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There It Is

This is what happens when everything lines up just right, and a morning of image manipulation produces results that delight and surprise me. I'm calling the above "There It Is" because the moment I had cropped to that image I knew it was time to stop. So much of what I produce relies on symmetry that making something this loose felt stretchy. And who doesn't love a good stretch?

This photo of clouds over a park and river-side walk taken a few days ago while Rowan and I waited for Lisa to get off work is what went into the hopper. I've been taking a lot of sky and cloud shots lately. Sunrises and sunsets, sure, but also just different types of cloud cover. There are a few reasons for this. Pragmatically, the sky is always there and, being in Vancouver, often filled with clouds. Aesthetically, cloudscapes vary a lot in light and tone but a lot less so in hue, which is a great way to get texture apart from colour. Textures with a wide spectrum of mid-toney greys have lot of room for imposed/revealed palettes. The unexpectedly psychedelic palette of "There It Is" and some of its previous versions is an example of a revealed palette that also involved some imposed nudging. I messed with brightness/contract a lot, but colour balance/hue only once. The bulk of the filters used were my faves: Mean Curvature Blend, Cartoon, Kaleidoscope, and Polar Coordinates. One tool I used more in this series than I think I ever have before is extreme detail enlargement. That's the beauty of using MCB and Cartoon together; you can blow up a 500x700 detail to 7000x9800, use MCB to smooth away any enlargement artifacts, and then use Cartoon to drop in some relatively crisp dark lines, providing some sharp contrasts over a soft and directionally blurry background.

The images below chart the progress of this series, back to the original photo.

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2 comentários

Justus Hayes
Justus Hayes
26 de jan. de 2021

Thanks, Christopher. This was a fun one, for sure. I just cooked up another series and posted it on Instagram: Hopefully, that link works.

I'm refining some strategies that produce very strong results. I'll post that most recent series here soon.


Just a quick comment, the process of your art is still beyond me, but the images that chart the progress of the series, back to the original photo is fascinating. Mostly, I can say what I like without know why I like it. To see your finished work and the careful manipulation at every stage until we are back at the sky was remarkable.

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