Thursday, March 22, 2012

the sky is falling

the sky is falling by William Keckler
the sky is falling, a photo by William Keckler on Flickr.


  1. What technology do you use to make these?

  2. Ancient Chinese secret.

    Just kidding. I'll share.

    When you say "these" it's not really applicable because every pic is different and I use different image manipulation programs and I jump back and forth between them constantly.

    I usually take an image and go through like 40 manipulations and then pick my favorite.

    Here are some of my favorite things to use to manipulate images (and they are all free online): the vintage Japanese Pixia, Lunapics, Rollip. I also use Photoshop (occasionally--great for making digi-Rothkos or color field stuff) and I love my HP Photosmart Premier proggie for fine tuning light values in photos. Of course, you can do that latter with Photoshop but that's on my third floor computer and I rarely go up there. So I work with what I have.

    If you just use one modification on any of these sites, you're usually going to end up with cheap, shitty-ass looking digital pics, which is what I often end up with myself and despair.

    The trick is to gain familiarity with all of the filters, etc. and to explore the PERMUTATIONS you can get by going back and forth.

    Like I discovered in one program if you take a photo back and forth between the two color extremes it has (cyanotype blue and sepia) you get great effects. By shifting the picture back and forth. And you usually have to play with the exposure at the same time.

    I'm always happiest when I created a digital photo that looks like a natural photograph.

    Although sometimes you just want digital ugliness for an effect.

    Lately, I've been combining some digi-Rothkos I did some time back with 19th century photos (ex. Eakins) and enjoying the effects immensely.

    I actually miss Photoshop it's been so long. I might go play with that today. Because I love how easy it is to get from a "normal photograph" to extreme abstraction on there. You don't even have to mess with layers.

    To get around Photoshop layers, here is the single best recommendation of a tool I can give you. Go to Lunapics and use the "Blend pictures" option. You can do as many layers as you want and it's not as annoying as the steps you have to do on Photoshop.

    The flip-flop toggle function that goes along with this is stellar. You can change your mind and grab a different photo to be scrim. Or you can reverse top and bottom. Sometimes I drag a photo out so large that I can no longer activiate the button which combines the photos. So then I just do a screen capture, paste it into Paint and then take it through the HP program to finalize.

    I'm probably telling you about 3% of the things I play with online because my mind is like a cloud.

    I just like the endless play.

    The image above is of course one of those Lego functions (Lunapic has it, Pixia's is actually better though). But I hated the original Lego. I had to play and play with it to get what I want. I think I kept using the "thinning" function in the HP and thinned the picture several times then played with the light values until I got the feeling I liked in the picture.

    Sorry to go on so long but maybe this will give you avenues to explore.