I sat on a park bench in the Adelaide Botanical Gardens yesterday morning, and produced a 2B pencil sketch of the wonderfully green and pleasant view. In the foreground is the pond of Nelumbo genus aquatic plants; N. nucifera – the sacred lotus. These lily-like plants produce very attractive pink and yellow flowers (see below) and feature highly distinctive seed pods. The leaves are also superhydrophobic, which means that they have high water repellence due to the architecture of their surface. This is also known as the lotus effect.
My pencil sketch was later scanned into Adobe Photoshop, and coloured using a custom watercolour brush.
Further to my original Soundscapes designs, here are half a dozen new cd cover/icon designs – this time however, they are not exclusively constructed only with photography as the main visual element. This set has a greater focus on graphic design, so includes pieces using digital illustration (SEBAN) and custom type (BAUXER, OHLBITRAS), together with a range of photographic textures and effects.
Over the last few months I’ve been working with local songwriter Ray Rains, to produce a video clip for his song Make This Thing Fly. This is a real homemade effort, using my still camera to shoot all the live footage, iMovie to edit the clip, plus Illustrator and Photoshop to create the bird animations featured throughout. We shot a lot of footage – you should see all that has been left on the cutting room floor! – and even though we had no specific script, the final composition was pieced together to maintain an appropriate feel to match the mood and intent of the song.
Below are a few still shots taken from the filming nights, which taught me a lot about working with and directing musicians. A special mention should go to Peggy for her help in providing the angels, assisting with candles, and putting up with endless retakes.
I have a large collection of unused (and sometimes poorly taken) photographs lurking about on my hard drive – all looking to be shown, or for somewhere to usefully belong. As I’ve been listening to a lot of new music lately, I naturally decided to create a few album covers and/or icons for some fictional artists, which is a design practice I regularly undertook in my earlier years to explore creative ideas.
All of these would be musically categorised as either atmospheric alternative, ambient instrumental, or down-tempo electronic, and feature enhanced and edited versions of some of my photos within economical designs.
I recently purchased a copy of the Mac App Flare – a great little program, which through the use of photographic effects and filters allows you to easily apply a range of stylistic alterations to your imported images, and then save those setting combinations as a collective preset. Any of the existing application presets can also be altered or added to, plus there’s a growing community of people creating and sharing their own presets via the web community – neat!
I’ve selected some of my recent photographs taken at the Adelaide Zoo, and after checking out options, have happily added a bit of life into a number of images that needed a little spark. It’s a lot like my familiar Photoshop process for editing and enhancing images, just handily assembled all within one easy to use interface, with a variety of options just one click away. Many of the rather funky effects that are available don’t work for these types of images, but there are a lot of visually bold directions to take your photo in, if you wish to do so.
Enjoy the pics!
Since the original game was released for Sony PlayStation in 1997, I have been an enthusiastic player of Polyphony Digital’s Gran Turismo series. This was the one game that swiftly elevated the bar (and expectations of gamers) for realistic driving physics and racing experiences on a home console. It quickly became a welcome and regular entertainment destination for myself, offering plentiful makes and models of vehicles (road, track, off-road) together with various racing disciplines and competitions, superb recreations of famous real world tracks, plus many well crafted fantasy courses and venues that were simply a great joy and pleasure to drive.
After the release of GT4 I soon discovered that I was often enjoying the excellent Photo Mode as much as the racing itself, and had amassed a large image collection of my racing adventures. The most recent version – GT5 – features vastly improved resolution and definition, which has significantly enhanced the vehicle models and environments, and offers even better opportunities for realistic and accurate in-game photography.
A GT design project beckoned, as I was only using my photographs as desktop wallpapers or home screen backgrounds. So, I’ve produced a 40 page mini-booklet, titled “Photo Journey”, featuring just a small selection of some of my personal favourite cars and images from Gran Turismo 5. Many of the page designs use the four iconic PlayStation button symbols, together with various typographic title treatments and use of both the GT and PlayStation colour schemes.
Along with the three selected spreads shown above I’ve also set up a thumbnail version showing the full booklet, seen below.
I’ve recently started volunteering at the Barossa Regional Gallery in Tanunda, which this weekend officially opens a great new exhibition of outstanding ceramic art by Neville Assad-Salha. This is part of the 2012 SALA (South Australian Living Artists) Festival – South Australia’s community based visual arts festival.
Neville is currently a Professor of Fine Arts at the American University of Beirut in Lebanon, and has a home here in the Barossa Valley. About his work he notes:
My work over the past several years has looked closely at cross-cultural references. I have traveled extensively to many countries working with other artists. This has given me the ability to work across different cultural identities. My works look closely at space (not what space is but what it represents – a metaphor to space). Many of my works relate to the vessel form. This in turn, reflects the image of the human form being the vessel, along with some structural sculptural forms looking at architectural constructions being the tomb (a place of birth, a place of living, a place of death). Many of my pieces are constructed from steel, clay, bronze and sometimes stone. These in turn become a diagram of space.
After assisting with the setup, I decided to take a few photos (couple of hundred!) of the items on display and eventually had the thought of creating a small video presentation of my photography. The music was assembled in GarageBand, titles were designed in InDesign, and iMovie was used to edit the video.
The exhibition continues until 9 September 2012.