Amersham Beyond Group - 3rd Nov 2022

Meeting Notes on Creative Photography and Photo-Art
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Amersham Beyond Group - 3rd Nov 2022

Post by spb » Fri Nov 04, 2022 3:22 pm

All our Challenge images can be seen at Amersham Beyond Group on Flickr

For APS Members only, the images are also available for viewing and commenting on Facebook here.
As this meeting was held on Zoom, APS members can view a video of the meeting.

The current Challenges are;


We are continuing to find new and interesting mobile apps to distort, distress and generally mess with our phone snaps and turn them into ‘art’. I have updated the list of recommended apps in last month’s meeting notes.

and the latest Challenge is;


After some initial uncertainty from members not at the last meeting, we started to get our ‘eyes-in’ and found mundane but visually interesting objects to present. Ken had researched Marcel Duchamp (of the original urinal found object fame) and told us that he was not keen on what he called “retinal” art, i.e. art that is pleasing to the eye. He was keener on engaging the brain and not just the eye. This goes contrary to everything we normally do in the society and was maybe a step too far for most of us, however Andy’s project to photograph rubbish thrown from passing cars outside his house was a brilliant evocation of this – even if his wife didn’t agree.

The next Challenge is;


Any interpretation is acceptable – literal, emotional, psychological, societal…. Any treatment or approach. But not too many candles, please!

The literal interpretation needs no further explanation but I discovered that Permajet held a competition with this theme during lockdown and many pictures were submitted of people’s positivity during this dark time and similarly optimistic images during emotional or health challenges.

The next meeting will be held on Thursday 1st December 2022 and it will be in the Drake Hall.

Keylines or Borders. There has been recent discussion about how best to draw a line around an image.

Different apps will have their own methods. For Photoshop and Photoshop Elements I would recommend;
1. Select the outside edge of the image with Select>All (Ctrl + A)
2. Draw the keyline around the selection with Edit>Stroke. Choose Location = Inside, then the width and colour as required.

Best Practice:
Ideally, create a new top layer and then do the above two steps on that layer. The keyline can then be hidden or deleted easily.
For a PDI, judges like a keyline of just one, or maybe two, pixels so make a copy of your image and downsize it to 1600px wide x 1200px high maximum before making the keyline so that a stroke of 1 pixel will be exactly 1 pixel wide.
In the Edit>Stroke dialogue the colour picker enables you to select white, black or, using the colour picker, any colour from your image. Mid grey will be less dominant than white when projected.
A keyline is not necessary if the edges of the image are clearly visible. It is most important if edges of the image are black and so invisible on the screen. Coloured keylines can be appealing but strong colours can distract judges of a sensitive disposition.

If you can’t see the keyline was the stroke Location setting outside instead of inside? Did you make a 1px keyline before downsizing the image and so make it too small to be visible?

Paths and Pen Pressure.
The above method uses the Stroke command to turn a selection into a line. I wanted to turn my 1910 Norris shoulder plane found object into line art with artistically varied line width. Easy to do freehand with the Brush tool and a pressure-sensitive tablet but impossible to achieve with accuracy and smoothness. After much experimentation, the answer (Photoshop CC only) proved to be a bit obscure; create an accurate path around the required edge using the Pen tool. Then, after choosing a brush size and colour, use the Stroke Path command but turn on it’s one option: Simulate Pressure. This has the effect of creating a line of brush width in the middle of the path but tapering to zero width at either end. The end result;
NORRIS ESSENCE by Steve Brabner.jpg
NORRIS ESSENCE by Steve Brabner.jpg (45.03 KiB) Viewed 30474 times
Bluristic Help. Bluristic has proved to be one of the most popular smartphone apps in Challenge #32. However, there is no help within the app and the few tutorial videos are poor. Just a clue to getting started is all that’s required. Here’s my suggestion;
1. Make sure that you start with B (for Blend), the camera icon (for Live Capture) and AE (for auto exposure)
2. Drag a marker from the + on the screen and drop it over the area you want less blurred
3. Press and hold the big red shutter button whilst moving the camera to produce the blurred image
4. If you like the result press the Save icon that appears. If not press the big green button to start again.

AI Art Generators. The new generation of AI art and image generating software creates realistic and creative images from text imputs. In just a few months it has become hard to ignore and we should look at it in more detail. Any one who is dabbling is invited to contact me to discuss.

Cheers, Steve

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