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 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!

Stockdale_01_05-25-14 143917_001_SI_post

 

 

 

 

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!

 

 

 

April 10, 2019

Hasselblad 32e extension tube results

Filed under: Memory pods, Photography, Projects/Series — Douglas Stockdale @ 5:57 pm

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Memory Pods, copyright 2019 Douglas Stockdale

Last month I wrote about acquiring a 32e (32mm) extension tube for my Hasselblad to continue my Memory Pods project. As I stated last month, the intent was to use this single extension tube in conjunction with the 120mm Makro lens in order to obtain an image of my subject that really filled the frame.

I will have to admit, looking through the viewfinder, I was really enjoying the composition I saw.

The next step was to use this in conjunction with a roll of my expired fill, then process to evaluate with some gray cards as to what the needed exposure compensation would be for this combination. Looking at the scans from the lab appeared that I might not need to adjust the film exposure very much. When I obtained the actual roll of film to evaluate, I have come to the same conclusion.

Looks like I am ready for another Memory Pods investigation season.

Cheers!

March 20, 2019

LACP: 24 inch wide Canon Pro-2000 printer training

Filed under: Memory pods, Photography, Workshops — Tags: , — Douglas Stockdale @ 2:06 pm

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Untitled, Memory Pods copyright 2015 Douglas Stockdale

Last night I attended the LACP (Los Angeles Center of Photography) training class in their printing laboratory to learn the basics on how to use their 24″ wide Canon Pro-2000 printer. This is a wide-format printer that is available to LACP members (small fee; time plus nominal ink use cost), but they do require that you first go through their printer training class to reduce the amount of time that the staff might need to support any users. Interesting that LACP actually has two 24″ wide Canon printers, an older one and the latest Pro-2000; seems that the older one is on the side-lines gathering dust.

My purpose for learning and using the LACP Canon Pro-2000 is two fold; I want to become more familiar with this printer as a pending investment for the studio and second, I want to use the LACP printer to create a portfolio of larger print images for the Memory Pods project pending buying my own studio printer.

The training was led by Eric Joseph, who is part of the Freestyle photo supply team and their printing specialist as well as a board member of LACP. To say that he knows a lot about printers and printing paper is an understatement.

So what were my take-aways?

First; LACP has some unique requirements for digital files for their printers; the collapsed file needs to be in either a JPEG or TIFF format and regretfully the sample file I brought with me was a PhotoShop (.psd) file). The print lab has a number of Mac’s with PhotoShop loaded, so I probably could have quickly created a new TIFF file on the spot, but content to watch the others print. Also did learn that the monitors might have been color calibrated at one time, but not maintained. Eric had created 40 printer/paper profiles for this printer, so most of the usual combinations were ready.

Two; I needed to download the Canon Print Studio Pro printer software for my Pro-1. This is also the recommended Canon printer interface recommended for the LACP print lab. So I am in the process of this task as I need to get this download into the proper PhotoShop plug-in folder. Probably more about this another day. Also evident that a good monitor and printer profile can really make a huge difference in the printed results.

Three; before I start investing in some 24″ rolls of printing paper at $140 to $200 per roll, I need to  profile the papers I am interested in for my Pro-1 and do some print testing with some less expensive 8-1/2 x 11″ sheet paper. First on my list is the Hahnemuhle PhotoRag Pearl (100% cotton rag), a Glossy FineArt paper that I used for my Middle Ground project. Eric stated that the Canon Pro-1 is a pigment ink printer but the pigment inks are not exactly the same as the Canon Pro-2000 printer, but close enough to what I achieve in my studio should appear almost exactly the same on the larger LACP printer.

Last, if I can find a space for it, Eric recommends that I purchase the Canon Pro-4000 which is the 44″ wide printer. He was preaching to the choir. I would really, really prefer purchasing a 44″ wide printer over a 24″ wide printer; but my studio is pretty small. hmmmmm, so what to do? Since I am not ready to purchase either for the next few months, a question I can continue to mull over. What I have learned is that where this is a will, there is a way; now I need to figure out the way.

About this photograph from my Memory Pods project; this is another image that was featured earlier this week in my Voyage LA magazine article. I posted another version of this same photograph with a completely different appearance. Later after showing this earlier version to a group I then had a discussion with a friend who had a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and his recall experience was more about having a general “fuzziness” when trying to remember specific details. I discussed this with a couple of others who had mild TBI who talked about something similar in experience; thus a re-work of this photograph that might better visually investigate their experiences.

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!

March 12, 2019

Canon Pro-1 color icc profiles

Filed under: Memory pods, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , , — Douglas Stockdale @ 3:46 pm

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Untitled, (Memory Pods), 2015 copyright Douglas Stockdale

Day two of installing my Canon Pro-1 printer and after getting the basics in place as I wrote about yesterday, the next step was creating the color profiles (icc profiles) for my printing papers. I am starting with my basic proofing paper. This involved creating my first paper color profile with the X-Rite i1 studio color management system, something I had not performed before.

As to my basic proofing paper, I am leaning towards the Canon Photo Plus Semi-gloss to start with. It appears to provide sufficient contrast and color luminosity without the high glossy reflections. The resulting print is just visually pleasing in my hands. Later this week I will print some 13 x 19″ prints to see how these images and paper look under some Halogen gallery lights.

As to the first icc profile I developed with the i1, let’s just say it was eventful. My biggest complaint is that very large dial on the i1 is not that easy to grasp and rotate to set the appropriate setting without sometime inadvertently hitting the exposure button in the middle of this device. It just takes a little bit of practice, which the i1 in its own way helped to provide. Nevertheless, I printed the two color swatch pages, scanned these with the i1 and finalized the icc profile for the Photo Plus Semi-gloss paper. Overall, an easy process, but does take a little time as X-Rite recommends a 10 minute drying time for each test print before the scanning process.

Once the new icc profile was named and saved; then onward to the final printing test. After opening Photoshop, uploading my test image (Memory Pods) from yesterday’s post, then finding the new icc for the printer profile, I proceeded to print my first image.

Bingo! What a difference a nice icc printer profile makes! The resulting print was a match to what I had on my monitor. And a really big difference to what I printed without a icc profile. So probably no big news, but using a color calibration system and creating color profiles to coordinate what’s on your monitor with what gets printed works really nice. In the past, I would add a curve (adjustment) layer to the image file in PhotoShop to make the necessary printing adjustments and I would need to print three or four versions to finally dial in my print. Regretfully the curve adjustment layer process is not very effective with making any color adjustments and that requires another adjustment layer for color balance, thus making the printing process a lot more complex and tedious.

Now with the icc profile in place the very first print is spot on. I think that this is where the i1 color management process really shines.

Yesterday I also stated that the back paper feed (not the top paper feed) was not working. So I received some feedback off-line from my post and appears that this is an issue with the Canon Pro-1 printer; it is just a bit fussy.  The back paper feed needs at least 3 or 4 sheets of paper, make sure the guides are not tightly holding the paper, glossy paper is the most fussy, and to keep the in-feed rollers clean. So I have a little bit more to do to get this paper feed to work. Meanwhile, the top paper feed works fine.

Life is good.

One of my consignment projects is printing the stiff-cover book covers for a small limited edition book. With the icc profiles now in place I completed this print job last night and the resulting prints are now dry and ready for binding. These prints look great. Did I mention that life is good?

Regarding the Memory Pods image above, it’s a slight departure from most of the body of work and a progression in my Memory Pods project. Most of my project focuses on just one subject, perhaps similar to a portrait. I have been looking at some of past images in consideration of making a juxtaposition of two objects and now that might visually investigate a relationship. This is the first one that I think creates the visual narrative I was interested in creating; foreground is well defined while a similar shape and subject is in the background shadows with both just joining together on the bottom edge of the print. I created a black border to better define the print edges. The edge treatment is something I am also experimenting with as to how this might change the narrative of the image.

It is very nice to be back printing again. And I think I like this Pro-1; thus after 15 years using a variety of Epson printers, I have made the conversion to Canon printers. This printer appears to be a keeper.

Cheers!

Doug

March 11, 2019

Canon Pro-1 printer in the studio

Filed under: Memory pods, Photography — Tags: , , — Douglas Stockdale @ 8:47 pm

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Memory Pods, March 2015 copyright Douglas Stockdale

Yes, there is a slightly used Canon Pro-1 printer now sitting in the studio. The Epson 4800 is in the storage area pending a posting on Craig’s List, which will also includes a new in-the-box 220ml Photo Black ink cartridge. The Canon Pro-1 is only 13″ wide but utilizes the Canon pigment ink, versus the dye for the currently available Canon Pro-10. My goal is to proof on the Pro-1 printer and then up size to a 24″ Canon printer which uses the same pigment ink. At the moment, I plan to use the 24″ Canon printer in the LACP photo-lab located in Hollywood. That will be another story!

I picked the used Pro-1 printer up in L.A. this weekend and as stated by Ryan, it certainly did require some new ink cartridges; seven of these were needed to get the printer up and running. Between the local Sammy’s Camera in Costa Mesa and Pro-Photo-Connection in Irvine; done. I had already downloaded the Pro-1 printer driver to the iMac, so that essential part was completed.

Once the new inks were installed, the printer appeared to be ready. From past experience with the Epson, and to be a bit conservative, I ran a head cleaning first. done. I had also purchase some Canon Photo Plus Semi-gloss paper as I had a ton of Epson papers that I had collected over the past fifteen years, but no Canon paper. Again, from past experience, I knew that Canon would provide color profiles (icc) for their papers and printer and not really incentified to provide the icc profiles for any Epson papers.

For the printer color management testing I am using the image from my Memory Pods project above. I had used an old sheet of Kodak Soft Gloss just to make sure the the feed and printer were working okay; at the moment the rear paper feeder does not seem to know that the paper is there and I keep getting an error message. Meanwhile the top feed appears to work fine, so I will come back to why the rear paper feed is not working later as I really need to have a good quality printer working as soon as possible. The colors for the Kodak paper were really out of whack and much lower in contrast compared to the image that is on my recently color calibrated monitor.

Regretfully the Canon paper did not appear a whole lot better for the color comparison but the contrast was pretty close. Fortunately I recently purchased the X-Rite i1 studio color management system which works with both a monitor and a printer. So for the rest of the day it appears that I will be creating some color profiles for this printer and some of the papers I intend to use. Let’s see if I can get quickly obtain a really close match.

If it is not one thing, it’s another.

I do have a printing project to get completed for my Medium Photo workshop later this month, so nothing like a dead-line to create some inspiration, but a least at this stage of the game, no stress (yet!).

Cheers!

Doug

32-E extension tube for Hasselblad

Filed under: Memory pods, Photography — Tags: , , — Douglas Stockdale @ 2:02 am

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Hasselblad 503cx with 32-E Extension tube and 120mm Planar Makro 2019 copyright by Douglas Stockdale

I just noticed that my Memory Pods subjects are just starting to bud and as I stated at the end of last year for this seasonal year I needed to augment my 120mm Makro lens with an extension tube. Primarily to increase the magnification by focusing closer and to be able to fill the frame with my subject.

From past experience I had found out that a 21mm extension tube did not provide the closer focus, but that was with the 150mm lens and not a 120mm Makro lens, which is designed for closer focusing and increasing magnification. Thus I had stacked two 21mm extension tubes which did provide the closer focusing with the 150mm lens. BUT being a rookie using the Hasselblad extension tubes, I was unaware of the rules for lens and camera engagement using an extension tube. I had really locked up my lens, extension tubes and camera by trying to taking the lens with the extension tube off in the wrong order and spent a lot of money with the camera repair shop. Bad, bad, bad!

A year ago I had a very old 500 C/M body and after the body, lens and extension tubes went into the repair shop twice to disengage the camera body from the lens and extension tubes I subseqently sold the two 21mm extension tubes and traded the 500 C/M body for a newer used 503cx.  I had thought that the lens locking issue was due the older 500 C/M body, not knowing that I was taking these a part in the wrong order. I also purchased a used 120mm Makro but regretfully found that the Makro does focus closer, just not close enough for what I wanted to photograph. Thus I found myself back to reconsidering another extension tube. But which? I wanted to avoid stacking extension tubes due to what happen last time.

While investigating the extension tubes I came across the Hasselblad notice regarding the need to very carefully follow a very strict order to mount and dismount extension tubes. Yikes! I guess it is better to find out about this later than never at all. So here is what Hasselblad states to do OR you will lock up your camera and lens (which I can attest to!);

First; mount the extension tube to the camera body. Make sure it is in sync with the lens mount (cocked).

Then mount the lens to the extension tube. (or a second extension tube followed by the lens).

To remove, repeat in the opposite order (Don’t remove the extension tube while it is still mounted to the lens!); first remove the lens from the extension tube.

Then remove the extension tube from the camera body. Don’t try to remove the extension tube from the body with the lens still attached!!

I wish somebody would have told me this a year ago as I might still be using that same 500 C/M and the two 21mm extension tubes now in conjunction with the 120mm Makro.

Okay, now that I realized that I needed to carefully follow the rules for mounting and unmounting an extension tube and lens; now which extension tube to purchase?

I still wanted to purchase a single extension tube and I had two options; a 32-E (which is a 32mm extension tube) or a 56-E (56mm tube). The two previous 21mm had provided a combined 42mm of extension which seemed okay with my 150mm lens, but that lens did not focus as close compared to the 120mm Makro. Regretfully the Hasselblad lens charts did not make much sense to me, but my gut said that the 32mm would probably work really well with the 120mm Makro while the 56m might provide too much magnification for what I intended to photograph. Thus I bought a used 32-E extension tube that was stated to be in great shape.

My 32-E extension tube arrived on Saturday and today was the film test. First, the extension tube was indeed in great shape (eBay seller will get a nice review). Second I took careful note to make sure the the extension tube was in alignment with the 120mm Makro lens. I then diligently followed the mounting sequence recommended by Hasselblad (above), which worked fine as well. I also practice unmounting as recommended and NO issues (praise the Lord!).

What I had also noted from the on-line comments about extension tubes and per Hasselblad that when using this extension tube that I was going to loose about one stop in exposure. So I did a test bracket with a roll of film to ensure that this was true, but in retrospect, with the 120mm Makro in the close focusing mode, you also loose about a half stop in exposure. Which I forgot to take into consideration. Bummer. My Fujichrome 100 has an ISO 100, so the very first exposure was not adjusted for the light loss, then the second exposure was calculated using an ISO 50 (essentially my EI, Exposure Index to use the zone terminology) with my spot meter to give an extra stop (more light) in exposure. When I evaluate the processed film (I had also included a gray card in some of my test photographs) in about one week, I should be able to calculate how much I need to adjust the EI (Exposure Index or my ISO) for the film with this lens and extension tube combination.

This is getting pretty exciting for me. I really, really like what I was seeing in the view finder with this 32-E extension tube and the 120mm Makro lens while photographing my subjects. It appears that I had chosen well with the 32-E purchase as the framing of my subject is just about perfect as to what I was pre-visualizing. Btw, anyone wanting to donate a 56-E for me to evaluate would be very much appreciated!

I also did an exposure bracket with a shallow depth of field (f/4.0) and with more depth of field (f/11) for the same composition with this extension tube and lens combination.

So now I am waiting on the results. Yes, I do not process color or black and white film any longer so I am at the mercy of the pro film processing lab. Otherwise this roll of moderately expired film would have been in the soup this afternoon and I would be able to provide more feedback. So you, like me, get to work on our patience together.

Cheers!

Doug

Btw, I had purchased an expensive (cheap!) lens hood for the 120mm Makro which after a year, fell apart. sigh. So I purchased a used Hasselblad lens hood for this lens and after removing years of tape residuals, is working and looking pretty good.

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

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