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...