Singular Images

May 15, 2019

Gardening for Ordnance – still in process

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

Douglas_Stockdale_film_04550010

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 7, 2019

Mother’s Day

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

05-02-18 Neg2 24260002

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

Clausing_Stockdale presentation_2

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

Stockdale_11_03-10-19_KI6A1226-02-4

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

03-10-19 film 2240012

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 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

06-04-14 0936-03

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

05-06-15 3910-09

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 8, 2019

Middle Ground – Just Exploded at Grenade in a Jar

Filed under: Middle Ground, Photobook, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , — Douglas Stockdale @ 7:52 pm

Douglas_Stockdale_Middle_Ground_cover

Middle Ground, limited edition artist book, copyright 2018 Douglas Stockdale

I am very honored and excited to announce that my limited edition artist book Middle Ground just “Exploded” at Grenade in a Jar Books in Santa Fe, New Mexico!

Grenade in a Jar Books is a curated bookshop that is focused on contemporary photobooks being run by Melanie McWhorter. If Melanie’s name appears a little familiar, that is probably because of her long previous tenure as the Book Manager of photo-eye bookstore before recently starting her new photo book venture.

It is very nice to have a new book representation with Melanie and her team at Grenade in a Jar Books and another opportunity for collectors to find my books.

Cheers!

Doug

 

February 27, 2019

Middle Ground – San Diego site morphing

20190226_090147-01_SI

I-5 Southbound, San Diego, February 2019 copyright 2019 Douglas Stockdale

First, this is not meant to be an inspiring photograph as it’s a cell phone drive-by grab shot. Essentially a quick visual note about the evolving demolition of the I-5 middle plant divider as this freeway winds down along the Pacific Ocean coast in San Diego county.

The backstory is that this interesting freeway divider provided an unwilling subject for my artist project Middle Ground that led to my artist book of the same name. It is a wall of a different name located near the San Diego-Mexican border. My project’s intent was to look at this particular urban landscape to investigate a darker metaphoric (and political) condition. Somebody’s medieval bigly wall.

In probably six months all remnants of this vegetative, some places stunningly beautiful, plant barrier will be reduced to  bare dirt and then a series of concrete barriers will rise in its place. The character of this unique urban San Diego landscape will soon morph in to a boring sameness that extends perhaps the entire length of the I-5 freeway, from the Canadian border to Mexico.

I had not driven down this section of the I-5 into San Diego for probably five months, maybe more, so I was taken back yesterday with the new K-rails adjacent to the road way edge and the long patches of the endless string of bushes being hacked down. Maybe even shocked. The use of a decorative plant barrier to create a visual separation along this section of the I-5 freeway goes back to as far as I can remember.

Which also means that my Middle Ground project will become in short order a historical documentary of what once was in San Diego. I am pretty certain that no one else has photographed this middle section of the I-5 as it meanders through this norther section of San Diego county with as much diligence. Which was not my intent as I was unaware of these pending landscape changes to help widen the freeway to improve traffic conditions.

Change. In this case, a visually ugly change.

Best regards, Doug

Note; opps, published this without resizing the image; so a do-over for the photo above.

Douglas_Stockdale_Middle_Ground_cover

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

02-07-19 16250004-2

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

01-2019_16250004

Older Posts »

Blog at WordPress.com.