I’m still trying to love the Nik Collection. One thing I have learned so far – it’s a huge time sink. My control freakery is making it difficult for me to give up the control I have learned over the years with Photoshop. To me, the filters seem to have a harsh, Instagram feel – or is that just Photoshop snobbery? On the other hand, I’m struggling to reconcile a package which has a filter called “I’m feeling lucky” (which is exactly what you think it is) with Ansel Adam’s idea that you should know the image you want before you pick up the camera.
However, I’ve never been able to achieve anything like an acceptable HDR result with Photoshop, so the Nik HDR plugin was attractive. I took a 5 stop series of this uninspiring composition in order to try it out. What do you think? I’m still not convinced.
You may have missed the news that Google has just made the Nik Collection free. (If you bought it in the last year you can get a refund. If you bought it before that, well that’s Capitalism for you.) So I’ve been playing around with it, and as you can see from this horribly over processed fake cyanotype, I need lots more practice. Although I would say in my defence that this comes from a fairly unpromising starting shot.
I still can’t get my thoughts away from Joiners. I’ve learned a lot in the past week:
- I’m rubbish at this. I don’t have Hockney’s painterly eye. My major problem is generating the right source content rather than joining it up.
- It’s a lot of work to do this in Photoshop – analog prints on cardboard is easier!
But there are ways of automating all or some of the process in Photoshop. There’s no question that Photoshop can’t produce as good a result as a skilled human. But I’m not a particularly skilled human. And here’s the big question: Can a machine produce art?
I’ve been interested in Hockney’s exploration of photography for many years, but I’ve not given it much thought for some time. A few weeks ago I stumbled across someone on Instagram making Hockney-style joiners. It set me thinking, and experimenting. According to Hockney, joiners extend photography by capturing time – as with a painting, they are not a single image but constructed over a time sequence.
My first experiment was quite successful and revealed something else. Since a joiner is not taken from a single viewpoint the perspective is much more three dimensional than a single photograph. This is apparent when you compare a joiner with a Photoshop Merge.
After that, it all went wrong, and I have not been able to produce an image I am happy with. Today Terese volunteered to help me have another go, but when I did the merge, I obviously did something wrong in Photoshop and didn’t get the expected result. This needs more work…
I’ve been playing around with Photoshop Layer Masks. Spot the fake: