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Thursday, August 21, 2008

5-minute art

Wow, it's Thursday and I'm already posting my response to today's Inspire Me Thursday challenge! Yay me!

I think the reason my participation is so swift is that the topic is so intriguing: Create Against the Clock. The idea is that you get out your art supplies and give yourself 10 minutes or so to create something. Next, use the same supplies and give yourself about an hour to create. Then, compare the results. The time is flexible; the site states, be true to yourself and just pick a shorter time followed by a longer time.

I chose to go digital rather than hands-on and worked with a photograph in Photoshop. I used a photo I took just this morning while out-and-about purchasing art supplies -- some needed, some, well, let's just call them impulse purchases. I went with a photo I had just taken on purpose, so I wouldn't be influenced by any plans floating around in my brain for existing photos in my stash. And I'm glad I didn't know about this challenge before the captain and I went out, or it likely would have influenced my photography. Instead, I was just typical-me, hauling my little portable camera out of my purse whenever something caught my fancy. I do this all the time.

Here's the original unaltered photograph:

I then proceeded to alter it following several steps that are tried-and-true for me. Warning! Geek alert! Techno-mumblejumble ahead. You've been warned.

I played with the brightness and contrast levels, the colour saturation, the sharpness, then duplicated the layer and messed about with blending modes, then flattened the layers and further messed about with both posterization levels and a filter I use a lot, poster edges. I also added a black border. I didn't take notes on the exact order of all this messin' about, I just went with the flow. Here's the result:


This took me 5 minutes, about right for me. Now for the fun stuff. I opened up the original photo once more, only this time I cropped out a square. I like the look of a squared-off image and also, it lets me crop out bits I don't want, such as the excess sidewalk and the sign hanging above the store. And then I started off as before -- contrast, saturation, etc. -- only I really boosted the colours, letting the image go wild. I then totally lost myself in experimentation. I solarized, I duplicated layers then altered them then flattened them again, I used the high pass filter, I played with the burn tool. I added grain. Heaven knows what I didn't do. I altered the hue again and again and again. I was aiming for something totally different from the original. So, mission accomplished! After about 30 minutes of playing around with the photo, here's what I created:


This was an interesting experiment to see how far I could go before I went too far. I actually did go beyond what I liked; at one point, I backed up several steps and proceeded down a different artistic path with this photo.

Great challenge, one that really hooked me in!

11 comments:

BABYLONEZOO said...

Une très belle déclinaison de photographie

slashdotmad said...

I love the whimsical feel of the piece and the colors and graininess of it.

noble pig said...

I love it, it looks like a cartoon town! Very cool.

namesconnie said...

I like what you did in both photos. The 10 minute one is nice and bright. The one hour one looks like a work of art. Very good. Sincerely, Connie

Mary Beth said...

Amazing digital work. It looks like a pastel painting on a black background. Love it!

soulbrush said...

what a wonderful result, i like the way you say that 5 minutes is about right for you, i also work so quickly...and very rarely go back to something. you should try this again, it looks like such fun.

kazumiwannabe said...

Great work! I love both, and the first one even more. They're almost abstract, and the colors are awesome!

Deb G said...

So much fun! I like the colors in the second one a lot.

AscenderRisesAbove said...

very nice effects

Susan Williamson said...

I love what you do with Photoshop. You have such a great sense of colour.

Rowena said...

I love the pictures. And what a great way to learn about a new medium, technology, or whatever. That would really take away the stress of needing to get it right/perfect. It's just play and you can do anything you want within the time allotted.

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