He stood so still

He stood so still while the world moved on around him. Just a little animated gif made from two shots I took walking past this gentleman staring so intently at his phone. He didn’t move a bit but because I was walking the shot shifted some allowing me to animate it and give you this 3D feel. I know I’ve seen this before but my memory of the name for it is hazy. It did lead me to stereoscopy, stereo photography and animated stereograms so sometimes a bad memory leads to good things. And it turns out at least one person would call this a stereoscopic animated gif. I also figured this was a #ds106 assignment and was not disappointed. Since this was the first #ds106 assignment I’ve done in a long while, I threw in a tutorial as a form of tithing. I do all of this of my own free will and in spite of Jim Groom’s personality rather than because of it.

Patents Pending

I saw the reprint/remakes of famous patents for sale on a site a while ago and then today I saw them on My Modern Met which resulted in the example below and a new #ds106 assignment. I remembered that Google lets you browse all kinds of patents and I spent a chunk of time searching for all sorts of patents. It is a fun place. It’s worth keeping in mind that even if there isn’t a thumbnail there are still images. You can also sort by age if you’re looking for older/newer material or look by inventor or company. My first goal was to find something interesting. I look at everything from lightbulbs to submarines but eventually settled on this machine gun. It reminded me of a video game it was so massive looking. That got me the image below. I put it in Photoshop and attempted to improve things using mainly brightness/contrast but wasn’t thrilled with the results. They didn’t look much different that what you see above. So I put it in Illustrator and ran a live trace with the black and white logo as the base setting and touched it up a bit. That improved things some. Not perfect in terms of the lettering but good enough for my purposes here. The next step was to add […]

Chimeratic Composition

Another quick #ds106 assignment (tags – VisualAssignments, VisualAssignments1257) Take at least three pictures (your own or someone else’s) mash them together into something that makes them more than the sum of their parts, something that would have been impossible in real life. Include the original images so we can see how they build on one another to make your final composition. This was somewhat inspired by the Russian photographer1 images that were floating about (may or may not be amalgams) and a bit like this Modern Met post.2 Here’s my attempt. Sources below- all shots I took at random times without any real purpose. cc licensed ( BY NC ) flickr photo shared by Tom Woodward cc licensed ( BY SA ) flickr photo shared by Tom Woodward cc licensed ( BY SA ) flickr photo shared by Tom Woodward cc licensed ( BY SA ) flickr photo shared by Tom Woodward 1 Some sites called her a “Russian mother” which is kind of like calling Einstein a “former patent clerk” – they’re both true statements yet neglect most of the truth. 2 There’s room for an additional assignment or bonus points for adding elements from classical paintings.


Inspired by (or copying depending on your perspective) this Modern Met post. Apophenia Find something in your house. Take a picture. Let your imagination churn. Make as many different augmented versions as you can think of. Help others see what’s in your head. Submit it on DS106 using the tags VisualAssignments and VisualAssignments1255. cc licensed ( BY SA ) flickr photo shared by Tom Woodward cc licensed ( BY SA ) flickr photo shared by Tom Woodward cc licensed ( BY SA ) flickr photo shared by Tom Woodward cc licensed ( BY SA ) flickr photo shared by Tom Woodward cc licensed ( BY SA ) flickr photo shared by Tom Woodward cc licensed ( BY SA ) flickr photo shared by Tom Woodward cc licensed ( BY SA ) flickr photo shared by Tom Woodward cc licensed ( BY SA ) flickr photo shared by Tom Woodward cc licensed ( BY SA ) flickr photo shared by Tom Woodward

Stranger Portraits

I am fully back on the stranger portrait path. This image is the one I like the best out of those I’ve taken recently. The others were all at a recent VSTE conference and I’m not sure I’m even going to “count” them in the progression towards the 100 total. Taking photographs at a conference feels substantially different than what I normally do with stranger photography. Additionally, I’m not thrilled with the quality of the images. I could get better about talking to the person and trying to get them into more interesting locations/lighting. That’s not something I do currently. It’s not something I tend to do even with people I know. I much prefer candid shots in almost all situations. This is one of those things that I haven’t fully decided on. It’d certainly make for better photographs. cc licensed ( BY SA ) flickr photo shared by Tom Woodward This gif is made of photographs, some of strangers and some of people I know, after the wireless failed at the VSTE conference. I put it forth as a mixture of art as therapy and gif magic.

Stranger Portrait #29

It’s been a long time, almost exactly a year, since I did any stranger portraits. It remains a difficult thing for me to do which is a large part of why I do it. Additionally, driving into work this morning I saw the scene below. The park is a place where many homeless people seem to gather/sleep/live. I went back to check on the man but by the time I was able to park and walk back police and ambulance personnel were on the scene. It’s the kind of thing that makes me wonder about my own perceptions of my environment. If it weren’t for the bike would I have gone back to check? It seemed to add an element of action interrupted rather than someone passing out or sleeping in the open. Lots of questions about internal and external elements.

Illustrating Odd Autocompletes

Turns out “hiss and preach” is a line from a rap song. Blatantly copying this post for a #ds106 assignment. Google Autocomplete is an oracle with strange powers to bring oddities into your life. This assignment asks you to seek out that randomness. Start with a strong phrase (things like “I hate . . .” or “I love . . . ” seem to work well.) and run through the alphabet looking for really odd autocompletes. When you find a good one, screen capture it and create an illustration that represents the search string. It is a DS106 assignment now.

Historical Selfies

These were all focused on historical “selfies” right before disasters but you could do the opposite. I was inspired by the horrible and fascinating Selfies at Funerals Tumblr. You might also be appalled/inspired by Rich Kids of Instagram. I really don’t know quite enough about the selfie/hashtag culture to do this really well. The details with hashtags are what make it interesting and you need to do some research to make it work properly. There is work in humor. Get the Photoshop template here.

Minimalist Poster

My try at a minimalist movie poster. All1 sorts of people have already done it. Although most don’t seem to be tagging with visualassignments572 it so that it aggregates under the assignment on the ds106 site. That’s going to make it harder for Jim to count every assignment by hand when he does the big data infographic design fest at the end of the course. Process I had a number of ideas. Most of them centered around putting the tux bow tie around things like the Walther PPK. I did that and didn’t like it. Things looked too cheesy. To get the tux look, I started with a still from a Bond film and then ended up using the Polygonal Lasso Tool to trace the outlines. In the end I made the lines more angular and iconic. I added in some of the defining lines (to help define the bow tie and to illustrate the shirt split). 1 Frank got 007 stuck in my head and Alan forced my hand. 2 DS106 Complaint: Make these tags shorter and non-plural. Now pretend I called into the radio show to say that.

Strangers #5 and #6

This little girl was at a birthday party for some family friends. She alternated between closing her eyes and sticking out her tongue (in a non-annoying way that made me like her more) and that real smile. Her older sister was there too but she was old enough to pose. She smiled but it wasn’t real. She said she didn’t like her smile. That was a pretty depressing statement for an 8 year old to make. Already self-conscious. This picture was taken in the computer lab in the building where I teach night classes. Tien Shu (spelling? seemed rude/stalker-ish to ask) is a math major. She seemed fine with having the picture taken but there might have been a communication problem. I asked her a few small talk questions but all I got were smiles and nods . . not sure if it was a language issue, or just too much time in the computer lab. It was not as satisfying as a number of the other shots but I do like that she manages to smile with just the lines on her face. Her lips remain completely straight.   It is interesting for me to look at this series all together. I wonder if the closeness of the photographs relates to my comfort level or that of the subject. […]