Monday, 27 July 2015

Playing with pixels, windows and bridges

I'm going to eastern Scotland and the Orkney Islands soon and I'm going to take print outs of some images that I've generated as a result of the Pixeladies classes. The weather forecast is not very summery and I'm sure there will be days of rain so some small experimental stitch projects and my drawing equipment will be vital for my sanity and enjoyment.

Today, having finished the Photoshop classes, I've played with a couple of favourite photos, experimenting with ways to use the techniques I've learnt. I can see that it's going to take a while before they are fully integrated into my practice. I need to find out how to use them in a way that looks unselfconscious and natural, rather than just too clever and that they're being used because I know how to use them.

First of all, there is a soft, subtle image generated from a photo of a broken window in a garden shed. I've adjusted the hues and distorted the image slightly. I think this will be fun to stitch, and I might just be able to use some of the delicious threads in the photo that follows.


I recently found myself buying a small selection of threads from Patricia Wood of Mulberry Silks. Her pure silk threads with their vivid colours are always irresistible and that luscious, rich bright pink was more so than most (albeit in very small doses!).


Last of all, there is an image generated from a favourite photo of a delightfully elegant footbridge taken last autumn in Pennsylvania USA, and previously shown here. Distortion and changes of colour have exploited the lines within the photo in a very different way from the original. 


I'm still trying to work out how best to stitch on the strong images I find myself drawn to produce. In these experiments, it will be fascinating to see how well stitch will sit within them. It will also be interesting to see just what type of stitch I decide to use. 

I am planning less rather than more ... but I'm not very good at restraining myself. 




8 comments:

  1. "I need to find out how to use them in a way that looks unselfconscious and natural, rather than just too clever and that they're being used because I know how to use them."

    I am glad to hear you say this. It is the same thing I have been struggling with. Just because you can, doesn't mean you should (for one thing) and how do you use this technique so that it is not immediately recognizable as run through x filter. Maybe the ordinary viewer would not recognize what was done, but anyone who has played a bit with filters probably would. As with any technique we learn, we must figure out how to use it in a way that is uniquely our own and sometimes that is more difficult than learning the technique itself!

    For example, your first photo does not immediately say photo manipulation to me. I ponder just how you created it. It could easily be painted. The second one though, I instantly thought - yeah, I know that filter but I like the way she tweaked it and the contrast between pale and saturated color. Perhaps when it is stitched, it will look less like the process and more unselfconscious as you say. Hope this makes sense. If nothing else, it is helping me think through my own questions for my own work. :-)

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    1. p.s. - the links to your photos aren't working for me - says page does not exist.

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    2. These are such helpful comments, Sheila. Thank you. As you say, when we learn a new technique, the most difficult thing of all is to integrate the new with all our other practice and make it our own. It is a struggle but equally it's a fascinating journey.

      It is always interesting to get another person's take on work ... and definitely one of the reasons I blog, I guess. Interestingly, I'd already printed out the first image before I read your comment and I'd decided not to print out the second as I felt it was such a strong image and would need cutting up and piecing with other images from the same series or some other treatment to make it less obviously filtered through Photoshop.

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    3. PS Following your second reply, I investigated the linking problem and corrected the first successfully. However, I just couldn't sort out the other one at all, so I've deleted it ... strange ... Thank you very much for letting me know.

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  2. Definitely gorgeous manipulations ! Would love to see you add stitches & thread !

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    1. Thank you, Sharron. I'm taking the first image on holiday with me together with some other little pieces of a similar sort so I can do some experimenting in quiet moments (if there are any ... two of the grandchildren and their parents coming too!). I will post any interesting results.

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  3. I really like what you've been doing in your photoshop class - it reminds me of how many more possibilities there are with photoshop than the few that I know of. Great images!

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    1. The course was tremendous. Before doing it, I was like you. I knew there were so many possibilities with Photoshop but no book seemed intelligible or helpful or able to get me using anything but the basics.
      I thoroughly recommend the Pixeladies!

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