A New Phase

For the past decade or more, I have been connected to one institution or another that provided access to tools, equipment, and software that I used for the production of my work. Now, as an independent artist, I am looking for new resources and means of production. I have yet to establish a dedicated studio since moving to Colombia, but I hope to do so within the next 6-months or so. In the meantime, I will work where I can.

One of the most significant changes is the technology available to me. In trying to cut monthly costs, I am avoiding an Adobe CC subscription. Unfortunately, the Adobe suite has been essential to my work as a photo-based artist. I have found, however, a work around that, so far, is working quite well.

I purchased Adobe Lightroom 6 (around US$150), which, bundled with Photoshop would cost around $10/month. I also had the change to test the new Affinity Photo beta, which seemed pretty good. When the full version became available for purchase for $40 (as opposed to the $600 or so it would cost to purchase Photoshop) I jumped. Recently, as I’ve re-started my studio practice, I’ve gone deeper into Affinity Photo. Specifically, I’ve been testing its photo stitching capabilities in preparation for a new body of work (the next step in the ongoing Habits of Seeing series).

Here are some of the tests. The first is the result of three-frames, shot landscape:

panorama_test1

The next day, I tried something a bit more ambitious. The same scene, but expanded using nine-frames shot portrait. Affinity Photo had a bit of trouble stitching these together:

affinity_grab

Not a great likeness. So I tried breaking the nine-frames into three groups of three, and then to stitch those three composites together:

panorama_test2

Better, for sure, but there obviously remain significant distortions. Next I will make sure that the large building on the right half of the image is contained in a single frame. Hopefully that helps correct that distortion. Otherwise, I’ll start playing with Affinity Photo’s liquify tool to manually correct the various distortions. (By the way, I was shooting through a screen, which is that criss-cross pattern.)

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