Using Photoshop Threshold to Separate Colors for Screenprint

A classmate came up to me today and asked how to seperate black and white onto two different images to print them out. We discussed trading white for light grey since the lab doesn’t have white, but I couldn’t figure out how to do what she wanted.

Enter the google machine.

Using Photoshop Threshold to Separate Colors for Screenprint

I won’t be using this for screenprinting any time soon, but it could be useful for other photographic or graphic work in the future.

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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

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

An Infographic for Design Media, 2013

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.