Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Architectural follow-up

This experimental image has developed from the picture taken of a high rise building in downtown Vancouver, BC, last summer which featured in my last post. As I explained there, I cropped several small sections of the photograph, turned them to black and white, flipped them, enhanced them in various ways and printed them out 13 cm square.


For this exercise, I used the first cropping, chosen for its simplicity and the angles within it which I thought would give interesting interplay when repeated and offset. 


Next, I traced over the outlines in pencil (hence the rather murky appearance of this photo) several times, flipping and moving the images around. I then photographed it ...


... and imported it to Photoshop where I played with outlines and positioning of the shapes. I then filled the shapes selectively and added two lines in dark grey which  changed the perspective surprisingly and remade the link to a built structure. Extraordinary what a difference two lines can make ...



Finally, to cheer up a grey and depressing afternoon, I tweeked things a little further and added some colour with something of a nod to the original photo ...



Saturday, 27 January 2018

Architectural inspiration

I made a pact with myself when I wasn't blogging last autumn that, if I came back, I would only post when I felt I had something I really wanted to show - hence a fresh silence. However, after three weeks of little new thought while I stitched pieces for an upcoming exhibition and revisited the Photoshop class I took last summer (of which more in another post), I've turned my thoughts back to my archive of photos. I take an enormous number of them, especially when I'm travelling, and almost all my work is a response to this archive.

These small experiments for a series of pieces (each currently about 13 cm square) have developed from a photograph I took in Vancouver BC last summer and are a follow on to the rather more random set I showed in November.







I was fascinated by the angles I could see within the original image and by the contrasting textures generated by the glass and concrete surfaces when I enlarged it. Like many modern high rise buildings this one had energy-efficient glass in the large windows which also gave particularly good, and interestingly distorted, reflections of nearby buildings.


I made many small croppings, especially around the section marked on the photo above. This seemed to enhance the movement within the group of pieces, particularly when I rotated and flipped them. I followed my usual practice and turned the croppings to black and white and adjusted the levels of brightness and contrast.

I then added some additional lines to the surface to accentuate the design. These may become stitches when I work on them further - and the pieces may well become larger.


Sunday, 7 January 2018

Practising skills

What a busy and enjoyable time it has been with friends and family! Now everyone has left and we are home just the two of us and the house seems so quiet.

I'm feeling in need of distraction so I've been practising some of the skills learnt on the Pixeladies third course that I took earlier in the year. We covered such a lot of really useful techniques in this course but I really have to keep using what I've learnt or I find it all disappears into the ether.

After all our visits and everyone's kindness, I had many thank yous to send so I manipulated a favourite photograph taken some time ago now of a group of beech trees on top of the chalk downs to the south of where I live.


I changed the colours using the colorize function in the adjustment layers, added text both on top of the image and via a clipping mask into the background sky. All really useful skills that need to be correctly executed with steps in the right order (especially the clipping masks) and which need practice, both to get them right and to cement them in the memory. 

I have a poster to create for a forthcoming group exhibition. Some of these skills will be so useful ...