An album cover in search of an album

You may remember examples of El Guapo’s artistic adventures from previous posts (including some kalaidoscopic e.e. cummings, some Evening Traffic, and some Dancing at Saint-Rémy). He was working on something today that I thought you’d be interested in–a sort of composite cubed.

At first I thought I might be able to explain how he made this digital creation, in case you loved it and wanted to try it, too. It quickly became clear that the process is fairly involved, so I’ll show you images, toss in some terms, perhaps wave my hand vaguely, and then pass along any requests that you might make for a more detailed description of his process.

The first tool in his art kit today was The site takes a primary image and basically reinterprets it in the style of a second image. The process isn’t a guaranteed success, but sometimes the results are excellent. here’s an example from the site:

One person began with a picture of a girl,

and paired it with the famous Japanese print by Katsushika Hokusai called “The Great Wave off Kanagawa:”


To my mind, the combination is very appealing:



El Guapo uploaded a photo of himself, and tried about a dozen combinations with various other images that he found in Ostagram. Here are a few examples:




These are fun on their own, but he had further plans. He put these composites into Photoshop, and began to layer them in various combinations. This is where I begin to lose my way, because I don’t have much experience in Photoshop, but he tells me that he did things like set the blend mode to darken, which means that the pixels on the upper layer that are darker than the pixels beneath will show up. If the upper layer pixels are lighter than those beneath, then the lower layer will show up.





So the first composites were created in Ostagram, and those were made into composites in Photoshop. At this point these look like they could very easily be album cover artwork, though there’s currently no album to go with them (I’ll keep you posted if he suddenly writes a bunch of music to match).

You might think that composites of composites would be enough, but El Guapo went one step further, putting the mixes of mixes into Premier Pro, a video editing program. There he put the photos into a sequence and then used a technique called edge-to-edge cross dissolve, so that the first photo begins dissolving into the next, and then into the next. As I said, composite cubed.


What will he think of next?


[Images: Маргарита at, El Guapo]






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