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26 Jul 2007

by Noel

Visual Manipulation

This post is about two different forms of visual manipulation for artistic effect. Start by looking at these
pseudo-3D chalk drawings. The monocular vision of the camera enhances the effect but I believe they would work in life if seen from the right angle. There was an exhibition of pseudo-3D paintings at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and they worked very well — arguably better than in photographs are you could actually walk around the works and the effect was maintained for quite a wide viewing angle.

Now you’re warmed up, we’re going to go into a time machine hereand here. I find the lack of colour in early photographs presents a barrier that makes it difficult to imagine myself in the scene. These colour photographs from the period 1909-1915 (reconstructed from red, green, and blue images using an ingenious process) remove that barrier and the results are striking. Some of the scenes — railways, forests, grand buildings — could be contemporary, but note how few roads there are, how few possessions are visible. I can relate to the pictures and yet they still feel like another world. Fantastic stuff.

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