Graphics Fun With A Crystal
Richard L. Howey, Wyoming, USA
With the COVID-19 pandemic and all the other ills of human “culture” which it has revealed, there are times when it is necessary to indulge in a bit of play in order to maintain one's own perspective and sanity. It is in this light that I offer this article/gallery.
I took two images from a slide with a mixture of Orange G (an excellent biological contrast stain) and Nigrosin (a black stain which tends to form films which produce interesting cracks) and using my graphics program, PhotoImpact, I began experimenting with the “creative warp” function and some might say that I got carried away. Well after months of being house-bound, I offer no apologies. I was amazed how, using just this single function, I could achieve a variety of images both pleasing and strange. I should add two bits of information: 1) I used a very thin and flexible plastic slide and using a very sharp, sturdy dissecting needle, I made a series of grooves in the surface of the slide and 2) the two basic images were taken with polarized light. I will provide only minimal commentary, because, I shall give myself permission to free-associate and give bizarre titles and descriptions to my unorthodox images.
Where shall we begin? Well, as the King counseled Alice–Begin at the beginning and when you come to the end, stop. So, we’ll start with the images which are the “root” as it were, the basis for all the subsequent fuss.
I would venture to say that it is not exactly a distinguished image; in fact, it is quite ugly, disorderly, and cluttered. The second is rather more pleasing and better organized. So, let’s see what happens when we begin to modify them.
Surprisingly, with just a couple of alterations, the first image becomes quite orderly and could be something one might see in a kaleidoscope, however, in this program, that is a separate function.
This next one I call “Alien Animals on a Merry-Go-Round”. I find the curves and swerves to be quite fun.
Now, think of what might happen if we were to turn a micro-bubble machine loose on the drop of solution that produced the crystals. We might get something like the following.
Imagine further that we took our original image and tossed it into a centrifuge. It might produce something rather like this.
Next, we get two alien fish passionately kissing each other with little voyeur fish off to the sides sneakily watching.
Now, I decided that we need some new place-mats for the dining room table, so I printed off a batch of these.
This next one is quite fun; it’s an image generated by a yoyo attached to a Spirograph.
Then, if we use the inverse function on that image, here is the result.
Top and bottom center in this image, you can see a very expensive, exotic wristwatch. I very much like the symmetry in this version.
Anybody want to take a trip and escape from being quarantined. Here is the inside dome of a very advanced spaceship.
The following image is rather organic in character; in fact, it is a group of trees found on a planet in the Andromedean galaxy, with moss growing on them.
The next image is of the mouth parts of a giant Venusian arthropod waiting for a huge meal to wander past. This is an inverted image. Here I cheated and used a different function called “Texture”.
It is interesting to me how, in certain configurations, symmetry is radically altered and one has to gaze for a bit to see a strange form still embedded.
However, for those of us who are mathematics freaks, symmetry is available in abundance as the next two images show.
Back to the fanciful; a man leading a long-legged camel on the slanted surface of a crescent moon.
An alien naval captain in his cap (top center) peering down a hatch on his ship.
And finally, a grouping of space eggs. Once again, I took the liberty of using the “texture” function.
I hope you found this little gallery a pleasant digression and are willing to pardon its silliness in these times that are so difficult for almost everyone.
All comments to the author Richard Howey are welcomed.
Editor's note: Visit Richard Howey's new website at http://rhowey.googlepages.com/home where he plans to share aspects of his wide interests.
Published in the September 2020 edition of Micscape Magazine.
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