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Posts Tagged ‘photograph’

I have started a new photo blog at gileswhitaker.tumblr.com

The subject of the blog is the city that I live in, London, Ontario. These photographs represent my own experience of living in this city. I am attempting to show things as I find them – mundane, dilapidated, ordinary, prosaic, beautiful, enigmatic, depressing, or several of these at once. I do not wish to show everything in a defamiliarized way that implies that I have a special, enlightened understanding of the subject that I am trying to impart to the viewer. I do not wish to apply a particular aesthetic to all the photographs so that they end up portraying my own way of seeing the world, rather than the city itself. Inevitably, either of these things could end up happening, as photographs are inherently subjective, and sometimes the photographer does see and present a particular understanding of a subject that enlightens the viewer. 

Who are these photographs for? Myself, as making them helps in my process of thinking about the place I live in, and my own relationship to it. Other inhabitants of London, so that they can see it through my own eyes, not a more enlightened view, just a different one. Anyone else in the world who might be curious about this small, struggling town between two big lakes (and two big cities), somewhere in the middle of the vast North American continent. The more curioisity I have about it, the more it reveals itself, and this photo blog is part of that process.

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A new program that generates random collages by selecting random parts of images and drawing them on top of each other. The program runs continuously, blending new image parts over the existing composition. All images were sourced from the web from open, public websites. The images were obtained “randomly” by doing image searches using words randomly selected from a dictionary. Images were chosen that were the right size and orientation and which fitted certain criteria. They all had to be unaltered photos and not hand-drawn, computer-generated or manipulated images. They were also selected for interesting composition and subject matter – so it is a sort of semi-random process. Image contents and subjects that I would not have thought of without the random process have been obtained – but I have exercised some choice about what sorts of images, compositions, and image fragments will work well in the program.

At the moment the program uses this library of images on the hard drive. I would like to find some way to allow the program to search for and find its own images on the web. I have a prototype for this, and it works, but not very well.  If anyone has any ideas about how to do this well, let me know. It’s possible that the library of pre-downloaded images is actually a better choice – as it can make more interesting comments on the relationships between ourselves, our shared images, and the world due to the more careful selection. I’ll need a lot more of these images, though, as at the moment you see image fragments repeat a bit too often.

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