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Saturday, January 08, 2005

Curb 83rd, Step Backwards

7:31:40 PM    

As the Curb Thing gets closer to what I'd call a first draft, I should write down some notes about how it was done:

I began with the upper curb, because I wanted to have a straight line to work with, and it was done with the 35mm lens. The center street was mostly done on 82nd street, also with the 35mm lens. As I moved towards the sidewalk and the upper wall, I began using the 24mm. One idea I had from the beginning was that there would be several angles of view in the same photograph. That the upper curb would be shot, slightly at an angle so that I could move up the wall if I wanted to. The lower curb and the street would be shot at 90 degrees. In other words, there would be a perspective shift from bottom to top, but nothing drastic. And that idea didn't really change as I went along.

One of the things that did change, was that I began to walk around looking for interesting items to put into the picture. A lot of these are too small to make out in the web image, but I found a purple afro comb, and there is a great dunkin doughnut cup in the puddle on the bottom, and a whole mess of rain-melted newspaper on the top which was taken from some other street. These are like those carved radishes you see at a banquet table.

One other thing to note: when I began, I was shooting RAW, and compilation was all 16 bit. As I went along I would combine layers into one layer and then go to the next file and start adding more layers. But this got to be creatively stilting as I was locked into big blocks of combined layers, and about 1/3 of the way through I went to 8-bit, and then I began shooting JPG - Large. There is so much resolution in the thing - it could easily be 12 feet high at 240 if I wanted to recreate it again with the original files (I made them all 4 inches wide in this version) - anyway - I would need a much better computer to really do this in 16-bit with say 75 layers.

Now, here's what would be really fun: a super laptop so that you could work in the fresh air - and have your subject in front of you so you could do your compilation in a more fluid way.  One of the reasons I did this scene in the first place was that it was just downstairs from me.  There were many times when I would go shoot something, come upstairs, plug it in, realize it wasn't right, go downstairs and shoot it again, etc.

10:10:52 AM