Showing posts from August, 2007

Song of the Geese

They sang radio waves
a chorus concurrent
talking sky river

At night they continued
gleaming monologic
radio and stereo
trumpet tail space

By morning it stank
video atomic vomit
rotting radio-liloquoy
gusting disgusting

It's been a while since then, and the geese have come back.
Smaller and not as noticeable.
Silver steel mandible
hollow horn handle
copper creel cribable

Tim Hodkinson


If you've ever driven on a highway in a snowstorm you probably know that the best way to stay on the road is to drive with one wheel just off the edge of it. I think that's a good technique when it comes to creative activities: stay half off the road. It's slower, but ironically, you never end up going off the road completely.

While trying to find the outer creative edge of the Block Wave filter from showFoto, I discovered a rather interesting effect that mimics the natural effect of trying to scratch something to pieces. Not everyone may enjoy this pulverized effect, and I had my doubts too, but it gives a delightfully decayed and overgrown feel to imagery that is all too often polished and recognizable.

There's such creative potential in distortion filters once you've discovered where the road ends and where the ditch starts.

Tim Hodkinson

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Ant Works

It's always amazed me how careful and disciplined insects can be. One of the many wonders I saw when visiting the tropical Gulf coast of Mexico were leaf-cutter ants. Up here in Canada (Toronto), ants don't do much except crawl around and occasionally make an anthill. Leaf cutters make Canadian ants look primitive.

Although leaf-cutters can probably be a problem when they decide to remove all the leaves off a tree you'd like to keep, they can be quite inspiring when you consider how tiny they are, and what enormous achievements they can make just by being cooperative. The Block Wave distortion filter from showFoto and the digiKam project, makes me feel I've harnessed a colony of digital ants to dig and chew old images into astounding new things.

This image resized to 600x800 and zapped with Block Wave, default settings, gets the above image

Perhaps, "harnessed" is not the right word. Unleashed is a more accurate one. The ants march to the beat of their own…

showFoto 0.5.0: Doorway to the 6th Dimension!

Made from the original, below, using Block Wave with default settings on a resized (enlarged) version

I wonder how many of us, capable of doing so many things, would be reduced to only one single, useful, function if the people we live or work with could custom configure us? That's the way I've come to look at the digital camera program, showFoto. Sure, it's probably useful for handling digital photos (I think that's where the name comes from) but it's distortion filter, "Block Wave", is all I think of when I use the program.

Actually, I guess it's not really a feature of showFoto but the digiKam filter plugin that installs the incredible block wave filter. These are both Linux programs, but I don't think it matters much since these are fairly plain and generic functions that can be found on any operating system. Although I'm not a programmer or math person, I suspect the block wave filter I've used, while not as common as the circular …