I have been wanting to make a good attempt at Annie Belle’s Switch up the Mood ds106 assignment:

Color, lighting, saturation, contrast, and many other factors all play in to taking a decent photo and making it fabulous. This assignment is to change the mood or tone of a photograph by altering the contrast, brightness, hue, saturation, exposure, etc. You do not have to change all of those things about the photo, but you can if you would like to. Experiment. Don’t be afraid to take it to the extremes, and don’t be afraid to be subtle. Familiarize yourself with your editing software, whether it’s Photoshop, GIMP, Picnik, or any number of other editing platforms. Most of all, enjoy what you are doing!

Yet I wanted more than just going black and white for a gritty feel. I ended up using as my “pre” image a photo of the Cadillac Ranch, a spot in Amarillo, Texas I visited in November, 2011. It is public art out in a field west of town, set up in 1974 by the Ant Farm dudes (someone recommended I check out their Media Burn performance piece). The Ranch features ten Cadillacs planted into the ground from 1949 to 1963, at the same angle Great Pyramid of Giza.

Back in 1987 when I came through here on my way to Arizona, I completely missed it! So in November, going back that way again, I made it my goal to stop there. It is public art, and you are invited to paint your own spray paint work to it. So the night before I loaded up on 2 cans of yellow and black paint, and made my marks on the cars, one area writing “ds104 4life” and adding a “CogDog” to the hood of one of the caddies.

I played with the image by trying to make it go grittier, like a dusted over post apocalyptic version of the location. I cant remember everything I did in Aperture- cranked the saturation down, turned up the brightness, pushed the tint to the yellows and greens, bumped the shadow zones, and tweaked the luminiance in the histogram. I think it is quite different from the bright colors and light of the original.

When I was looking for the date of the original, I spotted that it was 11/18/11 (SYMMETRY!) and decided by post picture woudl also be in the future, yes 2012, when all the shit goes down, and made the second one a date of 12/11/12, AFTER we have wrecked out world as we know it.

Here we go, pre and post apocalypse:

(click to see the full apocalyptic detail)

And here is a comparison of my sliders

I did return to the spot in january on my way back across texas heading to Virginia, and all my art work was long gone- I am sure the coverage frequency is about once per week!

You have been warned! The world will be much different on 12.11.12. #ds106 is #4life even when the world goes down the tubes.

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Profile Picture for Alan Levine aka CogDog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.


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