Noodling with the Taijitu

Averages, Data Representation

On a lark I did some animation silliness today. The typical explanation for the taijitu, or the yin-yang symbol ( ☯ ), mentions how dark and light are intertwined, one leads to the other in a symbiotic wax-and-wane cycle, and one contains the seed of the other inside. Well, said I, I wonder what this wax-and-wane cycle would look like if the taijitu was rotating and you took the average grayscale value of the portion of the symbol passing at the zenith part. Who wouldn’t wonder that?

To make that more obvious, I’ve prepared this anigif, which contains three parts: a rotating taijitu, a cropping of the topmost sliver of the symbol from the centerpoint up (indicated by the red box in the first part), and the average grayscale value of that sliver:

Taijitu Joint000

So, basically, as the Wheel of Earth and Heaven rolls ponderously around, there are alternating times of lightness, darkness and shades in-between. I will leave you with a stand-alone gif of this interplay for your own amusement (caution: may not be synced with the above animation):

Taijitu Fill000

Pre-Thanksgiving Commute Composites

Commutes, Composites

Just in time for Turkey Day, two more composites from my Hyannis commute. Monday’s I shot from the back window, so it features the heating elements on the glass. In order, going, returning, combined:

20151123-CCCC-Commute-Going

20151123-CCCC-Commute-Returning

20151123-CCCC-Commute-Both

Today I tried to beat holiday traffic by leaving a little earlier, so the going composite has a lot of sunglare in it. For those images, the sun became a white hotspot in a sea of blue with the rest of the scene reduced to shadows. Thus, the scene shifts bluer than usual, there is more reflection from the dashboard, and the dust on the windshield is more highlighted. The returning commute was much longer that usual because of holiday traffic, and includes both a stop at the West Barnstable post office and at a paper store in Ball Square in Somerville.

20151125-CCCC-Commute-Going

20151125-CCCC-Commute-Returning

20151125-CCCC-Commute-Both

Only a couple weeks left of the semester, and probably and end to this round of commute composites.

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:

20150928-CCCC-Commute-Going

20150928-CCCC-Commute-Returning-01

20150928-CCCC-Commute-Returning-02

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

20150930-CCCC-Commute-Going

20150930-CCCC-Commute-Returning-01

20150930-CCCC-Commute-Returning-02

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.

20150923-CCCC-Commute-Going

20150923-CCCC-Commute-Returning

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 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.

Path-of-Spirit

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:

OutputFile

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.

Community of Artists Show at the Danforth Museum, June-August 2015

Needlework, Shows

Thought I’d post the nice cover graphic for a new show I’ll be in this summer:

Header

Come on down to the Danforth Museum in Framingham, Massachusetts to see my needlepoint rivers being exhibited as a group! Here’s additional information on the show:

Footer

Two New Prints: “Fovea” and a Name Too Long to be Tweeted

Letterpress, Scientific Exploration

The end of another semester, one started out with a rash of missed classes because of crazy winter weather, but slowly managed to unfold into a pretty successful time, if stressful. So to celebrate the end, and to enjoy a nice clean press room thanks to my Extension School students, I ran a couple of projects, both of which had been simmering on the back burner for some time.

The first is the print “Fovea”. This is a three-color letterpress piece done on Lettra 220#. A fovea is the central portion of the human retina, where the photoreceptors crowd very close together to give you detail color vision. This is a representation of the pattern of color-sensitive cones as they cluster in the fovea:

Fovea

Nave Residency, Day 12

Graphic Geography, Random Processes, Residency, Shows

Not really a true work day, just a quick organization day to prepare for the closing reception tomorrow evening. I threw out trash, rationalized the box situation for later packing, put away cameras, pens and pencils, and collected stuff to take home tomorrow morning. Once everything was tidied up, I set out a TV and DVD player so I can show a montage of my random pixel creations, and did some quick final setups:

Final-100-Pixel-Object

The final color Random Pixel Object.

Final-Grayscale-RPO

Nave Residency Day 11

Data Representation, Residency, Scientific Exploration

Something of a disjointed day today, various errands and weather-related interruptions had me going back three separate times. However, I did get stuff done. One of which was a  shot of the Pixel Earth-Moon System with my nice Canon camera; I had tried before but the auto-focus didn’t quite figure out what to focus on, so every shot was blurry. Hitherto:

Pixel-Earth-Moon-System

This, of course, is the Earth and the Moon, to scale in pixel form, with the distance between them also to scale.