Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Video game world refined follow up


I have so many bits and photos from video games coursing around on my phone and computer that  I would think I would have dozens of more pictures to show you today. But I was getting ready to present my photo album I realized I just liked three of the pictures I had ready to go.

They do all still include video game environments and characters, but there is also a Japanese folk house from google earth and a lot of kid's picture book characters. Well, not a lot, considering how there are only three pictures.

Monday, January 17, 2022

Video game world


I have been interested in video games for as long as they have existed, though I did take a twenty year break from them to live life and wait for them to get good during the last decades of the 20th Century. But as interested as I have been in games, I have never felt my interest aligned properly with anyone else's. Nearly all of my friends and acquaintances have had no interest in them, and the large online communities' traditional takes on games never seemed to reflect my own very well.

I recognize the importance of gameplay and storyline in games, and these are regularly the thing that even makes games playable, or financially viable for that matter. But over time I have come to understand myself as more of a tourist in these games, and increasingly I relate to these exhaustively, sometimes beautifully developed gameworlds as museums as much as I relate to them as playgrounds.

I have been taking a lot of pictures lately inside of games. And if this were a different sort of blog, or I were in a different frame of mind, I might show you some of these pictures just to demonstrate the artistry of these elaborately and expensively constructed worlds. Instead, as is my wont, I have been mashing pictures of different worlds together, trying to create some kinds of suggestive expressions rather than focusing specifically on documenting the work of others (though there is that).

There are quite a few pictures here today, and though a few may look to be made whole cloth out of a single video game image, none of them are. I am working with games involving Viking era Norway, Marvel Universe alien worlds, a fantasy world in apocalyptic breakdown, and a build-your-own-city in a simple, contained universe. I have also thrown in images from picture books, no doubt throwing more confusion on it all. And then on top of all that I have perhaps gone a little too far to the extreme with filters and editing, but I'll leave that to you to decide.

And so this is today's homage, or theft, or reinterpretation:

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Little foxes


After an Autumn full of deer, I have not found my Winter to be nearly as rich in wildlife sightings. And so it was with especial joy that, in walking down a long, snowy alley in my neighborhood, I spotted two scrappy little wild creatures.

"Foxes!" I glee'd softly to myself in delight. Then I began hurriedly preparing my camera. 

These small animals were still pretty far away, clearly cautious, and on the move. But I hoped to get some kind of picture if I could. I aimed the camera as fast as I was able, and I cranked the zoom...



Not foxes, cats.

Well, I have no complaint.

The two of them dashed into the backyards before I could get anywhere near them. But I hooked around to the front of those houses and found one of the cats already settling in for a snooze on a front stoop.

Saturday, January 15, 2022

France Saint Minneapolis


Yesterday I was telling you about some mash-up pictures I was working on. I have been inserting bits of French Village architecture into the local Saint Minneapolis houses I walk by regularly. I'm sort of livening things up in my imaginary world.

I showed you one of these pictures that I got a little carried away with and put all sorts of stray elements into; a couple, a frog in a car, etc. 

Here, to refresh your memory, is a differently finished version of that house from yesterday:

I promised, or warned, or suggested I would be showing the, somewhat simpler, other three houses today. So here I am frenchifying the local neighborhoods. Curiously enough, some of the bits of buildings I took from France are from a village called Saint Paul! Saint Paul de Vence, in full.

Friday, January 14, 2022

Accidental pun


My carefully constructed puns are not terribly funny, and my accidental puns aren't funny at all, but I still really like them both. And one of the latter happened to me today while I was working on content for clerkmanifesto, so I am going to tell you all about it!

I was combining photographic elements from the architecture of small French villages with the occasionally humble houses of the Saint Minneapolis neighborhoods I regularly walk through. I guess maybe I was trying to suggest improvements for my neighborhood in my dreamworld mind. And I had gotten three pretty simple, yet satisfying images I'll show you some other time. But the fourth picture I was working on was causing me problems. The house I started with wasn't very nice, so I kept adding more and more elements to it, windows, arches, roof, and so on. It was taking a lot of time, and maybe getting a bit silly, but it was starting to come together. The last thing I added was a cartoon car that a frog was driving, and that I wanted to put in the driveway.

Here's the final product:

Well, it is what it is. To be honest there's not much of the original house left.

But the pun part came when I was cutting out the car to put into the photo. On the photo editor I use one chooses the image and then with an assortment of tools meticulously marks out all of the parts one wants to keep. In this case, for me, it was the blue car, with the frog driving. But instead of doing it meticulously, one can tell the program to take its best shot at choosing the part of the image you might want, usually a person, or central object. This rarely works perfectly, but sometimes it kind of works. To try doing this, you  start by choosing the option...


Ha ha ha! It almost worked too! 

I just had to cut out between the tires mostly.

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Currier and Ives


Today I have just one photo. 

Spoiler alert: It's of a cat.

Someone donated a large format book of Currier and Ives pictures to the library. This was a possible goldmine for all my mash-up photo projects, so I started snapping away all kind of pictures of old timey figures, horses pulling sleighs, and river steamboats. I liked some of the paintings okay, and found some to look weird and unsettling, but I came across only one that I found genuinely wonderful. It was like nothing else of their work. And since it wasn't useful to my projects I passed it by.

Then I paged back to it and photographed it anyway.

Later I found it still looked intriguing on my phone.

So then I worked it up into a sort of pop art version of itself.

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Views of Saint Minneapolis


While I have been working as steadily as ever on my range of photography projects, most of them have yet to pay out. They still might, but I've been bringing more hints of my efforts here and showing hopes for things to come, rather than reveling in my absolute triumphs.

However, one avenue of my picture taking has been coming out particularly well. Not all that many days ago I showed a collection of the downtown pictures I have been steadily taking, and already now I have another bulging stack of Saint Minneapolis pictures. At this time of year the skyline lights up so brilliantly in both the prodigious dawn and lengthy dusk of Winter that even pictures of much the same thing, over and over, are producing varied and interesting effects.

As usual, the best thing to do here is probably to choose the three best and just show those, but I couldn't. It's hopeless. I like all of these in their own ways. And so instead today I have thirteen pictures.