Singular Images

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

February 17, 2019

SingularImages.net

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Untitled (Trabuco Flats) 2019 copyright Douglas Stockdale

First, welcome to my new url for this blog; now singularimages.net after a ten year run using the free WordPress.com option (It’s my Scottish heritage to be so frugal). Actually I made the change to a paid WordPress site a couple of years ago to reduce the WordPress commercials, but at that time I was unsure of what I wanted to do with the free web-site option WordPress was offering with my upgrade.

As I posted a couple of weeks ago I am considering another publishing option and it made sense to tie up this web site domain name now. Apparently I should have had this idea a while ago as the .com option was not available (or at least not offered to me by WordPress). Nevertheless, this url will still work well for me as the .net option is still very common.

As to the photography in this post, it was created on expired film with the Hasselblad after my trial image with my Samsung “instant polaroid” last month for my Trabuco Flats project. As anticipated, similar to the prior image, the amount of green foliage seemed to visually delinate the presence of a suspicious circumstance at this site. The visual trade-off is the stones that surround this sunken depression are more concealed by the taller grass; now just appearing as hints. This in fact may be a very good thing; perhaps creating a bit more mystery.

While photographing this location again recently, I had a brain storm about another way that I might visually investigate Trabuco Flats. So that will be another set of experiments that I will work on next month. stay tuned ;- D

Meanwhile, I am still working on various visual options for my Memory Pods project while waiting for the pending spring growth season. So I still do not need to acquire the 32mm extension tube for the 120mm Makro just yet. This Memory project still appears to be gaining traction and now an interview about this project maybe in the works.

Cheers, Doug

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

November 26, 2018

Website Switch up to SquareSpace

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Trabuco Flats, copyright 2018 Douglas Stockdale

For those who might have followed the link to my website these past few days probably had a bit of a visual surprise when you were greeted with a brand new home page. So while I was taking some time to evaluate how I wanted to proceed with my Trabuco Flats project, I decided it was also time to put into play something that had been bothering me for a while with PhotoShelter, the back-bone host for my domain name.

As an artist, I have a lot of photographs and art work to share and I must admit that PhotoShelter did a great job of making me look pretty good. Since I also create artist books and other publications to sell, PhotoShelter was not so hot. In fact they do not have an effective way to allow you to show the books, least help with sales. Even after I called their technical support, got the sorry story. Bummer.

It’s always been part of my game plan that I would work with small photobook stores to partner with in order to sell my books, thus I did not make the sales options for my web site as a very high priority until recently. In today’s artistbook and photobook market it seems that many, if not most, small bookstores get a constant deluge of new titles. Thus I realizing to effectively sell my books, I need to have the option(s) to be able to sell directly.

Thus I used the time to evaluate some alternative sites that might be able to host my domain name, have a great ability to show photographs and products (artist books) and the commerce infrastructure to take orders. I had evaluated SquareSpace when I made the earlier decision to go with PhotoShelter but the buzzzz seemed to point to recent changes in how SquareSpace could be developed (I am NOT a IS programmer! So it has to be pretty simple). It quickly appeared to me that SquareSpace was now a good potential to check all of my boxes.

One nice thing about SquareSpace that sucks you in is there FREE 15 day offer to develop your web site and see if it seems to work for you. Wow, what a difference in bringing all of my website parts together; easy. Perhaps even the Big Easy. Also an improvement in how they manage and subsequently display photographs and art work. Still a few quirks in how SquareSpace does things, but since I have been poking a lot of blog sites, etc for my social media, I assumed that certain things could be done; so it was just a bit of a learning curve on how to do it.

I decided on the option of having a landing page that would announce something in particular and then a big ENTER to make sure you know where to proceed. This allows me to keep the focus on an event, such as my up coming workshop with Medium Festival for Developing a Creative Book that will occur in San Diego next March 23 and 24th. I then can decide where within the website you will first subsequently land, which for now is my project Trabuco Flats. So far, so good.

Thus just before Thanksgiving my web site was pretty well designed on SquareSpace, so I decided to pull the trigger and transfers my domain name from PhotoShelter. I did not upgrade to the commerce capabilities yet as I still want to make sure that all of the things were in place and learn a little bit more about their formatting tools. I also want to poke some of the other sites on SquareSpace that use the selling tools to get some ideas of what I want to implement. Not that anybody was looking to buy my artist books for Cyber Monday!

Maybe I missed a big sales opportunity this year, but there is always next year while going slow and easy at my own pace keeps my stress levels down. I need to enjoy the day.

So I put enough hyper links in this post and if you have not taken the bait yet, then check it out now.

Cheers!

Doug

January 13, 2018

Beach walk & staying heart healthy

Filed under: Path to Somewhere, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , — Douglas Stockdale @ 9:37 pm

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Beach walk, Crystal Cove State Park beach, December 2017 copyright Douglas Stockdale

I will have to admit that one of the great things about living in Southern California is that you are usually not that far from the Pacific Ocean beach and living in south Orange County, the beach is a 15 to 20 minute drive. And there are a lot of access points.

For the most part the beach is pretty flat and an easy walk, unless you need to come down from the bluffs (and worse, walk up the bluffs after a hour or two of walking the beach) similar to most of Crystal Cove State Park (CA). One way to change your walking and exertion experience, depending on the beach, is to either walk the firmer sand at the edge of the surf or the soft, sandy beach that is beyond the surf line.

As to heart health; one thing I am trying to do in order to reduce my blood pressure is to be a lot more careful with the amount of salt (sodium) that I am eating. So I have become one of the those label readers you see more often at the supermarket doing the side by side comparisons. A bit of a surprise as I check the labels of some of my favorite things and find myself looking for lower sodium alternatives! Not sure that it has made an immediate difference yet, but every little bit helps and I think will eventually make a long term difference in lowering my blood pressure. Nice!

Btw, immediate comment on Instagram (@douglasstockdale) when I posted the above photo this morning was someone enjoying the “minimalistic image”. I like that aspect of this photograph.

cheers!

December 28, 2016

2016 in Review

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Loss (Memory Pods) 2014 copyright Douglas Stockdale

For me it’s always a nice treat at the end of the year to look back at what has occurred; achievements, progress in the my development of my conceptual projects, lessons learned that might help inform me and keep me on a progressive creative path in the year to come.

First, 2016 was about making new photographic friends and deepening the existing relationships. The photographic and artistic community is really great in how encouraging everyone is towards supporting each other’s creative endeavors. That is always the best part of looking back at the year that was.

One of the highlight of the year was in September when I was juried into the Irvine Fine Arts Center (IFAC) 2016 All Media, which was curated by Dan Cameron and I received an Honorable Mention (above), the only photograph of the exhibition that received recognition. A really nice validation that my Memory Pods project is progressing as I had hoped, which I will continue developing in 2017.

I was invited to became part of the LensCulture submission review team (aka consultant, a true paying photographic gig) in August and I have completed close to 200 portfolio submission reviews in 2016. This has become a great opportunity to become familiar with an interesting and diverse international group of photographers and their photographic work.

Photo Book Independent; in April I was one of the photobook jurors for the photobook exhibition and subsequently provided two curatorial talks during the exhibition while also exhibiting my own photobooks and photographs at this event. It appears that I may be involved in Photo Independent 2017 event as well ;- )

For the Los Angeles Center of Photography (LACP) Exposure 2016 I joined them as a portfolio reviewer in September and subsequently I will be leading a photo book development workshop for LACP next April, 2017. This is going to be a fun workshop!

As the Editor of The PhotoBook: my book-blog-zine passed one million views and provided a milestone 400 photobook reviews; an amazing eight years. I also increased the staff of this blog-zine with the recent addition of Gerhard Clasusing as a book reviewer. I am looking forward to all of the creative photobooks yet to come in 2017.

Social media; my experiment with Instagram (@douglasstockdale) this year appears to be proceeding in a slowly growing but successful manner. So I now a presence on Facebook and Instagram in conjunction with this blog. I also became the co-Editor of the Facebook page for The Photo Exchange which led to the development of a closed group on Facebook for the members of this group.

Infrastructure changes with the transfer of my photographic web site to a new platform hosted by PhotoShelter that is focused on providing photographic content. This should take care of my web site requirements for a while and I need to remember to update it from time to time.

I also spent some time at some local photographic events, such as photo l.a., which is coming up soon next month, and down in San Diego at the Medium Photographic Festival.

And of course I was working on some photographic projects, such as continuing my development of Memory Pods, concluding Lest I Forget, and starting a new project Middle Ground.

I think 2017 will be even more fun! See you all next year ;- )

Cheers!!

December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!

Filed under: Photography, Picture Postcards — Tags: , , — Douglas Stockdale @ 6:37 pm

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Christmas Wreath 2016 copyright Douglas Stockdale

First, wishing all of you and your families a wonderful and joy filled Christmas and Holiday Season.

Yes, time to create another Christmas card and this year, since I did not create a wonderful Christmas (card) image in Santa Fe last month (& not for a lack of trying), I had to do something a little different. First, I was inspired by the fresh greenery of the wreath on the front door and pre-visualized a little post-processing Snapseed magic. The results have been called a little bit too much of a “Hallmark” photo in deference to the giant card company’s photographic style, but it does work for me. For this year anyway.

Also wishing you a very creative photographic New Year!

Cheers

 

April 17, 2016

Instagram learning curve

Filed under: Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , , — Douglas Stockdale @ 6:05 pm

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3rd Street LA Art district 2016 copyright Douglas Stockdale

I stated at the beginning of this year that I am now posting on Instagram (@douglasstockdale), so I am new to this platform. I have been getting a few (very few) pointers from my daughter, but I figure if I look and play, I should get this figured out.

I was not expecting a ton of folks looking at my photographs and becoming a “follower”, nevertheless I feel like I was moving at a glacial pace. So my aha! moment yesterday was when my daughter posted a photograph with a bunch of hashtags. Duh. Okay, so I am old.

So I began to poke around Instagram this morning, as I thought hashtags were a Twitter thing. I was so wrong. So now I know and I imagine most of you already knew and now you are wondering what kinda of stone age guy I am. So I will tell you; old enough to process my analog black & white film!

The good news is that I have not posted that many photos on Instagram, so it should be relatively easy to edit in a few hashtags for each photo, which I started this morning. Now of course is the hashtag choice issue; which ones to link up to with each photo? If its not one thing, its another.

As to this photograph above made earlier this month, I noted the juxtaposition of the real bike with the background wall art while I was up in LA during the photobook judging for Photo Book Independent. By tightly framing the two, I think the resulting image creates a nice metaphor about the dreamlike experience of biking, even in the urban city. I guess you could also see this as a different narrative after noticing that the bike is chained down (restrained) and that the owner also took the bike seat with him to further deter a bike thief. As a result that this image could have alternative readings is very appealing to me.

Okay, back to working on my print portfolio for Photo Independent, which is quickly approaching!

Cheers!

 

July 8, 2014

Keep Singular Images ad free – purchase a print!

Filed under: Art, Memory pods, Photography, Projects/Series, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — Douglas Stockdale @ 7:30 pm

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Aging (#39 Memory pod series) copyright 2014 Douglas Stockdale

August 2014 Update: this offer has expired! I will soon have some special print offers and due to all of the feedback I have received since posting this (thank you one and all), all prints will be in limited editions.

Cheers!

The Management


I founded the Singular Image photo-blog seven years ago, in part to provide an on-going discussion of my evolving vision, as well as in the words of Gary Winogrand, “to see what my photographs looked like”. This effort has been self-funded until now and now I require some additional assistance. Thus I am going to make what I think it is a really nice offer (actually described by another photographer as a sophisticated offer). Rather than requesting outright donations to support this blog, I am going to instead, much like Kickstarter, provide a special print offer. This is an opportunity for you to purchase an open-edition archival pigment print of any photograph of mine that I have posted on this blog in the past seven years. There is only one caveat; the print size will be limited to an outside dimension of 8 ½” x 11” otherwise the print will move into my Limited Edition sizes (and a much different pricing!).

So here is the print offer to support this blog:

Each open-edition archival pigment print, 8 ½” x 11”, matte finish, signed on verso (back of the print) is available for $100.00 U.S.D., which normally sell for $200.00. The shipping and handling (s/h) of each order is $25.00 U.S.D. for anywhere in the world, so multiple print orders to one destination will only require one s/h charge (even more savings!!). The print will not be matted and the photograph selected must be made by me (as I have also from time to time discussed some other photographers work and illustrated the post with their photographs on the blog). Easy as eating pie!

So page through this blog, find the photograph(s) you like (Yes, you can purchase as many as you like) and then leave me a note in the comments section of the post that you want this print offer and provide me with your email address. I will send you a PayPal invoice and ask for a shipping address and soon this print will be your hands.

I am not exactly sure how many photographs I have posted over the past seven years (I am pretty sure that I have the negative or file with very few exceptions) but I believe that there are more than 890 photographs to choose from. If there are any potential conflicts with the photograph, I will let you know.

If you have any questions, email me!    doug@douglasstockdale.com

So now please get started!!

Cheers!

As I hope you know and understand I really appreciate all of your support for these past seven years and now I hope for a few more years yet to come. Thanks!!

And if you are interested in a larger Limited Edition photograph, please contact me.

09-2016 update: This photograph now has a title: Aging

July 3, 2014

WordPress – No free lunch

Filed under: Photography — Tags: , — Douglas Stockdale @ 6:43 pm

So as a photo-blogger I am now at a vexing cross roads. I launched Singular Images blog in April 2007, which in the day had no advertisements inserted into it. Not the case anymore. In fact this blog is so riddled with WordPress ads, even I have trouble looking reading it. So one of the trade-offs for a “free” blog is these overwhelming distractions. Now too overwhelming.

Of course the WordPress solution is for me to pony up the $99 bucks per year to go “Premium” and avoid all the ads. As a free blog this was a no brainier, when I had the time available, to just do it. This blog has been cathartic allowing me to write and look at my photographs from more of an objective distance. This blog also provides me with a little visibility with my peers, although I receive a lot more immediate comments and direct feedback on my photographs with Facebook, but unlike Facebook what is posted on here has a lot longer visibility.

I also find that with this blog I can quickly modify it to reflect my projects that are on-going than my web-site, thus this has become my alternative web-site. And I am paying about $120 bucks per year for my web-site, so do I need both? It’s not that I am making any money selling prints at this point, but perhaps someday soon.

So while I evaluate my options, this blog is going on a hiatus.

Cheers!

Doug

P.S. I also note that when I read this blog on one computer, I have a ton of ads, when I read it from my other computer, almost no ads. What is it you see? Do you get peppered with a lot of ads or none at all? Let me know, it will make a difference! Thanks!!

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