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Posts Tagged spirals

My thoughts on a certain calendar

I hope this post doesn’t bring any negativity or haters. I’ve seen this happen when the subject was so delicate (to some people) like this. But here we go.

I had read in another blog – which I won’t mention here which one  it is just because of these fights and haters, but it has been mentioned here a couple times and I do share many of their thoughts about how and where the fractal art is going – about how the Fractal Calendar was becoming sort of a… how to put it lightly… commercial product supposedly open to the fractal artists community to participate, but a project where just a few people had the chance to participate. And it’s always been the same people over and over, year after year. This is what I had read, remember. As I’m not involved with these groups, I just know the names of some of these artists and saw that there was really some sort of repetitive list of fractal artists that seemed to appear quite often. Then, it was also commented that the images chosen to appear in such calendar were getting more and more boring and common and were not displaying the “good” fractal art (whatever that is), but just the eye-candy, with the same style that is typical of that specific group of “chosen ones”.

Today, when I was going to the Fractal Forums website to get the latest Mandelbulb version for my other computer, I typed a wrong address that took me apparently to the official site for the Fractal Calendar. And they had 3 galleries for the 2009, 2010 and 2011 editions with the images. And now I could see with my own eyes that this was very much true, the images are indeed boring and repetitive. They aren’t ugly, though. But 12 images of common spirals and Doodads? I can do that too. Sometimes better. Many others can do that as well.

I think that the last time I had checked for the images in that calendar was around 2003, when I even submitted some images (silly me…). The same group of people seemed to dominate the choices of approved images back then, but the images were much more better and diverse. Now, they’re just as I’ve said, common spirals and Doodads. Sad, really.

Not that these artists aren’t talented and can’t make good images, the problem I see – IMHO – is that the images are far from being fresh, creative and daunting or even “updated”, they are just something that seem to have been done to fit a certain commitment, “we must do the calendar, you are the chosen artists, just send me anything in time and that’s fine”.

With the huge ammount of fractal softwares – and fractal kinds  so to speak – now available, it’s sad to see that they have chosen just common spirals done in Ultra Fractal. No Apophysis, no old-school Fractint images, no new styles like the Mandelbulbs. And just spirals. While the time in the calendar goes on for all of us, the quality of its images seem to be going back in time. Or the clock seems to have stopped in 2002 for the people that are responsible to choose the images.

A small disclaimer: I don’t know any of the artists involved in the making of the images chosen for the calendar in any way other than occasionally viewing fractal galleries where their images are displayed, in their own websites or in other galleries in other websites. I don’t have any particular “hate” for any of these neither had any personal fights with any of these artists and this wasn’t a personal attack on anyone (before any of these haters that like to keep starting flame wars in the aforementioned blog find an excuse in this post to start some more of these wars), this was just my personal opinion on the Fractal Calendar (to which you are entitled to disagree) and my comments are mostly made about the way it’s made and conceived and how its images are chosen, not about the talent or the quality of any of these fractal artists involved.

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Fractal Gallery 35

Mostly Fractint this time, except for maybe one image but they all had their starting point with Fractint images. Some of them couldn’t be properly imported into UltraFractal, so I had to change some details but the new images are as good as their “beta” versions. There are some really basic and simple images in this gallery, but that’s the point. The last image called “The happy fish” is now one of my favourite images so far.

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Fractal Gallery 34

Time to post a new gallery. Lots of images done in Fractint this time. I’m getting this strange fatal error from  the Nextgen gallery, but it seems that it’s still working.

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Fractal Gallery 33

A lot of reworked images this time, and also a lot of spirals. It also features probably the longest render I ever did (the first image, took about 90 hours), considering the rendering time of images meant to be just displayed and not printed, these usually are much bigger and take some time but not that much I think. And it was not even worth it.

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The Rule of Thirds and the Golden Ratio

While doing some tweaks in old images I noticed that some images don’t really fit that well if just centered, mostly some spirals and images that have a certain detail that is the main “subject” of the image. If they are just moved a few bits to the side, they look more interesting. I’ve figured this by myself I guess since I never had any formal art training, and my older images seem to suffer more from this “problem”. It seems that I just did the fractal image and wherever it started, it stayed, I never tried to make it look better in terms of proportions or positioning. A small rotation the most, and that was it. But why this happens to the images? Why some appear to look better if their subjects are in certain places, mostly off-center? It can be sort of explained by the Rule of Thirds and also by the Golden Ratio.

The Rule of Thirds is well known in the photography world, and it’s not exactly a rule that you must follow all the time, it’s more like a guideline (same applies to the Golden Ratio). It says that your main subject(s) of your pictures/paintings etc. will look better if they are located 1/3 away from the image’s edges (I’d prefer to say though that the images might look better instead of will look better). It’s not a must follow rule, but it helps in some particular images.

And how do I know where is this specific location? Read the rest of this entry »

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