project and hope to acquire early next year is a moderate wide angle lens, probably a 50mm CF f/4, for the Hassleblad to use conjunction with my stash of very expired film. So I will continue developing Trabuco Flats in 2019 as well. Appears that this project is taking precedence over Gardening for Ordnance for a while, although these two projects overlap a bit, so working on one can support the other.

The other investment I need to make is going to be a new larger printer since my 14 year old Epson 4800 printer is working only about 75% of the time (which is to say that one out of every four prints does not print well, with the trailing edge of the image banding). I have my eye on a 24″ wide Canon, but I will need to move a lot of things around in my tiny studio space to make this happen. A 44″ wide printer will just not fit, so I will defer to my friend Mark to create the 40″ x 50″ prints when I need these. Hopefully I will need Mark’s printing support more often this next year ;- D

So I want to close this year with a big Thanks to you all for reading what I irregularly post here from time to time, your comments and feedback and wish you all a very creative New Year. I know that I am going to do my best!

Cheers!

Doug

December 28, 2018

2018 End of year wrap-up

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Loss (Memory Pods) 2016 copyright Douglas Stockdale

It’s the end of another year, so time to celebrate new friends, closer relationships, accomplishments and good times. So today I am looking back and in the next day or so, I will be looking ahead as to what I would like to accomplish for 2019.

The life of an artist also has its ups and downs, sometimes success and sometimes not. Earlier this year I wrote about dealing with stress, which for many folks goes well beyond being an artist, so worth reposting the link. I also find looking back at all of the year’s accomplishments to help keep things in perspective; life is best lived one day at a time and that living is a process of putting one foot in front of the other, whether at a crawl or a sprint. Interestingly, of the many things that went well this past year, only one or two were really anticipated, while many of the others were great opportunities that materialized and I was ready to take advantage of the situation (maybe another good post for next year; be like a Boy Scout and “be prepared”).

So Chronologically, here are some of the really nice creative things that happened this year.

Middle Ground; self-published my limited edition (E of 99) artist book last spring, which I had in development for the past year and half. I also learned about the vexing intricacies of leporello (accordion) book binding. I had not anticipated that my living room was going to be a dedicated book production area for almost two months.

Solo exhibition, gallery representation and an Artsy.net featured artist for my project/artist book Middle Ground at Fabrik Projects, Los Angeles at the end of Spring.

Book designer for Christine Kaplan’s self-published photobook On My Walk that was launched at the UCLA Health’s “Back-yard Concert” & fund-raising event during the summer.

Started another new project, Trabuco Flats, while working on my Gardening for Ordnance project when I happened upon what the OC Sheriff called a “suspicious circumstance” (what they thought looked like an old sunken shallow grave). Start of a mystery investigation. So I now have three long term projects that are on-going. Yikes.

I attended a number of Los Angeles area art and photo exhibitions, book events and art fairs meeting up with old friends while making numerous new friends and acquantances. The Jasper John’s retrospective exhibition at the (Los Angeles) Broad Museum was one of the highlights of the summer.

Provided artist talks and portfolio reviews with a number of local artist organizations, including LACP, Palos Verde Art Center PADA, and during my solo exhibition at Fabrik Projects. I also inked a book design workshop with the Medium Festive (San Diego) for next March 2019 (limited space still available).

Ended the year with the Holiday Sale exhibition at Fabrik Projects and very honored to sell the two photographs (including Loss, above). I quickly framed another edition of Loss for the gallery exhibition (I can now talk about this as it was someone’s special Christmas gift) and provided a third framed photograph that was in reserve, both of which are still available for a special price until the end of this year (yes, a couple of days from now). The sale of these two photographs from my Memory Pods project has reignited the creative flames and I have been working on this over the holidays.

For my photo book review site, The PhotoBook Journal, we had some nice accomplishments as well. This is the tenth year of publishing this book review e-zine and in conjunction with the growing editorial team, we have published over 500 contemporary artist and photo book reviews. Wow.

I am sure that I have missed something, but overall, I think it was a pretty good year and now getting ready for 2019. Yes, I did purchase some photographic equipment, such as a new (used) lens for the Hasselblad, as well a bunch of new brushes for my acyclic painting (that I resumed my interest in painting might be another subject to post for next year). More about what I would like to accomplish for 2019 in another post shortly.

Cheers!

Doug

PS (update); also realized that in 2018 in conjunction with Gerhard Clausing, we started to curate a series of on-line exhibitions with the Photographers Exchange, a group of photographers who meet monthly at the Irvine Fine Arts Center, Irvine, CA. I curated three on-line exhibitions for 2018 and I will have another, “Water & Ice“, in early January 2019. We are planning to continue this series through 2019 and probably beyond.

below: cover of Middle Ground (Note: copies of this artist book edition are still available)

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December 18, 2018

Book workshop with Medium Festival – revised dates & special Discount available

Filed under: Art, Photobook, Projects/Series, Workshops — Tags: , , , , — Doug Stockdale @ 9:35 pm

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Guide book-dummy, 2017 copyright Douglas Stockdale

First; my Developing a Creative Photo Book workshop dates for Medium have been changed to March 23 & 24th, 2017. Thus the workshop has moved to bit later, one weekend exactly, from what I had announced last month. This should still be a wonderful spring weekend to spend in San Diego having some creative and intense fun to help you move your artist book forward. You will have a chance to spend some quality time at our destination hotel for this event: Lafayette Hotel & Swim Club in San Diego.

Second, if you act fast and register before December 25th, 2018, you can obtain a 15% discount! Okay, actually you can obtain a 15% discount for any of the four 2019 workshops, including mine, being provided by the Medium Festival, which include Susan Burnstine’s “Developing the Personal Narrative”, Brandon Thobodeaux’s “Bridging Fine Art & Commercial Photography” and scott b. davis’s “Advance Platinum/Palladium Printing”. good stuff!

As a reminder about my workshop: The goal of this workshop is to discuss each photographer’s vision, mission and objectives for the publication of a photographic project and then to gain an understanding of how these conceptual aspects translate into a book object. Fundamental to the book development process is learning aspects of the editing, sequencing of the body of photographs and in the context of a book design to shape and narrate a story. The purpose of this workshop is to provide photographers with the building blocks to move from a complex unorganized mass of images into a refined edit and subsequently sequence to create a pre-visualization of their book concept.

Registration and more information can be found here.

Let me know if you have any questions, and please take advantage of this holiday discount. Just saying….

Cheers!

 

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