Gallery is Uploaded

ASCIIskyscraperadI have my gallery up. It’s a mess, lots of duplicated images. I will get to work on tidying it up and more importantly, re-doing images for size. Now I can really see how they didn’t work when I tried CafePress, Zazzle, etc. I’m going to work on creating my art in bigger sizes, dimensionally and artistically. Sort of a meeting in the middle between making bigger pictures and creating them as bigger images using software. (I know what I mean).

Let me know what you think about the gallery.

Note, there are no text files. The software does not upload anything not an image file. I’m not really keen on giving free access to my text files anyway. So, I will likely upload them in a directory of their own and limit access. I doubt most people will care. Then I still have all the set up and art to do for the email postcards, which are on yet another sub-link I haven’t posted yet.

I made an ad campaign on Project Wonderful today too. I don’t know what traffic that may bring. It’s likely not the best ad, for SEO, or anything else. But, it’s alive and I will see how it goes.

So much to do and this is only one site. I’m also uploading all my urbex photographs to WreckyRatBird, should you care to look.

Tracing Images to Make ASCII Art

tracingascii

How to make ASCII art by tracing digital images

I got the idea to try making ASCII art by tracing an image. To do so I had to find a way to make my Notepad transparent on the screen. I ended up using Peek Through. It has the least extra features but it gets the job done, with my own Notepad and settings for font, etc.

The two text editors have some interesting features, but I didn’t explore them. I may yet. At the time I just wanted to try tracing an image.

Tracing an image did not actually work out as well as I thought it could. For me it was better to stick with using an image (usually several different images) as inspiration for my own creation.

I found tracing difficult to work with because the font was smaller, in Transparent Notepad.

Most of all – I just didn’t want to work with the image exactly as-is. When tracing I lose the ability to adapt as I go along. It was too much like making a copy than making my own art.

Documenting the Decline of the Bingo Hall

Documenting the Decline of the Bingo Hall
From thriving social clubs to piles of rubble.

abandoned bingo
(Image credit: Forsaken Fotos via Flickr)

The rough-hewn simplicity and rustic charm of traditional land-based bingo halls have captivated the imagination of thousands of people throughout the decades. Indeed, brick-and-mortar bingo halls are teeming with vibrant characters and interesting personalities that bring life to a time-honored establishment. So it’s not too surprising to learn that a few talented photographers have devoted their time and energies to document the humanity inside these old-school bingo halls. Washington resident Andrew Miksys was exposed to bingo at an early age. His father published the daily Bingo Today newspaper, which Miksys then delivered to bingo halls and convenience stores across Seattle. Miksys eventually toured America’s bingo halls to present a respectful look into the communal spirit that’s part of a bingo hall’s character.

There’s even more proof that the time-honored game is a veritable treasure trove of expressive portraits. German photographer Michael Hess is a structural engineer by training and a self-taught photographer by choice. Currently residing in London, Hess lived near a bingo hall in Southampton in 2005 and always wondered what happened inside. One fateful game in that same bingo hall was all it took to motivate Hess to travel to almost 70 bingo halls in the UK for the next four years. The result was Bingo and Social Club, a good-natured and graciously rare peek into the enigmatic society of bingo halls.

However, bingo halls are believed to be not long for this world, with many different bingo halls now closing all over the world. The classic game has found its new home online, where various companies have begun to launch online bingo portals which are much more convenient and easy to play. The Virtue Fusion software that runs the games on Betfair Bingo also allow for a variety of themed games to be held simultaneously, and land-based bingo halls just cannot keep up. As such, many bingo halls have shut down, their doors closing as though to keep their memories nestled within.

While they’re no longer visited by the average bingo player, these abandoned bingo halls have made for some truly evocative images, inspiring wayward photographers with the stories they seem to tell. Web Urbanist has even come out with a collection of haunting photographs of abandoned bingo halls called “Punched Cards”. The selection of photos has everything from dilapidated signage to the remains of old bingo cards and the remains of old structures that have now been reduced to rubble, and they make one think about all the history and memories that have been made in these places. Where people once crowded and fought to shout, “BINGO!”, there lies nothing but shambles and old signs. But often, these are exactly what the urban photographer is looking for.

ASCII Art & After Effects

ASCII art, pioneered by Victorian female stenographers, has enjoyed brief periods of interest and cobbled together solutions for After Effects, but there’s now easy-to-use AE scripts to speed solutions.

Source: provideocoalition.com

Rich Young, I don’t want to login or register to comment on your post. So I am leaving my notes here. 

First, ASCII art was not invented by Victorian stenographers. That was typewriter art, or text art. ASCII art is included in text art. But, ASCII is literally in reference to computer keyboards, not text or typewriters. Text art has been found before the manufacturing of typewriters. Later there also came to be teletext art and ANSI art and others but this is likely more than you really care to know.

Secondly, the type of ASCII art created by software is flawed. Most people think of this as ASCII art but I think it is just a rendering of a photograph or other original image. Directly copying is not art, it’s just copying. The images produced by computer lack the precision which an artist learns to use to create ASCII art. 

For me I can almost accept the computer rendered images as ASCII art but it does bother me that the skill developed to create ASCII art is so easily brushed aside with comments like “anyone can do it!” 

Anyway, chances are only myself will read this (I’m a realist) but at the very least writing it will perhaps someday become part of the archives of Internet history and someone else will one day care about it too. 

ASCII Art & After Effects

ASCII art, pioneered by Victorian female stenographers, has enjoyed brief periods of interest and cobbled together solutions for After Effects, but there’s now easy-to-use AE scripts to speed solutions.

Source: provideocoalition.com

Rich Young, I don’t want to login or register to comment on your post. So I am leaving my notes here. 

First, ASCII art was not invented by Victorian stenographers. That was typewriter art, or text art. ASCII art is included in text art. But, ASCII is literally in reference to computer keyboards, not text or typewriters. Text art has been found before the manufacturing of typewriters. Later there also came to be teletext art and ANSI art and others but this is likely more than you really care to know.

Secondly, the type of ASCII art created by software is flawed. Most people think of this as ASCII art but I think it is just a rendering of a photograph or other original image. Directly copying is not art, it’s just copying. The images produced by computer lack the precision which an artist learns to use to create ASCII art. 

For me I can almost accept the computer rendered images as ASCII art but it does bother me that the skill developed to create ASCII art is so easily brushed aside with comments like “anyone can do it!” 

Anyway, chances are only myself will read this (I’m a realist) but at the very least writing it will perhaps someday become part of the archives of Internet history and someone else will one day care about it too. 

Blogging 101: Introduce Yourself

dragon slayerI have wanted to build an archive of ASCII art for years. I have masses of text files with ASCII art collected in files, some of it I even began trying to sort out. However, it is a much bigger and messier project than I expected. To start with, how do you sort it all out so people can find it? By original artist would be nice but – it is hard to be sure who the original artist is in many cases and I don’t think many people would be searching by artist since most have no idea who they were anyway.

Anyway, I create my own ASCII art. I began in 1998 with the newsgroups which are now a part of Google. Thank you to Google for preserving those old newsgroups – they even kept them current so you can continue making posts as if nothing has changed. But, the newsgroups changed and most people moved on when the spam over loaded the content.

I knew Joan Stark, Llizard, Veronika, Hayley and many others from those newsgroup days of alt.ascii-art (I may not have that exactly right, it’s been a long time). Joan Stark became a mystery, she just disappeared one day. I have tried to track her down but no luck.  Llizard and Hayley I did find and have sent notes the odd time.

But, the old days of ASCII art are gone. It isn’t used in email signatures now. Email became HTML and stuck with that. I protested at the time. It was doomed by marketing – people wanted to use HTML to spam email better. So they did, still do. But, I still have my email set to text only just to spite them all. Small and meaningless revenge makes me feel a tiny bit better.

ASCII art is not completely dead. It is sadly not always what I would call ASCII art. I will never think of mechanically produced text art pictures as true ASCII art. If you did not pick and choose each letter, number and character to create your picture then you don’t have ASCII art. Anyone can scan a picture into text – that doesn’t make it art just a copy of the original. You rely on the software to do all the work and software can’t replace a human who is less than perfect but can see things with emotion and use their intelligence to make unique choices. Machines lack that feature, so far.

Why am I putting up this site after all this blabbing about ASCII art…? I want to show my own work and I want to promote ASCII art as a whole. I don’t want ASCII art to fall off the sidelines into history as some dorky, geeky fad that time forgot.  I don’t like to see people mock it (that includes the computer produced art versus the human produced art). I want to see the ASCII artists remembered along with the art they created.

Is that too much to ask? Probably not. But, it is a pretty big project to take on. Wish me luck!

You can read more about me and my other posts for the WordPress Blogging 101 challenge and my other sites.