Friday, August 28, 2009

Fractal Work by Mary Stebbins Taitt

Fractal computer art is an art form.. let there be no mistake about that.

Yes, the image is created and exists (until printed) as electrons dancing in a box and on a screen, frozen in that dance, the dance itself determined ALMOST by random chance. Fractal geometries are based on the mathematics of nature herself and are interesting in that, like nature, the patterns persist at every scale, small to large, and therefore are not random and chaotic but instead random and yet organized and, as noted here, extremely beautiful to the human eye and brain.

God works through art such as this, make no mistake about THAT, either.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Sometimes you get a photo that is pretty impressive but just too dense, kinda like a really overdressed movie idol who can't spell.
The bottom shot was impressive but didn't speak in clear tones. It had a lot of reflection effect, unfortunately, TOO much. To me that was overkill when mated up with text... the picture image would compete with the writing I wanted to do with it. So, I thought, crop out a nice portion that is simpler.
I uploaded the picture to the Paint program and used the selection feature to "grab" the part which kind of looked like the shore of an island, losing most of the distracting reflection effect of the original shot and gaining a great focus on the colors and the essence of the shot. Your eye could now capture the image more quickly and it made a more concise impression.
Sometimes less is much more... and I think a lot of modern graphic designers are going back to that as witnessed by the increasing use of simple, almost cartoonish images in many magazine ads and sprinkled iconic colored graphic illustrations in the text areas, too. It's a fresh look, using broad simple colored backgrounds or plain white rather than a lot of cluttered backgrounds.
Nothing's new, of course.... they did all this stuff back in the early days to illustrate all sorts of periodicals in one to three colors, where the images had to remain relatively simple. If you recall the early black and white Volkwagon ads or the placard ads in restaurants in the fifties for Coca Cola or certain brands of hot dogs or whatever, THEY used the principle of simplicity, never claiming to be high art. And the effect worked fine.
We can put photos in graphic framing or attention-getting backgrounds and mimic the same thing, which is kind of what this posting is all about.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Picassa 3 is a neat program to experiment with. I don't normally use the "retouch" function (which allows for the removal of blemishes, etc). This lady's face did NOT need THAT! However, when I moved the brush width to maximum and disturbed the image slightly on the right portion of her face I noticed that the right side locks of her HAIR jogged to the left at a certain critical location. I'd restyled her hair electronically!

COOL! I said to myself, and saved the result. I cropped her face tight and applied sharpening, film grain and messed with virtually all the other effects to get what you see. Note that I definitely altered the color temperature... this allows a lot of surprising color effects to pop out when a picture has been sharpened (which increases contrast and depletes the number of discrete pixels... kind of an Andy Warhol effect.)

Every image is a combination of two things... shape (or form) and color. A photograph is not a single image but thousands of individual images (call these pixels if you want) arranged in some organized way. Our eye captures this organization and our brain compares it with previous experience stored in memory. That's seeing.

Is seeing believing? Maybe, maybe not... but when you see something that strikes a deep chord within you (in the case above: beauty, life, joy) it translates to emotion. You are either attracted or repelled by striking photowork. You are never bored!!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Elphie the Eloquent

Gail Slaughter's two cats, Hybrow and Elphaba, are nearly alike, both being essentially black, but Hybrow has some white markings and therefore I can tell them apart. This picture is obviously Elphie, but something was perhaps amiss because I don't remember her so fierce when they all lived back here in Michigan. I can't say for sure but I think having the Terminator for your Governor may have some side effects...

Mermaid Manipulation

The "Dude" is at it again... the top image is a creation accomplished with the cropping and effects available in Picassa 3. Almost. It also required smudging and sharpening in Microsoft Photo Editor. I find that MPE is fairly crude but in some instances these crude effects can be used to your advantage.

No, I don't really appreciate the changes introduced when Picassa 2 became Picassa 3, but when you are getting stuff for free, you have to accept what is out there and just view it as a challenge.

Gail Slaughter of California sent me the photo from her back garden, by the way. She has a thing for elves and fairies and for wizards and witches, too, I suppose, except we all know that only elves have any sense.

Friday, May 1, 2009

EXOBIG...Earthlike planet found



Finding something earthlike out there in the universe has to be a thrill for whoever manages to do that. But this is merely a computer generated mockup drawing, since we cannot literally "eyeball" or even photograph anything so darn far away.

Even the Hubble "telescope" really cannot "see" so much as think. Why? The very faint photons of light the Hubble "sees" must be computer-enhanced (interpreted) to show colors in spectrum. Space colors are not possible without a little creativity. Space is really mostly black and bright white... colors such as "green" and "red" and "blue" and "yellow" are possible only with OUR eyes in OUR atmosphere, and that's it. To make Hubbles's photos palatible to our sensititive eyes we "doctor" them extensively.

Oh... without heavy filters on our space helmets' visors, space would blind us. No protective atmosphere.

Be thankful God made air!!!!!


Gail's Art Critic

This "final" version I created by selectively choosing portions of one of Gail's photographs in the Paint program, and copying cat parts. I could then "flip/rotate" and piece them back together symmetrically to make a whole cat!!

Moving the drawing into position was easy... just select and move. I used "color select" and "paintbrush" mode to make the grey areas uniform...