Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Artistic Photo Quilts

Last week's Quilt Festival in Houston was the usual orgy for the eyeballs; I don't think I'm allowed to post any photos of the quilts here, but what the heck - as usual, half the exhibits were No Photography, and SAQA was good enough to put out their own book of their two exhibits.

A slight design flaw (from my point of view; from the pov of the organizers, probably a Machiavellian scheme to get people to spend money) was the fact that there were hardly any chairs or benches in the quilt side of the show, but lots of places to sit down on the vendors' side. I blame this for the fact that I came home with three books and a new clip-on magnifying device for beading. One of the books was Charlotte Ziebarth's Artistic Photo Quilts, which is directly responsible for my spending more time fooling around with Photoshop than doing anything else since the quilt show. It's full of inspiring headers like "Bad Pictures Can Often Be Useful," and "Out of Focus Areas," - and examples to back up her assertion that you don't need a stunning, award-worthy, professional-looking photograph to make a stunning quilt. I love this woman!

The picture is one I took some years ago while hiking, divvied into sections and manipulated using some of the many ideas in her text. Now if I can just stop playing with Photoshop filters and go get some more color ink cartridges and print the sections, I think it might make a really nice small quilt. (And if it doesn't, you'll never hear about this particular bright idea again.)

One thing that frustrates me somewhat is that while Ziebarth gets magnificent results with the Cutout filter, I'm not getting much use out of it when I try to manipulate my images of Rajasthan. Cutout seems to transfer brilliant reds and oranges into muddy brownish earth tones. Any Photoshop gurus have a suggestion to fix this problem?

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