Robert Massman
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Synthetic Synecdoche

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Metonyms Landscape

Initially based on the ideas regarding abstraction discussed in Rudolf Arnheim’s book “Visual Thinking”. Rudolf proposes the question "At what point does an image become an abstract representation of the thing it once was and at what point is it no longer perceived to represent that initial perception or representation." I liked this question especially in the frame work of how it relates to children and there brains development from a young age. I remember as a young child laying in bed at night. Before drifting into sleep, on the wall, was a small quilt constructed with geometric patchwork of patterns and shapes. I would lay in bed and trace my eyes around those shapes trying to find patterns that weren’t immediately evident. I believe the simple visual game I played as a child created a tendency for my brain to gravitate towards geometric shapes and trying to find structure where structure might not evidently exist. These two ideas have played heavily in my exploration of photography and the visual world.

My goal is to explore and manipulate recorded light using Photoshop and Premier Pro in much the same way an electronic musician explores and manipulates sound with a synthesizer and it’s modular components. Light and sound are both waves and at the fundamental level, the equipment, tools, and mathematics that have been created to capture, analyze and manipulate these waves are very similar if not the same. Inspired by this idea, I decided to see how I could use photoshop and its filters to reduce a still image into it’s component parts. Creating multiple plates with isolated image data on them. I then used photoshop to combine those plates and run them through another set of filters in order to extract different kinds of information.

An electronic musician can manipulate or create new sound using a synthesizer and its modular components and filters like LFO, High-pass, Low-pass, Envelope Generator and Gain. The access they have to the manipulation of these components has been kept on the surface and most often requires the musician to choose how they want to link the different components together. Photoshop is a lot like a synthesizer in many ways, it has High-pass and Low-pass filters but it was not built to work like a synthesizer. Many of these manipulations are hard to get at, requiring many steps, and once achieved are permanent in nature and can not be tweaked. My hope is to build a web based application that allows for an images input and responsive manipulation, inspired by the synthesizers musicians use to manipulate sound.

Above is a video I created to explore how the plates I extracted from a single image might be combined to give a since of motion and abstract relationship to sound. 

Below are a collection of plates with discriptions.

 

Vision System - Switzerland

 

Vision System - Far Rockaway Beach

 

Frequency Plates - Switzerland

Frequency plate 1 - High Frequency

Frequency plate 1024  - Low Frequency

 

Resonance Plates - Switzerland

A 1 Resonance of Frequency plates 1 divided by 1024

D 32 Resonance of Frequency plates 1024 divided by 32

 

Resonance plates with Range Selection - Switzerland

B 1.4 Resonance of Frequency plates 1 divided by 1.4  -  Color range selection of the shadows - Fuzz 40, Range 200

B 1024 Resonance of Frequency plates 1 divided by 1024  -  Color range selection of the shadows - Fuzz 50, Range 190

D 32 Resonance of Frequency plates 1024 divided by 32  -  Color range selection of the shadows - Fuzz 100, Range 220

D 512 Resonance of Frequency plates 1024 divided by 512  -  Color range selection of the shadows - Fuzz 80, Range 230

 

Frequency Plates - Far Rockaway Beach

Frequency plate 2.8 - High Frequency

Frequency plate 64 - Medium Frequency

 

Resonance Plates - Far Rockaway Beach

C 5.6 Resonance of Frequency plates 5.6 divided by 1

D 32 Resonance of Frequency plates 1024 divided by 32

 

Resonance Plates with range selection - Far Rockaway Beach

D 32 Resonance of Frequency plates 1024 divided by 32  -  Color range selection of the shadows - Fuzz 70, Range 220

C 5.6 Resonance of Frequency plates 5.6 divided by 1  -  Color range selection of the shadows - Fuzz 80, Range 210

D 512 Resonance of Frequency plates 1024 divided by 512  -  Color range selection of the shadows - Fuzz 80, Range 230

A 64 Resonance of Frequency plates 1 divided by 64  -  Color range selection of the shadows - Fuzz 80, Range 210

 
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The images below are examples of how the artistic tools I developed could be used to do more commercially practical work like allowing the user to precisely control and manipulate the expression of image texture information. Providing the ability for quick and natural looking automatic image retouching.

 

Filtering Examples

Before

After

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Example photos

Click on images to enlarge

 

Original Image - No Filtering

 

One level of processing


No Mask - Exaggerated Positive and Negative curve texture adjustment shape

Feathered Mask - Exaggerated Positive and Negative curve texture adjustment shape with inverted feathered mask


No Mask - Ideal Positive and Negative curve texture adjustment shape 

Feathered Mask - Ideal Positive and Negative curve texture adjustment shape with inverted feathered mask


Original and processed - side by side

One level of processing

 

 

4 layers of processing

Original images from Band-Sifting paper

Filtered images using RPM software

 

Left side:

Filtered Image

Right side:

Original Image

 
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