Photoshop image stacking

This technique can be used in a lot of ways to communicate fracture, motion, time lapse and distortion from multiple images into a single image. Some examples:


Smeared Skies made from hundreds of stacked photographs by Matt Molloy


(Matt Molloy)
Time Collapse: How time-lapse photography led to turning stacks of frames into a single image
Molloy talks about his process with stacking. He uses an automated script to stack his photos (called advanced stacker (more about advanced stacker here) and applies lightening techniques usually employed with star trail photography like the tutorial here talks about. See photos here and here

I found this process while trying to remember something I wrote about in response reading [Lucy Soutter, “The Collapsed Archive: Idris Khan,” review of Idris Khan at Victoria Miro Gallery, London, Source, no. 49 (Winter 2006): 46-47.] (I wrote about this here in August 2011. I guess this imagery really stayed with me. was also, very specifically thinking about Bernd and Hilla Becher’s typologies that Khan collapsed into a single image.

Every… Bernd And Hilla Becher Gable Side Houses 2004
Photogrphic print 208 x 160 cm

Since 1959 Bernd and Hilla Becher have been photographing industrial structures that exemplify modernist engineering, such as gas reservoirs and water towers. Their photogrphs are often presented in groups of similar design; their repreated images make these everyday buildings seem stragely imposing and alien. Idris khan’s Every… Bernd And Gilla Becher series appropriates the Bechers’ imagery and compiles their collections into sing super-images. Inthis piece, multiple images of American-single gabled houses are digitally layered and super-imposed giving the effect of an impressionistic drawing or blurred film still. (source)


<p align right="Every… Bernd And Hilla Becher Prison Type Gasholders 2004
Photographic print 208 x 160cm

The structure in the Bechers’ original photographs are almost identical, though in Khan’s hands the images’ contrast and opacity is adjusted to ensure each layer can be seen and has presence. Though Kahn works in mechanised media and his images are of industrial subjects, their effect is of a soft ethereal energy. They exude a transfixing spiritual quality in their densely compacted details and ghostly outlines. … Prison Type Gasholders conveys a sense of time depiicted in motion, as if transporting the old building, in its obsolete black and white format, into the extreme future. (source)</a

Every… Bernd And Hilla Becher Spherical type Gasholders 2004
Photographic print 208 x 160cm

The Bechers took their photos as a means to document a disappearing tradition;
by grouping them according to ‘typology’ the buildings’ designs function like archetypal symbols or an architectural language. Through Khan’s translucent aggregations, structures such as ….Spherical Type Gasholders lose their commanding simplicity and rigid formalism and descend into fractured and gestural blurs. Through his photographs Khan compresses the timelind of repetition into indivisible subsuming moments and creates a poetic mutability from the fixed codes of history. (source)</a

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Identity and the self portrait

I have to do an assignment on “identity” for printmaking. I’ve been thinking a lot about what that means to me since I started working with found photographs in my alternative photographic processes class last semester. I want to work with old photos of myself as a child, juxtaposed with new photographs of myself now, to talk about how I’ve changed as a person but am still struggling to identify with the body I live in. I’m sure I’ll have more to say after I finish doing my reading for my printmaking class and get some ideas out of that, but I wanted to talk about my ideas for what I might do for my first photo project for photo 4 this semester. 

I was thinking about using masks. I worked with masks some last semester when I was making tintypes:

I included the third one because it gives me interesting ideas about how I can incorporate the masks with reflections of myself or my face either in other masks or out of masks to talk about how the mask is a part of my identity or how it hides parts of my identity. Neither of those masks are of my original design and were for costumes. Costuming has been a huge part of my life and really is a part of my identity. I feel strangely more comfortable in costumes being someone else than I do as “myself”. I have trouble identifying with a “self” particularly as it relates to my physical body, but also as it relates to a personal identity. I always have trouble with “tell me one thing about yourself” introductions because I can’t think of anything that’s uniquely me. Maybe that’s normal, but it’s part of the problem.

I decided to look up some other art that people have done as non-standard self portraits. Some of what I found was photographic, some wasn’t.


The Dream Children’ from The Hypnagogia Series by Kalliope Amorphous

Found via this amazing post that talks about Kalliope Amorphus’ work: Kalliope Amorphous Visualizes Identity, Gender And Archetypes


Self Portrait l Identity 2 l by shaikhdanial

The left shows a traditional self portrait, but the right shows it shattered and fragmented, which really speaks to how I feel about my own self identity. This could be done in photography either by digital manipulation or possibly with the use of mirrors angled away from a camera or with the camera behind the subject (me) in some way, supported by a tripod. Ideally, the easiest way to shoot something like this might be with a 4×5 because you can angle the camera down and shift it out of the line of sight of the mirrors. I never got fantastic with tilt/shift, but it might be worth playing with again sometime.



Self Portrait by Nathaniel Wolfe

From the artist:

This mosaic portrait is composed of 3000 images from various angles from the front of my head, and then organized to recreate an image of the back of my head. The 30″ by 30″ portrait pokes fun at visual perception and identity, as we’re “a sum of all our parts.”


Identity Self Portrait 2011
by symons-photography

This talks to me about not identifying with the self, with the face, specifically, which is the center of the self for most people, and not something I identify with, on my own. It’s done via long-exposure, which is something I began experimenting with more last semester.


Camouflage Self-Portrait (RED)

Andy Warhol, synthetic polymer paint and silkscreen on canvas, 1986

Using a projector to distort parts of myself is another really interesting idea that I might try exploring. Also painting my face/body with some kind of body paint to change the way it looks. I’ve considered wearing clothing that has additional body parts attached that distort the way my body looks – not necessarily into something I identify with, but into something monsterous or disturbing or abnormal to communicate how I feel about my own body and my distorted sense of self.

This is just a start, a place to brainstorm ideas going forward.

Drunk Driving (How can the dismal statistics be improved?)

An Infographic for Design Media, 2013

Cards 01-04

As per my proposal I’ve begun making cards.

I’ve run into some interesting problems with the images – namely than many of them are .gif and .png files which feature the characters with no backgrounds. A lot of what I’m using is cleaned up cahracter artwork, rather than in-game renders, and even if they are renders, they don’t have backgrounds. The cards looked too boring and plain on white backgrounds and didn’t look like a finished product, so I’ve begun making my own backgrounds. The first one is noticeably different from the second as I found ways to better integrate the images into the backgrounds so they don’t look so much like they’re just pasted onto a background – this is especially difficult when I’m working with photographic backgrounds and drawn artwork, but I think they look pretty good and I’m happy with them.

 

I chose to use “sylladex” as the © name because I didn’t want to put my legal name on them in case I want to share them with people on the internet, so I went with my blog username.

Appropriation Process 2

So I tried the mosaic idea and it wasn’t really doing anything I didn’t hate, so I went back to the layered idea that I was working with with the forest piece based loosely off the work of Idris Khan. I’m actually very happy with how the forest turned out. See here, here and here, but I didn’t feel like it pushed me as much in terms of creativity and skill, so I wanted to try other things once I finished it.

I spent one workshop day in class working on this image of an octopus that I mentioned in my last blog post, but ultimately scrapped it because I wasn’t happy with where it was going.

So here’s how my layered piece using Mark Zuckerberg as the subject came out, but I still wasn’t happy with it visually, although it was more approaching the meaning I wanted with the mosaic piece.

I got distracted somewhere in the middle with the stress of my personal finances and made a few versions of a piece that also imitated Khan’s work, entitled Debt, in which images of various sample billing ledgers were used to create a chaotic piece that embodied my anxiety and frustration. Although, I’m unhappy with any of the versions, I’m documenting my process here, so I’ll include them for the sake of completeness. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

Finally, I went back to my idea mentioned earlier of a composite portrait. Although it may not immediately be as visually pleasing as the forest piece, I feel that it’s a more significant work. The purpose here is to show a layered person – we’re all multifaceted and it’s important to remember that there’s more to a person than just one side of them. In this piece, I strove to capture things such as public persona juxtaposed with a more personal, private or relaxed side the subject. This takes into account perceived personality and usual appearance, work ethic, how time is spent and divided between work and leisure and other such important issues of a person’s life. I chose Mark Zuckerberg as the subject not only for the reasons mentioned in the last post, but because there is such a conflicting public perception of him as a person, entrepreneur and businessman, not to mention the privacy issues that are constantly coming up in terms of Facebook and the line between public and private faces that many people worry that the social network blurs.

The final work is entitled Pieces Form the Whole, and the title is appropriated from the song of the same name off of the score for The Social Network film. (You can listen to the track here on youtube.)

Disclaimer: Individual images for the “Forest of Trees” piece were gathered from stock on deviantArt and can be found at the following locations: 1, 2, 3, 4.

Pictures of Mark Zuckerberg and sample billing ledgers, as well as components used in the octopus piece were gathered via Google image search and Bing image search and I didn’t save the URLs. All images were appropriated and I can only take credit for the final work and not the individual images that make up the components of the work.

Your heart is an empty room.

I’ve finished my archive project.  The fullsize archive can be found here. Each image is 100×100 pixels. I may upload a smaller version so that it can all be viewed on one screen in class – this is a little big for my laptop screen, but it might be an okay size on the classroom desktop.

For anyone who uses LJ and is interested in using any of them as livejournal icons, a p0st with each of the images individually, plus 33 more (some being variants or slightly different crops of the same room) can be found here.