A few days ago, I posted a picture I was having trouble with:
Then I messed around with the channel mixer and got something I liked better:
Eric Hanson posted a comment here saying that he liked the first image better. Intrigued, I posted both images on Facebook yesterday, asking which one people preferred.
Some expressed a strong preference. Chuck Davis and Kim Weston, for example, photographers whose work and eyes I deeply respect, went for the one that I liked — let’s call it “dark tree”. Some hemmed and hawed. I totted up the votes as best I could, and came up with 6 for “dark tree” and 4 for “light tree”.
Then I had an inspiration. I went back to Lr, and exported both photos as layers to Ps. I put light tree on the bottom, and dark tree on top. I set the opacity on dark tree to 60%. Now I had a composite of the two images with a weighting proportional to the collective preferences of my Facebook commenters.
The registration wasn’t perfect, since I had rotated both photographs a little differently. I made a clumsy stab at fixing that, and here’s what I got:
It’s not half bad! In fact, in some ways I like it better than the dark tree one. It’s definitely better than the light tree one in my book.
This brings up a new — well, new to me — possibility for Internet collaboration. The photographer creates two or more images that share registration and posts them The audience votes. The photographer produces an image that mixes the candidates in proportion to their vote, and posts it. Or exhibits it. Or prints it in a book.
Of course, every person who voted would be a co-artist on the piece. What a good way to get a lot of people to the opening reception!
Or, here’s another possibility, that needs some computer wizardry to pull off. Put the n candidate images on n flat screen monitors in the gallery. Figure out a way to limit the exhibition attenders to one vote. Have one more flat screen that continually displays the current composite image. Make a movie of the evolution of the image throughout the run of the show.