Singular Images

May 15, 2019

Gardening for Ordnance – still in process

Filed under: Gardening for Ordnance, Photography, Projects/Series — Douglas Stockdale @ 9:50 pm

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Untitled, Gardening for Ordnance, copyright Douglas Stockdale

It has been almost a year since I last provided an update on my Gardening for Ordnance project, but rest assured, it is still in progress. Sometimes a project needs to rest and allow the brain to do its thing chugging along in the background.

I had recently been more engaged in a related project Trabuco Flats which I investigate the same urban landscape. Interestingly there are a number of overlapping aspects between these two projects, although I am thinking that one is more of a fictional story than other. I am using the expired 120 roll film for both projects, so there are some visual overlaps as well.

Nevertheless, I find that my interest in Trabuco Flats is receding at the moment while my interest in Gardening is increasing. First, I had been thinking about publishing a line of new photobooks and as I considered which of mine to include, I kept coming back to Gardening for Ordnance. Thus I created a couple different book dummy’s for this project; and I am seeing some potential. That book publishing project is temporarily on hold while focusing on the (re)launch of the contemporary photobook magazine PhotoBook Journal. You can only do so much!

Second I was asked to submit some images for an on-line exhibition that investigates the idea of ambiguity and the Gardening photographs, one of these is included with this post, came immediately to mind. Okay, something is going on with the mental resurgence of this project.

Now I have another exhibition to submit and the images all need to be analog (film) based, which rules out many of the Memory Pods and Trabuco Flats images. BUT the Gardening project is totally analog! Not that using film is necessary to create an interesting project but the process of using film does create some subtle differences. I am not here to argue or defend film versus digital because as an artist, I use both depending on what I am attempting to create.

Such that my very expired film does create some unintended visual results. And using it provides another visual metaphor for investigating old/aging memories. I think the last film batch I processed (for Memory Pods) kinda went off the color scale. Well these two rolls were expired in 1997 and who knows what kind of storage conditions these were kept in over the last 22 years since its expiration date (or even before). I just keep rolling the (film) dice.

I also started journaling about the non-visual aspects of this project and perhaps what is drawing me in, other than the weird thing that we have decided to live on a decommissioned WWII bombing range. I think it has a lot to do with what just might be lurking just under the surface and recalling an incident when I was still a young lad and having an unresolved lingering moment of terror. That event continued to haunt me for many years. Seems like I buried that for awhile and interesting in how it has resurfaced.

So probably time to re-visit the images, make some new prints, think about a larger book dummy in terms of the edit and sequence and then consider which images to submit. Wish me luck!

Cheers

May 14, 2019

End of NYT Lens blog

Filed under: Photography — Tags: , — Douglas Stockdale @ 5:06 pm

Bluewarter Shore artist book

Bluewater Shore, cover, limited edition artist book, copyright 2017 Douglas Stockdale

I just noted the tweet by PDN that stated the New York Times is ceasing (aka go on “hiatus”) their photo blog Lens, which was started about 10 years ago. Perhaps the NYT wants to send out a trial balloon about stopping this blog to obtain the reader response to its pending demise; if there is sufficient demand it might stay.

I suspect that the Lens blog readership has been in a state of steady decline since probably 2013/2014, as the case with most photo-blogs. The photo-blogging started to gain momentum in 2008/2009 about the time of the Facebook and before Instagram and other social media that can be consumed at a glance (or a swipe). Thus photo blogs, like this one, actually required the reader to engage with the written content; a bit out of vogue with the instant gratification crowd.

There announcement posted by PDN:

“Lens, the photo blog of The New York Times, will stop publishing at the end of May and go on a “hiatus” for an indefinite period. Meaghan Looram, director of photography at The Times, announced the news today in a note to staff. James Estrin, who has co-edited Lens with David Gonzalez, David Dunlap and Josh Haner, shared the note on social media.

Looram says in her staff note that the decade-old blog was founded during a “different era.” She explains, “Digital platforms were presenting new challenges to the industry, and Lens provided one of the few dedicated showcases for photography. But since then, the means of consuming photography have changed and expanded. We believe that this is the perfect time to take stock of and celebrate what Lens has achieved and to give serious thought to how to better position Lens for the future.”

She says the goal is to have Lens “evolve into an unrivaled source for those who want to read about and think about photography” and “We want to reach new readers.”

Though Looram described the change as a “hiatus,” she also struck a note of finality. She bid “a final nod” to the producers of caretakers of Lens. She also said, “There will be time to celebrate Lens and its wonderful run,” suggesting an ending more than a hiatus.

Since its founding, Lens has helped boost the careers of many emerging photographers and also highlighted forgotten or under-appreciate projects from throughout the history of photography. Lens is one of the few photo blogs to pay the photographers whose work it features. Looram also notes, “Lens took the lead in guiding the public conversation on the increasingly critical issues of diversity and representation with stories that showed how digital technology has empowered a new generation of photographers.”

The annual New York Portfolio Review, which Lens runs at the School of Journalism at the City University of New York, will continue, Looram says.”

My assessment is that the NYT is struggling in how to make the Lens blog more relevant (aka boost readership); hopefully they will figure it out.

Cheers

Btw, honored that my artist book Bluewater Shore did receive a notice on the NYT Lens blog. nice. Oh, and there are only a few copies of this edition left, so message me if you are interested; doug@douglasstockdale.com

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!

 

 

 

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 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 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!

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