Commute Composites: Self-Portraits and Instruments

Commutes, Composites

Two new composites of my commute to Cape Cod. The first: training the camera on myself as I drive through southern Massachusetts:


It was warmer in the afternoon, so I took off my black wool coat.


The second set concentrates on the instrument panel. You can see the speedometer and tachometer needles clustering at different speeds, which would be for traffic, city driving, and highway driving, and you can also see the fuel gauge slowly drifting downward. In the first one, you can see the wiper stalk shifted, as I ran into showers in the beginning.


No tachometer in this one, but more of a closeup on the panel itself.


Three Las Vegas Icosacomposites

Icosacomposite Video, Video

Last weekend I took a whirlwind tour of Las Vegas for my mother-in-law’s 75th birthday. I didn’t have much time, but I was able to get footage for three composite video pieces.

The first was set up on the footbridge over Spring Mountain Rd connecting the Wynn/Encore complex with The Palazzio. I was interested in getting the large video displays in a composite, but I also got a young, visibly-pregnant beggar holding her sign for the crowd. The only thing besides the casinos that didn’t move much in the video is her begging cup. Things that make you go, “Hmmmm.”

The second one I tried to squeeze in between the Fashion Show and Cirque du Soleil, but I couldn’t get the perfect shot and only managed twenty minutes of footage. This one is next to Caesar’s Palace, with the video display for The Linq as the object of interest. It’s only a minute long.

Finally, after the Cirque du Soleil show, my wife and I went down the Strip seeing the sights. I set up near the Bellagio and got a final icosacomposite of the crowds. Hidden in the footage: a guy haranguing the crowds from the center island, a drunk individual hanging out of a stretched monster truck screaming “I love Las Vegas!”, various wedding parties of all description, numerous motorized signs touting “Live Nude Girls”, and my wife handing off a second set of batteries to me.

Another Cape Cod Commute

Commutes, Composites

Only one commute this week because of Columbus Day. I decided to get a full front windshield, and then zoom in on the rearview mirror to get an image of myself as the driver. Because of the zoom, the wiggle of the monopod blurred the image more than a wide-angle, but it still looks interesting.



Sets of Driving Commutes, Sept 28 & 30

Commutes, Composites

More commutes going up! As I’m getting to know how the suction cup mount works, I’m discovering that the “gorilla” interlocking system is not as amazingly strong as its name would imply. So for three of these commutes, the mount shifted during the time-lapse. The first time, going to the Cape on Monday, was fine. The second time, the return trip on Monday, the mount shifted because I hit a bump. The third time, the trip going to the Cape today, the mount wasn’t in a happy position and slowly lowered itself over the course of the trip. The final time, the return trip today, I accidentally brushed the mount with my shoulder, so it shifted.

The first set was fine, and the third set was so gradual in its change that there was no demarcation to divide the commutes. The second and fourth sets had a definite demarcation point, so I divided the commutes into two sections: Before Shift and After Shift.

Monday’s pics were with the camera stuck to the sunroof and angled across the cabin:




Wednesday’s set had the camera stuck to the driver’s side window near my left ear:




Notice the difference in the feel of the composites between the Before Shift and After Shift sets. The smaller sets keep more of the feel of the fellow automobiles and the streets passing by, while the larger sets blend into a much creamier fog of color. I may experiment with more or fewer photos in each set to see what looks cool.

Second Set of Automobile Commute Pictures

Commutes, Composites

The joys of suction cup mounts! Here’s a set with the mount stuck to the sunroof glass and the camera pointing forward. (The camera was also hanging upside-down, but the joys of Photoshop means that that is easily corrected.) The two images, “Going” and “Returning”, are somewhat different because I take the camera with me when I go in to class; the parking lot at CCCC is big and I don’t want to give anyone the opportunity to grab a free camera.



Both of these use automatic exposure settings, so the color is consistent. There are portions of the scene that shouldn’t move, like the mirror, the dashboard and the little Lego guy sitting in his spaceship, but the camera does vibrate on the end of the mount so it blurs the resulting composite. I think the next set will be with the camera again on the sunroof but pointing toward me and the steering wheel. Then I could reverse it and have it pointing out the passenger-side window.

For each new week, I think I’ll just post the new ones on Wednesday or Thursday.

New Round of Composite Commutes

Commutes, Composites

I’m driving to Hyannis on the Cape to teach Photoshop this fall, so I decided to do another round of commute composites, this time in an automobile, and this time with a mount for the camera. These will be a little less amorphous in terms of framing, but the suction cup mount means I’ll be mounting the camera on various pieces of glass all around the car, so there will be an interesting variety of perspectives to examine.

Here’s the first round, done with the camera mounted on the dash. The difference in color is because I tried the first one with a fixed exposure, but didn’t like the overexposed/underexposed gamut that resulted. The second is done with the camera automatically setting the exposure, so there’s less whiteout/blackout in the images. I’ll probably keep it on automatic from now on.


Going to the Cape, 21 September 2015


Coming back from the Cape, 21 September 2015

Some Messing Around with Plate Tectonics

Averages, Graphic Geography

Just a couple of images to show what I’ve been playing around with recently. It has to do with the shapes of the major tectonic plates and their overall vectors. Interesting thing: the amount of distance that each plate moves in a year can be easily expressed, in real-life scale, in a print one can hold in one’s hand. More on that later.

One’s a colorized overlay, one’s a simple outline overlay.



New Letterpress Print: “Path of the MER-A Rover ‘Spirit'”

Printmaking, Scientific Exploration

Got a new print done at the Bow & Arrow Press. This one is called Path of the MER-A Rover “Spirit” and represents the 6-year lifetime of the Spirit rover on Mars as it skirted craters and made its way to the Columbia Hills. The craters on the plains are printed in PANTONE warm Red and the Columbia Hills massif is printed in PANTONE 153 on Lettra 220# letterpress paper. The path of the rover (highlighted in this photograph, taken with the print oriented to an oblique light source) is embossed without ink.


The paper size is 9.75″ x 8.25″, the edition size is 40 and they are available for sale.

Average Security Council 2015

Averages, Data Representation

Working again with the concept of averaging things to see what results, I’ve pulled up a project from years past and figured out a way to make a physical manifestation. In this case, I’m averaging flags, specifically, the flags of the nations that make up the United Nations Security Council for 2015. Here’s the base image that I prepared for inkjet output on canvas:


Each rectangle represents the average color of the flag of that nation. There are quite a few maroony-pink flags here, because red-white-and-blue is a common selection for flag colors.

Upgraded “Internet Swadesh” Site

Data Representation, Internet Art, Linguistic Deconstruction

My dream of having the Internet Swadesh website be a completely automated and daily glimpse on the linguistic proclivities of the Internet was not going to come true anytime soon, so I decided to get things working manually. So I updated the site to a simple WordPress install and went to Google Image Search myself to get image results for each of the 208 Swadesh terms in English. I’m going to try to update these myself every month for now, and maybe throw in some other languages as I have time.

So not much to see now, but hopefully it will get better as the year progresses.