Accidental Allure

In the past I’ve made a few experiments with randomly layering and combining images: Glen Finlas -evaluate-sequence subtract and Averages (The Prisoner) for example.

A couple of weeks ago I started playing with combining images in the browser. There are several ways to go about this, I found a nice script to blend two images on a canvas and gave that a shot. It worked well and gave interesting results.

I though that using the Flickr API I could gather a list of images and randomly blend them two at a time.

Flickr’s API will return a json list. I started using the flickr.interestingness.getList which produced some interesting (sic) combinations. However when I started to get the license of the photos most were not labled for reuse.

I switched to using a standard search (flickr.photos.search ) which allowed me to search for license that allowed reuse.

I also switched to using CSS and background-blend-mode, this allows you to have multiple images set on a background and blend them.

For example using these images:

And this code:

<div style="border:solid 1px;width:500px;height:400px;background-image:url('https://c2.staticflickr.com/8/7587/26482589423_daa3bbdbd1.jpg'),url('https://c2.staticflickr.com/8/7012/6677861899_ef6e012bc8.jpg');background-blend-mode:multiply;"></div>

give me this:

With this in my toolbag I could pull in a flickr feed, extract image URLs and info about each photo and randomly combine them. They are displayed for 10 seconds each.

This gave me this:

Random Flickr Blendr

Here are a few random blends, screen captured:

I’ve found the pictures quite compelling.

On interesting this was the change I noticed when I swapped from the interestingness list to a search for creative commons images ordered by interestingness-desc. The images became more subtle and less HDRish, i think thy are more interesting and less glossy. An unusual win for Creative commons.

Over in DS106 land the page was used for a daily create:

#tdc1588 Turn @johnjohnston’s Random Image Pairing into a Self-Help Book Title | The (new) Daily Create

Which turned up some nice images and a fairly crazy bunch of titles.

My Own:

tdc1588

What was also interesting was some responses to the page:

So I an quite pleased with the result of this bit of experimenting. I’ve learnt a little more about CSS, images, JavaScript and even practised a bit of git. On the git front I’ve installed ezyang/git-ftp which is a quick and efficient way of pushing changed files to a website via FTP and works very well indeed. Saves working directly on line or opening an FTP application.

#tdc1547 Van Gogh goes #DS106

First Daily in a while, so though it was worth a quick post.

#tdc1547 Make a Van Gogh – Make him go for DS106 | The (new) Daily Create

The original DS106 image from DS106: The Open Online Community of Digital Storytellers by Jim Groom — Kickstarter Not sure who to credit as Google didn’t turn up a backstory.

The Van Gogh picture from File:Vincent van Gogh – Self-Portrait – Google Art Project.jpg – Wikimedia Commons where it says:

This is a faithful photographic reproduction of a two-dimensional, public domain work of art. The work of art itself is in the public domain for the following reason:

The author died in 1890, so this work is in the public domain in its country of origin and other countries and areas where the copyright term is the author’s life plus 100 years or less.
This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published (or registered with the U.S. Copyright Office) before January 1, 1923.
This file has been identified as being free of known restrictions under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights.

Which is good enough for me.

Process

vg-layersDownload both images. Open in Photoshop.

The Quick Selection Tool is my Friend.

  1. Select Van. and make new layer via copy.
  2. Duplicate that layer into DS106 image.
  3. Quick  Selection tool to cut out rear figure to new layer. Then headphones and cables to new layers too. Hide figure.
  4. Move VG layer behind main layer resize to fit.
  5. Image-> Adjustments -> Black & White…

vg-b-w

I messed about till I got it as B&W as I could.

Cropped and exported to jpg.

Other possibilities

I did think about the dark glasses:

make-art-vg-2-dg

But think the eyes had it.

 

I also though about tracing the VG picture to make it more in the style of the DS106/Sonic Youth.

Or sending the ds106 image to the twitter bot that does impressionist images…

Updates

Worth noting I flipped the VG image.

More important we know the DS106 Artist:

And I claim a couple of assignment stars: ds106 Assignments: Remix an Album Cover 😉

GifDub

gif-dub-screenshot

GifDub

Using Neocities who say We provide free web hosting and tools that allow anyone to make a website. and Neocities will never sell your personal data or embed advertising on your site..

GifDub is a sort of sound and gif mashup using the Giphy Api and Freesound API. The idea is to play several random gifs and audio files at the same time. You can toggle sounds on and off, replace gifs and sounds.

It is fairly silly but has been a lot of fun to put together. I suspect it will not work in Internet Explorer.

A work in progress, I’d like to add some more features and get it working in Internet Explorer.

This is not part of any ds106 assignment but it feels like DS106 to me, and it has gifs #wejamecono.

A #DS106 DailyCreate Twitter Bot

dailycreate-botThe DailyCreate Bot

I’ve always liked random and automated random things. While these are not strictly part of storytelling I’ve managed to bring them into DS106 whenever I can.

A while back I set up @DailyCreateBot for some reason or other. Obviously a Twitter bot of some kind to do with the Daily Create. I do remember having trouble with the OAuth requirements of the more recent Twitter API and giving up.

Last weekend, on a rainy day I blew the dust of my raspberry pi and got it online and set up as a server. I was not too sure what to do with it at the time.

During the week I did revisit a project to use the pi to flash some lights depending on a Twitter search. I don’t have hardware for that but I was interested in how simple the project was. There seems to be plenty of libraries that can sort out Authentication to Twitter for you now. A bit of googling and thinking, mostly googling and I have a Twitter bot set up.

The @DailyCreateBot will reply with a suggestion of a photo challenge of you mention him on Twitter. I am using the same list that Alan Levin provided for me for the photoblitz.

The @DailyCreateBot runs on Python. This is where the pi comes in I would not even know where to begin to find out how to host a python app but the pi lets me do that easily.

I am not proposing to write a step-by-step guide here but it is worth mentioning that several things went wrong or did not work as expected. All were beyond my 2 weeks worth of Python on the mechanical mooc . All were solved by a wee bit of googling and sometime just repeating things till they worked. The delight of working on a pi is that I knew I’d I totally messed up I could just reformat the SD card, install an so again and be back to square two.

I had already:

  • installed one of the basic OS FOR THE PI
  • Set up SSH access so that I can get ‘on’ to the pi from the terminal application on a mac and via SSH apps on iOS.
  • set up the pi as a web server and sorted out the DNS

Next:

*I found a python library and example code that replied.
*I added logic to reply with a random string taken from a list of challenges.
*Tested it a bit.

Then I posted to the DS106 Google + group and a few kind folk tested it a bit. Rochelle asked:

That is cool +John Johnston . It worked for me right out of the bot box. Do we upload to Twitter, tag them DailyCreateBot? I’d like to see what others have done. 🙂

Which got me thinking. A quick google found a php/JavaScript solution to showing tweets with the hashtag #dailycreatebot and I’ve got this up and running.

All very much a work in progress. There are few things to be ironed out:

  • the Python bot falls over every now and again complaining about UTF8 I need to google that some more.
  • the web page showing images just uses the styles used in the demo of the code. I need to tidy it up and perhaps skip tweets with the hashtag but no images.
  • there is also the problem Rochelle pointed out that if you reply to the bot you get another prompt. I wonder if I could turn off replies if there is an image in the tweet?

Anyway if your expectations are low you can join in:

  1. Tweet @DailyCreateBot and get a prompt.
  2. Tweet your photo with the hashtag #DailyCreateBot
  3. See what other folk are doing.
  4. Let me know of any interesting problems.