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Portrait of a Young Man as The Artist
What's up, duck?

What's up, duck?
Originally uploaded by ABMann.
Oi. I got in at quarter to 7 this morning. I need to leave early to get a hair cut and find new khaki pants as all my dressy clothes don't fit right. Stupid obliques getting larger. I think I need to return to lower weight with more reps as I seem to be getting more muscular at a surprising rate. At least my shirts still fit.

This week is our User's Group Meeting. We bring all our customers to Madison and have discussions and presentations all week. It's crazy busy when you throw on the two versions of release testing I need to be donig, the crash we have to fix by wednesday, non UGM meetings and normal work schedule. Yehaw. I'll probably be getting in at 6:30 all this week and leaving around 5 or 6, especially since I'm losing 75% of Wednesday or Thursday.

But at least it's fun busy. I like learning sessions and I have excellent excuses to lunch on State which is always enjoyable. Plus Thursday's application Forum should be beneficial for us; we may be able to use it as leverage for more RnD staff - both developers and QA.

Picture: Friendly duck outside the Noodles on Mineral Point. Custome channel mixer layer to make it onochrome. Then in mask mode I painted out the channel layer over the duck to restore color. It' was a pain picking out her feet from the grass but looks neat in the end. Worth the tedium of repainting the mask for each blade of grass.

I think I cropped half an inch from the top. Otherwise that's it.

Happy Birthday, chuzhuzhe!
19 comments or Leave a comment
lady_fox From: lady_fox Date: September 18th, 2006 01:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
I like the duck. It's very well-done.

abmann From: abmann Date: September 18th, 2006 01:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
I like it too, mostly.
I'm kind of annoyed by some of it. There's a green hue on her flank from the grass. I couldn't get rid of it so no it's all I see.
lady_fox From: lady_fox Date: September 18th, 2006 01:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ah... That's too bad. I didn't notice it.... if that helps at all.
abmann From: abmann Date: September 18th, 2006 01:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
Most people won't. :)
zesty_pinto From: zesty_pinto Date: September 18th, 2006 01:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
I do so adore the delectible ducky.

Odd though, I would have thought that your old clothes would be looser what with this current diet strategy of yours.
abmann From: abmann Date: September 18th, 2006 02:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm not dieting anymore. When I hit 176 lbs at 6 ft, that's pretty skinny. I don't know how much body fat I have but it's probably not much. Since then I've been adding more weights adn more machines to my work out while pulling back on the cardio. That means more musclee gain.

In the last two months I've added 30 pounds to the pectoral and oblique machines alone.
Plus with the cycling, my legs have gotten huge.

So, yeah... Not worrying abuot weightloss. And my diet isn't terrible.. usually...

But with the added leg and core muscle, my pants are tight tight as opposed to sexy tight. What pisses me off, though, is that my torso skin hasn't retreacted noticeably in the last few months. So I look really weird in my clothes. I wear pants that mostly fit but hae to wear a size larger shirt because it looks really gross otherwise.

Stupid skin. Stupid being fat for years.
fencert From: fencert Date: September 18th, 2006 02:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
Due to biking for years, I've had big biker thighs for most of my life. buying jeans was difficult until they came out with all those extra baggy styles.

Nowadays I just bike to work, so my thighs are not quite the problem they used to be, but honestly I kinda liked having to buy clothes at the Mister Freaky Big store...
chuzhuzhe From: chuzhuzhe Date: September 18th, 2006 01:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks! And I like the duck too. :)
abmann From: abmann Date: September 18th, 2006 02:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
Post no bills.
elenuial From: elenuial Date: September 18th, 2006 03:21 pm (UTC) (Link)

cuuuuute duck!

This piece is really great as a first look, but a couple of color choices bother me on closer inspection. Not the green on the lower end of the duck, though. I noticed the green there, but I thought you were doing something nifty with shadows to make them match the color of the bill.

It's actually the green of the bill that bothers me. I would rather see something not-green because the other colors -- while still not true-to-life -- are still theoretically plausible, which adds to the atmosphere of the piece. Green always gives off a feeling of "not real," so right now you have a surreal duck. What I'd like to see is the duck pop out of the page even more due to colors that aren't real, but just strange enough to make you think they could be real, which is even more surreal. The yellows and blacks of the duck's body are good examples of that, and the green of the bill is a good blend. It's just that the green takes me out of the picture.

Does that make sense at all?

That said, I love how the individual feathers all came out. And the time to get the legs was definitely well-spent. That's one of those touches that separates an "eh" piece from an awesome piece. On the whole, I thought this was really neat. Just those darn colors that get in the way.
abmann From: abmann Date: September 18th, 2006 03:28 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: cuuuuute duck!

I understand what you mean. And, as you put it, I completely agree. I'll have to play with the colors and hues to see what I can do. I have no idea how to go from real to surreal as you suggest though. :)

Making the duck ultra realistic may add to the surreal quality in the photo because of the desaturated background. I'll take a second look... uh.. later? No idea what my mental state may be this week.
elenuial From: elenuial Date: September 18th, 2006 03:43 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: cuuuuute duck!

Haha mental state. I need a mental state...

Jumping comments:

Autopiloting photoshop is neat. Very zen. It's my preferred mode to work in, though I can't do it with photoshop. In fact, I find myself hating to learn new programs more and more because I have to work to get back to that zen state. It's why I hate CS. I know in theory what I want to do, so having to learn fifteen different languages to do the same thing fifteen different ways annoys the hell out of me.

I should just learn how to code in machine language. :)
abmann From: abmann Date: September 18th, 2006 03:48 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: cuuuuute duck!

Uhh.. going from regular coding to machine language is quite a step But them machine language scares me. I also hate that I don't understand it as well. Nkowing what a machine willl do as your code is transfered to it makes coding easier.

However, I'm still just trying to learn to code well enough to do development at work. You may be further along in your code-y goodness. :)

I realized this weekend the degree of autopilot when I edited four photos in an hour and all were radically different in implimentation. I didn't recall making the choices actively to change what I changed.

I'm also finding that when I AM making active choices, the photo suffers. I need to intuit what is best for the photo rather than change it myself. Though the initial failed active process seems to feed the final unconscious process that comlpetes the photos.

It's really neat. :)
elenuial From: elenuial Date: September 18th, 2006 04:12 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: cuuuuute duck!

Oh, I can't code for crap. The best I can manage is some crappy out-of-date C++. I got a rude awakening when I tried to help my girlfriend write a C++ "Hello World" and discovered that the new build of C++ changed all the libraries around. So I'm pretty much a relic in the land of code.

When your active mind interferes, it messes with the zazen that is both you and photo, mind and mouse-wheel. :)

Seriously. That's cool. And even cooler that your unconscious learns from your conscious mistakes. I guess because photo manipulation is a building process that you can adjust, as opposed to killing people where screwing up means you probably don't get to learn from your mistake. :)
alyska From: alyska Date: September 18th, 2006 03:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
i don't know if it's just the difference in camera quality or what, but your recent pictures ahve been incredibly cool. you've got a lovely eye, and it's really showing in the execution now. you should make prints... i should talk to anne and see if they have any openings at her shop. (she's co-owner of cuppa joe over on monona drive.)

abmann From: abmann Date: September 18th, 2006 03:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
Having good equipment makes a big difference but also having the technical skill and patience to fix my screw ups helps. :) It's weird though. When I go into Photoshop, I'm on autopilot. I rarely think directly about what I'm doing but seem to know what the picture needs to be better. In most cases, at least. Most photos, too, benefit from the same adjustments.

I'm waiting on a response from The Camera Co on many print related questions regarding cost for weird sized prints. If I hear nothing today I'm going to pound them in the face tomorrow. Portfolio printing is high priority right now.... well, sadly, I need dress pants more. Stupid work.
alyska From: alyska Date: September 18th, 2006 03:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
i use acme photo on th eeast side (stoughton road) for my prints, and i've been incredibly happy with the quality of their images.

they've got all their price lists and things online as well, and you can upload your digital image files to their web site and order online (for pickup, or they'll mail to you)

abmann From: abmann Date: September 18th, 2006 03:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
That's quite the distance when compared to Camera Co which is a mile from my house and always on the way to/frmo anywhere I am. :) I will check on the proce difference with shipping though. :)

What's this about Cuppa Joe?
alyska From: alyska Date: September 18th, 2006 03:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
a friend of mine and totally cool person, anne hanson, is co owner of cuppa jo, a coffee shop on monona drive. (they also have a cafe downtown.) they have thigns on the walls from local artists, everything from photography to art quilts to jewelry, that they sell and take a commission from. the kinds of pictures i've seen you posting lately would fit well there, and photography always sells pretty well when she does photo hangings.

i don't know what her fall hours are (or where they are in their booking), but it might be something worth calling her to check out. she's very nice, and you can say that i sent you. *grins*
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